The GOP Tax Legislation could have an impact on healthcare coverage and organizations. The current House and Senate bill include items that would make sweeping changes to the healthcare system, according to NPR.
Here are three things to know:
1. The Senate’s version of the bill would repeal the individual mandate that requires all Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a tax penalty under the ACA. If the requirement is dropped, the Congressional Budget Office estimates 13 million fewer people would have insurance in the next decade.
2. The medical expense deduction is repealed in the House bill, but does not appear in the Senate’s current version. The repeal would take away deductions for medical expenses above 10 percent of an individual’s adjusted gross income.
3. Vox reports the Senate tax bill could trigger a $25 billion annual cut to Medicare, according to CBO estimates, through sequestration because the tax bill would increase the deficit.
The Republican tax overhaul that squeaked through the Senate early Saturday morning would reach deep into the nation’s health-care system, with a clear dagger to a core aspect of the Affordable Care Act and broader ripple effects that could threaten other programs over time.
The measure would abolish the government’s enforcement of the ACA requirement that most Americans carry insurance coverage. It would not end the individual mandate itself but would eliminate tax penalties for flouting that requirement. The result could cause an extra 13 million people to become uninsured and drive up insurance premiums in marketplaces created under the law, according to an estimate by Congress’s nonpartisan budget analysts.
The Affordable Care Act hasn’t been a boon to health insurers’ bottom lines, despite ushering in millions of newly insured individuals, an analysis found.Fully insured health plans grew their revenue by 55% to $849 billion between 2011 and 2016, as enrollment ballooned to 184 million members, up by 41 million since 2011, according to a Deloitte study of more than 200 health plans.But underwriting gains fell 29% to $13.6 billion over the same period. And health plans’ underwriting margins also sunk to 1.6% on average in 2016 from 3.5% in 2011.”Despite some perceptions to the contrary in the public debate, in most cases insurance companies have not profited as a result of the ACA,” Greg Scott, principal at Deloitte Consulting and U.S. health plan leader, said in a statement.
The surprising about-face in the past two days by Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and, finally on Friday, Susan Collins of Maine guarantees that GOP leaders in the Senate will win passage of their major tax legislation.
And it very well could mean that Americans would no longer be required to have some form of health insurance that complies with Obamacare standards or face a tax penalty.
Senate Republicans have approved the repeal of ObamaCare’s individual mandate as part of their tax-cut bill, a major step toward ending an unpopular part of the health-care law.
“Families ought to be able to make decisions about what they want to buy and what works for them — not the government,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said, hailing the accomplishment.
“I believe if people don’t want to buy the ObamaCare insurance, they shouldn’t have to pay a tax penalty to the IRS.”
Anne Cornwell considered two drastic strategies in her quest to get affordable health insurance premiums last year for herself and her retired husband.
One was divorce. Another was taking a 30 percent pay cut. She chose the latter.
That maneuver slashed the Chattanooga, Tenn., couple’s premiums from exorbitant to economical. Instead of $2,100 a month — the amount she had been quoted for 2017 — their premiums are just $87 monthly, her lost income more than compensated for by qualifying for insurance subsides.
Critical-access hospital Margaret Mary Health in Batesville, Ind., always has its imaging machines plugged in and waiting in case a stroke or trauma patient comes through the door.That can drive up costs for imaging services compared to free-standing imaging centers, which typically operate on set hours and don’t handle emergency patients. That’s why Tim Putnam, the hospital’s CEO, says Anthem’s decision to stop paying hospitals for outpatient MRI and CT scans hits small, rural hospitals like his especially hard. “When patients are directed someplace else, it doesn’t decrease my cost in any way,” he said. “I still have to have that availability 24/7.”
I was so looking forward to writing a column on health care developments raised at the recent American Heart Association meeting in Anaheim, since my recent columns have focused on Republican attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and rip away health care coverage for 20 million to 30 million Americans who could not afford it before 2010.
The GOP seemed to admit defeat after repeatedly failing to repeal the ACA and was moving on to its next travesty, a tax cut for the rich. But Republican Senate leaders couldn’t help themselves. They added into their tax proposal the repeal of the individual mandate, which requires people to purchase health insurance or face a penalty.
Last week, Colorado became the first state to notify families that children who receive health insurance through the Children’s Health Insurance Program are in danger of losing their coverage.
Nearly 9 million children are insured through CHIP, which covers mostly working-class families. The program has bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, but Congress let federal funding for CHIP expire in September.
People who experience frequent migraines may soon have access to a new class of drugs.
In a pair of large studies, two drugs that tweak brain circuits involved in migraine each showed they could reduce the frequency of attacks without causing side effects, researchers report in the New England Journal of Medicine.
“They offer the first migraine treatment that’s actually aimed at the disorder,” says Peter Goadsby, an author of one of the studies and a professor of neurology at King’s College in London.
A person in Missouri, walking along the side of a street, was suddenly struck by a car. The patient was taken to the emergency department, where multiple imaging studies revealed that despite bad scrapes and contusions, there were no broken bones. In another case, a patient who was potentially experiencing a stroke received tPA, a life-saving medication used to dissolve blood clots in the brain, and was admitted to the ICU. THE TAKEAWAY Hospitals and patients are beginning to feel the impact of unpaid claims and big medical bills due to Anthem’s policy to deny some ED coverage. In several other instances, Missourians have sought care in the ED for what they thought were broken bones.
CVS Health is buying Aetna for $69 billion in cash and stock in a long-expected deal that reflects a rapidly shifting health care landscape.
Aetna stockholders are to receive around $207 a share — $145 in cash and $62 in stock — and will own about 22% of the combined company. CVS shareholders will own the remainder. Including the assumption of Aetna’s debt, the total value of the transaction climbs to $77 billion.
The deal could result in lower costs to both CVS and Aetna, though it’s unclear how much of those savings consumers will receive.
CVS is preparing to buy the health insurance giant Aetna for $69 billion, the companies say.
The acquisition, which has been reportedly in talks for months, would be one of the largest such mergers in the history of health care. It would combine CVS Health Corp, which has more than 9,000 pharmacy stores and more than 1,000 walk-in clinics, with an insurance company that covers more than 22 million members.
In a press release Sunday, CVS says it will pay $207 for each share in cash and stock, reflecting a 29 percent premium over Aetna’s share price on Oct. 25, The Associated Press reports. (Oct. 25 is the last day not affected by talk of the sale; on the 26th, The Wall Street Journal reported on CVS and Aetna’s acquisition talks.)
The California stem cell agency today handed out $16.4 million in research grants seeking therapies for afflictions ranging from gum disease and cancer to vision loss and Parkinson’s Disease.
The award for Parkinson’s was relatively tiny — only $150,000 — but represented a rare case in which the agency’s governing board overturned its reviewers, who make the de facto decisions on awards.
The reversal came after one board member, David Higgins, of San Diego, who has Parkinson’s, noted that the most common drug that Parkinson’s patients take is 70 years old. He told the board.
Computer calculations are set to replace a common in-the-flesh heart test at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.
The facility on Genesee Avenue is the first in the region, and among about 100 medical centers worldwide, to adopt the new approach to determining whether or not coronary artery blockages are severe enough to require stenting, a process that uses a tiny expandable metal scaffolding to push fatty deposits called plaques out of the way, improving blood flow to the heart muscle.