The Health News USA December 14 2017

  • U.S. House Republicans proposed on Tuesday to delay or suspend several taxes under former President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, including a tax on medical devices and the so-called “Cadillac” tax on generous health insurance plans. The move represents a new Republican attempt to roll back provisions of the two thousand ten Affordable Care Act widely known as Obamacare, after repeated failures by the majority party of Congress this year to repeal the law.
  • Virginia officials warned thousands of families Tuesday they could lose their health coverage if Congress fails to reauthorize a critical insurance program by January 31. Capitol Hill lawmakers allowed the Children’s Health Insurance Program to expire on September 30, leaving states to calculate when they’ll run out of funding and no longer be able to support beneficiaries. About 68,000 children and more than 1,000 pregnant women are enrolled in Virginia’s version of the program, known as FAMIS.
  • Officials with the state’s Silver State Health Insurance Exchange have been running an awareness campaign for months. But they are boosting their efforts ahead of a deadline that consumers are used to face in January or later. The latest available figures show that more than thirty five thousand four hundred Nevada residents have signed up for coverage.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 14th of December 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-tax-healthcare/republicans-propose-to-delay-pause-obamacare-taxes-idUSKBN1E62ZF

U.S. House Republicans proposed on Tuesday to delay or suspend several taxes under former President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, including a tax on medical devices and the so-called “Cadillac” tax on generous health insurance plans. The move represents a new Republican attempt to roll back provisions of the two thousand ten Affordable Care Act widely known as Obamacare, after repeated failures by the majority party of Congress this year to repeal the law.

Republicans in the House and Senate are also in the final stages of reconciling tax overhaul legislation, including a proposal to scrap Obamacare’s individual mandate, which imposes a tax penalty on Americans who do not obtain health insurance. A spokeswoman for the House Ways and Means Committee said the additional proposed healthcare tax rollbacks would not be part of the broader tax overhaul bill.

One proposed bill would retroactively eliminate Obamacare penalties for employers who did not offer health insurance to their employees over the last three years, as well as for next year. The bill would also delay for one year the Cadillac tax on high-cost employer-sponsored insurance, which is otherwise scheduled to go into effect in two thousand twenty. Labor unions oppose this tax because their members often receive more generous healthcare plans, and they fear it would increase their costs. Another bill would suspend for five years the tax on medical devices, such as pacemakers and artificial hips. It was first imposed in January two thousand thirteen as a funding mechanism for Obamacare, a law that has brought medical coverage to millions of previously uninsured Americans.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/dec/12/virginia-says-health-benefits-68k-children-could-e/

Virginia officials warned thousands of families Tuesday they could lose their health coverage if Congress fails to reauthorize a critical insurance program by January thirty one. Capitol Hill lawmakers allowed the Children’s Health Insurance Program to expire on September thirty, leaving states to calculate when they’ll run out of funding and no longer be able to support the people especially children who benefit from the program. About sixty eight thousand children and more than one thousand pregnant women are enrolled in Virginia’s version of the program, known as FAMIS.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, said: “It is truly shameful that gridlock and dysfunction in Congress have left nearly seventy thousand Virginians who depend on the program hanging in limbo.”

Letters to affected families, which include a Spanish version, provide a hotline for regular updates on their coverage and instruct them to schedule care before January thirty one. They say families should check with their employer to see if they offer coverage to children or pregnant women, and that anyone who receives a renewal letter should still follow the instructions to renew coverage. Nationwide, the “CHIP” program insures roughly nine million children whose parents earn too much money for Medicaid coverage but still struggle to afford insurance. Earlier this month, the House GOP muscled a five-year reauthorization bill to passage with support from just fifteen Democrats.

Congress might reauthorize the program as part of a year-end spending deal, and it freed up a pot of leftover funding to help tide states over until the spat is resolved. But states are worried about the lack of apparent progress. Colorado and Utah warned of expiring benefits earlier this year, and others say they’ll run out of money in the new year.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/article189374214.html

With Facebook ads, health fairs and even sign spinners, Nevada officials are hoping to encourage more residents to sign up for subsidized health insurance by Friday, the last day of this year’s enrollment season. Officials with the state’s Silver State Health Insurance Exchange have been running an awareness campaign for months. But they are boosting their efforts ahead of a deadline that consumers are used to face in January or later. The latest available figures show that more than thirty five thousand four hundred Nevada residents have signed up for coverage.

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The state is also running ads in movie theaters, radio, football games and print publications.
The Healthcare.gov marketplace run by the U.S. government — and used by Nevada consumers — under the Affordable Care Act allows those who do not get insurance through employers or government programs to shop and sign up for private coverage online. Open enrollment started November one and ends Friday in most states, a sign-up period six weeks shorter than last year’s.

Some nine million to ten million people currently have private plans through the ACA’s government-sponsored markets. More than eight in ten receive subsidized premiums and are cushioned from rate increases. Federal help paying premiums is still available despite GOP efforts to repeal the health law. Nevada residents this year must select plans from either Health Plan of Nevada or SilverSummit Health Plan after other insurers chose to stop offering plans on the exchange.

It is anticipated that the state will not match the more than eighty nine thousand sign-ups for two thousand seventeen due to the shortened enrollment season. The federal government denied a request for an extension. People who remain uninsured after Friday risk fines.

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