Sunday, September 18, 2016

Obama Redoubling Efforts To Shore Up Health Law As Concerns Grow About Marketplaces, September 16, Kaiser Health News
The president met with insurers this week to press them to continue to support the effort, and the administration is preparing for a rocky opening of the fall enrollment period because of concerns about rising premiums and limited choices. Nonetheless, on one key measure the law is a marked success: the drop in the number of people without insurance.
Politico: Obama Steps In To Save Obamacare
Deep into the final year of his presidency, Barack Obama is working behind the scenes to secure Obamacare’s legacy, struggling to bolster a program whose ultimate success or failure will likely be determined by his successor. With no lifeline coming from the divided Congress, Obama and his administration are redoubling their pleas for insurers to shore up the federal health care law and pushing uninsured Americans — especially younger ones — to sign up for coverage. The administration is nervously preparing for its final Obamacare open-enrollment season just a week before Election Day, amid a cascade of headlines about rising premiums, fleeing insurers and narrowing insurance options. (Demko, 9/16)
The Associated Press: Behind Health Law's 'Growing Pains,' More Serious Problems?
President Barack Obama told insurers this week his health care overhaul has had some growing pains. But with premiums rising and marquee insurers bailing, could the real diagnosis be "failure to thrive?" The medical term refers to when patients, often youngsters but also adults, fail to achieve or maintain proper weight. This is the fourth election cycle in which the Affordable Care Act has been in play, struggling for political traction and a healthy level of acceptance from a divided public. (Alonso-Zaldivar, 9/15)
The New York Times: By One Measure, Health Care Law Is A Record Success
Included among the many uplifting economic numbers released by the Census Bureau on Tuesday was a remarkable one about health insurance in the United States: Only 9.1 percent of Americans do not have coverage, the lowest level ever recorded by the agency. ... So does that mean the Affordable Care Act is solving the puzzle of getting people covered, a major goal of the law? It certainly looks that way. About 18 million more people have coverage now than did in 2013. But the new numbers also highlight where the law is not working well — and how difficult it will be to drop the uninsured rate much lower. (Abelson and Sanger-Katz, 9/15)
Cleveland Plain Dealer: Republicans Want Change In Obamacare: Rates Rising, Insurers Leaving
Obamacare is a mess, crammed down the throats of Americans by Democrats in Congress. Premiums are soaring and insurers are backing out, cutting consumer choice. The next Congress must repeal and replace it. These were the primary messages in a U.S. Senate committee hearing today that was scheduled by, and dominated by, Republicans. ... A partisan imbalance in a congressional hearing doesn't mean the critics are wrong or right about the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. But the hearing offered a preview of what's to come in 2017 – both for insurance and for politics, depending on which political party controls the White House and Congress. (Koff, 9/15)
The Hill: Senate Dems Unveil New Public Option Push For ObamaCare 
Senate Democrats and liberal groups are unveiling a new push to add a public option on ObamaCare on Thursday. The effort is led by senators including Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), on track to be the next Democratic leader, and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who galvanized liberals in his presidential campaign with a push to go even further and set up a “Medicare for all” system. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) is spearheading the effort. (Sullivan, 9/15)


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