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State Insurance Commissioner: Pennsylvania’s Individual Health Care Insurance Market is Stabilizing

July 21, 2017

Pennsylvania’s Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller released today the insurer rate filings for health care insurance policy premiums for the 2018 individual marketplace, with an average rate increase of 8.8 percent for individual plans, and 6.7 percent for small group plans. Although the state's individual market is stabilizing, she also stressed that the current uncertainty surrounding national health care law threatens to upset that stability.

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Pennsylvania Recognized for Top-Performing Rural Critical Access Hospitals

July 21, 2017

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recognized Pennsylvania’s rural Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) this week for achieving the highest quality reporting rates and improved performance during the past year. Pennsylvania is among ten top-performing states that were recognized under HRSA’s Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project. HAP commends the state’s CAHs for their achievement in earning HRSA’s recognition.

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New CBO Analysis on Repeal Legislation: Higher Premiums and 32 Million More Uninsured by 2026

July 20, 2017

A newly released analysis about the direct spending and revenue effects of the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act of 2017 (ORRA), would significantly increase the number of uninsured Americans. In addition, average premiums for individual health insurance policies would increase as much as 25 percent during the first year. Republican members of the U.S. Senate are vowing to push for a vote as early as next week for repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.

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U.S. House Asserts Oversight of the 340B Drug Pricing Program

July 18, 2017

In a Congressional hearing today—Examining HRSA’s Oversight of the 340B Drug Pricing Program—members of the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee discussed the intent of the 340B Drug Pricing Program, oversight by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and potential areas for legislative action by Congress.

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Vote on Better Care Reconciliation Act Stalled; Senate Leadership Rethinking ACA Repeal Strategy

July 18, 2017

With four Republican U.S. Senators indicating they could not support the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), there were insufficient votes needed to act on beginning debate on the legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Following that announcement, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement indicating his goal to seek a vote on repealing the ACA with a two-year transition period in which Congress would work to replace the ACA.

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CMS Projects Insurance Exchange Carriers in Every PA County, PA Insurance Market Shows Signs of Stability

July 14, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released an updated map of projected health insurance exchange issuers by county. CMS projects that Pennsylvania will have at least one health insurance exchange carrier in every county with most counties having two or more.

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HAP Urges U.S. Senate to Reconsider Updated Health Care Plan

July 13, 2017

The U.S. Senate today released an updated version of legislation, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, that would partially repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and make significant changes to the financing of Medicaid.

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U.S. House Committee Reviews State Opioid Efforts and Ongoing Challenges

July 12, 2017

In a hearing today, Combating the Opioid Crisis: Battles in the States, Congressional leaders heard testimony from state officials offering insight on successful strategies to address the opioid epidemic and ongoing challenges in prevention and treatment.

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Studies Find Uninsured Grows, Insurance Market Stabilizes as PA Hospitals Urge Lawmakers to Protect Health Coverage

July 12, 2017

A recent Gallup poll shows that the percentage of adults in the country without health insurance grew slightly between the first and second quarters of 2017, while the latest Kaiser Family Foundation finds that the individual insurance market has continued to stabilize with insurers regaining profitability, after experiencing issues with financial performance in 2014 and 2015. HAP encourages members of Pennsylvania’s hospital community to speak out and email Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senators Pat Toomey and Robert Casey to urge the Senate to protect health coverage for all Pennsylvanians.

 

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Pennsylvania Will Undergo Severe Economic and Employment Challenges Under Senate’s Proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act

July 07, 2017

This week, The Commonwealth Fund released an economic and employment assessment of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) on the United States. According to the study, enactment of the BCRA would lead to nearly 110,000 jobs lost in Pennsylvania by 2026 and more than $19 billion lost in business output.

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Shift to Value-Based Payment Still Strong Under New Administration

July 05, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Center for Clinical Standards and Quality Director, Kate Goodrich, said that value-based payment programs are likely to continue under the new administration during an accountable care organization event in Virginia last week.

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CBO Releases Analysis of Longer-Term Effects of Senate Legislation on Medicaid Spending

June 30, 2017

The Congressional Budget Office  and Joint Committee on Taxation released an additional analysis on the longer-term effect of the proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA) on Medicaid spending, projecting that spending would be reduced by $160 billion during 2026, as compared to current law. 

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U.S. House Backs Comprehensive Medical Liability Reform

June 29, 2017

The U.S. House passed comprehensive medical liability reform legislation to improve access to quality, affordable health care and reduce the burden the liability system places on the health care delivery system.

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PA Providers to Senators Toomey and Casey: Reject the BCRA

June 28, 2017

News Release: Although U.S. Senate leaders have postponed a vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) until after the July 4 recess, Pennsylvania’s health care provider community continues its push to protect access to affordable, reliable health care coverage.

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As Senate Delays Vote on BCRA, PA Hospital Community Urged to Email Senators Toomey & Casey to Help Protect Coverage for Pennsylvanians

June 27, 2017

Last week, the U.S. Senate released the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, its version of legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The proposal jeopardizes coverage, weakens Medicaid, and undermines critical protections.

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