All Affordable Care Act stories

Feb 19, 2020 - Health

California's Affordable Care Act coverage experiment

Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Covered California, the state's Affordable Care Act exchange, announced yesterday that new enrollment rose 41% in 2020 after the state reinstated the individual mandate and expanded the law's insurance subsidies.

Why it matters: If California is acting as a real-life test case for what happens when policymakers beef up the ACA, the experiment seems to be going well, at least in terms of coverage numbers.

Feb 14, 2020 - Health

Appeals court rules against Trump's Medicaid work requirements

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Trump administration violated federal law by allowing red states to impose work requirements on their Medicaid programs, a federal appeals court ruled Friday. The court said the administration had not properly justified its decision, and that it was out of step with Medicaid's statutory goals.

What's next: The most likely next step is an appeal to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, the administration has not won a single favorable ruling in lawsuits over what had once looked like one of its most significant health care policies.

Feb 5, 2020 - Health

State of the Union previews 2020's pre-existing conditions fight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump claimed last night during the State of the Union that he will "always protect patients with pre-existing conditions" — a statement that's misleading at best.

Why it matters: Pre-existing conditions protections are popular, and both parties are trying to claim credit for them. But only one of the parties has a track record of defending those protections, and it's not the GOP.

Jan 23, 2020 - Health

Trump's selective urgency at the Supreme Court

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The Trump administration has consistently tried to get controversial cases in front of the Supreme Court as quickly as possible — but not when that might have meant striking down the entire Affordable Care Act before the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump’s Justice Department has tried to leapfrog the traditional process far more than its predecessors did, and at least one Supreme Court justice seems to be worried that it’s affecting the court’s work.

Jan 21, 2020 - Health

Supreme Court won't fast-track Affordable Care Act case

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The Supreme Court said Monday that it won't speed up a lawsuit that aims to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act. The law's defenders had asked the high court to step in earlier than usual, but the justices opted to let the normal appeals process run its course instead.

Why it matters: This unsurprising move all but ensures that the court won't decide the ACA's fate until after the 2020 presidential election. If the justices ultimately do strike down all or part of the health care law, President Trump won't have to answer for the ensuing disruption during a campaign — and it could end up being his successor's mess to clean up.

Go deeper: The ACA legal fight isn't even close to over

Jan 17, 2020 - Health

Supreme Court will hear another ACA contraception case

Affordable Care Act supporters hold up signs outside the Supreme Court. Photo: Bill Clark / Contributor

The Supreme Court agreed on Friday to take up yet another case involving the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate, which requires most employers to cover birth control in their workers' health care plans.

Where it stands: The court has already said that employers must be able to get an exemption from the contraception mandate if they have a religious objection to the policy. Broadly, the question the court is taking up now is whether the Trump administration has been too permissive with those exemptions. The court will likely rule in early summer.

Go deeper: The ACA legal fight isn't even close to over

Jan 16, 2020 - Health

Coverage gains for people of color are slowing

Reproduced from The Commonwealth Fund; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Affordable Care Act reduced racial disparities in health insurance, but that progress has stalled since 2016, a new Commonwealth Fund analysis says.

Between the lines: The uninsured rate among people of color leveled off in 2016, and racial disparities in actual care still persist, even with lower uninsured rates.

Jan 15, 2020 - Health

Humana expects "substantial" benefit from spiking ACA tax

Humana CEO Bruce Broussard. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Humana CEO Bruce Broussard told investors at a small Goldman Sachs conference last week that the recent repeal of the Affordable Care Act's health insurance tax is "a substantial benefit to the company's stakeholders," according to a summary of the meeting from Goldman Sachs.

The bottom line: This policy reversal will translate into hundreds of millions of dollars going toward Wall Street, but Broussard was more sheepish at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference this week, where he would not say exactly how much of that money would be booked as profit.

The ACA is doing fine without a mandate penalty

Photo: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Affordable Care Act’s insurance market has not been materially affected by the elimination of the individual mandate penalty — undercutting a key argument in the lawsuit urging the courts to strike down the health care law.

The big picture: Healthy enrollees have not left the market in droves, premiums have not spiked and there has been no market death spiral.

Dec 20, 2019 - Health
What Matters 2020

The political risk of overturning the ACA

Data: Urban Institute Health Policy Center; Note: Uninsured rate is among the nonelderly population. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Swing states and red states stand to lose the most if the courts ultimately throw out the Affordable Care Act, according to a new analysis by the Urban Institute.

Why it matters: President Trump and Republican attorneys general could pay a steep political price if they succeed in their quest to kill the law.