Good morning … Breaking this morning: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released its first formal guidance to pave the way for work requirements in Medicaid. Read the document here and stay tuned to the Axios stream for more.
Time for another installment in our ongoing series: Which states are about to run out of federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program?
Go deeper: The L.A. Times tells the real-life stories of real-life families whose real-life children depend on CHIP, and the fears they’re facing as the program lingers in political limbo.
President Trump set some high expectations yesterday for association health plans. Here he is praising Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta yesterday for the proposed rules expanding those plans:
“This is health care through association and associations. And I think that millions and millions and millions of people will be signing up. It will be highly competitive. He has been able to totally get rid of state lines so there will be tremendous competition. And that will be a phase of health care that people don't talk about. But I think, ultimately, you'll have more people than you actually had even in Obamacare, and it's just a segment of what we're doing.”
Reality check: I asked experts on both the left and right yesterday for their best read on how many people association plans will likely cover, but none wanted to bite, citing incomplete data about the small-group market and outstanding questions about the rules themselves.
Quick take: The Labor Department has said up to 11 million sole proprietors and small-business employees could be eligible for association plans, but of course that’s not the same as the number who would actually take advantage of them.
Yesterday was the last full day of the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. Axios' Bob Herman breaks it down:
The regret of Community Health Systems
DaVita’s charity concerns
The MiMedx fireworks
Tom Price sighting
Sen. Bob Casey’s office has obtained the administration’s initial roadmap for weakening the ACA through executive actions. The document, whose contents were first reported by Politico, was prepared as a way to help coax House Republicans into supporting ACA repeal. And even though that effort ultimately failed, this is pretty much the plan the administration has already executed.
The details: Most of the steps outlined in this document have been implemented — including a shorter open enrollment period and tighter restrictions on enrollment outside that designated window.
What’s next: One proposal here stands out as a potentially big deal that hasn’t yet seen the light of day: “Encourage states to build ‘skinny’ exchanges.” Only a handful of states run their own exchanges, which is in part a byproduct of Republican governors’ initial refusal to do anything that might help implement the ACA.
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