Dec 11, 2019

SCOTUS seems to side with insurers in ACA risk corridor case

Photo: Grant Faint/Getty Images

The Supreme Court appeared to side with insurers over their claim that the federal government owes them $12 billion in Affordable Care Act risk corridor payments, AP reports.

Between the lines: The program was included in the ACA to help protect insurers participating in its new marketplaces from financial losses, but Congress inserted provisions into spending bills limiting those payments.

What they're saying: "Are you saying the insurers would have done the same thing without the promise to pay?" Justice Elena Kagan asked a lawyer for the government.

  • "Why doesn't the government have to pay its contracts like anyone else?" asked Justice Stephen Breyer, per WSJ.

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The Affordable Care Act's free health plans

Roughly 4.7 million people who have no health insurance could get coverage next year without paying a dime for the monthly premium, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis.

Why it matters: If you make less than $50,000 as an individual or $103,000 as a family of four — and you can't get health insurance through your job or Medicaid — you could get coverage for free.

Go deeperArrowDec 11, 2019

Government funding bill deal will repeal key ACA taxes

Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Congress is expected to soon announce a deal to repeal the Affordable Care Act's health insurance, medical device and "Cadillac" employer health plan taxes — and to raise the smoking age to 21, according to a senior House Democratic aide familiar with talks.

Why it matters: The decision is a colossal win for the health care industry.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Dec 16, 2019

Health policy in 2020 will be made in the states

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

With legislation in Congress likely to be blocked by partisan division and interest group opposition, much of the real action in health care this year will be in the states.

The big picture: States don’t have the money or purchasing power the federal government does, but their decisions nevertheless affect millions of people, and they could signal the future of federal reform.

Go deeperArrowJan 6, 2020