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Affordable Care Act

ACA enrollment remains steady

WASHINGTON — Nearly 9 million people signed up for health insurance in the Affordable Care Act’s latest open enrollment period, despite the Trump administration having cut its duration in half. The 8.8 million enrollees were only slightly fewer than the total in the last ACA open enrollment period, which, besides being longer, was much more

New tax code eliminates ACA individual mandate

New tax code eliminates ACA individual mandate

WASHINGTON — The individual mandate is no more. The requirement under the Affordable Care Act that people pay a penalty if they do not obtain health insurance was eliminated in the federal tax overhaul passed by Congress. After the Senate approved the tax reform legislation 51-48, Trump tweeted, “Terrible Individual Mandate (ObamaCare) Repealed.” He signed

Big events of 2017 that will shape the future

Big events of 2017 that will shape the future

A case could be made that for pharmacy operators passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act late last month was the biggest story of 2017. Championed by the Republican leadership in Congress and President Trump, the $1.5 trillion measure will provide substantial, permanent tax relief for businesses — the corporate tax rate was cut

Senators grill HHS nominee Alex Azar on cutting drug costs

Senators grill HHS nominee Alex Azar on cutting drug costs

WASHINGTON — Alex Azar, a former pharmaceutical executive named by President Trump to be the next Health and Human Services secretary, told senators at a full committee nomination hearing that making prescription drugs more affordable would be one of his top priorities. “Drug prices are too high,” Azar said to the Senate health committee at

U.S. health care spending growth slows

U.S. health care spending growth slows

BETHESDA, Md. — Growth in prescription drug expenditures tailed off despite an overall gain in 2016 U.S. health care spending, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Last year, U.S. health care spending totaled $3.3 trillion, up 4.3%, compared with growth of 5.8% in 2015 and 5.1% in 2014, according to a

Senate tax reform bill may doom ACA’s individual mandate

Senate tax reform bill may doom ACA’s individual mandate

WASHINGTON — The Senate’s repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual mandate as part of its sweeping tax reform bill has likely spelled doom for the provision, which required people who didn’t obtain health insurance to pay a tax penalty. Sen. John Barrasso (R., Wyo.) said the 51-49 vote passing the Senate tax reform

Prospects for compromise on ACA unclear

WASHINGTON — The future of the bipartisan bill to stabilize health insurance markets remained uncertain after President Trump sent mixed signals about the health reform legislation. GOP senators who met with Trump late last month said he had withheld his backing for the bill, which would temporarily restore insurance subsidies that the president had blocked

Trump executive order takes aim at ACA

Trump executive order takes aim at ACA

WASHINGTON — After numerous failed attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to relax standards on small businesses that band together to buy health insurance and may take steps to allow the sale of other health plans that skirt the health law’s requirements. The Trump executive order

Trump: Effort to repeal ACA is still alive

Trump: Effort to repeal ACA is still alive

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Obamacare would be repealed and replaced early next year, following the failure of the Senate’s latest effort to overturn the law. After the Senate pulled back from a vote on legislation that would have moved control of health insurance to the states, Trump said Republicans “have the votes” to

New plans afoot to recast health care system

New plans afoot to recast health care system

WASHINGTON — The effort to replace Obamacare has taken divergent paths, neither of which seems likely to produce a lasting alternative. Republicans, led by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, proposed taking funds budgeted for the Affordable Care Act and sending it to states as block grants along with the

Affordable Care Act still plagued by uncertainty

Affordable Care Act still plagued by uncertainty

WASHINGTON — The failed effort to overturn the Affordable Care Act has hardly erased doubts about the law’s short- and long-term viability. Already, the Trump administration has suspended contracts with two companies that have helped thousands of people in nearly a score of cities get health insurance under the statute. In ending the $22 million

Republican bid to undo ACA falls short in Senate

Republican bid to undo ACA falls short in Senate

WASHINGTON­­ — The Senate dealt a devastating blow to Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, defeating a GOP “skinny repeal” bill. Republican Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine) joined with Democrats to oppose the measure, a major loss for President Trump and the Republican congressional agenda.

NACDS stays course amid disarray in Washington

NACDS stays course amid disarray in Washington

The confusion and anxiety unleashed by Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act are unlikely to be put to rest anytime soon, despite the collapse of the Senate leadership’s repeated attempts to secure enough support to enact a bill undercutting President Obama’s signature domestic achievement. After the Republican-controlled chamber failed to pass

Senate rejects ‘skinny’ repeal of ACA

Senate rejects ‘skinny’ repeal of ACA

WASHINGTON­­ — The Senate dealt a devastating blow to Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act by defeating a GOP “skinny repeal” bill early Friday morning. Sens. John McCain (R., Ariz.), Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) and Susan Collins (R., Maine) joined with Democrats to oppose the measure, a major loss for President

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