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Sep 10, 2019

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For the first time in a decade, the number of Americans without health insurance has risen — by about 2 million people in 2018 — according to the annual U.S. Census Bureau report released Tuesday.

The Census found that 8.5% of the U.S. population went without medical insurance for all of 2018, up from 7.9% in 2017. By contrast, in 2013, before the Affordable Care Act took full...

Sep 06, 2019
The Friday Breeze

Newsletter editor Brianna Labuskes, who reads everything on health care to compile our daily Morning Briefing, offers the best and most provocative stories for the weekend.

Happy Friday! I come bearing bad news for anyone enjoying the slight decrease in D.C. traffic: Congress is back in full force next week. Although we have not had even a slight decrease in health news, I’m sure lawmakers will kick it up even further...

Sep 06, 2019

TOPEKA, Kan. — This was supposed to be the year Medicaid expansion finally happened in Kansas.

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly, elected in November, had run on the issue. She triumphed in a state that had gone for Trump in 2016 by more than 20 percentage points and replaced a Republican governor who had vetoed a previous expansion bill.

Approximately 130,000 low-income people — roughly 4.5% of the 2.9 million people in the state —...

Sep 05, 2019

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President Donald Trump has been promising to reveal a new health plan since early this year. That hasn’t happened yet. Now, there is a debate about whether having a plan for Democrats to criticize would help or hurt the president’s campaign.

Meanwhile, among the Democrats vying to take on Trump next...

Sep 05, 2019

As voters fume about the high cost of health care, politicians have been targeting two well-deserved villains: pharmaceutical companies, whose prices have risen more than inflation, and insurers, who pay their executives millions in salaries while raising premiums and deductibles.

Although the Democratic presidential candidates have devoted copious airtime to debating health care, many of the country’s leading health policy experts have wondered why they have given a...

Sep 04, 2019

This story also ran on NPR.
This story can be republished for free (details).

While many Capitol Hill Republicans want to avoid a repeat of the Affordable Care Act repeal debate, President Donald Trump keeps promising a health plan that will be “phenomenal” and make the GOP “the party of health care.”

Last month, Medicare chief Seema Verma said, “We’re actively engaged in conversations” on what to do. Earlier in August,...

Aug 30, 2019
The Friday Breeze

Newsletter editor Brianna Labuskes, who reads everything on health care to compile our daily Morning Briefing, offers the best and most provocative stories for the weekend.

Happy Friday! Do you ever wonder what our modern-day version of bloodletting is? You know, that practice that would horrify whoever is writing the Breeze 200 years from now? You’d think protections would be in place to keep wacky theories from...

Aug 30, 2019

This story also ran on NPR.
This story can be republished for free (details).

From a planning perspective, Wolfgang Balzer is the perfect health care consumer.

Balzer, an engineer, knew for several years he had a hernia that would need to be repaired, but it wasn’t an emergency, so he waited until the time was right.


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Aug 30, 2019

SEATTLE — Although few states have finalized their 2020 health insurance rates yet, preliminary reports suggest that increases in premiums for plans sold on the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces will be moderate again this year.

One analysis of those early state filings, which noted some states appear poised to have lower premiums next year, found that Washington had a lower rate increase than almost half the other states.

Insurance premiums for Washington’s...

Aug 23, 2019
The Friday Breeze

Newsletter editor Brianna Labuskes, who reads everything on health care to compile our daily Morning Briefing, offers the best and most provocative stories for the weekend.

Happy Friday! We have officially made it through the dog days of summer. (Fun fact: Apparently those are set dates and not just … a vague concept of “sometime in August when it’s hot.” I was today-years-old when I learned that.) But that doesn’t...

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