Senate GOP tries one last time to repeal Obamacare

September 17, 2017, Politico, Burgess Everett and Josh Dawsey- Obamacare repeal is on the brink of coming back from the dead. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his leadership team are seriously considering voting on a bill that would scale back the federal government’s role in the health care system and instead provide block grants to states, congressional and Trump administration sources said.It would be a last-ditch attempt to repeal Obamacare before the GOP’s power to pass health care legislation through a party-line vote in the Senate expires on Sept. 30.

Clock ticking down on children’s health funding

September 17, 2017, The Hill, Nathaniel Weixel- Differences between the House and Senate ahead could threaten funding for a program that provides health care to some 9 million low- and middle-income children. Senators last week announced a bipartisan deal to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which is set to expire at the end of the month. Advocacy groups hailed the agreement, but passage of a bill is far from assured. Lawmakers have a tight legislative window and little margin for error. Leaders of the Senate Finance Committee this week said they have agreed to extend CHIP for five years. Text of the legislation has yet to be released, and there has been little discussion about how to pay for the renewal, which is a key sticking point.

State block grants: The GOP’s worst health care idea of them all

September 17, 2017, Daily Kos, Jon Perr- Even as the U.S. Census reported that the percentage of Americans lacking health insurance dropped to a new record low of 8.8 percent, the past week was nevertheless a big one for health care reform proposals in Washington. Sen. Bernie Sanders, backed by 15 of his Democratic colleagues, unveiled his “Medicare for All” bill providing one path to universal health care in the United States. But while Democrats were looking to enable insurance coverage for the 28 million people still lacking it, Republican Sens.Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana pitched their last-gasp Obamacare “replacement” plan to deny coverage to millions more.

HHS slashes funding to groups helping ACA consumers enroll by up to 92 percent

September 14, 2017, The Washington Post, Juliet Eilperin and Amy Goldstein-
Health and Human Services officials have informed grass-roots groups that assist with enrollment under the Affordable Care Act that their funding will be reduced by as much as 92 percent, a move that could upend outreach efforts across the country. The groups, which fund organizations known as “navigators,” had been braced for the cuts since the Trump administration announced two weeks ago that it would shrink overall program funding by 41 percent and slash the department’s ACA advertising budget from $100 million to $10 million. At the time of the announcement, HHS officials said the outreach wasted taxpayers’ money.

How health-care reform affected America, in 51 graphs

September 14, 2017, The Washington Post, Philip Bump- Last year, 8.6 percent of Americans lacked health insurance. Three years earlier, that figure was 14.5 percent, meaning that the rate dropped by 5.9 percentage points over the period that the Affordable Care Act went into effect, a 40 percent decline from the 2013 figure. In real terms, that’s about 19 million fewer people lacking health insurance, per estimates released Tuesday by the Census Bureau.There’s a big split, though, between those states that took advantage of the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid and those that didn’t.
On average, states that expanded Medicaid at the outset now have an uninsured rate of about 6.1 percent, a decline of 5.9 percentage points since 2013.

Here’s What’s In Bernie Sanders’ ‘Medicare For All’ Bill

September 14, 2017, Mississippi Public Broadcasting, Danielle Kurtzleben- The Capitol Hill health care fight sure seemed dead. After Republican proposals to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, failed to pass a Republican-controlled Congress, lawmakers looked poised to move on to other topics, like a tax overhaul. But this week, proposals from both the left and the right are grabbing headlines. (Meanwhile, some members are also wrangling over how they can stabilize Obamacare.) On Wednesday came a “Medicare for All” bill from Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, his attempt to push single-payer health care, long one of his favorite causes.