COVID-19 was the dominant, however not the one, well being coverage story of 2020.
On this particular annual evaluate episode of “What the Well being?” From the Kaiser Well being Information podcast, panelists look again at a number of the greatest tales about no coronavirus. These embrace Supreme Courtroom circumstances on the Inexpensive Care Act, Medicaid job necessities and abortion, in addition to a shock finish of the 12 months ending to the “shock invoice” saga.
Panelists are Julie Rovner from KHN, Joanne Kenen from Politico, Anna Edney from Bloomberg Information and Sarah Karlin-Smith from Pink Sheet.
Click on the “Hear” button above to hearken to the dialogue.
Among the many conclusions:
- The coronavirus pandemic strengthened the hand of ACA supporters, even because the Trump administration sought to have the Supreme Courtroom repeal the federal well being legislation. Many individuals felt it was an inopportune time to ditch that security valve whereas so many Individuals had been shedding their jobs – and their medical health insurance – as a result of financial chaos attributable to the virus.
- Preliminary enrollment figures launched by federal officers final week counsel that extra folks had been profiting from the choice to buy protection for 2021 by means of the ACA markets than for 2020, even within the absence of incentives for enrollment from the federal authorities. .
- The ACA’s Medicaid enlargement had one thing of a curler coaster journey this 12 months. Voters in two extra states, Oklahoma and Missouri, authorised the enlargement of the poll measures, however the Trump administration continued to help state plans that require many adults to indicate that they’re working to proceed their protection. The Supreme Courtroom agreed to listen to a problem to that coverage. Though the decrease courts have dominated that Medicaid legislation doesn’t enable such restrictions, it’s unclear how the brand new conservative majority in courtroom will view this subject.
- Considerations are starting to develop in Washington concerning the near-term risk of the Medicare belief fund going bancrupt. That may solely doubtless be fastened with a treatment adopted by Congress, and that will not occur until lawmakers really feel a disaster could be very shut.
- The Trump administration has tried to chop out-of-pocket drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries. Amongst these initiatives is an illustration mission to cut back the price of insulin. A couple of third of Medicare beneficiaries will enroll in plans that provide decreased costs in 2021. However the effort might have a hidden consequence: increased insurance coverage premiums.
- Many members of Congress started this session two years in the past with huge guarantees to work to decrease drug costs, however by no means agreed on do it.
- President Donald Trump, nonetheless, was strongly motivated by the difficulty and later this 12 months issued an order to set many Medicare drug costs based mostly on what’s paid in different industrialized nations. Drug makers hate the concept and have vowed to combat it in courtroom. Whereas some Democrats again the idea, it appears unlikely that President-elect Joe Biden desires to spend so much of capital in a authorized battle over a plan that has not been rigorously vetted.
- The big COVID reduction and spending invoice that Congress lastly handed Monday features a provision to guard customers from surprising medical payments when they’re unknowingly handled by docs or hospitals outdoors of their insurance coverage community. The legislation establishes a mediation course of to resolve prices, however the course of favors docs. Insurers are prone to cross on the extra prices to customers by means of increased premiums.
To hearken to all of KHN’s “What the Well being” podcasts, click on right here.
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