edits: hhs

wsj.com
With GOP Plan Dead, Trump Weighs Other Ways to Reshape Health Care
With the collapse of the GOP health plan, the Trump administration is set to ramp up its efforts to weaken the Affordable Care Act in one of the few ways it has left—by altering the law through waivers and rule changes.
By Stephanie Armour

With the collapse of Republicans’ health plan in the House on Friday, the Trump administration is set to ramp up its efforts to weaken the Affordable Care Act in one of the few ways it has left—by altering the law through waivers and rule changes.

The initiative now rests with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who has vowed to review every page of regulation and guidance related to the ACA. The steps he and the administration take next could have sweeping repercussions, accomplishing some of the same types of changes Republicans were unable to push through Congress.

The president was still suggesting Saturday that a broad ACA replacement was eventually possible, but only after the current health system collapsed.

“ObamaCare will explode and we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE,” the president posted on Twitter, before heading to his golf course in northern Virginia. “Do not worry!”

But the administration faces a dilemma. If Republicans, after failing to enact an ACA replacement, weaken the current law in ways that cause people to lose insurance, they could face a political backlash, although Republicans say voters would blame Democrats for any ACA failings.

“The Trump administration has a spectrum of options, ranging from actively undermining the ACA marketplaces to administrative actions that start to reshape the insurance market in a more conservative mold,” said Larry Levitt,  a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The Trump administration could weaken a requirement that most Americans pay a penalty for not having insurance. It could usher in work requirements for Medicaid recipients and ease a directive that insurers cover such services as contraception. And it could also allow an end to certain subsidies that insurers get, which could quickly cause the individual markets to crater.

Some of these steps, such as new likely requirements for Medicaid enrollees, are already under way. Republican leaders have long said administrative changes are a key part of their plan to change the health-care system. Now it may be largely the only one left.

Dr. Price and Seema Verma,  the administrator of HHS’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, recently wrote a letter to states assuring them of support if they request waivers to impose work requirements on recipients of Medicaid, the federal-state health program for the poor and disabled.

That could make it more likely that states would get federal approval for other changes to Medicaid within their borders, including the possible establishment of premiums, cost-sharing and lifetime caps on benefits.

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usatoday.com
New stock questions plague HHS nominee Tom Price as confirmation vote nears
President Trump's choice to be the top U.S. health official bought and sold health care company stocks often enough as a member of Congress to warrant probes by both federal securities regulators and the House ethics committee, former government ethics lawyers say.

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s choice to be the top U.S. health official bought and sold health care company stocks often enough as a member of Congress to warrant probes by both federal securities regulators and the House ethics committee, former government ethics lawyers say.

A USA TODAY analysis of stock trade reports by Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., also shows he often misstated the timing of stock purchases or failed to report them altogether.

These include disclosures related to his much-publicized investment in the Australian biotech company Innate Immunotherapeutics, which gave him preferential treatment for a private stock offering he learned of through another member of Congress who is the company’s biggest shareholder.

Price also invested in more health care companies that could benefit from legislation he introduced than previously reported.

When asked about Price’s stock trades, the Department of Health and Human Services released an unsigned statement that said Price’s legislative activity on behalf of the medical equipment industry, which dates back about 20 years, illustrated his long-held concerns with the CMS’ competitive bidding process.

Continue Reading about the Corrupt Prick using Congress for Insider Trading

Phroyd

Thank you Heritage High School for making it where I lost my honors diploma. 4 years of busting my butt in honors classes & meeting requirements to graduate with honors is now down the drain (by one point that I was never even told I had to have). All thanks to the change in requirements and the failure to let students who were going to be affected by the change know about these. Ending with multiple graduates losing their honors diploma. Thank you for making the work I did for 4 years, this includes hours of doing extra homework honors students sometimes get & harder tests, mean absolutely nothing.

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Near the end they go up into libs from their knees 🙀