A federal judge in Texas has thrown out the Affordable Care Act – every single word of the sprawling law. As Michigan law professor Nick Bagley tweeted, even the calorie counts on restaurant menus are now at risk.
The Dec. 14 Texas decision, if upheld (a big if) threatens the coverage of roughly 20 million people covered in the ACA exchanges and through Medicaid expansion. (More on the numbers at the end of this post). Continue reading
Photo: Franz Jantzen, Supreme Court Curator’s Office.Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2017.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg (a.k.a. Notorious RBG) is celebrating her 25th year on the bench of the nation’s highest court. She has become a somewhat surprising (to her, anyway) pop icon and a role model to millions for her progressive views about a woman’s right to choose, social safety net issues, and stance on gender equality, among other issues. A documentary on her life, released in May (well worth seeing) was a huge box office hit.
The 85-year old Brooklyn, N.Y., native is also a rock star among another crowd — those who look to her as an example of healthy aging. Continue reading
The latest in the Affordable Care Act legal battles: U.S. cities suing President Trump and top health officials at HHS for sabotage.
The suit, filed Aug. 2 by Baltimore, Cincinnati, Chicago and Columbus, plus two people from Charlottesville, Va., (which has some of the highest ACA insurance premiums in the country) accuses the administration of “intentionally and unconstitutionally” undermining the ACA, including by expanding non-ACA plans and discouraging enrollment. Continue reading
We reported last month that the U.S. Department of Justice was investigating the risk-adjustment practices of UnitedHealth Group and WellMed Medical Management. At the time, a question remained about whether the DOJ would look into the risk-adjustment or claims-coding activities of other health insurers.
Turns out that Bob Herman, the health care business reporter for Axios, already had the answer. Continue reading
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson has blocked the merger of Anthem and Cigna, the second court ruling this year against megamergers in the health insurance industry.
On Thursday, Anthem said it would appeal the Feb. 8 ruling promptly and request an expedited hearing. Cigna said it would review the decision and evaluate its options. Anthem has a financial incentive to appeal given that under the terms of the merger proposal, Anthem agreed to pay Cigna $1.85 billion if the deal fell apart. Continue reading
Covering health disparities is not a beat solely for health reporters.
Take Paul Kiel: A reporter at ProPublica, Kiel’s beat covering consumer finance usually has him covering a string of pocketbook issues, such as high-cost loans and debt collection practices.
But when those pocketbook stories started drifting into the health realm, Kiel found himself like many other journalists on other beats suddenly digging into the complicated world of medicine, providers and costs. Continue reading