Affordable Care Act

For the first time in years, the uninsured rate in Texas is starting to climb again. After the Affordable Care Act went into effect in 2014, the state’s uninsured rate dropped from 22 percent to about 16 percent in 2016. However, that trend has started to move in another direction.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is challenging the Affordable Care Act at a hearing in federal court in Fort Worth today.

Wikimedia Commons

Texas and Kansas stand to be repaid over $400 million in lost health care funds if a late-August Federal ruling stands.

As The Austin American-Statesman reports, a federal court in North Texas has ruled that the federal government improperly charged Texas, Kansas, and a few other states millions of dollars in Medicaid fees, in an effort to help fund the Affordable Care Act.

In a little-noticed court filing last month, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asked a federal judge to get rid of a popular part of the Affordable Care Act in Texas. In particular, his request could affect a part of the law that protects people with pre-existing conditions from being denied health insurance or being priced out of a health plan.

The Trump administration recently announced big cuts to a program that helps people sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Public Domain via Pixabay

Groups whose job it is to help Texans sign up for health care will soon lose most of their federal funding, reports Houston Public Media.

Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act began last week, but few Texans are aware of the fact.

Michael Jones / The Texas Tribune

The open enrollment period to buy health insurance through the federal government ends Dec. 15. With the enrollment window cut in half and Trump administration limitations on the budget, more Texans could go uninsured.

From The Texas Tribune:

Health navigators are available in Wichita to help people complete applications for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace before Friday's enrollment deadline.

One of the community sites offering free, in-person enrollment assistance is the La Familia Senior/Community Center north of downtown Wichita. A bilingual health navigator is taking appointments through Friday to help people get signed up for a health plan.

La Familia executive director Carla Lee says this is the third year the organization has offered the one-on-one assistance.

CC0 Creative Commons

If you don’t have health care, this week marked the beginning of the open enrollment period on Healthcare.gov. If you plan to get care on the Healthcare.gov exchanges, you only have until Dec. 15 to find coverage.

Wallethub

After the Affordable Care Act became law, insurance rates in America dipped to historic lows. But those uninsured rates are on the rise again, thanks to uncertainty in the insurance markets. And uninsured rates can vary wildly across states.

The personal finance website Wallethub recently set out to find which states had the lowest rates of uninsured citizens.

Health care advocates say they’ll keep the pressure on Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran as debate moves forward on a possible repeal of Obamacare. Moran voted to go ahead with debate on a health care overhaul, but in the past he’s voiced concerns about Medicaid cuts.

Related: Moran Explains Position On Obamacare Repeal After Vote Against Bill

Editor's note: This story was updated at 7:20 a.m. July 26.

Despite misgivings about the closed-door process used to write a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and its potential impact on rural health care providers, Republican U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran joined his Kansas counterpart, Pat Roberts, in voting Tuesday to begin debate on the legislation.

But a short time later, Moran was one of nine GOP senators who voted against a replacement bill backed by Republican leaders.

For a public official unaccustomed to the limelight, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran can’t seem to avoid it when it comes to the national healthcare debate.

Farmers, Ranchers Concerned About Health Care Costs

Jul 18, 2017
publicdomainpictures.net

As the national debate on health care heats up, farmers and ranchers have a lot on the line.   

As Politico reports, farmers have been struggling with the economic challenges of sluggish crop prices and sharply lower farm income. And even though close to 90 percent of farmers have health insurance, their concerns over health care is more widespread than it may seem.

Updated at 2:00 p.m. ET

One of the senators who stuck the knife into the Senate's latest plan to replace the Affordable Care Act was one Republicans hadn't been worried about.

On Monday night, Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran and Sen. Mike Lee, a fellow Republican from Utah, announced their opposition to the measure on Twitter, effectively killing Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), which had been the GOP plan to replace the ACA.

The number of Native Americans without health insurance would increase sharply if Republicans in Congress succeed in repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, according to a new report.

jbouie / Flickr Creative Commons

In 2012 Ted Cruz was elected to the U.S. Senate from Texas, largely on a platform of demolishing the newly enacted Affordable Care Act.

Five years later, Cruz is doing his level best to fulfill that promise, despite the fact that the political landscape has shifted beneath his feet.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran is opposed to a bill crafted in secret by Republican leaders to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. 
But speaking to an overflow crowd at a town hall meeting Thursday in northwest Kansas, Moran said he is open to supporting a revised version if GOP leaders can address his concerns. 
“I would be anxious to see if that bill can get to the point in which I think it’s beneficial for Kansas,” Moran said. 

Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare. The long-awaited plan marks a big step toward achieving one of the Republican Party's major goals.

Loading...

Republican Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran says he doesn’t support the health care overhaul bill in the U.S. Senate. Leaders in the Senate announced Tuesday that they are delaying a vote on the bill over concerns that it didn’t have enough support.

Moran initially was one of the undecided lawmakers. That changed when the vote on the GOP plan was delayed: Now, he says the Senate bill “missed the mark” for Kansas and he would not have supported it.

Moran says he's glad the vote was delayed and says the full legislative process should be used to develop a better proposal.

In a post Tuesday on the Health Affairs blog, former Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius calls the Republican health care plans passed by the House and proposed by the Senate “a very cruel war on the poor.”

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 3:10 p.m. June 27.

Disability rights advocates are among the strongest opponents of the Obamacare replacement legislation that Republicans are attempting to push through Congress.

If anything resembling the bill that the U.S. House approved in May or the one the Senate is considering passes, they say it will roll back decades of progress. 

U.S. SEN. PAT ROBERTS WEBSITE

Kansas U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts is not enthusiastic about the Senate’s version of the Obamacare replacement bill.

Nevertheless, he supports it.

Three weeks after Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City said it will pull out of the Affordable Care Act exchange in 2018, Centene Corp. says it plans to offer coverage through the exchange in Missouri and Kansas.

The St. Louis-based insurer already has a presence in both states administering Medicaid plans, but the move to sell individual and small group health plans is new.

Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) says he hasn’t read the legislation the House passed Thursday to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. What’s more, he says, it doesn’t matter, because the Senate is going to reboot the whole issue.

AgWeek

In an opinion piece this week, the editorial board of the weekly agricultural newspaper AgWeek insisted that rural health care has reached a dire state, and must be addressed now.

When it comes to heath care, writes AgWeek, “the worry is greater today than it's ever been.” Hospitals have been closing across rural America at a troubling pace. Many agriculturalists have taken jobs away from the farm, just so they can have health care.

Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

In a move that has infuriated health advocates in his state and across the country, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback vetoed a measure last week that would have expanded Medicaid across the state.

As The Kansas City Star reports, the decision means 150,000 more Kansans will go without health care than if he had signed it. The bill passed the Senate in a 25-14 vote, and passed the house by a similarly wide margin of 81-44.

KFOR

Oklahoma may lose its last insurer on the healthcare marketplace next year, reports KFOR. The number of insurers on the Oklahoma exchange has fallen after several carriers sustained significant losses.

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak noted the “absence of legislative action to create a solution that can restore the stability of our health insurance system.”

Oklahoma Watch

While legislators in Washington are mired in the process of deciding whether to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, lawmakers in Oklahoma are devising their own plan that could affect coverage for hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans.

Kansas freshman Republican Congressman Roger Marshall is getting a baptism of fire as he campaigns for the American Health Care Act — the bill Republicans introduced this week to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.

Pages