Is It Over Yet?

Probably not. After Friday's stunning defeat, the President spent the weekend taunting Congress via Twitter, continuing to push them to repeal the ACA, while at the same time  threatening to eradicate the cost sharing reductions, and even vowing to eliminate the generous healthcare benefits enjoyed by Congress.

Senator Bill Cassidy met with White House aides on Monday, to explore reviving the healthcare bill through the Cassidy-Graham proposal. Sarah Kliff from Vox provides an excellent overview Also on Monday, a bipartisan coalition of about 40 House members met to discuss efforts to stabilize the ACA markets. The Problem Solvers caucus goal is to stabilize the individual ACA insurance markets by mid-September, and then push for additional changes that have received bipartisan support.

And finally, some more good news -  a ruling yesterday by a DC circuit court allows 17 states and the District of Columbia, to intervene in the pending appeal in House v. Price. Allowing the states to intervene will prevent the White House from unilaterally dismissing its appeal in the case - which would be the easiest way to stop making the Cost Sharing Reduction (CSR) payments that the President has threatened to end. States can now keep the appeal alive, even if Trump wants to get rid of it.

News Roundup
  • The Maryland Health Insurance Coverage Protection Commission, created by the General Assembly this year, held its first meeting yesterday to discuss the impact of potential changes in federal health programs. The commission includes lawmakers, health care professionals, representatives of affected industries, consumers and appointees of Gov. Larry Hogan. The next meeting of the Commission is September 27, 2017.
  • Senators Collins, Murkowski and McCain are receiving all the credit for the healthcare bill's defeat, but the real heroes were the advocates, especially those in the disability community.
  • The ACA may be safe for now, but federal funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) remains uncertain beyond September 30. NASHP has the latest.
  • The Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis released an interim report Monday that called for more money for substance use disorder treatment, expanding access to medication-assisted treatment, and helping states enhance their prescription drug monitoring programs. 
  • The Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act (S. 469 (115)), a bill that would allow the importation of FDA-approved drugs from Canada, could save the U.S. $6.8 billion over 10 years, according to a new CBO report. 
  • Will all of the turmoil over the past 8 months finally lead us toward true  universal health coverage? Health Affairs makes the case that, like universal public education, universal health care is a wise investment.
Upcoming Events
  • Tuesday, August 15 - The Maryland Insurance Administration will be holding a public meeting to assess the need for short-term medical insurance to be sold by non-admitted carriers. 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM, Miller Senate Office Building, Senate Finance Committee Hearing Room, 11 Bladen Street, Annapolis, MD, 21401. The Administration is soliciting information prior to the meeting. Written testimony should be submitted to shorttermmedicalstudy.mia@maryland.gov. Additional information can be found on the MIA's website.
  • Wednesday, August 23  - Maryland Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer, Jr., will hold a meeting in Talbot County to hear from consumers, business owners and regulated entities about changes in the insurance marketplace. Talbot County Community Center's Wye Oak Room, 100028 Ocean Gateway, Easton, MD 21601. 10:00 AM - Noon for property and casualty insurance, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM for life and health insurance related matters.
We're Hiring!

Consumer Health First (CHF) seeks a visionary leader who is dedicated to the mission of health equity to serve as its Executive Director. This is a unique opportunity to lead Maryland's authoritative and innovative health policy and advocacy organization into its next phase of development in what has become a more challenging environment. Foremost among the attributes CHF will be looking for in its new leader is a true passion for the goal of ensuring that all Marylanders have equitable access to high-quality and affordable health care.

For more information, and to submit an application, please visit our website. 

We Need Your Support - Now More Than Ever

You can help us reach our goal of h igh-quality, comprehensive and affordable health care for all.
  • Or make a DONATION NOW! We at Consumer Health First are working hard every day to address the constant attacks on the ACA. This work is consuming all of our time and resources. We look to you, our partners, to help fund this important work. Thank you!
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