Yesterday, the Trump administration told insurers and regulators in Idaho that they cannot sell health plans that do not comply with the Affordable Care Act. This is the first recognition from the administration that the ACA remains the law of the land.
Idaho’s governor wants to roll back insurance coverage in the Gem State to the days when it was more expensive to get health care if you had a pre-existing condition.
Governor Butch Otter and Lt. Governor Brad Little signed an executive order on January 5, directing the Idaho Department of Insurance to create new guidelines for health insurance carriers to sell lower-priced, less-comprehensive coverage plans in the state. The Idaho plan will be getting a lot of attention from other governors across the country who want to get around the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.
With the 2014 elections behind them, governors and other lawmakers in the nation’s Western states are taking a hard look at expanding Medicaid. In the nation’s largest state, Alaska, the new governor may soon expand Medicaid to more than 40,000 low-income Alaskans. Independent Governor William Walker, a former Republican who upset incumbent Sean Parnell in the November election, took office on December 1. During his campaign, Walker promised to expand Medicaid.
Earlier this month, a federal district court judge in Idaho examined whether a merger between a large hospital system, St. Luke’s, and the state’s largest independent network of doctors would create monopoly conditions. This proposed merger underscores a growing trend in the health care industry: because it’s easier and more cost effective to coordinate patient care when hospitals, specialists, and primary care doctors are part of one unified system that is financially and clinically integrated, we’re seeing more hospital and provider groups merging.
This blog was originally posted on the Center for Budget and Policies Priorities's Off the Chart's blog.