This bleary-eyed Washington Update writer is celebrating the Cubs for making their third consecutive league championship series after a nearly five-hour duel against the Nationals that went into this morning. Don’t worry, DC sports fans: There’s plenty of health-policy reads to keep your minds occupied for the rest of October.
-AHIP and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association released a joint statement this morning on the Trump Administration’s decision to no longer fund the cost-sharing payments, arguing that “This action will make it harder for patients to access the care they need. Costs will go up and choices will be restricted.”
-The National Association of Insurance Commissioners released a statement, saying they were very disappointed in the decision to no longer fund the cost sharing payments as it will raise costs for consumers and taxpayers.
-The American Academy of Actuaries released a statement on President Trump’s executive order on Thursday, cautioning against regulations that could lead to increased adverse selection, issues with solvency of health plans and lessened consumer protections.
-State insurance commissioners came out quickly in response to the order, with California Commissioner Dave Jones saying that it will go “back to the days of junk insurance and insurers that cannot pay claims.”
-The Wall Street Journal argues that the order could lead to divergent health insurance markets as some insurers begin offering less-comprehensive policies for those not expecting to need care, while those with conditions remain in more generous policies.
-The Children’s Health Insurance Program may be the best chance for appropriating funding for the ACA’s cost-sharing payments. Here’s where the program’s reauthorization currently stands.
-Days before cutting the ACA’s cost-sharing payments, President Trump suggested that he was looking to make a deal with Democrats on healthcare until he was rebuffed by Democrats, who said they wouldn’t work with him if it was to repeal the law.
-A new Kaiser survey finds that navigators are expecting to lay off staff, reduce outreach efforts and limit the areas they serve ahead of the 2018 open enrollment period.
-California made progress on healthcare cost-containment measures by signing into law new prescription drug rules that will require greater transparency for consumers.
-Iowa’s waiver to implement a single standardized insurance plan has generated a lot of attention. The New York Times takes a deep dive into what is in the waiver.
-There are some things that even those of us who regularly walk the halls of Congress have no idea of their existence, like the pharmacy where drugs are brought in exclusively for legislators or the tunnels connecting Congressional office buildings.
-Puerto Rico has been facing a growing healthcare crisis in the wake of Hurricane Maria and this article points out some of the biggest issues.
-"Game of Thrones" fans, this article explaining the rise of healthcare costs over the turf wars of industry players is for you.
-Washingtonians often like to cite arcane rules and laws by their numbers, like we have been wont to do with Medicare’s 120.4.4. But Nationals fans are calling out baseball’s rule 6.03(a) to argue that the Cubs four-run inning should have ended much sooner, while others point to rule 5.06(b)(3)(B).
-Finally, today is Friday the 13th, so for those of you who suffer from Triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13) or Paraskevidekatriaphobia (fear of Friday the 13th), hopefully your health insurance plan covers treatment. If not, you just have to power through the rest of today and you’ll be in the clear for the next six months.