Health Care Primer: HHS Goes Full Jekyll And Hyde
This past week, after plunging insurance markets further into uncertainty by cutting off the risk adjustment payments that insurers who cover a disproportionate number of sick and costly patients are owed under the Affordable Care Act, the Trump administration said, “Just kidding!” The Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule clarifying methodology of the program, which redistributes money between different insurance companies and costs taxpayers nothing, and announced the payments would continue. Why they couldn’t have done this all along without threatening to terminate the program is unclear. HHS also helped shore up the ACA’s markets by approving requests from Wisconsin and Maine to launch reinsurance programs aimed at lowering premiums in the state’s individual insurance market. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is facing a tough reelection race this November, has not yet received an answer from the administration to his other request for a controversial Medicaid waiver that would include strict work requirements and drug tests for…
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