What Trump can do to cripple ObamaCare

If Congress isn’t able to repeal ObamaCare, it’s likely that the Trump administration will follow through on the president’s vow to let the law fail.

President Trump regularly asserts that ObamaCare is dead or dying, and the administration has already taken steps to undermine the law while congressional Republicans struggle to enact healthcare legislation.
The administration has broad authority over the implementation of ObamaCare, giving officials the power to limit the law’s effectiveness even without congressional involvement.

Here are four ways Trump could cripple the law.

Stop the cost-sharing subsidies.

The biggest thing the Trump administration can do to hurt ObamaCare would be to stop making key subsidy payments to insurers, known as cost-sharing reductions (CSR).

Should the subsidies stop, the insurance markets would likely be thrown into chaos, which could bolster claims from Senate Republicans and the White House that ObamaCare is failing.

Trump has publicly waffled on whether he will continue the payments. At times he’s threatened to withhold them, let the ObamaCare markets collapse and then blame Democrats. At other times, he’s acknowledged the political risks and said the payments would continue.

“We pay hundreds of millions of dollars a month in subsidy that the courts don’t even want us to pay,” Trump said […]

By |July 25th, 2017|Health Reform, Medicare/Medicaid, National News|Comments Off on What Trump can do to cripple ObamaCare

Molina to lay off 10% of its workforce

Medicaid health plan Molina Healthcare intends to lay off 1,400 employees, or 10% of its workforce, over the coming months to try to offset losses from its Obamacare exchange business, the company said in an internal memo to employees Monday.

The cuts will be across-the-board, including senior leadership, interim CEO and Chief Financial Officer Joe White said in the memo.

“As part of our drive for operational efficiencies, we are simplifying our organizational structure and reducing the size of our workforce. This was a very difficult decision, and one that I do not take lightly,” White said.

Molina spokeswoman Laura Murray declined to comment.

Reuters first reported the job cuts Monday.

In the memo obtained by Modern Healthcare, White said the cuts will come in two waves and be largely completed by September.

Molina fired its long-time CEO Mario Molina and his CFO brother John Molina in May, three months after the company posted a surprise $91 million net loss in its fourth quarter, largely from losses on its Affordable Care Act marketplace business.

Mario Molina, whose father founded the health plan, had been outspoken in his criticism of the Trump administration’s efforts to repeal and replace the ACA.

White in his employee letter said Molina would […]

By |July 25th, 2017|Health Reform, Medicare/Medicaid, National News|Comments Off on Molina to lay off 10% of its workforce

CMS proposes slashing 340B rates, paying for joint procedures at outpatient facilties

The CMS wants to slash 340B drug payments to hospitals and allow Medicare to pay for hip and knee replacement procedures that take place in outpatient facilities, according to a proposal released Thursday.

The agency proposes paying hospitals 22.5% less than the average sales price for drugs acquired under the 340B program. The CMS is looking to cut its budget for drug through this program, which is intended to lower operating costs for hospitals with disproportionate numbers of low-income patients.

The 340B program is controversial because it does not specify or restrict how hospitals can use money generated by the program and critics say that leads to some hospitals taking advantage of the savings.

The current 340B payment for drugs is 6% on top of the average sales price, that’s Medicare’s longstanding pricing method, despite rising drug costs.

With the proposed changes, if a drug costs $84,000, the CMS would pay just over $65,000, instead of $89,000. Vaccines would continue to be paid at the current rate.

Industry stakeholders immediately slammed the suggestion and noted it put safety net hospitals at risk. Hospitals participating in the 340B program provide 60% of uncompensated care, even though they comprise only 36% of the nation’s hospitals.

“The data […]

By |July 17th, 2017|Medicare/Medicaid, National News|Comments Off on CMS proposes slashing 340B rates, paying for joint procedures at outpatient facilties


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