Rebecca Adams

Podcast: Trump Upends Obamacare
The Week Ahead, Episode 74

Foiled in Congress, President Donald Trump made far-reaching changes to the 2010 health care law that could make insurance more affordable for some, while dramatically raising costs for others, says CQ Health Editor Rebecca Adams. She explains how Trump's moves could affect the insurance marketplace.

Show Notes:

Hill Flounders on Kids’ Care
Congress’ failure to extend a popular insurance program leaves millions of children at risk of losing health care

Minnesota officials knew they would exhaust Children’s Health Insurance Program money by the end of this year. Then they discovered the news was worse: The state would likely be out of money for coverage of low-income children and pregnant women by the end of September. And it became increasingly clear that Congress was probably not going to meet a deadline to help.

The state will have “to take extraordinary measures to ensure that coverage continues beyond October 1, 2017, if Congress does not act,” warned Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper in a Sept. 13 letter pleading with lawmakers for “urgent” action.

House GOP at Home Defending Health Vote, Not Always Truthfully
The Big Story, Episode 53

The Republican effort to replace Obamacare has put some electorally vulnerable House Republicans on the defensive, CQ Roll Call political reporter Bridget Bowman says. And, health editor Rebecca Adams explains some members haven’t been accurate back home in explaining what would change. Meanwhile, the Senate debate looks to be long and complex, senior editor David Hawkings predicts.

Another Attempt to Undo Obamacare, Another Set of Problems
The Week Ahead, Episode 51

The new effort by Republicans to repeal and replace Obamacare helped secure conservative votes, says CQ Roll Call health editor Rebecca Adams, but it raises new issues for moderates: Of particular concern for many lawmakers is that it could allow states to permit insurers to sock people who have pre-existing conditions with huge premium increases.

Show Notes:

Ep. 45: Inside the GOP’s Uphill Health Bill Battle
The Big Story

CQ Roll Call’s health editor Rebecca Adams breaks down why the Republican replacement for Obamacare is being attacked on all sides. And senior editor David Hawkings talks about the political consequences of the GOP’s current predicament.

Burwell to Lead American University as President

Former Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell will become the first woman to lead American University in Washington, D.C., according to spokeswoman Camille Lepre. Burwell, who lives in the district, will succeed Neil Kerwin as president and assumes her responsibilities on June 1. 

Burwell joined HHS in 2014, the first year that the new marketplaces began providing benefits to consumers. She took over from Kathleen Sebelius, who oversaw the rocky debut of the exchanges. Sebelius was in charge when the federal website HealthCare.gov, which many states relied on to enroll people, initially did not work during its October 2013 launch. Burwell worked on stabilizing the marketplaces and accelerating a shift in programs such as Medicare toward alternative pay models that incentivized medical providers to offer more coordinated health care to patients.

Burwell: Repeal and Delayed Replacement is Repeal

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said that when the agency Wednesday releases its final report under her watch on marketplace enrollment, the figures will show “a marketplace that millions of folks have come to” rather than a system on a downward trajectory.

However, if Republicans repeal the 2010 health care law without creating an alternative, Burwell told reporters Tuesday that “it is fair to say it puts the marketplace in that kind of negative spiral, in a death spiral.”

States Perplexed by White House Silence On Obamacare Contingencies

With the fate of President Barack Obama’s top legislative accomplishment hanging in the balance, state officials are increasingly concerned by the administration’s refusal to discuss contingency plans for insurance markets, should the Supreme Court later this month strike down 2010 health care law subsidies for 6.4 million low- and middle-income people.

Key Facts About Medicare Advantage

The Medicare Advantage program has grown from almost 7 million people, or 17 percent of beneficiaries in 2000, to about 16 million people in 2014, or 30 percent of beneficiaries.

Medicare Advantage Cuts Face Bipartisan Opposition

Senior citizens offering cookies and coffee are hard to reject. At least, that’s what supporters of insurance companies that cover people in Medicare are hoping. Recently, insurance-industry lobbyists brought people enrolled in private Medicare plans to Capitol Hill with a food truck, gave them red aprons to wear and asked them to talk about why Medicare should not cut payments to the insurers.

New Year of Open Enrollment Brings Choices, Changes

People who bought insurance through the marketplaces created last year by the new health care law and who were then offered medical coverage through an employer may feel as if they have more choices than ever before. But the arcane rules about federal subsidies for buying coverage could wind up costing them in the long run.

HHS Pledges Easier Health Care Signups, But Open Enrollment May Bring Extra Bills

This year, 37 states will use healthcare.gov as the website to enroll people through the marketplaces created by the health care law (PL 111-148, PL 111-152). The rest have their own websites. The sign-up period goes from Nov. 15 until Feb. 15.

Containing Ebola May Hinge on Volunteers, Not Money

Congress appears ready to commit tens of millions of dollars to respond to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, but containing the deadly virus will hinge more on finding enough private sector volunteers and government scientists to disinfect corpses, monitor individuals likely to come into contact with infected patients and test the blood of tens of thousands of people suspected to having the disease in four affected nations.

Nursing Homes Have Larger Reach Than Rehab Hospitals

Rehabilitation hospitals and skilled nursing homes at odds over whether their Medicare payments should be the same have different industry profiles.

Nursing Homes and Rehab Hospitals Square Off Over Payments

Medicare patients who need rehabilitation after a hospital stay can get their care from several types of medical providers. Depending on their medical needs and other factors, they may be able to get treatment from a specialized rehab hospital, at home with help from home health care aides or outpatient therapists, or in a nursing facility.

How Website Woes Foiled Obamacare a Second Time

To estimate how many Medicaid applicants are sitting on waiting lists, CQ Roll Call called and emailed officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and combined estimates from the 41 that responded as of May 29.

The Hidden Failure of Obama's Health Care Overhaul

At least 2.9 million Americans who signed up for Medicaid coverage as part of the health care overhaul have not had their applications processed, with some paperwork sitting in queues since last fall, according to a 50-state survey by CQ Roll Call.

New Exchange Rule Biggest Pre-2016 Health Care Move

A sweeping new administration rule outlining how the health law’s insurance marketplaces will operate next year sweetens financial protections for insurers and clarifies the role of counselors known as “navigators” who help people enroll in medical plans.

IRS Enforcement of 'Individual Mandate' May Be Light

One of the most debated parts of the health care law is the requirement that most Americans buy insurance starting this year. If they don’t, they face a fine of $95 or 1 percent of their income, whichever is more.

Many Categories Exempt From Individual Mandate

The Obama administration and Congress exempted many Americans from the health insurance law’s individual mandate. Those people who are either not required to have coverage or are automatically considered to have met the requirement include: