Weekly Healthcare Update for April 21, 2014

Weekly Recap

Congress was out last week for the April recess. But the White House’s efforts to promote the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continued with President Obama’s announcement last Thursday that eight million people had picked health insurance plans through the health law’s exchanges - 1 million more than the CBO initially projected. He also said that 35 percent of enrollees are under the age of 35, a key demographic for the reform law’s success. The White House also touted new CBO projections that premiums for plans sold through the exchanges would cost less than previously expected. The President said the enrollment figures are proof that the ACA is working and that Republicans should stop trying to overturn the law. Republicans said the White House’s declarations of success were premature. They noted that the Administration’s enrollment numbers lacked vital details - including how many people paid their first month's premium and how many enrollees already had insurance before joining an exchange.

Weekly Healthcare Update for April 14, 2014

Weekly Recap

Last Thursday, the House approved Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s fiscal 2015 budget resolution (H.Con.Res. 96) in a 219-205 vote. The plan would balance the budget in 10 years by making $5 trillion in spending cuts. It would make steep cuts to Medicaid and food stamps, while converting Medicare to an optional private system for future seniors. It would also repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but incorporates $700 billion in Medicare savings and $1 trillion in revenues generated under the health law. No Democrats voted for the budget, which stands little chance of floor consideration in the Senate. Final passage of the Ryan plan came after the House rejected a Democratic alternative 163-261 and a budget from the Republican Study Committee 133-291. The House also voted 2-413 to reject an alternative based on President Obama's fiscal 2015 spending blueprint.

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