Author Archives: Nicholas Bagley

Trump has declared open war on the ACA

by Nicholas Bagley — Monday, Oct. 16, 2017

That’s the headline for an op-ed of mine that ran this weekend in the Los Angeles Times. Back in 2013, the Obama administration asked Congress to appropriate the money for the cost-sharing payments. The Republican-controlled Congress refused. Concerned for the fate of its healthcare bill, the Obama administration then adopted a dubious legal theory that allowed […]

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Ending the cost-sharing payments.

by Nicholas Bagley — Friday, Oct. 13, 2017

Politico just broke the news that the Trump administration will terminate the Affordable Care Act’s cost-sharing payments, further destabilizing the already-fragile exchanges on the eve of open enrollment. Although state regulators and insurers have taken steps to protect themselves (see this great explainer from David Anderson, Charles Gaba, Louise Norris, and Andrew Sprung), the abrupt […]

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The Trump Administration and Contraception Coverage

by Nicholas Bagley — Friday, Oct. 6, 2017

This morning, HHS released two rules that will allow many more employers to exclude contraception from the insurance plans they offer to their employees. The first expands an existing religious exemption; the second allows employers to exempt themselves by invoking a freestanding “moral objection.” As I explained when a draft of the rules first leaked, […]

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Faux Federalism

by Nicholas Bagley — Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017

The following is an op-ed that I was shopping around for publication prior to the demise of Graham-Cassidy. It’s obviously less urgent now, but I wanted to put it out there as a time-capsule in case the bill is revived. The op-ed relates to the penultimate version of the bill, not the one that finally […]

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The amended version of Graham-Cassidy is a mess

by Nicholas Bagley — Monday, Sept. 25, 2017

The revised bill was leaked last night and will apparently be unveiled today. The reporting has suggested that it’s worse than before. Not only is Graham-Cassidy now full of bribes and giveaways to lure hesitant senators, but it also makes it much easier for states to avoid the application of the ACA’s insurance regulations. That’s […]

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Can the courts stop ACA waivers from taking effect?

by Nicholas Bagley — Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017

Iowa has submitted a waiver proposal under section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act that, if granted, would radically reshape its individual insurance market; Oklahoma may soon do the same. Both states have been accused of relying on some magical numbers, and Iowa’s waiver appears to violate the ACA’s guardrails, which require states to assure […]

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A judge rules that EEOC’s rule on wellness programs is busted.

by Nicholas Bagley — Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017

Back in November 2015, I criticized a proposed rule about wellness programs that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was then considering. The rule would have allowed employers to impose a financial penalty—up to 30 percent of annual premiums—on employees who declined to participate in a wellness program. The trouble was that the Americans with Disabilities […]

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The D.C. Circuit just made it harder for Trump to stop the cost-sharing payments

by Nicholas Bagley — Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017

This afternoon, the D.C. Circuit granted a motion from a group of fifteen states, led by California, to intervene in the pending appeal in House v. Price. As I explained when the motion was filed, allowing the states to intervene will prevent the Trump administration from unilaterally dismissing its appeal in the case. That’s a […]

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Here’s how Trump could sabotage Obamacare

by Nicholas Bagley — Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017

I’ve got a new op-ed under that headline in the L.A. Times. Here’s an excerpt: The private insurance market is much more vulnerable. And the biggest problem may not be what the Trump administration does. It may be what it doesn’t do. The exchanges depend on complicated information technology, and maintaining them requires competent day-to-day […]

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Waivers are dead, long live waivers

by Nicholas Bagley — Friday, July 28, 2017

At 10pm on Thursday, the Senate finally released a “repeal” bill—the Health Care Freedom Act—that may have the votes to pass. If you’ve been following the reporting, it’s mostly as expected. The bill repeals the individual mandate, delays the employer mandate until 2025, delays the implementation of the medical device tax until 2021, and defunds […]

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