Trending News Today: Insurer Rebates Slashed Under Senate Healthcare Bill

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Under the Senate healthcare bill, many Americans will no longer receive rebates from their health insurers, Kaiser Health News reported. When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was first implemented, Americans began receiving rebates if their insurer spent more on administration and profits than was legally allowed. Since 2011, more than $2.4 billion has been given back to consumers, but the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) would end the requirement in 2019 and let states decide whether or not to keep the law, according to the article.

GOP leaders from both the House and the Senate have proposed cutting more than a dozen taxes that were used to fund the ACA; however, this action may not be beneficial to a vast majority of Americans, since repealing ACA taxes would likely only benefit very wealthy individuals, according to Kaiser Health News. Advocates of the taxes argue that keeping them would increase subsidies, while critics say that the taxes have been a burden for businesses and families.

In an effort to bolster support for the BCRA, Senate leaders have added $45 billion for states to increase treatment for opioid misuse disorder. Despite the large amount of funding added, health experts have said that it is not sufficient enough to account for significant cuts to Medicaid, which provided treatment for hundreds of thousands of low-income Americans with the condition, according to The New York Times. Additionally, the experts argue that a fixed amount of money may not adequately cover the growing number of patients with opioid misuse disorder.