Trending News Today: Legislators Discuss Repealing Popular ACA Provisions

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

GOP leaders recently made an offer to conservatives to gain support for reviving healthcare reform legislation. This offer would permit allow states to be exempt from several requirements imposed on insurers by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including essential health benefits and community rating. While repealing more provisions of the ACA would likely be supported by conservatives, it has the potential to alienate moderate lawmakers, whose votes are just as needed to pass the bill, The New York Times reported. Without the community rating, lawmakers are concerned that this may increase costs for patients with pre-existing conditions. The changes are still being discussed by lawmakers.

Costly states, such as Alaska, are particularly at risk under healthcare reform. Insurance premiums have climbed nearly 40% annually after the ACA was implemented, which caused all but 1 insurer to exit the marketplaces, according to Kaiser Health News. To stabilize the market, state officials created a 2.7% tax on insurers to develop a reinsurance fund to cover expenses for high-cost patients. This was observed to only increase premiums by 7.3%. The state officials believe that this model could provide a novel approach to reduce premium increases for other costly states, Kaiser reported.

Congress recently approved legislation to improve care for patients with substance misuse disorders. The bill was unanimously approved yesterday. The legislators said that not providing insurance coverage for substance misuse treatment is a main driver behind treatment failure, according to The Washington Post. Currently, individuals may have to undergo repeated attempts to receive treatment prior to approval, which could increase the risk of relapse and overdose.