RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR

In Trump health secretary pick, Dems have questions but hope

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s pick for health secretary is a former pharmaceutical company executive who already has drawn heat from Democrats over his ties to the pharmaceutical industry. But as Alex Azar faces his first nomination hearing, even some of those critics see signs he could shift the health care debate away from partisan confrontation.

Trump to issue stop-payment order on health care subsidies

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a move likely to roil America's insurance markets, President Donald Trump will "immediately" halt payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law he has been trying to persuade Congress to unravel for months.

Before sunrise Friday morning, Trump went on Twitter to urge Democrats to make a deal: "The Democrats ObamaCare is imploding," he wrote. "Massive subsidy payments to their pet insurance companies has stopped. Dems should call me to fix!"

Price’s exit further complicates GOP health care push

BRANCHBURG, N.J. (AP) — The ouster of Tom Price as President Donald Trump’s health secretary is yet another self-inflicted blow for Republicans wishing to put their own stamp on health care — and the latest distraction for a White House struggling to advance its agenda after months of turmoil.

Latest health care bill has provision for Alaska

WASHINGTON (AP) — A provision in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s rewritten health care bill appears to benefit only one state. That’s Alaska, home of one Republican holdout McConnell badly needs to keep the legislation alive, and her state might gain nearly $2 billion in federal money.

The language would give states with extremely high premiums an added piece of two funds the measure would create that together total $182 billion through 2026. The money is supposed to help insurers curb consumers’ coverage costs.

Insurers seek stability as Trump delays health care decision

WASHINGTON (AP) — Uncertainty over the future of health care for millions grew deeper May 22 as insurers released a blueprint for stabilizing wobbly markets and the Trump administration left in limbo billions of dollars in federal payments.

Medicaid expansion costs 49% higher than estimated

WASHINGTON (AP) — A government report finds that the cost of expanding Medicaid to millions more low-income people is increasing faster than expected, raising questions about a vital part of President Barack Obama’s health care law.

The law provided for the federal government to pay the entire cost of the Medicaid expansion from 2014 through the end of this year.

Obama has proposed an extra incentive for states that have not yet expanded Medicaid: three years of full federal financing no matter when they start. But the new cost estimates could complicate things.

Healthcare spending tops $10K per person

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s health care tab this year is expected to surpass $10,000 per person for the first time, the government said July 13. The new peak means the Obama administration will pass the problem of high health care costs on to its successor.

The report from number crunchers at the Department of Health and Human Services projects that health care spending will grow at a faster rate than the national economy over the coming decade. That squeezes the ability of federal and state governments, not to mention employers and average citizens, to pay.

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