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April 27 – May 8, 2015

The purpose of this bulletin is to compile a handful of articles relating to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that are most pertinent to LIUNA and its health and welfare funds. We hope you find this biweekly bulletin helpful and informative.

Courtney aiming to end Obamacare’s ‘Cadillac tax’
Rep. Joe Courtney – D., has plunged into the latest fight over the Affordable Care Act, attacking the so called “Cadillac tax” that will eventually be implemented on high-cost health care policies.

Health chief says US overhaul is working
The Obama administration’s top health official defended the federal overhaul that has boosted health insurance rolls nationally and said the government will move aggressively to support precision medicine.

This small, wonky Obamacare program saved $384 million over 2 years
Obamacare took what an economist once described to me as the "spaghetti approach" to reducing health-care costs: throwing a bunch of different experiments at the wall and seeing what stuck.

Contrary to goals, ER visits rise under Obamacare
Three-quarters of emergency physicians say they've seen ER patient visits surge since Obamacare took effect — just the opposite of what many Americans expected would happen.

Almost half of Obamacare exchanges face financial struggles in the future
Nearly half of the 17 insurance marketplaces set up by the states and the District under President Obama’s health law are struggling financially, presenting state officials with an unexpected and serious challenge five years after the passage of the landmark Affordable Care Act.

ACA Triggers Net Gain Of 16.9M More Insured Americans
The Affordable Care Act has been a catalyst for a net increase of 16.9 million Americans gaining health insurance in the last two years via Medicaid expansion and subsidized private coverage with even more people accessing employer-sponsored plans.

STATES IN THE NEWS

How barbers are saving people from colon cancer
There are 26 barbers and stylists at The Shop in Hyattsville, Md. Between them, they cut the hair of more than 100 people each day. That’s around 600 people each week, 31,000 heads each year.

Study: Texas' Rate of Uninsured Falls
The rate of Texans without health insurance has fallen 8 percentage points since enrollment in the federal Affordable Care Act began, according to a new study.

Some Oregonians could face major health insurance rate hikes next year
Moda Health wants to boost premiums an average of 25.6 percent next year for people who buy their own policies. Lifewise wants to go even higher, at 38.5 percent, and PacificSource 42.8 percent. Oregon's health insurers are already submitting proposed rates for 2016, and some consumers could be in for a shock.

Study: Quality, Access Not Affected by Covered California Narrow Networks
Health plans offered through Covered California have narrower hospital networks than commercial insurance plans but they don’t appear to have lower-quality providers or differences in geographic access, according to a study published in the May issue of Health Affairs.