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June 8 – June 19, 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.

G.O.P. Is Wary About Winning on Health Law
Republicans who have been hoping that the Supreme Court will upend President Obama’s health care law are now confronting an urgent and uncomfortable question: What if they win?

A state fix if court hits Obamacare?
The White House claims it has no contingency plan if the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare subsidies in 34 states that rely on HealthCare.gov rather than operate their own exchanges. Congress is so deeply divided that Republicans don’t even agree among themselves on what to do if 6.4 million Americans see the subsidies vanish.

Quality and control, not choice, is what insurance customers want
Health insurers are trying to figure out what makes consumers tick as the market increasingly becomes a direct-to-consumer business.

50 hospitals charge uninsured more than 10 times cost of care, study finds
Fifty hospitals in the United States are charging uninsured consumers more than 10 times the actual cost of patient care, according to research published Monday.

Why Are The 2016 Obamacare Rate Increases So Large?
You might recall that I have said we wouldn’t see the real Obamacare rates until the 2017 prices are published in mid-2016. By then health plans will finally have had a couple of years of credible claim data and two of the three “3 Rs” reinsurance provisions subsidizing the insurance companies will have gone away.

Walgreens offering digital doctor visits in 5 states
Pharmacy giant Walgreens is rolling out $49 digital doctor visits that will enable customers to connect via their computer or tablet with a doctor at any time of day or night.

CVS’s purchase of Target’s pharmacy business: The good and bad for consumers
The announcement Monday by CVS Health Corp. that it would purchase Target's pharmacies and clinics for $1.9 billion represents a major acceleration in the retail clinic revolution. 

STATES IN THE NEWS

NC insurance commissioner warns of ‘chaos’ that could result from ACA Supreme Court decision
An imminent decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on subsidies under the Affordable Care Act could unleash “incredible chaos” in North Carolina’s health care market, N.C. Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin predicted Wednesday.

Missouri, unlike other states, has limited options if health subsidies struck down
As the country braces for a decisive U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the future of the Affordable Care Act, some states are taking steps to prepare for the potential fallout. But not Missouri.

3 states get feds' OK for health insurance marketplaces
The Obama administration gave conditional approval Monday to Arkansas, Delaware and Pennsylvania to expand their roles in the insurance marketplaces created under the 2010 health care law, ahead of a high court decision that could wipe out federal health insurance subsidies for millions.

Hawaii to shutter state health insurance exchange
Hawaii will abandon its state-based health insurance exchange and transition to the federal marketplace, known as HealthCare.gov, the state announced Friday.

Exchange board approves budget with higher fees, big sales targets
Colorado’s health exchange board today approved a final budget for the next fiscal year that requires aggressive sales growth and higher fees, but still doesn’t bring in enough cash.