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July 9, 2016 – July 23, 2016

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.

Obamacare 2.0: Obama Calls for Revisiting the Public Option
President Barack Obama is laying out a blueprint for addressing unsolved problems with his signature health law, including a renewed call for a "public option" to let Americans buy insurance from the government.

HHS Report Says Obamacare Plans Are Cheaper Than They Look
Obamacare health plans have been getting a bad rap this year. Critics say the premiums are too high, the out-of-pocket costs are out of control, and the requirements and red tape are too thick.

Obama admin may sue to block health mergers
The Obama administration is preparing lawsuits seeking to block two mega health care mergers, potentially scrambling the insurance industry's plans for swift consolidation, according to a government official who has been briefed on the matter.

Q&A: Sylvia Mathews Burwell on 6 more months of health care fixes
Last summer, when the Supreme Court ruled on a major challenge to President Barack Obama’s marquee health care law, the name on the court case wasn’t Obama’s. The case was called King v. Burwell, and front and center — as she is in all attacks on Obamacare — was Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

National Health Spending to Surpass $10,000 a Person in 2016
National health spending will average more than $10,000 a person this year for the first time, the Obama administration said Wednesday, a milestone that heralds somewhat faster growth in health spending after several years of exceptionally low growth.

Obamacare’s surcharge for smokers may have backfired
A provision of the Affordable Care Act that allows insurers to charge smokers higher premiums may have discouraged smokers from signing up for insurance, undercutting a major goal of the law, according to a study published this month.

STATES IN THE NEWS

Ga. health care markets show improvements, but also big gaps
Seven Georgia urban markets saw general improvement in their health care systems from 2011 through 2014, according to a new national study released Thursday.

More ACA health co-ops close, but NM’s is safe
The nonprofit insurance cooperatives formed under Obamacare with federal financial backing to compete with private insurance companies have had a rough time nationally, with two more shutting down in the past two weeks – in Oregon and Illinois.

What Do Covered California’s Big Rate Hikes Mean For You?
Covered California, the state’s Obamacare health insurance exchange, said Tuesday that its premiums will balloon by a statewide average of 13.2 percent next year — more than triple the roughly 4 percent increases in each of the previous two years.

Land of Lincoln coverage will end Oct. 1 for individual enrollees
Land of Lincoln Health's insurance coverage for its individual enrollees will end Oct. 1, according to the Illinois Department of Insurance. The agency posted the news on Land of Lincoln's website.