Premium Rate Request Deadline Extended to September 5

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is providing health insurers with an additional three weeks to submit premium rate requests for plans sold on the federal exchange. The deadline has been extended until September 5. According to a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, premiums for 2018 plans on the exchange could see increases of up to 49 percent. The analysis indicates that market uncertainty is driving the steep rate hikes. In related news, congressional offices have been notified that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will release a report next week analyzing the effects of halting the 2010 health care law’s cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments, which could have the effect of further destabilizing the market.

Roe Declared Cancer Free

Representative Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) has been declared cancer-free, following a medical procedure late last month. Rep. Roe was diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer in July. Rep. Roe is an OB/GYN and the co-chair of the House GOP Doctors Caucus.

Health Care Remains the Subject of Recess Debate

President Trump and White House officials spent much of last week criticizing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for his failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), while continuing to pressure him to move health care reform following the August recess. Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tom Price stated in an interview that the onus for health care reform remains on Congress. Price, however, refrained from using the rhetoric of repeal and replace, and instead referred to work on an ‘Obamacare fix’ when lawmakers return to work in September. Additionally, members of the House Freedom Caucus have filed a petition to force Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to call a vote on simple repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The discharge petition requires 218 signatures to force a floor vote. The petition already has the support of Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker.

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