Affordable Care Act

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Republicans are softening their opposition to expanding the state's Medicaid program.

House Speaker Kirk Cox sent a letter to Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam on Monday saying his caucus is willing to begin a dialogue on healthcare.

But Cox says Republicans still oppose a "straightforward" expansion of the publicly funded healthcare program for the poor and disabled, and that any discussion must include work requirements and other reforms favored by the GOP.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland lawmakers are scheduled to outline a plan on how to protect and improve the federal Affordable Care Act in Maryland.

Lawmakers will announce the plan Tuesday in Annapolis.

State Sens. Brian Feldman and Jim Rosapepe are scheduled to attend, as well as Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk.

Vincent DeMarco, president of the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative, says the Affordable Care Act has been a success in Maryland, and state officials need to protect it.

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Delaware State Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro is urging Senator Tom Carper to get an extension for those signing up for the Affordable Care Act.

Navarro told the Wilmington News Journal that he is worried there will not be enough time to enroll in the health insurance exchange.

So, he said, he is consulting with the Delaware Democrat’s office and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield about extending the deadline to January 1st.

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Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous is calling for a single-payer system in Maryland.

The 19 page plan resembles that one that former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders offered through Medicare.

Jealous said that a state run single-payer system is the next logical step but he stopped short of details on how it would be funded.

The candidate said the current system has saved more than $400 million dollars and that moving to the single-payer system would save even more.

He did not rule out hiking sales or income taxes.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland officials say enrollments in the state's health insurance exchange significantly out-paced last year's tally after the first week.

The Baltimore Sun reports that those buying policies on the exchange for the first time are up about 15 percent, compared to this time last year. Officials say total enrollments through are double the number at this time last year, at 10,420.

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Former Vice President Joe Biden told a gathering yesterday that a University of Delaware initiative could be a model for creating healthier and more equitable communities.

He gave his remarks the Vision Coalition of Delaware’s 10th Annual Conference which is focusing on improving partnerships in health and education.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the coalition is a public-private partnership.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Democratic Gov. John Carney says President Donald Trump's decision to end federal cost-share subsidies under the Affordable Care Act will hurt thousands of low-income Delaware residents.

Carney said in a statement Friday that low-income Delawareans rely on those taxpayer subsidies to make their health insurance and health care affordable.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delawareans will pay 25 percent more next year than they did this year for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

State insurance commissioner Trinidad Navarro announced Thursday that he had approved the latest double-digit increase for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, which will be the only insurer providing ACA coverage in Delaware.

Highmark sought a rate increase of 33.6 percent earlier this year after Aetna, which covers almost 12,000 Delawareans under the ACA, announced that it is pulling out of Delaware health insurance exchange.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's governor says a revived Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act won't work for Maryland.

Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, said Tuesday the Graham-Cassidy health care bill would "cost our state over $2 billion annually while directly jeopardizing the health care of our citizens."

The effort to repeal the health care law in Washington has taken on new life after it seemed all but dead earlier this summer.

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) - A company that offers individual health insurance plans in Virginia says it's scaling back while raising rates next year.

The Daily Press in Newport News reports that Optima Health made the decision as the future of the Affordable Care Act remains uncertain. Three other insurers recently announced they're pulling out of Virginia's individual market.

Optima reversed plans to sell individual plans in the Richmond, Danville and Bristol areas. It will remain in the Hampton Roads region and other markets, including Harrisonburg.