Affordable Care Act

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Fearful of President Donald Trump's policies, the Maryland General Assembly has empowered the state's Democratic attorney general to sue the federal government without permission from the state's Republican governor.

The House of Delegates voted 89-50 along party lines on Wednesday for a joint resolution already approved by the Senate.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - After seeing disruptions at town hall meetings held by his fellow Republicans, Rep. Andy Harris says he's moving to virtual town halls.

The Cockeysville Republican said Tuesday during WBAL-AM's "The C4 Show" that he doesn't put stock in angry crowds at the meetings, blaming an organized group that opposes President Donald Trump and "wants to cause trouble."

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Fearful of President Donald Trump's policies, the Maryland General Assembly is poised to empower the state's Democratic attorney general to sue the federal government without permission from the state's Republican governor.

The House of Delegates is expected to make a final vote Wednesday on the joint resolution already approved by the Senate.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate is scheduled to vote on a resolution to empower the attorney general to sue the federal government without the governor's permission.

The Senate is expected to vote Friday on the resolution, which would clear the way for the Democratic attorney general to sue the federal government for policies with which it disagrees, including President Donald Trump's travel ban on citizens of seven Muslim-majority counties.

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Around 30 people showed up at the Bel Air office of Congressman Andy Harris yesterday afternoon worried about the future of the Affordable Care Act.

The Eastern Shore Republican supports the repeal of Obamacare and says he is favors replacing it.

The group led by the organization Together We Will-Harford County/Upper Chesapeake carried signs and shouting slogans including one suggesting that the congressman was “missing in action” on the issue.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Democratic lawmakers in Maryland are outlining initiatives to help the state respond to actions taken by President Donald Trump and a Republican-led Congress against health care reform and other potential federal actions that could hurt the state.

Democratic leadership was joined by Attorney General Brian Frosh to talk about the package of legislation Tuesday.

Democrats say Maryland is at risk of losing billions of dollars in federal aid over the next four years if health care reform is repealed.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates will be pushing legislation again this session to promote direct primary care agreements, in which patients pay a fee for unlimited primary care.

Del. Steven Landes outlined Republicans' health care priorities in a speech on the House floor Thursday.

Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed primary care legislation last year that supporters said was needed to provide legal clarity for them and their customers. It clarified that direct primary care agreements are not insurance and cannot be regulated as such.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Democratic congressman from Maryland and member of the Congressional Black Caucus, will attend Donald Trump's inauguration in Washington, but "not in celebration."

The lawmaker says he made the decision to attend because the inauguration is "bigger than President-Elect Trump." Cummings added that "we have to guard our democracy."

Cummings also said it is important that some lawmakers attend the Jan. 20 event in Washington "who will be vigilant to ensure that the Trump Administration is held to the highest ethical standards."

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Hundreds of people gathered for a rally outside the Virginia Capitol to oppose Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

High-ranking Democrats including Sen. Tim Kaine, Gov. Terry McAuliffe and U.S. Reps. Bobby Scott and Donald McEachin spoke to the crowd Sunday in Richmond. The rally was one of many around the country in support of the federal health care law, which President-elect Donald Trump has promised to overturn and replace.

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With the promise by a new congress and President-elect Donald Trump to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act some fear many will be left without health insurance in Maryland. Maryland News Connection Veronica Carter prepared this report.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's health care commission is getting an update on enrollment in the state's health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

Thursday's briefing comes as federal officials report that 5,875 Delawareans have signed up for coverage during the current open enrollment period, which began Nov. 1. That number includes new signups and renewals.

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Maryland's First Congressional District will see incumbent Republican Andy Harris seek a fourth term in this year's election after being swept into office during the Tea Party wave of 2010. His rival is Harford County Democrat Joe Werner who won a surprising victory over former Salisbury Mayor and now council member Jim Ireton. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush caught up with the congressman to talk about the issues and the possibility that Washington could once again see divided government.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Open enrollment is under way for Delawareans wanting to enroll in the state's health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

Delawareans are again facing steep price increases, with an average rate increase of 32.5 percent in the individual market for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware, which has the vast majority of the individual market share in Delaware. Aetna Life Insurance and Aetna Health Insurance Co. were approved for average rate increases of about 23 percent.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - An analysis for The Associated Press shows Maryland consumers next year will have more choices than consumers in many other states in health insurance markets created by President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

The analysis by Avalere Health finds Maryland among nine states that will have three or more participating insurers in its counties.

From 2014 to 2016, all of Maryland's counties and the city of Baltimore had three or more participating insurers. That will continue into 2017.

Virginia

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delawareans are again facing steep price increases for health insurance next year under the Affordable Care Act.

Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart has approved an average rate increase of 32.5 percent in the individual market for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware, which has the vast majority of the individual market share in Delaware. That follows an average premium increase of 22.4 percent for individual Highmark plans this year.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Health insurance companies participating in Delaware's health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act are seeking average rate increases of about 24 percent or higher for next year.

State officials disclosed Thursday that Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware is asking for an average rate increase of 32.5 percent for individual plans. Aetna Inc. wants regulators to approve a 25 percent average rate increase, while Aetna Life is seeking an average increase of 23.9 percent.

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For those who have enrolled in Delaware’s Medicaid program since the Affordable Care Act women overwhelm men by a 2 to 1 margin.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the numbers at a monthly Delaware Health Care Commission meeting found that by the end of January 63 percent of the nearly 10-thousand new enrollees were women.

Nina DeVoe with the Delaware Commission for Women told the paper that this appeared to be the result of the issues that are facing women.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe says nearly 421,900 Virginia residents have signed up for health coverage through the HealthCare.gov marketplace.

The Democratic governor said total enrollment on the marketplace in Virginia this year exceeded the state's expectations. The figures reflect the number of people who signed up during the latest open enrollment period, which ended Jan. 31.

McAuliffe said the strong enrollment numbers shows that Virginians "recognize the value of high-quality health care."

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Enrollment in Delaware’s health exchange under Obamacare is up.

State officials say that more than 28,250 people signed up for plans or were automatically renewed.

That was a 13 percent increase over last year.

State Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf says that 22 percent involved new enrollees as of late December while 78 percent were renewals.

Nationally, there were around 12.7 million people who signed  up or automatically renewed their plans.

The deadline for signing up on the exchange was last Sunday.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Officials are updating this year's final enrollment numbers on Delaware's health insurance exchange.

Sunday was the deadline to sign up for exchange coverage this year under the Affordable Care Act.

Federal officials reported last week that more than 26,500 had selected plans on Delaware's exchange, but Delaware's Health Care Commission will get an update Thursday.

More than 80 percent of enrolled Delawareans have qualified for premium subsidies.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - State officials are encouraging residents to sign up in Delaware's health insurance exchange before next week's deadline.

Officials are reminding residents that open enrollment for coverage starting in January ends on Tuesday.

Federal officials say 7,730 Delawareans already have chosen a plan on Delaware's exchange during this year's open enrollment.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's health care commission is getting an update on enrollment in the state's health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

Thursday's scheduled briefing comes as federal officials report that 5,471 Delawareans have signed up for coverage during the current open enrollment period, which end Dec. 15.

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In the first year of the Affordable Care Act Maryland has dramatically slashed the number of children not covered by health insurance.

Maryland News Connection reporter Andrea Sears prepared this report.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Federal officials say the cost of a benchmark plan on the health care exchange will go up 4 percent for Virginia residents.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe says he'll make a renewed push to expand Medicaid now that Republican primaries are over and the U.S. Supreme Court recently issued a decision upholding the Affordable Care Act.

McAuliffe said Thursday in a conference call with reporters that the Republican lawmakers who have previously blocked Medicaid expansion will be more open to compromise during next year's legislative session.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland is one of more than a dozen states where new Medicaid enrollees under President Barack Obama's health law have surpassed initial projections.

The projected newly eligible enrollment for fiscal year 2015 initially was 164,724.

The initial estimated cost was about $31 million for fiscal year 2017, when states begin paying their share.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is hailing the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows about 285,000 Virginians to continue receiving federal subsidies on health insurance plans purchased through on a federal marketplace.
 
The Democratic governor says he hoped the ruling would allow state lawmakers to "put partisan politics aside" and expand Medicaid, another key provision of the Affordable Care Act.
 

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware officials have received conditional approval from the federal government to switch to a state-run health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

While receiving approval Monday, officials cautioned that a final decision on moving to a state-run exchange has not been made.

Delaware currently is one of seven states that operate exchanges with the help of the federal government, including using the federal web portal to enroll people.

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As the U.S. Supreme Court nears the end of its term, two major cases have yet to be decided. The high court is set to rule on a glitch in the Affordable Care Act that could eliminate the federal subsidies in states that did not set up their own health insurance exchanges. The second major case raises the possibility that same-sex marriage could become a constitutional right. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush talked with NPR Supreme Court correspondent Nina Totenberg about the upcoming decisions and the direction of the court.

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Only 23 percent of millennials in Delaware are signing up for the Affordable Care Act.

And that is among the lowest in the nation and 5 percent below the national average.

These are people between the ages of 18 and 34.

Delaware Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf told the Wilmington News Journal that she was hesitant to think that there has not been enough outreach.

Landgraf said that Medicaid enrollment may have contributed to the low signup rate for millennials.

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