health care

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's long-running debate over whether to expand Medicaid has new life after a Democratic wave in last year's election. Several successful candidates campaigned directly on the issue and advocates are hopeful that Virginia will join a majority of other states to pass expansion after years of opposition.

Governor's Office

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is giving his fourth and final State of the State speech of his first term.

Hogan, who hopes to become the first Republican governor to be re-elected in Maryland since 1954, has focused on economic concerns in previous speeches.

He also has taken the opportunity in past years to outline his legislative agenda to the 188 members of the Maryland General Assembly, which is controlled by Democrats.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland lawmakers are bracing for a challenging session wrestling with changes in tax and health care law in Washington.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, a Democrat, told senators Wednesday on the first day of the General Assembly's 90-day session that lawmakers will need to come up with equitable solutions to "these very weighty issues that have been passed down from the federal government."

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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 marylandhealthconnection.gov are double the number at this time last year, at 10,420.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - This week's groundswell of political change in Virginia has improved the odds of Medicaid expansion becoming law there. The long-stalled liberal priority gained new life after Democrats nearly wiped out Republicans' overwhelming majority in the House of Delegates.

It had repeatedly failed when Republicans controlled two-thirds of the chamber.

Joe biden, us.gov

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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RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- Both major party candidates in Virginia's closely watched race for governor are promising to improve the state's health care system.

But Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam differ sharply on how to curb costs and increase care.

Their biggest difference is on Medicaid expansion.

Northam wants to expand the health care program for the poor to cover more low-income Virginians, with the federal government picking up most of the cost.

Gillespie opposes Medicaid expansion, saying its long-term price tag will be unsustainable.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Virginia's largest health insurer will restrict where customers can get CT scans and MRIs in non-emergency situations.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that the change will occur for people insured by Anthem in March.

Beneficiaries will have to seek imaging services at free-standing facilities instead of hospital-based ones.  The policy change does not include X-rays or mammograms.

Virginia Anthem spokesman Scott Golden said the move will save up to hundreds of dollars per scan and help keep premiums 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.

Don Rush

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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