Obamacare

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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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ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - About 70,000 people in Virginia could lose the option of buying individual health insurance plans next year.

The Roanoke Times reported Tuesday three insurers have announced they plan to pull out of Virginia's individual market next year. Last week, Optima Health said it would no longer offer individual plans where Sentara Health does not have hospitals and providers.

That will leave some parts of Virginia without the option of buying individual insurance. The changes affect all individual plans, not just those sold through the Affordable Care Act.

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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.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - As proposals to change the nation's health insurance landscape continue to move swiftly, a Maryland commission created to monitor potential changes to the Affordable Care Act is scheduled to meet for the first time.

The panel is scheduled to meet Tuesday in Annapolis.

Democrats who control the legislature created the commission by legislation this year, out of concern that President Donald Trump and the GOP-led Congress would repeal the health care law. So far, they haven't, but the White House is insisting that the Senate resume efforts to repeal.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is extending an invitation to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to visit a free health clinic for the state's poor later this week.

McAuliffe, a Democrat, said the Republican majority leader could hear firsthand stories from people who struggle to obtain adequate health care.

The governor has been critical of Republican efforts to repeal the "Obamacare" health law. McAuliffe's invite is his latest effort to draw attention to the issue. 

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The Senate will not vote on its health care bill this week after losing the support of GOP lawmakers and a bad review by the Congressional Budget Office. Maryland Senate President Mike Miller was in Salisbury for a luncheon at the Greater Salisbury Chamber of Commerce where we sat down with him to talk about the Senate measure what must be done to fix the health care system.

Don Rush (File Photo)

Governor Larry Hogan was in Salisbury for a luncheon where he told Delmarva Public Radio that he was frustrated by the plans on Capitol Hill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

During a luncheon in Salisbury he told Delmarva Public Radio that he had urged the state’s Maryland congressional delegation to seek compromise on reforming the Affordable Care Act.

As for the Senate bill the Maryland Republican said he did not believe that it would serve the interests of the state residents.

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Some cancer patients and survivors showed up outside the Salisbury office of Representative Andy Harris (R-Md).

Their message: Any changes in the Affordable Care Act must maintain adequate and affordable coverage.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the group chanted, ”Keep us covered. Don’t cut our lifeline.”

Of special concern was keeping the provision that would not allow insurance companies to discriminate on the basis of a pre-existing condition.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland health care advocates are highlighting the need for a new state commission to monitor potential changes to the Affordable Care Act.
    
They are scheduled to gather Wednesday before a hearing on the Maryland Health Insurance Coverage Protection Act.
    
It is part of a package of bills that Democrats are backing out of concern for how policies supported by President Donald Trump and the Republican-led Congress could hurt Maryland.
    

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Activists opposed to President Donald Trump are calling on Gov. Larry Hogan to take a stand against his policies.

Three women interrupted the Board of Public Works meeting Wednesday to ask why the Republican governor wasn't speaking out against Trump.

In video recorded by a Baltimore Sun reporter, Samantha Easton asked Hogan "to speak up against the current administration's agenda." She specifically noted concerns about repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

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