Affordable Care Act

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt acknowledges that a multi-state attack on the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, could wipe out some popular consumer protections.

But, Schmidt said, he believes Congress will step in to preserve certain parts of the law if he and 19 other Republican attorneys general succeed in striking down the individual mandate — that everybody buy coverage or face a fine on their tax return — as unconstitutional.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service, File Photo

Missouri and Kansas have joined 18 other states in seeking to have the Affordable Care Act declared unconstitutional following Congress’ repeal last year of the tax penalty associated with the individual mandate.

In a lawsuit filed late Monday in federal court in Texas, the coalition of 20 mostly red states claimed that the elimination of the tax penalty for those who don’t buy health insurance renders the entire health care law unconstitutional.

Jasleen Kaur / flickr/Creative Commons

More people signed up for Obamacare in Kansas this year than last, even though the open enrollment period was cut in half.

In the enrollment period that ended last week, 98,919 people selected plans in Kansas compared with 98,780 last year.

While the increase is slight, it’s a surprise, given the reduced time period and the Trump administration’s reduced promotion efforts.

Connor Tarter / flickr Creative Commons

Demand for Obamacare coverage in Kansas appears strong ahead of Friday's sign-up deadline. Despite that, enrollment through the health insurance marketplace is expected to drop.

healthcare.gov

Health navigators are available in Wichita to help people complete applications for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace before Friday's enrollment deadline.

One of the community sites offering free, in-person enrollment assistance is the La Familia Senior/Community Center north of downtown Wichita. A bilingual health navigator is taking appointments through Friday to help people get signed up for a health plan.

La Familia executive director Carla Lee says this is the third year the organization has offered the one-on-one assistance.

Connor Tarter / flickr Creative Commons

The deadline to sign up for health insurance in the Affordable Care Act marketplace is less than three weeks away, on Dec. 15—several weeks earlier than last year’s deadline. It's not the only change in the marketplace.

Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana are defending their proposal to replace Obamacare today in a Senate hearing. 

Resistance to the bill from a few of their GOP colleagues may sink this latest Republican attempt at a new approach to health care. The bill's authors have made changes to the legislation in hopes of winning over holdouts. But it appears they may still fall short of the necessary votes to pass the bill. The Republicans are facing a Saturday deadline to act on the legislation.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas is in a familiar position. He’s one of several Republican senators under pressure to vote for the latest Obamacare repeal bill. However, Moran remains undecided.

Moran, who surprised many by opposing some earlier Obamacare repeal bills and supporting others, says he’s studying the so-called Graham-Cassidy amendment.

He says he still favors repeal but wants to know more about the new bill.

Courtesy Kansas Health Institute

Low-income Kansans are much less likely to have health insurance than their counterparts in other states, according to an analysis of new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

healthcare.gov

The Affordable Care Act marketplace will be a mixed bag for Kansas consumers seeking health insurance for 2018. Some will pay more for coverage, some less. And some will purchase new plans for which there is no price-point comparison.

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