By Sarah Ferris - 01/21/16 07:00 PM EST
Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump says press refusing to report that he's winning Crossing fingers: A Canadian observer's view of the US election Bill Murray honored with Mark Twain Prize MORE is out with a new defense of her healthcare record – Bernie SandersBernie SandersAT&T-Time Warner merger: Rigged by cozy regulatory relationships? Juan Williams: When WikiLeaks leaked my cell number Trump: Podesta a 'nasty guy' MORE may have helped write ObamaCare, but it was her idea first.
"It was called HillaryCare before it was called ObamaCare," Clinton declared to a crowd at a country club in Vinton, Iowa. "I don't want to start over."
Clinton's rift with Sanders over healthcare deepened this week. While the Vermont senator stands by his single-payer plan, Clinton has dismissed the idea as a political impracticality under the current Congress.
"He never got even a single vote in the House or a single Senate co-sponsor. Not one," Clinton said at a rally at Simpson College on Thursday, according to a report by The Washington Post. "You hear a promise to build a whole new system, but that's not what you get... You'll get gridlock and an endless wait for advances that never come."
Full story here: http://bit.ly/1PHL4gF
AVERAGE OBAMACARE PREMIUM RISES TO $408: The average ObamaCare premium rose to $408 per month for 2016 plans, about a 9 percent increase from this time last year, according to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services.
However, 83 percent of ObamaCare enrollees pay far less than $408 because they get tax credits under the healthcare law. The average tax credit for 2016 is $294, meaning that the average share of the premiums that enrollees have to pay is $113. That is up $8 from the $105 people paid on average last year. Read more here: http://bit.ly/1SAn3OI
SLAVITT LOOKING TO HELP CO-OPS: Chief of CMS Andy Slavitt said at a hearing Thursday that CMS will look for ways to help the 11 remaining ObamaCare co-ops, mentioning the possibility of getting the co-ops access to outside capital. There are currently limitations on accessing outside capital.
"I am eager to loosen up the capital rules," Slavitt said. He also mentioned the possibility of co-ops merging as "very much on the table."
CMS said it will be releasing more information on the path forward "in the next day or so." Slavitt expressed some confidence that the remaining co-ops can make it through 2016 without shutting down. Read more here: http://bit.ly/1S8dW6w
Ted CruzTed CruzJuan Williams: When WikiLeaks leaked my cell number 56 memorable moments from a wild presidential race Is Georgia turning blue? MORE SHOPPING ON HEALTHCARE.GOV: Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz said Thursday he is currently without healthcare insurance after his insurer cancelled his plan last month.
"I'll tell you, you know who one of those millions of Americans is who's lost their healthcare because of ObamaCare? That would be me," Cruz said at a rally in Manchester, N.H. "I don't have healthcare right now."
Cruz said he was enrolled on Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas until Dec. 31 when the company canceled all of their individual policies. He said he is "in the process of finding another policy," but recently received a quote that raised his premiums by 50 percent.
Cruz has exactly 10 days to find a healthcare plan to avoid a steep fine come next year's tax season (unless, of course, he becomes president). http://bit.ly/1RWUYBD
MORE SUBPOENAS: House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin BradyGOP lawmakers ask IRS to explain M wasted on unusable email system Rep. Brady plans to move tax reform legislation in 2017 US confirms China has ended tax breaks for domestic airplanes MORE (R-Texas) issued the subpoena for Lew and three IRS officials to produce documents related to financial help for people under ObamaCare known as "cost sharing reductions." Read more here: http://bit.ly/20hLjXh
Snow watch – House Energy and Commerce announced Thursday afternoon that they're postponing everything scheduled for next week for the snow. Yep, the whole week.
WHAT WE'RE READING:
Drug companies ask governments to do more to prevent 'superbugs' (Reuters)
Lawsuit claims Chipotle tried to cover up foodborne illness outbreak (Time)
One big problem with Medicare for all: Medicare coverage isn't that great (Vox)
IN THE STATES:
Louisiana Medicaid rolls could grow to 450,000 (Times-Picayune)
'Our mouths were ajar': Doctor's fight to expose Flint water crisis (CNN)
Iowa Senate leader: State not ready for privatized Medicaid (The Iowa Gazette)
New York has small window to find savings in Medicaid (Capital New York)
ICYMI FROM THE HILL:
Martin Shkreli plans to remain silent at House hearing: http://bit.ly/1ZFnu9v
Emails show Michigan state leaders finger-pointing over Flint crisis http://bit.ly/1ZPQMHU