Overnight Healthcare: Trump calls House health bill 'mean' | Senate Dem bill would require ObamaCare hearing | ObamaCare insurer expands to new states

Overnight Healthcare: Trump calls House health bill 'mean' | Senate Dem bill would require ObamaCare hearing | ObamaCare insurer expands to new states
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President Trump called the House's ObamaCare repeal bill "mean" and said it should be more generous during a meeting with Republican senators Tuesday, according to a Senate GOP aide.

The comments, which were first reported by The Associated Press, were striking given that Trump has previously praised the House bill and celebrated its passage at the White House. 

"This is a great plan," Trump said last month during a Rose Garden ceremony attended by House Republicans.

It is unclear what effect Trump's comments might have. Senate Republicans were already planning to make the bill more generous, for example by increasing tax credits for low-income people.

In the public section of the meeting, Trump said: "I really appreciate what you're doing to come out with a bill that's going to be a phenomenal bill to the people of our country: generous, kind, with heart. That's what I'm saying."

Read more here.


Trump administration: 13 million uninsured under House GOP health plan

Thirteen million people could become uninsured under the House Republican healthcare plan by 2026, according to an analysis from the Trump administration.

The analysis, completed by the chief actuary at the Department of Health and Human Services, differs substantially from an analysis of the same bill released last month by the Congressional Budget Office.

The CBO estimated that at least 23 million people could become uninsured under the American Health Care Act (AHCA) over a decade.

The actuary noted, however, that allowing states to waive out of some ObamaCare regulations could lead to a "deteriorating or possibly failing individual market," which is similar to a conclusion made in the CBO report.

Read more here.


ObamaCare insurer expands to three new states

An ObamaCare insurer will move into three new states while expanding its footprint in six existing markets.

Centene announced Tuesday it would enter Kansas, Missouri and Nevada in 2018, while expanding its presence in Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, Texas and Washington.

It's unclear which counties Centene will sell plans in, but the move could mean they are filling "bare counties" in these states that are slated to have no marketplace insurers for 2018.

"Centene recognizes there is uncertainty of new healthcare legislation, but we are well positioned to continue providing accessible, high quality and culturally-sensitive healthcare services to our members," Michael F. Neidorff, chairman, president and CEO for Centene said in a statement Tuesday.

Read more here.


More insurer news: Aetna reverses course in Nevada

Health insurer Aetna has announced that it will offer ObamaCare policies in Nevada next year after previously indicating it would be leaving the marketplace.

Aetna has agreed to participate in the state's exchange in order to better the company's chances of winning a contract to offer Medicaid policies there, CNN Money reported Tuesday.

In August, Aetna announced that it would significantly scale back its participation in the ObamaCare markets to just four states, down from 15 the year before. Nevada was one of the state exchanges that Aetna announced it would depart.

Read more here.


But overall, insurer exits are bolstering the GOP case for ObamaCare repeal

The departure of insurers from ObamaCare is emboldening Republicans, helping them make the case to the public and to each other that the time has come to repeal the law.

In recent weeks, insurers in many states have grown skittish about offering ObamaCare plans in 2018, raising the possibility that large swaths of the country will be left without a coverage option on their exchanges next year.

"Seven years later, Obama-care still falls short of the mark," Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchKoch groups: Don't renew expired tax breaks in government funding bill Hatch tweets link to 'invisible' glasses after getting spotted removing pair that wasn't there DHS giving ‘active defense’ cyber tools to private sector, secretary says MORE (R-Utah) said in a recent statement.

Insurers are blaming the Trump administration for their proposed premium increases and their reluctance to offer plans. They say White House officials are wreaking havoc on the market by refusing to state whether they will continue to make cost-sharing payments meant to offset the cost of enrolling lower-income enrollees.

Read more here.


Dems push for Senate hearing before ObamaCare repeal vote

Senate Democrats are introducing legislation that would ban Republicans from bringing up their ObamaCare repeal and replace bill without holding a hearing on the bill.

The legislation, known as the "No Hearing, No Vote Act," would require a bill being passed under reconciliation -- the fast-track process being used to repeal and replace ObamaCare -- to be voted on by at least one committee and have had at least one hearing.

"Senate Republicans' attempts to pass Trumpcare in the dark of night, without any transparency is one of the most egregious examples of legislative malpractice in decades. Republicans have held zero committee hearings, solicited zero bipartisan support, and plan to allow zero public debate," Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats will need to explain if they shut government down over illegal immigration White House: Trump remarks didn't derail shutdown talks Schumer defends Durbin after GOP senator questions account of Trump meeting MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a statement.

The legislation, though, is unlikely to be passed in the Senate, where Republicans are expected to clear their ObamaCare repeal and replace legislation without holding a public hearing.

Read more here.


Nevada governor breaks with Heller on Medicaid expansion

Nevada's Republican governor, Brian Sandoval, is breaking with Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerDemocrats search for 51st net neutrality vote Nevada Dems unveil 2018 campaign mascot: 'Mitch McTurtle' Senate campaign fundraising reports roll in MORE (R-Nev.) and calling for ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion to be preserved.

Heller, who could be a key vote on the healthcare bill and is up for reelection next year, said last week that he supports a seven-year phase-out of the additional federal funding for Medicaid expansion.

But Sandoval appeared to reject that idea, instead saying he wants to keep the system the way it is, without any phaseout.

"I think the House bill has a two-year ramp, I've heard seven, I've heard five," Sandoval told reporters Tuesday, according to The Nevada Independent. "Obviously my preference is that it stay the way it is, that has always been something that I've spoken for and fought for on behalf of the newly eligibles."

Read more here.


What we're reading

America's healthcare crisis a gold mine for crowdfunding (Bloomberg)

The tiny health insurance company holding ObamaCare together (Vox)

Trump's FDA just took another swipe at Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaCriticism of Melania Trump shows a lot about the #MeToo movement Obama tells Letterman of showing off his 'dad moves' in front of Prince Smithsonian to unveil Obamas' portraits next month MORE's food legacy (Washington Post)


State by state

Iowa may be first state with no health insurers on the exchange (U.S. News & World Report)

Nevada may become first state to offer Medicaid to all, regardless of income (NPR)


Send tips and comments to Jessie Hellmann, jhellmann@thehill.com; Peter Sullivan, psullivan@thehill.com; Rachel Roubein, rroubein@thehill.com; and Nathaniel Weixel, nweixel@thehill.com.