By Chris Pirschel, Staff Writer, and Alec Stone, ONS Public Affairs Director
Insurers Implement Modest Premium Hikes as Obamacare Stabilizes
Millions of Americans depend on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace for their health insurance. In the past, costs have been unstable, seeing insurance premiums rise and competition flee. However, new reports estimate that Americans who receive health coverage from ACA will only see moderate increases to their premiums for 2019. During earlier repeal and replace efforts of Obamacare—otherwise known as ACA—the healthcare marketplace was volatile for consumers. Some insurers pulled out of the marketplace, leaving those that remained able to sharply increase premiums.
However, after a period of uncertainty—and the GOP's failure to repeal the healthcare law—the ACA marketplace is stabilizing. With mild premium increases and insurance companies returning, consumers will have more options for 2019. ONS has worked with elected officials from both sides of the aisle to understand the importance of access and affordability for health care.
What's In, What's Out, and What's Still on the Table in Senate Opioids Package
As the opioid epidemic continues to plague counties throughout the United States, the Senate has introduced a package to address key issues pertaining to illegal drug trafficking and manufacturing quotas while also strengthening access for addiction treatment and recovery. It’s a popular bipartisan issue, but many advocacy groups feel the package doesn’t do enough to address the far-reaching impact of opioid addiction.
So far, bipartisan efforts to curb the national opioid epidemic have resulted in hundreds of bills and accompanying amendments passing through the House and Senate. As the legislative branch tries to cobble together a comprehensive bill, many important elements are rising to the top for advocacy groups. But determining which priorities are included and which are left on the cutting-room floor has yet to be decided. Ultimately, more headway is being made than all the red tape suggests. As part of ongoing advocacy efforts, ONS weighed in on the opioid epidemic, providing education and information to lawmakers in the House and Senate.
What We Don't Know About Bernie's Favorite Healthcare Idea
Since the 2016 presidential campaign, Senator Bernie Sander’s (I-VT) idea of Medicare for All has gained steam in the public and political arenas. Just a few short years ago, the idea was considered a lofty pipe dream. Now, the proposition of expanding Medicare to cover all Americans is looking like a viable piece of healthcare legislation—and a solid campaign platform.
Several potential candidates for the 2020 presidential run have signed on to the proposal, bringing the total number of endorsements to more than 120 congressional signatures. However, several questions remain about the plan’s financial viability, implementation, and impact. As a proponent for access and affordability, ONS is active in the healthcare conversation, sharing the important nursing perspective with policymakers and elected officials.