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Affordable Care Act

President-elect Donald Trump plans to hit the ground running. He could sign his first executive orders within hours of taking the oath of office.

"I've asked my transition team to develop a list of executive actions we can take on Day 1 to restore our laws and bring back our jobs," Trump said in a videotaped message in November. "It's about time."

Vice President-elect Mike Pence echoed that message in a meeting with reporters on Thursday.

"Our job is to be ready on Day 1," Pence said. "We are all ready to go to work."

The incoming president has promised to:

President-elect Donald Trump's choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services defended stock transactions he made as a member of Congress as "above board," while vowing he would not pull the rug from under any American with health care as result of replacing the Affordable Care Act.

Rep. Tom Price, a Republican from Georgia, faced the first of two hearings he'll have as the nominee for HHS secretary. Wednesday's was before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. It will not vote on Price's nomination; that's up to the Senate Finance Committee.

If she’s confirmed, Indiana policy consultant Seema Verma will start work as Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She’ll bring her experience designing Indiana’s unique Medicaid expansion to the national policy conversation.

With little power left in Washington, Democrats set out on Sunday to make a big statement against GOP efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act with rallies in dozens of cities.

It's also a step for the party toward regaining its footing after grassroots efforts in 2016 failed to keep the White House in Democrats' hands.

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For Connecticut's 1st District Congressman John Larson, the 115th Congress has gotten off to an inauspicious start.

An overwhelming majority of people disapprove of Republican lawmakers' plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act without having a ready replacement for the health care law, according to a poll released Friday.

And judging by the letter-writing and lobbying in the first week of the new congressional session, many health care and business groups agree.

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Connecticut's U.S. Senator Chris Murphy is sounding the alarm about the future of healthcare under the new Republican congress and the Trump administration.

People in Columbia, S.C., had their pick of four health insurers last year when they shopped for policies during the Affordable Care Act's open enrollment.

This time they have just one: Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, which had the most Obamacare enrollees in Richland County in 2016 due to its low prices.

It's a change that's been repeated around the country after big health insurers such as Aetna, Humana and United Healthcare pulled out of dozens of Obamacare marketplaces that they judged unprofitable.

Republicans in Congress are so eager to repeal the Affordable Care Act that some have vowed to get a bill to President-elect Donald Trump's desk on the day he takes the oath of office.

"We will move right after the first of the year on an Obamacare repeal resolution," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters at a news conference Monday.

Paul Morigi / Brookings Institution

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy is sounding the alarm on President-elect Donald Trump's pick to head up Health and Human Services in his cabinet.

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A new commander in chief will lead the nation in January and some Americans are wondering about what he will do to keep our planet healthy.

This hour, we consider how a Trump Administration could impact global efforts to tackle climate change and how health care might evolve under the new President's watch. 

The Affordable Care Act's requirement that people have health insurance or pay a fine is one of the least popular provisions of the law, and one that Republicans have pledged to eliminate when they repeal and replace Obamacare.

But take a look at some of the replacement proposals that are floating around and it becomes clear that the "individual mandate," as it's called, could still exist, but in another guise.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Connecticut’s Democratic governor will have to reckon with a new legislative landscape when the General Assembly reconvenes in January. The state Senate is now split evenly between Republicans and Democrats, and the GOP also picked up eight seats in the House, leaving Democrats with a slim, seven-seat majority. 

Republicans have been vowing for six years now to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They have voted to do so dozens of times, despite knowing any measures would be vetoed by President Obama.

But the election of Donald Trump as president means Republican lawmakers wouldn't even have to pass repeal legislation to stop the health law from functioning. Instead, President Trump could do much of it with a stroke of a pen.

The cost of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is expected to rise an average of 22 percent in 2017, according to information released by the Obama administration Monday afternoon.

Still, federal subsidies will also rise, meaning that few people are likely to have to pay the full cost after the rate increases to get insurance coverage.

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Customers on Connecticut’s health care exchange use medical services at a much higher rate than non-exchange customers, according to insurance providers. 

ConnectiCare

It was revealed Monday that health insurer ConnectiCare has already quit the state’s health care exchange as it threatened. But the company still wants to find a way to continue to provide Obamacare plans, and has launched a rate appeal with Connecticut's insurance department. 

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Double-digit hikes in premiums look set to make health insurance even less affordable in Connecticut. But advocates say there will be few quick fixes for the rising cost of health care. 

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Connecticut-based health insurer Aetna is calling off its public insurance exchange expansion plans for next year as it becomes the latest big insurer to cast doubt on the future of a key element of the Affordable Care Act.

President Obama on Monday called on Congress to revisit the controversial idea of providing a government-run insurance plan as part of the offerings under the Affordable Care Act.

What's been described as the "public option" was jettisoned from the health law in 2009 by a handful of conservative Democrats in the Senate. Every Democrat's vote was needed to pass the bill in the face of unanimous Republican opposition.

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Connecticut’s Insurance Commissioner Katharine Wade said the 40,000 customers of HealthyCT shouldn’t panic about news that the health insurer looks likely to go out of business. Wade said her department will make sure that consumers experience a smooth transition.

The Obama administration is making it easier for people addicted to opioids to get treatment.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced new rules Wednesday to loosen restrictions on doctors who treat people addicted to heroin and opioid painkillers with the medication buprenorphine.

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Roughly 8,000 people in Connecticut failed to pay their first month's premium for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.  And that means that they won't be covered under Obamacare this year. 

Hillary Clinton wants you to know that she was doing health care before health care was cool.

"You know, before it was called Obamacare it was called Hillarycare," Clinton said recently at a rally in Elko, Nev.

It's a stock line these days in her stump speeches and debates.

The term Hillarycare was coined back in the 1990s, when Clinton tried and failed to restructure the U.S. health care system during her husband's first term as president. It was supposed to be an insult, but now she's embracing it.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has notified the federal government that Kentucky will dismantle its state health insurance exchange, Kynect.

The move will direct Kentuckians seeking health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, to use the federal health insurance site, HealthCare.gov.

More than 500,000 people have gotten health insurance through Kynect.

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