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GOP health bill would allow insurers to ignore consumer protection laws

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A new Republican health reform proposal would allow insurers to bypass consumer protection laws and remove restrictions on rate hikes, according to published reports.

In the GOP’s 230-page draft of an alternative health care bill is the following passage:

This policy may be less expensive than others because it is not subject to all of the insurance laws and regulations of the state … including coverage of some services or benefits mandated by the law of the state … Additionally, this policy is not subject to all of the consumer protection laws or restrictions on rate changes …

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The bill, which caps medical malpractice awards, additionally seeks to increase the use of health savings accounts and would create insurance pools for high-risk individuals.

Rep. John Boehner is calling the bill “The Affordable Health Care for America Act.”

A key to the expansion of coverage and choice is permitting health insurers to offer interstate policies, they claim. As Think Progress points out, under the Republican proposal the insurer can choose a primary state “whose covered laws shall govern the health insurance issuer” and can change states “upon renewal of the policy.”

Page 129 requires a “health insurance issuer” to “provide the following notice” informing consumers in so-called “secondary states” that the policy is “not subject to all of the consumer protection laws or restrictions on rate changes of the state.”

On CNN over the weekend, Boehner told host John King that Republicans seek, “a common sense approach to make the current system work better.” However, allowing insurers to ignore consumer protections could make things worse than they already are.

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Health care providers could simply choose to do business in states that allow them to charge sick patients more, attracting only the healthiest applicants. Or as Think Progress suggests, “Companies could choose a state with scarce regulations and sell policies that don’t provide mental health parity or cancer screenings.”

Boehner aides told the Associated Press the measure was not final and changes were being made.


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2020 Election

Trump claims he is ‘not running scared’ — but says he may have to do 5 rallies a day: report

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President Donald Trump said he may increase the amount of time he spends campaigning following his second event of the day in Arizona.

CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller reported on Trump's comments to reporters.

"“I’m not running scared,” Trump claimed.

“I think I’m running angry, I’m running happy and I’m running very content," he argued.

He went on to say he might "go to 5" rallies a day.

“I’m not running scared,” says Pres Trump of his campaign. “I think I’m running angry, I’m running happy and I’m running very content.” Tells reporters before heading to next rally in Tucson, that he’s unhappy the media’s not covering the corruption he alleges against @JoeBiden. pic.twitter.com/K61ONq8HKR

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2020 Election

New data shows how Fox News may be keeping Republicans away from voting

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On Monday, writing for The Washington Post, columnist Greg Sargent outlined the results of a new poll from the Public Religion Research Institute, suggesting Fox News' messaging is actually turning people off one of the easiest and most convenient forms of voting — putting President Donald Trump's re-election in jeopardy.

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2020 Election

Trump ‘engaged in incitement to domestic terrorism’ — no wonder he’s losing Michigan: Heilemann

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What will Trump do between now and Election Day, and what is he willing to do if he loses on Election Day, asked MSNBC's John Heilemann when talking to host Nicolle Wallace on Monday.

Wallace noted that on Sunday night, Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared on "60 Minutes," where he explained he couldn't even take a walk with his wife without having security because of the attacks he's getting from the right-wing.

"Genuinely, as we hurdle into the final two weeks where we think that all of the October surprises have to be played out -- we've had them all," Heilemann began. "But given the way 2020 has gone, I'm assuming we'll have at least maybe a Martian invasion between now and election day. I think -- it never hurts to remind people of the context here."

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