As this Reuters graphic shows, since 2010, Affordable Care Act (ACA) grants have doled out varying amounts to states, from less than $10 million to over $500 million. Some of those grants have gone to some surprising places: A Reuters exclusive from Andy Sullivan reveals that Governors Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and former Texas Governor Rick Perry collectively applied for and won at least $352 million in ACA grants.
Where’s the Money? Vermont Auditor Reports Jonathan Gruber Overbilled State by At Least $48,000, Calls in Attorney General – BreitbartFebruary 23, 2015
If all the payments made by Gruber to his research assistant were totally dedicated to work on the Vermont contract, Gruber himself apparently pocketed at least $48,000 of the $80,000 the state of Vermont has already paid him for work he says was performed by his research assistants.
To make matters worse for Gruber, he has submitted outstanding bills requesting an additional $50,000 of payment for work performed by his sole research assistant on the Vermont contract. Adding that to the $20,000 previously billed but not yet paid, Gruber is asking to be paid an additional $70,000 for work he says was performed by his research assistants.
The findings reported in Hoffer’s memo appear to support comments made in January by Darcie Johnston, head of Vermonters for Health Care Freedom, who noted that Gruber’s failure to “provide any evidence that the $80,000 he’s been paid by the State of Vermont for 800 hours of work performed by unidentified research assistants” may have been “phantom billing.”
We have expressed our disappointment in Gov. Gary Herbert (R-UT) for his decision to pursue expanding Obamacare in Utah. Herbert has spent months negotiating an Obamacare expansion plan with the federal government, despite the lack of legal authority to commit the state to any “deal” he strikes with the Obama administration. His drive to expand is seemingly out of character, as he has been solid in the past expressing concerns about the insidious federal strings that come with Obamacare.
Around and after the time that the Affordable Care Act was enacted, many analysts identified problems with claims being made about the law, and we offered explanations of its likely actual effects. Too often these were brushed aside amid efforts to promote the ACA in the face of growing public opposition. But four years into the ACA, it is remarkable how well our predictions have been borne out.Below I will resurrect but five of my own specific predictions about the ACA, contrast them with what many advocates had said, and review what subsequent events have shown.
From California to Rhode Island, states are confronting new concerns that their Medicaid costs will rise as a result of the federal health care law.
That’s likely to revive the debate about how federal decisions can saddle states with unanticipated expenses.
Before President Obama’s law expanded Medicaid eligibility, millions of people who were already entitled to its safety-net coverage were not enrolled. Those same people are now signing up in unexpectedly high numbers, partly because of publicity about getting insured under the law.
Section 1332 of Title I of the Affordable Care Act offers to state governments the ability to waive significant portions of the ACA, including requirements related to qualified health plans, health benefit exchanges, cost sharing, and refundable tax credits. It permits state governments to obtain funding that otherwise would have gone to residents and businesses through the ACA and to use those funds to establish, beginning in 2017, an alternative health reform framework within statutory limitations. Section 1332 also permits states to apply in a coordinated fashion for waivers from Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and “any other federal law relating to the provision of health care items or services.” This article reviews the statutory provisions and related regulations of this new and unprecedented state waiver authority, as well as the legislative history of section 1332. Finally, it reviews the limited activities thus far by states contemplating use of this provision and considers ways this authority may be considered for use by states in the future. Section 1332 has the potential to instigate a new, varied, and unprecedented array of state health sector innovations from both sides of the political divide over health care reform.
Today, Governor Mike Pence announced plans to implement ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion using tenets of the Healthy Indiana Plan. Now in its seventh year of operation, the Healthy Indiana Plan currently extends health coverage to all Hoosiers earning up to 100% of the federal poverty level (FPL). Unlike traditional entitlement programs, enrollment in the Healthy Indiana Plan is capped, based on available funding.
Right-leaning health policy observers have long debated the merits of the Healthy Indiana Plan. Those who opposed the plan will certainly find flaws in Gov. Pence’s expansion proposal.
But for supporters, one glaring point remains. Any CMS-approved Medicaid expansion plan will likely gut the critical elements of the original Healthy Indiana Plan—relegating Gov. Pence’s proposal to Medicaid expansion by another name.