March 30, 2015
This session was especially helpful to congressional staff members new to the issue, but is also a useful review for anyone dealing with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The briefing took place just as the second marketplace enrollment period ended and the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case challenging the law’s subsidies.
What are the key provisions of the ACA? How did the ACA extend coverage to the uninsured? How does the ACA impact private and public insurance coverage, marketplaces and employer-sponsored coverage? What is the role for states? What are the requirements on employers and individuals? How was Medicaid changed by the ACA and then the Supreme Court? How is the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) affected?
via ACA 101: What You Need to Know.
March 12, 2015
A recent report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) confirms what many policy experts have known for some time: states that reject Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion aren’t sending that Medicaid expansion money to other states. Instead, that money is simply never spent.
This revelation is important because numerous governors and state lawmakers from across the country have used this argument to justify their support for expanding Medicaid through Obamacare. However, as CRS succinctly explains, these arguments are entirely frivolous.
via Congressional Research Service: There’s No Magic Pot Of Obamacare Medicaid Expansion Money.
February 25, 2015
One of the biggest myths pushed in statehouses across the country is that Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion will be an engine of economic growth. The Obama administration promises that more than 350,000 jobs would be created nationwide in 2015 if all states opted into Obamacare expansion.
But the truth is that expanding Medicaid to able-bodied adults will discourage work, create massive new welfare cliffs and ultimately shrink the economy, not grow it. A new report by the Foundation for Government Accountability outlines how Obamacare expansion could affect the labor force.
via Obamacare's Medicaid Expansion Could Cause 2.6 Million Able-Bodied Adults To Drop Out Of Labor Force.
February 21, 2015
Gov. Hutchinson signed Act 46 into law on February 12, 2015. This new law requires the Arkansas Department of Human Services to amend its state plan to eliminate the entire Obamacare expansion by December 31, 2016.
via Arkansas Moves Away From Obamacare Medicaid Expansion.
February 20, 2015
Medicaid is fundamental to near universal health insurance coverage under the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA). Its goal of broadening the program to all households with income at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level was thwarted in 2012 by a Supreme Court decision that allowed the states to choose whether or not they would join. This essay seeks to assess the status of Pennsylvania with regard to the Medicaid expansion controversy. It briefly describes the Keystone State’s existing Medicaid program and the potential impact of ACA on its growth. It then discusses Governor Tom Corbett’s market-based alternative and what he achieved in his deliberations with the Obama administration. The article also discusses some of the financial considerations facing Pennsylvania policy makers in the expansion decision, the role of three of the more influential lobby groups, and the problematic situation of the medically uninsured population.
via The ACA Medicaid Expansion Waiver in the Keystone State: Do the Medically Uninsured “Got a Friend in Pennsylvania”?.
February 19, 2015
Republican Gov. Pat McCrory said Wednesday he won’t make a recommendation whether North Carolina should expand insurance to more of the uninsured through the federal health care law until after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
Speaking to The Associated Press in a brief interview, McCrory said it makes sense to wait on litigation challenging some federal tax credits in the health care law linked to coverage obtained through federally-run online health insurance markets.
The court’s oral arguments are next month and a ruling is expected in the summer, about when the legislature traditionally seeks to adjourn. That could push any legislative action on a recommendation to 2016.
via Gov. McCrory to hold off on Medicaid decision until after court case – Fayetteville Observer: Top News.
February 18, 2015
A physician friend of mine posted a copy of her Medicaid reimbursement on Facebook. Take a look at the charges compared to the actual reimbursement. She is paid between $6.82 and $17.54 for an hour of her time (i.e., on average, she makes less than minimum wage when treating a patient on Medicaid).
The enthusiasm for expanding Medicaid coverage to the previously uninsured seems misplaced. Improved “access” to the health care system via Medicaid programs surely cannot result in lasting coverage. In-network physicians will continue to dwindle as their office overhead exceeds meager reimbursement levels.
In reality, treating Medicaid patients is charity work. The fact that any physicians accept Medicaid is a testament to their generosity of spirit and missionary mindset. Expanding their pro bono workloads is nothing to cheer about. The Affordable Care Act’s “signature accomplishment” is tragically flawed – because offering health insurance to people that physicians cannot afford to accept is not better than being uninsured.
via Treating Medicaid patients is charity work. This bill proves it..