The Trump administration is moving ahead with enabling states to impose work requirements for Medicaid.
“‘This policy is about helping people achieve the American dream,’ Verma told reporters on Thursday. ‘People moving off of Medicaid is a good outcome because we hope that means they don’t need the program anymore.'”
With the reconciliation tax bill headed towards passage, it looks like the individual mandate may be done for.
In the lead-up, I had heard conflicting reports of how the repeal of the individual mandate would affect the rest of Obamacare going forward – everything from “meh” to “instant death spiral.” A couple of resources to get a handle on where we are at:
“Economists roundly expect premiums to rise if the individual mandate disappears, as healthier people exit the market, leaving behind a sicker, more expensive insurance pool. Some Americans may gladly exit the marketplace, happy to no longer pay insurance premiums. But there would also be those who exit unwillingly, people who want to buy coverage but cannot afford the rising cost of health insurance.”
This week, reports surfaced to confirm that the Trump administration is actively engaged in ACA sabotage. The strategy is to quite literally inflict financial harm on the American people, by way of increasing insurance premiums on the exchanges.
“For months, officials in Republican-controlled Iowa had sought federal permission to revitalize their ailing health-insurance marketplace. Then President Trump read about the request in a newspaper story and called the federal director weighing the application. “
“The new rules take effect immediately. And they allow large, publicly traded companies to seek an exemption from the birth control requirement if they have a religious or moral objection to providing such coverage. The Obama administration barred these large businesses from such exemptions.” Continue reading Health Policy Updates: October 8 2017→
The idea of “block granting” Medicaid has become increasingly popular in Republican circles, as a way to constrain cost growth in the program. Vox.com’s Sarah Kliff recently interviewed Phil Roe, a Republican Congressman who supports block granting, about the feasibility of this approach.
“Block grants usually mean something else: a massive cut to Medicaid spending that could throw tens of millions of people off the program. And the politics of that — just at the moment that Obamacare added millions of people to Medicaid — are, as Roe acknowledged, tricky.”
Health policy blogger and expert Aaron Carrol also gave an outline of how block granting works, and what the effects of Republicans’ current block granting proposals would be.
Health care cost growth is back on the rise, as reported in Health Affairs. During 2014 and now 2015, health care spending has increased at a rate faster that inflation, after having move in line with inflation for the first few years post-recession. That means health care is a growing share of the US GDP again.