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.'”
Continue reading Health Policy Updates: January 14 2018
ACA/Obamacare repeal, which suffered a huge blow last week with the failure of the AHCA, has already been rebooted. The AHCA faced opposition from both moderate Republicans worried about coverage losses to their constituents, and also from the most-conservative Freedom Caucus members who felt that it still provided for an unacceptably large role of government in health care. These Freedom Caucus members are now working on a new bill that would be more palatable to their wing of the GOP:
“Getting rid of essential health benefits and community rating would almost certainly create a bill that is less popular and covers fewer people than the Republicans’ first proposal, which would have caused 24 million people to lose coverage. The change would allow insurers to once again charge sick people higher premiums than the healthy — meaning premiums would often be too expensive for low-income Americans with preexisting conditions to afford…This would also mean that insurers could stop covering services that tend to attract patients who use more medical care, like maternity coverage and mental health services.”
Continue reading Health Policy Updates: April 8 2017
A couple studies came out recently looking at the impact of the ACA/Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. The first, published in JAMA, found that Medicaid expansion reduces the amount of uncompensated “charity care” that hospitals have to provide, reducing their operating expenses and improving profitability. Blog commentary here.
“…as we debate policy as to whether it’s “worth it” to expand Medicaid, it’s worth nothing that the data arguing that it might be bad for hospitals not only isn’t lacking, it’s somewhat refuted.”
And, this piece out in the NEJM showed some very clear and convincing charts that the numbers of uninsured people have been dropping in Medicaid expansion states, in contrast to those that did not expand Medicaid:
Continue reading Health Policy Updates: November 6 2016
Given the problems that the ACA/Obamacare has faced, were there any realistic alternatives at the time the law was passed, that would have done any better? Megan McArdle, writing at Bloomberg, thinks yes. Specifically, focus on the simple expansion of Medicaid to support low-income Americans rather than trying to set up the complex Exchange infrastructure.
“Here’s my radical plan: If the Obamacare exchanges are going to result in, at best, people being able to buy Medicaid-style plans with limited choices and benefits, then why not just eliminate the middleman and give them … Medicaid?”
Continue reading Health Policy Updates: September 3 2016