Viewpoints: Medicaid And Assets; A Surprising Look At Narrow Networks
Los Angeles Times: A California Solution For A Medicaid Quirk
The 2010 federal health care reform law required virtually all adult Americans to carry insurance, starting this year. And to help make policies affordable, it offered subsidies to lower-income households while expanding the Medicaid insurance program to more of the poorest residents. But there's a key difference between those two groups: Only those in the Medicaid program may find their estates billed after they die to pay back some of the aid (9/9).
The Washington Post: Va. GOP Bemoans The Cost Of Medicaid Expansion, But Those Without Insurance Pay
The Virginia legislature is expected to convene a special session next week to discuss the crippling problem of 1 million citizens who lack health insurance. Note that we said lawmakers will "discuss" the problem, not "resolve," "tackle" or even "ease" it. The plain fact is that the Republicans who control things in Richmond have made clear that they have no intention of dealing with the commonwealth's coverage gap in a serious way -- much less tapping $2 billion in federal funding to extend coverage to some 400,000 Virginians by expanding Medicaid under Obamacare (9/9).
MSNBC: Mike Pence's Medicaid Problem
Yet despite his efforts to cultivate the fiscal conservative vote, [Indiana Gov. Mike] Pence still has a major dark spot on his record that could land him in trouble with the GOP's Tea Party base: his administration's decision to expand Indiana's Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) as an alternative to the Medicaid expansion made possible under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Gov. Pence has described his so-called HIP 2.0 plan as a conservative alternative to outright Medicaid expansion, but many conservative groups aren't convinced (Ned Resnikoff, 9/10).
The New York Times' The Upshot: Narrow Health Networks: Maybe They're Not So Bad
The proliferation of these more limited plans [with fewer doctors and hospitals], called narrow networks, has worried consumer advocates and insurance regulators. The concern is that people will struggle to find the care they need if their choices are limited. Maybe we don’t have to worry so much. A new study suggests that, done right, a narrow network can succeed in saving money and helping certain patients get appropriate health care (Margot Sanger-Katz, 9/9).
The Washington Post’s Plum Line: Even In Romney States, More Want To Keep Obamacare Than Repeal It
The new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds that even in the states carried by Mitt Romney, there is slightly more support for keeping Obamacare than repealing it. No, this doesn't mean the health law is a winner for Dems or that approval of it is rising. But it does suggest reasons for optimism about the law's long-term prospects (Greg Sargent, 9/9).
The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire:The Media’s Challenge When the ACA Cools As A Political Story
As the image above shows, reporters and pundits–including some of the most respected ones I know–have different takes on the importance of Obamacare as an election issue now that implementation of the law is moving forward and some of the controversy around it has cooled. Observers are split: Some emphasize the law’s decline as a hot political issue, others its staying power as a rallying cry for the right, and a few suggest that the ACA may emerge as an issue Democrats want to run on (Drew Altman, 9/10).
Bloomberg: Obamacare Premiums Are Magical Mystery Tour
Last week, we finally learned the prices for the new benchmark plans for Obamacare. The good news: Prices are falling slightly. The bad news: Contrary to optimistic early reports, that doesn't mean that everyone's costs are falling; consumers will have to be attentive to make sure that their costs don't go up. The worse news: We won't actually know what effect the Affordable Care Act is having on insurance prices until 2017, when a bunch of temporary subsidies for insurers expire (Megan McArdle, 9/9).
Bloomberg: Bill Kristol's Still Wrong On Health Care
Sahil Kapur dragged out Bill Kristol's famous 1993 memo about President Bill Clinton's health care reform plan. Kapur argues that Kristol's doomsaying about the politics of health care turned out to be true and that this dynamic will benefit Democrats now -- as Kristol feared would happen if the Clinton plan had been passed and implemented. Wrong! (Jonathan Bernstein, 9/9).
The New York Times’ The Upshot: Can We Have a Fact-Based Conversation About End-of-Life Planning?
Dealing with health care needs at the end of life is a difficult but unavoidable issue in an aging society with rising health care costs like ours. After a failed attempt to deal with the issue as part of the Affordable Care Act, it may again be returning to the policy agenda. Can we avoid another catastrophic bout of misinformation? (Brendan Nyhan, 9/10).
The Washington Post: The Global Complacency On Ebola Must End
The Ebola epidemic now sweeping West Africa is a public health catastrophe, yet the world's response has been to treat it like a faraway monsoon or volcano, perhaps frightening but not something that much can be done about. This complacency is wrong-headed and dangerous. The catastrophe is worsening by the day because of the actions and inactions of people, those on the ground and those far away (9/9).