Parsing Policies: Pros And Cons Of Medicaid Changes; The Toll Of Rising Medicare Out-Of-Pocket Costs
Editorial pages feature thoughts on health policy topics.
To Reform Medicaid And Welfare, Think Beyond Only Work Waivers
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is giving states the opportunity to conduct demonstration projects to integrate work and other “community engagement” requirements as a condition of participation for certain enrollees. ... Pilot programs are a good way to test new policy ideas. Applying new ideas in a practical setting helps identify real world challenges and allows them to be evaluated for real world effectiveness. But pilot programs need not, indeed, must not supplant efforts by Congress to pursue more meaningful statutory changes in Medicaid. Nor do they in any way diminish the need to strengthen existing work requirements in cash assistance welfare programs. (Nina Owcharenko Schaefer, 1/28)
Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer:
Reddest States Show Us The Way On Medicaid
The guns are nearly silent now. The Obamacare debate ended mostly unresolved. The Affordable Care Act is still on the books, but it’s been beaten to within an inch of its life. The quiet that replaced all the thunder from the left and right in Washington comes from the unsettling recognition that nobody really won, but a lot of people lost. Congress somehow managed, after all the ado, to neither repeal it, replace it nor fix it. ... One dim light of hope comes from the growing number of “red” states that are considering expanding their Medicaid programs. (1/29)
The Washington Post:
Out-Of-Pocket Health-Care Costs Likely To Take Half Of Social Security Income By 2030, Analysis Shows
A new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation has found out-of-pocket health-care costs for Medicare beneficiaries are likely to take up half of their average Social Security income by 2030. As many seniors already know, Medicare does not cover an increasing number of expenses related to health care. Among these are supplemental insurance premiums, deductibles, long-term care and dental services. (Michelle Singletary, 1/26)
The Washington Post:
Our Health-Care System Is Still A Mess. Trump Isn’t Doing Anything Serious About It.
Last week, Aminatou Sow, the co-host of the popular millennial podcast “Call Your Girlfriend,” tweeted out a story: Less than 24 hours before she was scheduled for surgery, a representative from the hospital called and demanded she pay her $4,000 deductible before the procedure could take place. When Sow protested, the hospital factotum agreed to a compromise if she paid half her deductible up front. (Helaine Olen, 1/29)