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In the sixth week of open enrollment for 2019 coverage, there had been a 12% drop off. For 2020 coverage the sign-ups are lagging by 6%. These numbers don’t include people who will be automatically enrolled in their coverage, and there also is usually a flurry in the last few days before the Dec. 15 deadline.
The letter prompted the recipients to sign up for health coverage to avoid penalties, which in turn prevented premature deaths that would have occurred without it. It was essentially the first rigorous experiment to find that health coverage leads to fewer deaths, a claim that politicians and economists have fiercely debated in recent years
Opinion writers weigh in on these health issues and others.
Although the work requirements played a key role in getting state Republicans to buy in to the idea of expanding Medicaid in Virginia, Democrats recently won control of the Legislature. Now, Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam has directed his administration to “pause” any of those efforts.
The Agriculture Department estimates the change, which will limit states from exempting work-eligible adults from having to maintain steady employment, would save roughly $5.5 billion over five years. But critics say the move will hurt the most vulnerable Americans. “Instead of combating food insecurity for millions … the administration is inflicting their draconian rule on millions of Americans across the nation who face the highest barriers to employment and economic stability,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Media outlets look at how the rule will affect people in states across the country.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, is worried about coverage losses seen in other states. But the Republican-controlled Legislature would have to agree to the pause.
CMS has been vocal in encouraging states to create more restrictions on their Medicaid programs. Many looked to work requirements, but those plans have faced major legal setbacks in courts. Tennessee could be leading the way on a new path. Medicaid news comes out of Missouri and New York, as well.
Politico reports on the escalating feud between HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma and the disruptions people close to the situation say it has caused. Privately, Azar’s and Verma’s camps are pointing the finger at one another, and disclosures about Verma’s use of highly paid consultants to raise her personal profile exacerbated the tensions.
Warnings are being issued at all levels of the party–from union members to candidates running in swing states. “We won in Kentucky and Louisiana, barely, in part, because we won on health care. I don’t think we can afford to lose on health care,” Gov. Gina Raimondo (D-R.I.) said. Meanwhile, industry opponents for “Medicare for All” are starting to go after the moderates’ health plans as well. In other election news, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has a plan to expand mental health treatment.
Brigham Young University-Idaho requires that students have health insurance, but the university no longer accepts Medicaid. The cheapest option available is the university’s student health plan, which does not comply with the Affordable Care Act’s consumer protections. Medicaid news comes out of Michigan, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and New York.
A so-called “public option” would allow people to buy a government-run health plan that competes with the private marketplace. In previous years, the policy was considered extreme, while now it’s starting to sound like the moderate option in the current political landscape. Meanwhile, Politico takes a look at the army being built to fight “Medicare for All.”
The Democrats wrote a letter to the Trump administration pointing to an analysis that found that as many as 100,000 fewer people signed up on the first day of enrollment this year because of the technical glitches. Meanwhile, KHN offers advice on navigating open enrollment season.
Media outlets offer Medicaid news from across the country.
“Medicare for All” has been center stage in most of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary debates, often acting as a proxy for a bigger conversation about the moderate and progressive wings of the party. But on Wednesday night, the candidates moved on from the issue quickly.
If Congress doesn’t increase the amount of designated money by the end of the year, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam say they would need to cut their Medicaid rolls in half, while Puerto Rico says it would need to cut back dental and prescription drug services. Medicaid news comes out of Kansas and North Carolina, as well.
With Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) refocusing attention with her new plan on how to pay for “Medicare for All,” the topic is likely to get plenty of airtime at Wednesday night’s debate.
After his primary victory, California Gov. Gavin Newsom admitted that single-payer is a hard reality to achieve. Now that he’s in office, though, he has had some success inching the needle forward. As 2020 Democratic candidates make similar big promises on health care, can they look to him for when they need to turn a political slogan into policy? Meanwhile, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s plan to gradually ease country into “Medicare for All” has once again all but guaranteed the topic will come up in the debate on Wednesday.
The plan may blunt moderates’ criticism that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) would strip people of their private insurance immediately. The plan still sets ambitious health goals for the first 100 days of Warren’s presidency, where she would use a budgetary maneuver in Congress to create a generous “Medicare for All option.”
Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick served on the boards of American Well Corp., a telemedicine company, and Global Blood Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical firm. His links to the health sector are unlikely to serve him well in an election where the industry often serve as the common enemy. In other news from the 2020 campaign trail: the “Medicare for All” debate, veteran suicides, and emergency preparedness.
Red states are noticing the benefits their neighbors reaped by expanding the program, and are slowly warming up to it themselves. “There’s been a ton of evidence showing large gains in health care coverage, while helping states economically and keeping rural hospitals open,” said Connie Farrow, spokeswoman for Healthcare for Missouri. “And it hasn’t hurt state budgets. It remains a really good deal for states to cover hundreds of thousands of people.” Medicaid news comes from Wyoming, Idaho and Florida, as well.