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Gov. Scott Walker, once an ardent opponent to the Affordable Care Act, is now touting his reinsurance plan that would help stabilize the marketplace for the state. In a politically charged year where health care is front of mind, experts see it as a smart move to position himself well for the elections. Meanwhile, Democrats are pushing for more information on Idaho’s move to allow plans that doesn’t meet the ACA’s rules.
The Center for American Progress’ “Medicare Extra For All” plan would maintain a role for employers and insurers, and use Medicare’s thrifty payment system as framework to pool working-age people, low-income people now covered by Medicaid and seniors.
The Trump administration has opened the door, and some states are rushing in. Meanwhile, New Hampshire lawmakers are urged to renew the state’s Medicaid expansion.
Short-term policies are intended for people who are between jobs, and are generally cheaper than insurance that meets the law’s requirements. But they offer significantly less protection to consumers. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said people buying these plans could be “one diagnosis away from disaster, discovering they have been paying for coverage that may not cover basic care such as cancer treatment.”
For those that don’t qualify for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, the requirement for insurance coverage can seem unfair. Meanwhile, the congressional spending deal raises doubts about what lawmakers are doing to control health costs that are only expected to get worse.
Republicans in Virginia have been softening their stance against expansion in recent weeks because of the Trump administration’s decision to grant work requirement waivers.
Lifetime limits and monthly premiums are just some of the other ideas states are floating after being encouraged by the Trump administration to retool their Medicaid programs. Media outlets report on Medicaid news out of California, New Hampshire, Kansas, Maryland and New York, as well.
Some of those who adamantly opposed any action to shore up the marketplaces have reversed course in a politically charged year. Meanwhile, a new analysis by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services actuaries shows that with the repeal of the individual mandate 37.7 million people will be uninsured by 2026.
The Virginia House of Delegates voted to impose work requirements on the state’s existing Medicaid recipients, with exceptions for the elderly, children, pregnant women and others who are not deemed “able bodied” as part of a compromise to expand the program. The bill goes to the Senate next, which so far has not indicated if it would accept it. Meanwhile, Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich is also preparing to ask federal regulators for a work requirements waiver for the state’s Medicaid program.
“Director [Mick] Mulvaney, tell me about the morality of a budget which supports tax breaks for billionaires, throws 32 million people off of the health insurance they have, resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of fellow Americans,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Meanwhile, the Office of Management and Budget chief caused confusion when he hinted at the same hearing that he wouldn’t vote for President Donald Trump’s budget if he were in Congress.
Monitoring and enforcing the work requirements is a complex problem that officials are trying to wrap their arms around. The state will build a mobile-friendly website to help beneficiaries log their hours. Media outlets report on Medicaid news out of Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, Connecticut and Maryland, as well.
The Trump administration is encouraging states to pursue such requirements, though critics of a work mandate say most adults on Medicaid already work or are too disabled or sick to do so.
Total signups slid by 3.7 percent, which was a much lower drop-off than most experts initially predicted. Meanwhile, states that ran their own exchanges far outperformed those that relied on the federal marketplace.
At least five states — Arizona, Kansas, Utah, Maine and Wisconsin — are seeking waivers from the Trump administration to impose lifetime Medicaid coverage limits. Meanwhile, CMS Administrator Seema Verma calls the work requirements “true compassion.”
The decision comes just weeks after the Trump administration issued guidelines allowing states to impose the first-ever employment-based restrictions in the Medicaid program’s 53-year history. Kentucky was the first state to receive approval for a work mandate. That plan is already under legal challenge.
There are now at least nine states publicly considering their own version of the individual mandate. The movement is part of a bigger trend of some states taking matters into their own hands to shield the health law’s protections as the federal government tries to chip away at it.
A selection of opinions on health care issues from around the country.
Editorial pages offer a variety of views on the pending debate surrounding this Medicaid policy and a range of other health care issues.
While Gov. Matt Bevin (R) is enthusiastic about his proposal to add work requirements to his state’s Medicaid program, residents relying on it are worried. “People need their Medicaid,” says Lakin Branham, who relies on the program to pay for drug counseling every other week. Outlets report on news about the requirements from Alabama, Ohio and Louisiana, as well.
In one of the biggest changes to the Medicaid program in its history, the Trump administration last week announced that it would allow states to seek new requirements from beneficiaries. Kentucky is now the first state to do so, but advocates are already threatening a lawsuit over the new guidelines. Media outlets offer closer looks at Kentucky’s decision, the legal battle that will inevitably follow, who will be affected by the change, the political risk Republicans are taking, and more.