The House and Senate have each passed a tax bill and are now coming together in a conference committee to decide on a single bill that can pass each chamber. One thing’s for sure about the bill they will come up with: If passed, it will gut health coverage for millions and set the stage for massive cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act. This tax plan is a health care bill and a way to end the ACA through the backdoor.
Senator Murkowski just endorsed a policy that would repeal the Affordable Care Act coverage for 13 million people. Unfortunately, in addition to causing millions to lose coverage, this policy will make premiums go higher, not lower.
In the 2017 elections, Maine voters took control at the ballot box to expand health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion. The decisive win--with nearly 60 percent of the vote-- shows the popular support for Medicaid expansion in Maine, where the governor has vetoed the state legislature's repeated efforts to expand coverage.
The lesson of the campaign will be shared in the coming year with other states like Utah and Idaho, where ballot initiatives give voters a chance to move Medicaid expansion efforts ahead after years of stalling by conservative policymakers.
Mostly by granting huge tax breaks to the wealthy and large corporations, the new tax bill would increase the federal deficit by more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years.
If a tax bill that explodes the deficit becomes law, it will set the stage for massive cuts to health programs like Medicaid, marketplace financial assistance, and Medicare. Health care consumers and their advocates thus need to pay careful attention to the tax debate.
Learn about the financial assistance the Affordable Care Act provides to protect low-income consumers from spending too much on copayments, deductibles, and other health care expenses.
Known as “cost-sharing reductions,” this assistance is essential to whether people can afford to get health care.
Today’s headlines were about Congress turning its attention to tax reform, but there’s still some critical health care business to take care of. Congress needs to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Community Health Center Fund (CHCF) and do it ASAP, before both lapse on September 30th. The health and health care of millions depend on it.
Getting this done should not be hard. Both the CHIP program and community health centers have enjoyed strong bipartisan support, and with good reason. Both make our health system better.
The cuts amount to a 90 percent reduction for marketplace advertisement funding and a 42 percent reduction in funding for Healthcare.gov. Navigator funding alone is being cut from $62.5 million to $36.8 million!
Congress has left D.C. for the summer without passing legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or cut Medicaid. Leadership and rank-and-file representatives and senators on both sides of the aisle appear to be looking past the repeal fight that has embattled Congress for the past year and looking ahead toward efforts to stabilize the insurance market. Are these overtures of bipartisanship to be believed? Are the ACA and Medicaid finally safe? As always, it’s complicated.
Coming off the Senate failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) last week, President Trump has threatened an immediate cutoff of payments to insurance companies that support the reductions in the amount lower-income people must pay out of their own pockets for their marketplace plans. The president threatened to stop these cost-sharing reduction (“CSR”) payments both personally via Twitter and through multiple administration representatives.
We always believed in our hearts that it would not be possible for Congress to pass repeal—that we could stop these harmful efforts because too many people rely on the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid for it to be so easy to rip coverage away through a sweeping piece of legislation.