State lawmakers kept returning to the topic of 1332 waivers during the annual Legislative Summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures in Seattle last week. No fewer than four of the NCSL Health and Human Services sessions touched on the state innovation waiver options that will become available in 2017. But while the 1332 waivers were a hot topic, it does not appear legislators are looking to embrace big changes anytime soon.
This month, Minnesota will be the first state to submit its blueprint for a Basic Health program to the federal government for approval. This is the final blog in our series encouraging states to consider Basic Health as a strategy for providing health coverage to low-income residents.
Here, state advocates share the main factors that contributed to their success in moving Basic Health forward in Minnesota and New York.
There is a growing childhood epidemic in this country: Tooth decay is now the most common chronic illness among children. The effects of this epidemic are wide-ranging. Children lose 51 million school hours each year due to dental-related illness. And a study in southern California found that untreated dental disease may also interfere with children’s ability to learn: The study found that children with reported tooth pain were four times more likely than their peers to have lower than average grades.
The Affordable Care Act did a lot to help uninsured consumers get health coverage, but it did not entirely resolve the very real problems with insurance affordability for low- and moderate-income consumers. These consumers often struggle to meet other living costs and, even once they have health insurance, may not be able to get the health care they need because they have trouble paying for costs associated with their premiums, office visits, and other types of health care.
In most states, the health care sector is among the industry sectors with the largest employment. Health care jobs tend to pay more than a state’s median wages, and growth in this sector can have a positive economic effect on other areas of a state’s economy. Many organizations, ours included, have written about the effects of Medicaid expansion on a state’s economy. Recently, Missouri (a state that has not yet expanded Medicaid) compared its employment growth in the health care sector to that of select Medicaid expansion states.
We recently asked you, the members of the Stand Up for Health Care community, to let us know how health reform will affect your lives. The response was overwhelming. And while opponents of reform are relying on tired old rhetoric, we’ve collected stories from people like you whose lives will be better thanks to health reform.
Jean from Minnesota told us,