Last month, Congress and President Obama worked out a budget deal that provides relief from the sequester caps, raises the debt ceiling, and prevents a steep scheduled rise in Medicare Part B premiums and deductibles. Despite this welcome show of bipartisanship, the remainder of this legislative session will likely include continued attempts to undermine the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and funding for Planned Parenthood.
Federal funding for CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) expires in September 2015. At a time when we are expanding health coverage through the Affordable Care Act, we must also ensure that CHIP—which, as of June 2013, provided health coverage to 5.7 million low-income children—continues well beyond next year. If Congress does not extend CHIP in 2015, millions of children will be left without affordable health insurance.
Congressman Paul Ryan released his budget proposal today for Fiscal Year 2015, outlining the funding and policy priorities for House Republicans. As in past years, this budget cuts a large chunk of health care funding, causing irreparable harm to millions of Americans who rely on Medicare, Medicaid, and provisions under the Affordable Care Act to stay healthy.
Congress Should Vote to Make Permanent Two Federal Programs Benefitting Low-Income Families and Individuals
Unless Congress acts quickly, funding for two federal health programs that are critical to low-income families will expire on March 31. Both the Qualified Individual (QI) program and the Transitional Medical Assistance (TMA) program are integral to providing health care to families transitioning from welfare to work and to helping low-income seniors pay their Medicare monthly premiums. Making both programs permanent is the best way to ensure that these small but important programs continue to meet the needs of the individuals who rely on them.
Last month, President Obama and leaders in Congress came to an agreement that temporarily avoided the fiscal cliff without major cuts to health care programs. It was a huge victory, but unfortunately it’s just a temporary one.
In just a few short weeks, Republicans in Congress will release their proposed budget, and they’ve been clear on what it will contain: tax breaks for giant corporations and major cuts to health care programs like Medicaid.
For many of us, the budget battles seem to be endless and without progress, yet advocates for Medicaid should know that their voices are being heard. The clearest sign yet came from White House economic policy adviser Gene Sperling’s speech at Health Action 2013.
Buried deep in the fiscal cliff deal passed last week was a big win for low-income kids. With the change of one number, Congress made it easier for tens of thousands of kids to get and keep health coverage.
How did they do it? They extended for another year the option for states to use Express Lane Eligibility to enroll kids in coverage.
On Tuesday, Congress passed a deal to avert the “fiscal cliff.” It passed both the Senate and the House with large majorities. The deal did not cut Medicaid or Medicare benefits.
Explains that cutting health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid will not only hurt seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income families, but it would also negatively affect the economy.
This is the seventh in Budget Diagnosis, a series on the coming major decisions in Congress that could affect your health care. This series explains, simply, what advocates need to know, features special guests writing about different groups and populations that will be especially vulnerable, and provides you with updates from D.C. This post is a guest blog by Joan Alker from Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. Check out our first six posts here.