The Affordable Care Act (ACA) improved insurance affordability and access for all Americans, including those eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, and private coverage offered through the health insurance marketplace. It strengthened Medicare in many ways — by closing the Part D prescription drug doughnut hole, offering free preventive services, and extending the life of the Medicare trust fund. However, the ACA’s improvements to Medicaid and private market insurance highlight longstanding shortfalls in programs that assist low-income Medicare beneficiaries with their health care costs.
Last week, Rep. Lucile Roybal-Allard, chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s health task force, introduced the Health Equity and Accountability Act (HEAA) of 2014. This legislation is the latest effort by the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and Congressional Asian and Pacific Islander Caucus to enact a comprehensive plan to eliminate the health disparities that plague communities of color and other groups. In every legislative session since 2003, lawmakers have introduced similar bills seeking to improve health outcomes for minority groups.
Top 9 Occupations of the Employed but Uninsured in Indiana Who Would Benefit from Expanding Medicaid
In Indiana, more than 390,000 low-income residents lack access to health insurance. If Indiana chooses to accept federal dollars to close this gap in health coverage, the state stands to gain not only better health outcomes, but also new job creation and increased economic growth. Those who would most benefit from expanding Medicaid are working adults with incomes of up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($27,310 for a family of three in 2014). Nearly 59 percent of this population is employed but uninsured.
A recent, high-profile hospital acquisition in Massachusetts has sparked new debate about the continued trend toward consolidation among U.S. hospitals. Boston-based Partners HealthCare, already the largest health provider system in the state, made a bid earlier this year to acquire South Shore Hospital and its affiliated physician groups. An analysis of the proposed acquisition by the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission found that the merger could result in reduced market competition in the affected areas, leading to an increase in hospital charges of an estimated $23-26 million.
Consumers, employers, and policymakers all need greater transparency in health care pricing. Learn what federal and state policymakers can do to improve access to health care price information.
Top 9 Occupations of Working, but Uninsured, Pennsylvanians Who Would Benefit from Expanding Medicaid
More than half of the uninsured Pennsylvanians who could benefit if the state expanded health coverage are working adults.
More than half of the uninsured Alabamians who could benefit if the state expanded health coverage are working adults.
Today, July 30, we celebrate the 49th anniversary of one of the federal government’s most critical social insurance programs: Medicare. As the primary source of health coverage for 41 million older adults and 9 million people with disabilities, Medicare makes a huge difference in people’s lives and well-being. For the vast majority of beneficiaries, Medicare works well, and consumers are very satisfied with the health care they receive. But there is always room for improvement: Making it easier for low-income people to afford their out-of-pocket health care costs would make a good program even better.
Learn about the top 9 occupations of the 551,000 working—but uninsured—adults in Florida who would gain insurance if the state expanded health coverage.
Last week, Paul Ryan—House Budget Chairman and the likely incoming chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee—released a plan proposing the broad reform and streamlining of the nation’s safety net programs for the poor. Tellingly, the plan (an outline that is reportedly intended to portray a softer side of conservatism) sidesteps the budget proposals put forth by Ryan over the past four years that have actually been voted on and passed by the Republican-led House.