Legislative sessions during an election year are historically shorter, more budget-oriented and less controversial than other years. But as the Obama administration enters its final year, the Affordable Care Act and the tools it provides for increasing health coverage are on the agenda as state lawmakers return to the capitol this month.
Medicaid is an important source of funding for hospitals and health systems in communities across the country. And a stronger health care system benefits all consumers, not just those with Medicaid coverage.
In horse racing, it is not a good idea to change jockeys when you have a winner. That is why Governor–elect Matt Bevin should not rush into a decision on Kentucky’s winning approach to health coverage. It is not just the economic case that the new governor should consider. Bevin must grapple with the impact an upheaval in the health care system would have on the state’s low-income workers and their families.
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.
On Veterans Day, we pay tribute to the servicemen and women who have sacrificed for our nation. But lawmakers in the 20 states that have refused to expand Medicaid are missing an important opportunity to give back to veterans, nearly 1 in 10 of whom lack health insurance. By expanding Medicaid, these states can help uninsured veterans and their families.
Extending Medicaid benefits low-income adults, their families, the health care system, and state economies. It is important to maintain the current federal Medicaid financing structure to help keep the program strong.
A majority of states are taking advantage of federal funds and expanding their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Several states have done so using Section 1115 waivers to modify aspects of their Medicaid program, like benefits, premiums, and cost-sharing. Our new Medicaid Expansion Waiver Center outlines what’s in state expansion waivers and gives state advocates resources for challenging potential harmful proposals.
Great news out of Georgetown’s Center for Children and Families about how the Affordable Care Act is affecting health insurance for children. Based on analysis of data from 50 states, they found that the rate of children without health insurance has plummeted to a new record low.
As their Executive Director Joan Alker explained in her blog, the new report attributes this historic drop in the rate of uninsured children in large part to the ACA, “which for kids was building on more than a decade of success by Medicaid and CHIP working together.”
The off-year elections in Louisiana, Kentucky, and Virginia aren’t dominating the Twitterverse like the presidential primary debates.
But the outcomes will determine the momentum of the ACA in the region that has been most resistant to expansion.