The Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual-coverage requirement—often called the "individual mandate"—makes it possible to ban health insurance companies from discriminating against people with preexisting conditions while keeping insurance markets stable and functional.
The latest version of the partisan tax bill that Republican leadership is working to rush through Congress presents new dangers to health care and health insurance for millions of families in America.
To finance $338 billion in tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations, President Trump’s allies in the Senate have just proposed to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual coverage requirement.
Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed its bill to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a vitally important program that provides health insurance to 9 million children nationwide. Now the Senate takes up CHIP funding.
Senators need to hear from advocates and from governors. Advocates should let their senators know that they want a five-year CHIP funding bill as soon as possible and one that doesn’t pay for CHIP by cutting coverage or increasing the numbers of uninsured. Advocates should push their governors to contact Senators with the same message. Now.
Health and Health Care in the 2017 State Legislatures: Opportunities, Threats, and What to Expect in 2018
2017 has been an eventful year for health and health care legislation in the states. Despite the challenges critical health programs face at the federal level, states have continued to move forward to pass health and health care bills to the benefit of their residents.
Families USA has reviewed hundreds of bills from all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, to assess the legislative trends of 2017. Advocates, policymakers, and other stakeholders can review these 2017 legislative opportunities, as well as some legislative threats to our goals, to inform plans for the 2018 state legislative sessions.
This year, several states passed budgets that expand oral health coverage for adults in Medicaid. Expanding this coverage goes a long way to improving overall health, making oral health care more accessible and affordable, and reducing unnecessary emergency room costs to both states and individuals. Now that state advocates and policy makers are planning for 2018 budgets, it is important to learn from the progress that was made, where these policies fell short, and consider how threats to oral health could also arise in state budget processes.
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.
Today, in a speech to the National Association of Medicaid Directors, CMS Administrator Seema Verma announced that the Trump Administration is approving Medicaid waivers that impose work requirements on adults. These requirements are a deplorable break with decades of Medicaid policy, a threat to the one in five Americans who depend on the Medicaid program, and an abuse of the Medicaid waiver authority. This decision is wrong both on legal and policy grounds.
On Veterans Day, we honor the servicemen and servicewomen who have sacrificed for our country. A critical way lawmakers can do right by veterans is to ensure they have comprehensive health coverage.
There is a common misconception that all vets are covered under the Veterans Administration (VA) health plan, but only 40 percent of all veterans were enrolled in the VA in 2014. Millions of veterans—1 in 10—use Medicaid to either supplement VA coverage, or as their only source of health insurance.
While Congress delays extending CHIP funding, states are grappling with what they might do if the money doesn’t come soon. Utah announced that it would restrict eligibility benefits, while Minnesota sought to use unspent funds from other programs. In the coming weeks, more and more states will begin to announce what they will do.
Lost in the reporting about the political negotiations over CHIP is the impact this funding delay could have on the 9 million children on CHIP and their families.
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.