June brought us some encouraging highs and devastating lows in the world of health justice. This month, we remember the lives cut short in the Orlando shooting, who were mostly young LGBTQ people of color, and reflect on the health equity dimensions of the attack. On the positive side, we also have some progress to celebrate.
Beginning July 1, Louisiana will provide health coverage to more than 225,900 low-income adults after only one month of enrolling people in the state’s new Healthy Louisiana program. It is a remarkable success for the first state in the Deep South to embrace Medicaid expansion.
Section 1332 waivers can go into effect as early as January 2017, and advocates around the country have been watching to see what reforms states will propose. So far, two states—Vermont and Hawaii—have submitted proposals to the federal government that are now under review. Once HHS and Treasury deem the state’s application complete, they will post the applications for public comment. Here is the roundup of what states are requesting.
The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) is the biggest change to how Medicare pays for services in decades. It will accelerate the movement towards value-based payments—where what health care providers get paid depends, at least partially, on the quality of care they provide, not just the volume of services. On June 27, Families USA submitted comments about how the law will be implemented.
Since he was elected in November, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin has been threatening to recast a successful health care program to fit his political ideology. This week his administration released their proposal for a section 1115 waiver to make changes to its Medicaid expansion program. Many of the proposed changes are likely to harm the hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians who have coverage under the program.