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.
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.
Montana, the most recent state to extend its Medicaid program to more residents, is wrapping up negotiations with the federal government to determine the logistics of what this alternative expansion program will entail. Like several of the 31 states (including D.C.) that have opted to expand Medicaid, Montana chose to expand its program using an 1115 waiver. These waivers give states increased flexibility when designing their Medicaid programs.
Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released its report on health insurance in the United States in 2014. That report showed that nearly 9 million people gained health insurance in 2014. This is by far the largest single year reduction in the uninsured since the Census began collecting data on insurance status in 1987. Generally, states that expanded Medicaid in 2014 saw the greatest drop in the number of residents without health insurance.
Two recent reports illustrate how residents of Kentucky are benefiting from Medicaid expansion. Not only has the state experienced one of the largest drops in its uninsured rate in the country, it's also seen a substantial increase in Medicaid enrollees’ use of preventive health care.
Last week’s Gallup poll indicates that states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act saw larger decreases in their uninsured rates than states that did not. This coverage means access to care, which includes preventive services that help keep people healthy and health care costs low.
July 30 marks 50 years since President Johnson signed the Social Security Amendments of 1965 into law. Along with Medicare, the law created Medicaid, the joint state and federal health insurance program for low-income people. In the past 50 years, Medicaid has not only helped countless Americans get the health care they need, it has also served as a reliable source of financial support for states.