After the 2014 elections, the predictions for Medicaid expansion were full of doom and gloom. But as lawmakers begin to close out their sessions in 2015, there are signs of progress and hope that opposition to Medicaid expansion is eroding. Montana offers the most recent case for optimism, this week becoming the 30th state (including D.C.) to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
Last night, the Senate voted to approve a bill extending funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 passed by a 92-8 vote, after the House passed it in a show of overwhelming bipartisanship last month. President Obama is expected to sign this bipartisan legislation into law.
After expanding Medicaid, eight states (Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and West Virginia) are expected to achieve budgetary savings and revenue gains exceeding $1.8 billion by the end of 2015, according to a report published yesterday. And that’s even though these states are fairly early into their Medicaid expansion.
America is on the cusp of becoming a nation with two health care systems. This sharp division is the result of continued resistance to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and it does greatest harm to residents where the resistance is greatest.
Two current developments are animating this division: One relates to state decisions about expanding Medicaid, and the other is the potential outcome of the Supreme Court case, King v. Burwell, which was brought by ACA opponents and was argued on March 4.
Twenty-two states have chosen not to extend Medicaid coverage, leaving hundreds of thousands of their residents in the health coverage gap. These people—who do not qualify for Medicaid in their state, but cannot afford private insurance or marketplace coverage—are left without any option for affordable health insurance. Who are they?
New research suggests that the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act is linked to better diagnosis of one of America’s most lethal and costly diseases: diabetes. In a study published last week by Diabetes Care: The Journal of the American Diabetes Association, researchers from the medical testing company Quest Diagnostics and Tulane University found a dramatic increase in the number of Medicaid patients with newly diagnosed diabetes in states that expanded Medicaid.
States that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act are seeing major budget savings, according to reports released in the past month. These budget savings coupled with new data linking Medicaid expansion to job growth in the health care sector add to the reasons why the program makes good sense for states.
Republicans swept the governor’s races last November, dashing hopes that those who opposed Medicaid expansion would be replaced in 2015. Instead, Republican governors put their alternative proposals on statehouse agendas in the South and the West, pitting them against GOP lawmakers. Some legislative sessions will be wrapping up this month and those Medicaid expansion proposals are generating some political battles, as you’ll see below.
One of the most significant and popular features of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the new protection that puts an end to insurance company discrimination against people with pre-existing health conditions. This important ACA protection depends on two other provisions that keep coverage affordable: premium subsidies and the coverage mandate.
Earlier today, Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Bob Casey (D-PA) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) along with Representatives Gene Green (D-TX) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ) introduced legislation to extend funding for the highly successful Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for four years. These bills do not add any new bells or whistles to the program; they simply extend funding to ensure that children do not lose coverage. Congress must pass this legislation quickly to ensure that states can plan their budgets appropriately and avoid disruptions or confusion for families relying on CHIP for their children’s health insurance.