On November 6th, we saw a “Health Care Wave” sweep across the country altering the balance of power in Washington and across state capitols across the country. Exit polls revealed what we long suspected: health care was one of the most important issues on the minds of voters, and in particular people who voted for Democrats. Democrats, who needed 23 additional seats to retake the House of Representatives, have gained are on track to gain at least 35 seats.
The fate of Medicaid expansion in Nebraska, Idaho, Utah, and Montana lies in the hands of voters with less than two weeks left until Election Day. Advocates, volunteers, and grassroots organizers have put it all on the line to help their friends and neighbors to have a voice in the debate about the benefits of expanding health care coverage.
As the 2018 elections approach, now is the time for people to speak out to candidates about the kind of health care system they want, and to hold candidates accountable for delivering on it. Whether at a town hall, in the media, or one-on-one, voters can hold candidates for federal, state, and local offices accountable for working to protect health care, instead of tearing it down.
Health care is a top-of-mind issue for voters. In 2017, people across the country feared losing their health care due to tumultuous efforts by Republicans in Congress to repeal insurance.
Hispanic Heritage Month provides us an opportunity to recognize and lift up the achievements and contributions of the 57.5 million Latinos living in the United States. At the same time, it’s important that we all understand the challenges that Latinos face so we can work together to address them, because their well-being and success are inextricably linked to the well-being, success, and future prosperity of the United States as a whole.
Millions of seniors and people with disabilities rely on Medicare for their health care, but it does not cover their oral health care. Even if someone needs dental care in order to have a medical procedure—like a kidney transplant patient who needs an oral infection treated to begin surgery -- Medicare won’t cover the oral health care. Luckily, coverage of “medically necessary” dental care could be added to Medicare through CMS’s administrative authority fairly easily without any need for legislation.
Summer isn’t over, but the comment periods for three critical state Medicaid proposals will end before Labor Day. Each of the proposals will mean more red tape and frustrations for families seeking health care in Alabama, New Hampshire, and Oklahoma.
This week, as part of the Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition (CALC), Families USA and other coalition members submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expressing concern with the proposed rule, “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science,” which would limit the use of critical research in EPA decision-making. We believe this rule would have the effect of erecting barriers to science-based decisions in the regulatory process, and could remove consideration of public health studies that might otherwise improve health outcomes of children with asthma.
Bob Berenson, Visiting Scholar and Senior Advisor for Value Initiatives at Families USA, and Alan Lazaroff, American Geriatrics Society, explain in this Health Affairs blog that The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ proposed rule that makes changes to the Medicare physician fee schedule would worsen payment incentives for clinicians, compromising the quality of care and increasing costs for seniors.