Update 9/21: The Senate could vote next week on Graham-Cassidy. Learn what you can do to stop it. The latest Republican repeal and replace plan may be the last, which is why the plan authored by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy is picking up steam despite the threat it poses to state budgets and taxpayers.
Following the failed effort in the Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there are encouraging signs that members on both sides of the aisle are coming together to find bipartisan solutions to the most pressing challenge facing our health care system: stabilizing our health insurance markets amid significant regulatory and political uncertainty.
Bipartisan efforts that set aside ACA repeal and substantial cuts to the Medicaid program are essential to ensuring high quality, affordable health care for all. To successfully address the challenges facing the individual market, a stabilization package needs to focus on reducing uncertainty, holding down premiums, and bolstering enrollment.
As health equity advocates we share a fundamental vision of a nation where every single human being has an equitable chance to enjoy the best health possible, no matter who they are—including where they were born. For us, it is not about being on the left or right of the political spectrum. Equal access to good health is an intrinsically human value.
One of the many must-do items on Congress’s agenda when it returns in September is something that should be easy: extending funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). If Congress doesn’t act to extend CHIP funding, health coverage for 9 million children will be in jeopardy.
What Congress must do to prevent millions of children from losing health coverage is clear: Pass a “clean” funding bill that extends CHIP funding for five years.
A growing number of states are using the waiver process to make fundamental changes to the Medicaid program. Many of these waivers set a dangerous precedent for the Medicaid program and affect the entire country, as other states seek to follow along adding features to their Medicaid programs that hurt the ability of people with low incomes to get the care they need.
We are facing an extraordinary volume of potentially harmful Medicaid waivers that are under review at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). While comment periods seemingly just closed for a slew of states (Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Iowa), two radical Section 1115 adult coverage waivers have now opened for federal comments: Maine and Utah.
Today, an important new phase begins in the seemingly endless debates over U.S. health care. For the first time in many years, a committee of the U.S. Congress – the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, aptly termed the “HELP” Committee—is holding open hearings in a bipartisan quest to find practical solutions that improve Americans’ access to affordable, quality health coverage and care.
Congress is back from summer vacation and has little time to waste on a packed September agenda. Legislative items on its plate this month include: passing a government funding bill and disaster relief; extending funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), community health centers, and other key health programs; addressing the debt ceiling; and pivoting to tax reform.
Additionally, key Republicans and Democrats have promised to come together to address affordability and stability in the marketplace. It’s going to be a very busy month.
The cuts amount to a 90 percent reduction for marketplace advertisement funding and a 42 percent reduction in funding for Healthcare.gov. Navigator funding alone is being cut from $62.5 million to $36.8 million!
When Congress returns to D.C. from August recess, they will dive right into work that presents both opportunities and threats for health care. As a result, September will be a good time for health care advocates and activists to engage with their elected officials to make sure they protect affordable health care.
Oral health is an important part of overall health for everyone – but it can be crucially important to someone who is fighting a serious condition, such as kidney failure, an autoimmune disease, cancer or a heart problem. Unfortunately, Medicare covers almost no dental/oral health care, and imposes ill-considered restrictions on the limited care it will cover.