Many state legislatures are passing the midpoint for 2018 sessions, and trends are emerging in their efforts to tackle health care affordability and coverage. States are also reacting to federal activity around Medicaid and private market coverage including the repeal of the individual mandate. Below are some of the noteworthy state health legislative measures already moving this year.
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.
In communities of color, where rates of uninsurance and poor health outcomes are higher than in white communities, the differences between those who have insurance and those who lack it are stark.
This infographic shows the populations—uninsured adults, parents with dependent children, working but uninsured adults, and uninsured veterans and their spouses—that would benefit from extending Medicaid.
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.
We’ve examined data from 22 states showing that working adults make up the majority of those who could benefit if states expanded Medicaid. View our new infographic and issue brief about the top occupations of the working but uninsured residents in Idaho.
With the 2014 elections behind them, governors and other lawmakers in the nation’s Western states are taking a hard look at expanding Medicaid. In the nation’s largest state, Alaska, the new governor may soon expand Medicaid to more than 40,000 low-income Alaskans. Independent Governor William Walker, a former Republican who upset incumbent Sean Parnell in the November election, took office on December 1. During his campaign, Walker promised to expand Medicaid.
Nearly every day, you encounter hardworking people engaged in a job that you rely on—a daycare aide who cares for your child, a cashier who rings up your coffee, or a carpenter working in your neighborhood. But if you live in a state that hasn’t expanded Medicaid, there is a good chance that many of these people—even though they are employed—do not have health insurance.
We recently examined data from the 24 states that have not expanded Medicaid to determine how many of those residents who could benefit from expanded health coverage are working—and which types of jobs they hold.
Top 9 Occupations of the Employed but Uninsured in Utah Who Would Benefit from Expanding Health Coverage
Those who would most benefit from expanding health coverage in Utah are working individuals and families with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($27,310 for a family of three in 2014). Sixty-six percent of this population is employed but uninsured. Our infographic shows the top nine jobs and occupations held by these uninsured residents of Utah.
In 2013, we reached out to many states that were actively engaged in the Medicaid expansion debate. These states faced an important decision: whether or not to accept federal dollars to provide health coverage to their uninsured residents through Medicaid.