With a new president and Congress, the health care gains made throughout the last six years face their greatest threat yet. Congress has voted more than 60 times to roll back the historic progress that has been made to expand health coverage to millions of people in this country and to improve coverage for those who already had it. These proposed changes will put the health—and lives—of countless Montanans at risk. Here’s what Montana stands to lose if the new president and Congress move forward to upend our health care system:
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.
While Congress wrestles with budget reconciliation and takes another swipe at the Affordable Care Act, most state lawmakers are back at their day jobs and finished with legislative business for the year. The 2015 sessions produced a few highlights, and some lowlights, for health care advocates. Lawmakers continued to grapple with full implementation of the ACA, but some looked beyond the health care law to move their states toward a health reform 2.0 agenda. Below we note some of the significant work this year in state capitals.
The Supreme Court, in the King v. Burwell case, will soon decide whether millions of people in 34 states will lose premium tax credits they rely on to make health insurance affordable. Without those tax credits, most of the people affected would be unable to buy insurance and would become uninsured.
Our infographic series show how many people would lose their premium tax credits in every congressional district in the 34 states that did not establish their own marketplace.
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.
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.
Top 9 Occupations of Working but Uninsured in Montana Who Would Benefit from Expanding Health Coverage
In Montana, more than 63,000 low-income residents lack access to health insurance. If Montana chooses to accept federal dollars to expand Medicaid, those who would qualify for health coverage are residents with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($27,720 for a family of three in 2015).
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.