Efforts to shift to a value-based health care system create an opportunity to improve the quality of care and health outcomes, save money for consumers and the health care system as a whole, and drive reductions in health disparities. But such positive outcomes from payment and delivery reform efforts are not guaranteed. There are some elements of this proposed rule that can help reduce health disparities, but a real commitment to health equity requires additional steps from CMS.
Health and Health Care in the 2017 State Legislatures: Opportunities, Threats, and What to Expect in 2018
2017 has been an eventful year for health and health care legislation in the states. Despite the challenges critical health programs face at the federal level, states have continued to move forward to pass health and health care bills to the benefit of their residents.
Families USA has reviewed hundreds of bills from all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, to assess the legislative trends of 2017. Advocates, policymakers, and other stakeholders can review these 2017 legislative opportunities, as well as some legislative threats to our goals, to inform plans for the 2018 state legislative sessions.
Connecticut just took an important step toward improving health outcomes for its most vulnerable residents. Earlier this summer, the governor signed a law that lays the foundation for the broader use and support of community health workers (CHWs).
Community health workers play a valuable role in helping people achieve better health. Because they are trusted community members, they are uniquely effective at connecting underserved communities to the health care system and helping people navigate social factors that pose barriers to good health. In doing so, CHWs help to improve health outcomes and narrow health disparities.
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.
Through our new Community Health Worker Sustainability Collaborative, launched with the support of the Kresge Foundation, we will work with CHW organizations, health care and health equity advocates, policy makers, and other stakeholders to promote using Medicaid funds to provide more sustainable support to CHW programs and better integrate them into the health care system.
We know that unleashing the power of CHWs in communities across the country will make a tremendous difference in health and health care, especially in communities of color.
As Republicans in Congress continue their quest to repeal the Affordable Care Act and cut Medicaid for millions, one of our most important roles as health care advocates and activists is to stay motivated and engaged in the fight to save health care. While we all have different ways of doing this, music is a common thread that motivates and connects us together into the larger movement. Every movement has its songs, and we want to hear yours!
In the 2017 elections, Maine voters took control at the ballot box to expand health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion. The decisive win--with nearly 60 percent of the vote-- shows the popular support for Medicaid expansion in Maine, where the governor has vetoed the state legislature's repeated efforts to expand coverage.
The lesson of the campaign will be shared in the coming year with other states like Utah and Idaho, where ballot initiatives give voters a chance to move Medicaid expansion efforts ahead after years of stalling by conservative policymakers.
Congressional proposals to cut and cap Medicaid will put enormous pressure on states to cut services – and will make it nearly impossible for states that now have gaps in their coverage to ever catch up. The struggle to provide oral health care illustrates this problem. Currently, all states must provide oral health care for children, but oral health coverage for adults including seniors and people with disabilities is optional for states.
There wasn’t a dull moment at the 22nd annual Health Action conference. Whether you were in Washington, D.C., sharing in the action with us, or you weren’t able to make it this year, this list includes many of our favorite moments from #HA2017 to help you reminisce or see what you missed.
The Senate Republicans finally released their bill to repeal the ACA. It is now evident why Senate leadership has attempted to withhold details of this bill from the public. This bill would only inflict more harm on people’s access to health care, compared to the House repeal bill that CBO estimated would strip coverage from 23 million people.
The bill would end the Medicaid expansion, allow states to eliminate essential health benefits and minimum coverage requirements, cut financial assistance for private coverage, instituted an age tax on premiums, and more. Our blog dives into each aspect of the bill and explains what it means for coverage.