During the final months leading up to the passage of health reform, it seemed you couldn’t read a newspaper without seeing a headline about another insurance company attempting to impose enormous rate hikes on its customers in the individual market.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, people with Medicare saved $2.1 billion on prescription drugs in 2011.
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.
In 1966, Lyndon Johnson was president. The Beatles were at the top of the charts. The Civil Rights Movement marched on, and the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War deepened.
The country was different then. The population was smaller and, on average, younger. Life expectancy was seven years shorter. And if you were old, you were more likely to be poor. Health care was less expensive, but many of today's most beneficial treatments, surgeries, and prescription drugs for a variety of diseases had not yet been developed.
The last few years have been difficult for families across America. Many have lost their jobs, their homes, and their health insurance. According to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 59 million Americans interviewed between January and March 2010 went without health coverage at some point in the previous year. This staggering figure is made up of people of all ages, the healthy and the sick, and people with both low and middle incomes.
What's the big deal about September 23? Well, it's the day that the dependent coverage provision - young adults being able to stay on their parent's insurance until age 26 - becomes law. It's the day that approximately 2 million young Americans will gain the security and peace of mind that comes with getting covered.
The Kaiser Family Foundation and the Urban Institute just published a study re-examining the impact that the 2012 Republican budget plan would have on state Medicaid programs. This is the budget plan developed and championed by Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan. The plan—voted for by all House Republicans—calls for ending Medicare as we know it, making deep cuts in federal support for Medicaid, and turning Medicaid into a block grant program.
You may remember when Federal Judge Roger Vinson ruled that the entire health care law was unconstitutional earlier this year. His logic went something like this: Because he found the individual responsibility provision unconstitutional (apparently, because he thought health insurance is not interstate commerce), then the entire law must be thrown out. Experts across the ideological spectrum agreed that Judge Vinson was severely overreaching. After the ruling, the Obama Administration appealed Judge Vinson’s decision. And now, we enter round two.
Recently, despite initial opposition, significant pressure from political interest groups, and the daunting task of getting support from the required 75 percent of legislators, the Arkansas legislature voted “yes” on the Medicaid expansion. This victory was made possible by an effective advocacy campaign that mobilized the people of Arkansas to call upon their elected leaders to do the right thing—an ideal strategy in a state where the motto is, “The People Rule.”
It is often unreliable to assume predictions about Supreme Court case outcomes will be accurate. An obvious example occurred in the 2012 NFIB v. Sebelius lawsuit – the case challenging the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) constitutionality. While the Court held that the overall ACA was constitutional, it, quite surprisingly, ruled that the Medicaid expansion mandate was not. Neither legal scholars nor those of us who heard the oral arguments predicted that outcome.