In May 2019, Consumers First released its Call to Action which identified six underlying distortions in the health care system that need immediate policy action. Those six focus areas are:
Medicare Oral Health Coverage for Your State Would Improve Health, Reduce Health Care Costs: Factsheets for all 50 states and DC
These factsheets highlight how seniors and people disabilities in each state would be better able to achieve oral health, overall health, and reduced health care costs and the cost benefits of including oral health coverage in Medicare. Like a key to open a locked door, adding oral health coverage to Medicare would help nearly 60 million seniors and people with disabilities in this country achieve oral health.
Trump Administration Proposal Redefines Poverty to Raise Health Care Costs for Middle-Class Families
For the second time in less than a month, the Trump administration has proposed obscure bureaucratic formula changes that will raise health care costs for 8.2 million people who buy private insurance using federal premium tax credits (PTCs). The latest move changes the definition of inflation that affects the federal poverty level (FPL), which is used to determine eligibility for many need-based programs.
Early experiences matter. They shape a child’s developmental trajectory and lifelong health and wellbeing. All too often children are exposed to adverse experiences such as abuse, living with a parent who suffers from mental illness or struggling with substance abuse, violence-in-their-home-or-community, or other challenging events.
The Trump administration final rule on public charge drastically changes the requirements for certain immigrants to enter the United States and/or become permanent residents. Most immigrants who are either entering the U.S. or applying for lawful permanent residency must show that they are not likely to become a “public charge” – that is, they will not be dependent on the U.S. government for their financial support. The administration’s expansion of public charge to include Medicaid and other health care programs will force families to choice between health care and being together.
Oral health is an important factor to overall health and influences physical and mental well-being. People with mental health conditions and substance use disorders face a number of challenges that make them especially vulnerable to sub-par oral health. This factsheet provides an overview of how oral health and mental health interact, and provides solutions to improving oral care and access to this population.
Broad bipartisan majorities in the Maryland Senate and House, by margins of 46-0 and 119-12, have approved legislation to establish a simple and seamless system for obtaining health coverage. Under the bill, an uninsured Marylander can start the enrollment process by simply checking a box on their state income tax return. That single step will let the state’s health care exchange determine eligibility for free or low-cost health insurance, based on information in the tax return. Those who qualify for Medicaid will be enrolled automatically.
Maryland's Down Payment Plan: Helping People Get Health Insurance and Lowering Families' Health Costs
Both before and especially after President Trump and his congressional allies ended federal enforcement of the ACA’s individual mandate, several states established their own enforcement systems. Maryland’s lawmakers are proposing an innovative “down payment plan” that uses a more enrollment-oriented approach to requiring people with affordable access to health coverage to obtain insurance. Instead of imposing tax penalties on the uninsured, the Maryland proposal helps the uninsured enroll into coverage whenever possible.
States’ experience shows that Medicaid expansion at the enhanced federal match can generate state savings across multiple budget areas. Those savings can be substantial, offsetting most or all of the state’s share of expansion costs. A full analysis the budget impact of expanding Medicaid must include an assessment of those savings.
Due to changes made through recent federal rules issued by the Trump administration, small businesses and self-employed business owners can buy health plans through associations that are exempt from many state and federal regulations. These new rules leave consumers without important protections. For example, Association Health Plans (AHPs) don’t have to cover all of the benefits that other plans sold to individual and small businesses must cover.