Those hottest days of summer have arrived, which means that it's finally the season of congressional recess. The House began its August recess this week and will return to Washington on September 4th. The Senate is taking a truncated August recess this year, coming home the week of August 6-10th. It will be in session for the remainder of the month.
As advocates engage with congressional candidates in the months leading up to the election in November, we urge them to ask candidates these six questions on their commitment to protecting consumers’ access to health care.
Most everybody remembers the dramatic middle of the night vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act on July 28 of last year, punctuated by Senator John McCain’s thumbs-down on the Senate floor. A focus only on that much-televised vote overlooks the significance of what actually happened in last summer’s failed effort by President Trump and his Republican allies to repeal the health law. The vote on July 28 was actually the third and least substantive of three bills repealing the ACA to lose in the Senate last year.
The first and more telling vote took place one year ago today, on July 25. The key vote involved the final version of the detailed bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, known as the “Better Care Reconciliation Act” or BCRA.
Last week, the Trump administration announced a second round of drug pricing proposals that, while relatively modest on their own, take important steps toward future reforms that could significantly reduce prices now burdening both consumers and the overall health care system.
There has been an important and ongoing effort over the past decade to address the manifest failures of our health care system by changing payment and provider organization to reward value and not volume. But transformation efforts largely ignore one of our system’s most fundamental problems: persistent, extensive, severe, and costly health and health care inequities based on race, ethnicity, and geography, among other factors.
The 2018 elections provide a chance to bring oral health issues to the forefront of policymaker and public discussions—an important opportunity for an issue that is often forgotten, left behind, or misunderstood. Numerous seats are up for election this year including full U.S. House of Representatives, a third of the U.S. Senate, 36 governorships and many seats in state and local governments.
The Trump administration’s zero-
59 million seniors and people with disabilities rely on Medicare for their health care, but it doesn’t cover part of the body that causes all kinds of health problems—the mouth. Families USA has worked with a diverse group of consumer and industry leaders to produce this white paper, An Oral Health Benefit in Medicare Part B: It’s Time to Include Oral Health in Health Care.
Medicare doesn’t cover one part of the body that causes many health problems—the mouth. Two-thirds of the seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare do not have any oral health coverage and their health is worse for it. Millions of people could live healthier, happier lives if oral health coverage is added to Medicare.
Many factors could prevent numerous communities from fully participating in the 2020 Census. These factors include underfunded Census outreach, a proposed Census question asking about citizenship, and broader policy changes that could increase immigrants’ fears about responding to the Census. Without vigorous action to prevent a significant undercount, states will suffer major cuts to federal health care funding, with grim results for health care and other critical state services.