We know how the House Republican bill could affect people who get insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace and Medicaid. But what has been overlooked is how the bill, known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA), could affect the coverage people get through their jobs. In other words: The Republican bill could make everybody’s coverage worse.
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.
Recent actions by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) represent an encouraging recognition–by one of the biggest payers of health care in the nation—that one-size-fits all payment reforms do not benefit everyone equally.
And they raise the question of whether some of these pay-for-performance programs should be adjusted to better address racial and ethnic health disparities.
Black History Month inspires us to celebrate the rich history, achievements, and contributions of African Americans in our nation, as well as the hard work that remains to dismantle racism and achieve true racial equality. We agree with Dr. King that fighting injustice in health care is an urgent civil rights issue central to achieving our shared dream of peace, prosperity, and equality for our children. But it is clear that a focus on health care alone will not achieve health equity for African Americans.
In early January, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation announced its first program focused on addressing a patient’s social needs. This 5-year, $157 million pilot program, called Accountable Health Communities, will try to bridge the gap between clinical and social services, testing whether addressing these needs can improve health, lower costs, and improve quality for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.
If the Supreme Court sides with the plaintiffs who brought the case, an estimated 6.4 million moderate-income people would lose premium tax credits. Without these subsidies, many people will simply be unable to afford to purchase health insurance.
The activity around payment and system reform creates an opportunity to develop interventions that directly address racial and ethnic health disparities. However, some reforms could inadvertently make disparities worse. For example, they could discourage providers from treating sicker, more complex patients, or undermine the financial viability of struggling safety net providers.
Fortunately, some communities are implementing delivery system reforms that reduce health disparities and bend the cost curve. The effective models we describe in this blog series share several features in common.
Across the country, there is tremendous momentum to change how health care is delivered and paid for in order to improve quality and to curb costs. These initiatives to transform the health system have the potential to improve care for everyone, and could directly address health disparities. Advocates must actively engage in these reform efforts—both to protect communities of color from harm and to take maximum advantage of opportunities to transform health care delivery to better serve people of color.
One of the most significant and popular features of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the new protection that puts an end to insurance company discrimination against people with pre-existing health conditions. This important ACA protection depends on two other provisions that keep coverage affordable: premium subsidies and the coverage mandate.
This blog is part of a weekly series—one that analyzes the political, legal, and social issues and ramifications of King v. Burwell, a lawsuit before the Supreme Court that threatens to undermine the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The case challenges the government’s provision of tax credits to help consumers buy health insurance in states where the federal government runs the marketplace. Learn about what’s at stake in King v. Burwell.