This advocacy agenda offers options for improving health and health care at the state level during the 2019 session. It includes state policy options to consider in 2019 regarding private insurance coverage, Medicaid, oral health coverage, health equity, prescription drugs, surprise medical bills, and health care value.
Throughout our nation’s long and complicated history, the experiences and achievements of past generations of African Americans have formed an indelible part of the tapestry of American life. Their threads are the traditions we embrace during Black History Month. From the life-saving pediatric innovations pioneered at Johns Hopkins by Dr. Vivien Thomas, to the groundbreaking research of Dr.
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.
Late last year, the Trump administration released a proposed rule as part of its efforts to lower prescription drug prices that, if finalized, could have a significant impact on Medicare beneficiaries’ ability to access certain drugs under Medicare Part D. Medicare Part D, which covers prescriptions drugs beneficiaries pick up at pharmacies, is administered by private Part D plans. Much like commercial health insurance plans, these Part D plans use formularies to establish which drugs are covered and at what level of beneficiary-cost sharing.
High and rising prescription drug prices force consumers to skip doses or even avoid filling their prescriptions for life-saving medications altogether. Now is the perfect time for Congress to finally begin to take action by passing the bipartisan CREATES Act.
The Utah Senate approved a bill this week that would repeal and replace the voter-approved Medicaid expansion ballot initiative, Proposition 3, which passed with 54 percent of the vote in Utah’s election this past November. Proposition 3, if implemented, is poised to bring health care coverage to over 150,000 Utahns with annual incomes below $17,236 for an individual and $29,435 for a families of three.
Despite the Affordable Care Act’s major improvements to the country’s health insurance system, health care costs remain unaffordable for many families. Much attention has focused on the problems of people with incomes too high for federal financial assistance, but comparable or greater problems affect low-wage workers and moderate-income families.
NOTE: This blog was orginally published in Health Affairs on January 24, 2019.
Chief Executive Officer of Asian Health Services (AHS)
For more than 40 years, Sherry M. Hirota has championed underserved communities and has made an impact fighting for health care as a right, not a privilege. As a leader of movements to expand health access, educate and advocate for linguistic and cultural competency, and lift the voice of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Sherry has created positive change locally, regionally, in California, and throughout the nation.