This blog’s readers know that President Trump’s termination of federal cost-sharing-reduction (CSR) payments in late 2017 had unexpected effects. Intended as a deadly blow to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) health insurance exchanges, the step instead provided increased financial assistance to many low- and moderate-income families. This yielded coverage gains that offset losses triggered by other administration policies.
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.
In the past several weeks we have seen different types of abortion bans moving through state legislatures, and in some cases getting signed by governors into law. It is important to note that none of these bans have taken effect; abortion is still legal in all fifty states. But these bills point to a troubling trend in reproductive rights. The national conversation on abortion access seems to have swung wildly in the direction of the anti-choice movement.
In 2014, Catherine Horine developed a persistent cough that would not go away. Within three months of first seeking treatment for the cough, even though her doctors had been unable to find a cause for her cough, they told her she would not live to see the end of the year without a lung transplant. At that time, Catherine was diagnosed with idiopathic bronchiolitis obliterans, a rare and irreversible disease that is extremely difficult to diagnose because its symptoms mimic chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The condition causes inflammation and blocks airways in the lungs.