Beginning in 2017, the Affordable Care Act permits states to apply for waivers to begin experimenting with strategies to provide residents with access to high-quality, affordable health insurance. Known as 1332 state innovation waivers, these waivers can be an important vehicle for the next round of state improvements in health care.
In 2018, Utah voters passed a ballot initiative to fully expand Medicaid. However, the Utah legislature overrode the initiative in 2019. The legislation limited Medicaid expansion as envisioned by the voters, but did provide a path to full expansion if a series of state proposals fail to receive CMS approval. In April 2019, “partially expanded” Medicaid based on the state legislature’s claim that the measure would save Utah money. However, this short analysis highlights that every month that Utah does not fully expand Medicaid, it costs the state $6.6 million.
The Utah Department of Medicaid released its much-anticipated proposal for a Section 1115 Medicaid waiver seeking a “per capita cap” – or a limit on federal spending – on major portions of its Medicaid program. If approved by the Trump administration, it would set a new precedent that could have catastrophic effects for state budgets and Medicaid programs in the future.
Under the Guise of “Health Insurance Stabilization,” Congress Should Not Axe Financial Help for Low-Wage Families
In negotiations over stabilizing the individual health insurance market, lawmakers are considering slashing federal health care assistance for low- and moderate-income consumers by more than $27 billion a year.
There are countless sobering findings in the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) assessment of the House GOP repeal bill, most importantly that the bill would lead to 24 million people losing health insurance.
The Administration’s proposed budget is in part a return to policies that Americans have overwhelmingly rejected. It proposes to gut core insurance protections, end the expansion of Medicaid to low income adults, and block grant the Medicaid program, cuts amounting to over a trillion dollars over ten years. But the budget also signals new and deeply concerning policy changes including mandatory new work documentation requirements in Medicaid, and increasing the cost of health insurance premiums for low income people in the non-group market.
After candidate and then President Trump repeatedly promised to slash prescription drug prices, the May 11 announcement of administration drug policy was a significant missed opportunity.
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.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has proposed a new rule to severely weaken the Affordable Care Act’s prohibitions against discrimination in health care, and to erase references to protections against discrimination by health care programs on the basis of gender identity or sex stereotype in regulations. These protections are provided under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act and its regulations.