October 31, 2017

The House CHIP Bill Includes Harmful, Partisan Funding Mechanisms

Andrea Callow

Associate Director of Medicaid Initiatives

Stan Dorn

Director of the National Center for Coverage Innovation and Senior Fellow, Families USA

While Democrats and Republicans agree that funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) should be extended for five years, the House Republicans recently released a partisan proposal that would rely on harmful policy changes to finance CHIP and community health centers. 

A month past the deadline to renew expiring CHIP funding, Congress still has not come together to advance a bipartisan bill that continues more than 9 million children's health coverage. For October, states and the federal government patched together enough funding to keep the program afloat. Beginning in November, however, a growing number of states will start sending families notices that their children are losing or being denied CHIP, despite qualifying for coverage. 

October 27, 2017

CBO Gives Congress One More Reason to Support Alexander-Murray Bill

Stan Dorn

Director of the National Center for Coverage Innovation and Senior Fellow, Families USA

A bipartisan bill that seeks to stabilize health insurance markets got some welcome news from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) this week. 

Sponsored by Senators Alexander (R-TN), Murray (D-WA), and 22 other Senators evenly divided between parties, the legislation would guarantee promised federal payments to insurers of cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) furnished to low-wage, working families. It would also fund outreach and enrollment efforts while making other changes to current law. On October 25, CBO found that such changes would save the federal government $3.8 billion over 10 years. 

October 24, 2017

Maine's Ballot Initiative to Expand Medicaid

Sophia Tripoli

State Campaigns Manager

A critical test of the popularity of the Affordable Care Act will take place in less than three weeks. On Nov. 7, voters in Maine will cast a vote on Question 2, a ballot initiative to expand Medicaid.

The election will determine whether efforts to expand access to health care that have been stymied by the state’s governor can be won at the ballot box.

October 13, 2017

Ending Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments Will Wreak Havoc on Families

Yesterday, President Trump and Acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan announced the “immediate” end of payments to fund cost-sharing reductions (CSRs). Coming three weeks before open enrollment, this is the most malicious and harmful attack yet by the Trump Administration on the Affordable Care Act. It will wreak extreme havoc on health care for America’s families. CSR payments cover insurers’ cost of lowering deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for almost 6 million marketplace enrollees in low-wage, working families.

October 12, 2017

President Trump’s Executive Order Another Act of ACA Sabotage

Stan Dorn

Director of the National Center for Coverage Innovation and Senior Fellow, Families USA

President Trump’s Executive Order accomplishes nothing on its own. However, it asks HHS and the Department of Labor to take the Trump Administration’s ACA sabotage campaign to new heights. With less than three weeks to go before open enrollment begins, the administration is sowing confusion among consumers.

February 7, 2018

Six Reasons Work Requirements Are a Bad Idea for Medicaid

Andrea Callow

Associate Director of Medicaid Initiatives

The Trump administration has begun to allow states to include work requirements in their Medicaid programs through waivers. Work requirements don’t help better deliver care to people with Medicaid coverage, and are impermissible under Medicaid law.

As a matter of policy, work requirements won’t help unemployed low-income people find and keep jobs. 

October 6, 2017

Another Hidden ACA Attack in Congress

Stan Dorn

Director of the National Center for Coverage Innovation and Senior Fellow, Families USA

After a decade of fruitlessly besieging the city of Troy, the Greeks seemed to sail away for home, leaving behind a gift. “What lovely sculpture,” exclaimed the Trojans. “The Greeks may return, but for now, they have obviously stepped aside from battle. Just look at this beautiful wooden horse!” Troy soon learned to its sorrow that Greek warriors were hiding in the belly of the beast. The gift acclaimed as a sign of peace turned out to be a vehicle for waging further war.

August 23, 2017

How MACRA Can Reduce Health Disparities

Efforts to shift to a value-based health care system create an opportunity to improve the quality of care and health outcomes, save money for consumers and the health care system as a whole, and drive reductions in health disparities. But such positive outcomes from payment and delivery reform efforts are not guaranteed. There are some elements of this proposed rule that can help reduce health disparities, but a real commitment to health equity requires additional steps from CMS.

September 28, 2017

With Graham-Cassidy Withdrawn, What's Next for Health Care?

Stan Dorn

Director of the National Center for Coverage Innovation and Senior Fellow, Families USA

Jane Sheehan

Senior Federal Relations Manager

At least for the next few months, Congress has shelved its attempts to take health insurance away from tens of millions of people through severe and partisan cuts to the ACA and Medicaid. This extraordinary result is a tribute to consumers and advocates who raised their voices all across the country, in phone calls to Senate and House offices, town-hall meetings, letters to the editor, rallies, and more. 

This accomplishment is worth celebrating, but the fight continues. Vital health care priorities are currently up for grabs, in five main areas.

September 27, 2017

Urgent Health Care Business for Congress: CHIP and Community Health Centers

Today’s headlines were about Congress turning its attention to tax reform, but there’s still some critical health care business to take care of. Congress needs to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Community Health Center Fund (CHCF) and do it ASAP, before both lapse on September 30th. The health and health care of millions depend on it.

Getting this done should not be hard. Both the CHIP program and community health centers have enjoyed strong bipartisan support, and with good reason.  Both make our health system better.

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