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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Graham-Cassidy bill would return us to the days when people with preexisting conditions could be denied essential benefits or charged so much that insurance would be out of reach. States would see major funding cuts and be forced to make impossible decisions, choosing which residents lose benefits or health insurance altogether.
The bill slashes both the ACA’s coverage expansion and basic Medicaid for seniors, people with disabilities, and children. Millions of middle-class families would lose the security of knowing that, whatever happens to their job, they will still have access to high-quality, affordable health coverage. The damage wrought by this radical plan would be widespread and significant.
Update 9/21: The Senate could vote next week on Graham-Cassidy. Learn what you can do to stop it. The latest Republican repeal and replace plan may be the last, which is why the plan authored by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy is picking up steam despite the threat it poses to state budgets and taxpayers.
As health equity advocates we share a fundamental vision of a nation where every single human being has an equitable chance to enjoy the best health possible, no matter who they are—including where they were born. For us, it is not about being on the left or right of the political spectrum. Equal access to good health is an intrinsically human value.
A growing number of states are using the waiver process to make fundamental changes to the Medicaid program. Many of these waivers set a dangerous precedent for the Medicaid program and affect the entire country, as other states seek to follow along adding features to their Medicaid programs that hurt the ability of people with low incomes to get the care they need.
We are facing an extraordinary volume of potentially harmful Medicaid waivers that are under review at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). While comment periods seemingly just closed for a slew of states (Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Iowa), two radical Section 1115 adult coverage waivers have now opened for federal comments: Maine and Utah.