The Trump Administration wants to turn back the clock on protections for health care consumers established by the Affordable Care Act. This latest act of sabotage on the health law came in the form of a final rule released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The rule makes it legal to sell “short-term insurance” plans for long periods of time that do not comply with the ACA’s consumer protections.
Many factors could prevent numerous communities from fully participating in the 2020 Census. These factors include underfunded Census outreach, a proposed Census question asking about citizenship, and broader policy changes that could increase immigrants’ fears about responding to the Census. Without vigorous action to prevent a significant undercount, states will suffer major cuts to federal health care funding, with grim results for health care and other critical state services.
The 2018 elections provide a chance to bring oral health issues to the forefront of policymaker and public discussions—an important opportunity for an issue that is often forgotten, left behind, or misunderstood. Numerous seats are up for election this year including full U.S. House of Representatives, a third of the U.S. Senate, 36 governorships and many seats in state and local governments.
Families USA, Mental Health America, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the National Council for Behavioral Health are four nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations that represent health care consumers, including those with mental health and substance use disorders. We have joined together to bring attention to a heath care policy put forth by the Trump administration that expands short-term health insurance plans.
Earlier this week, Maryland and Virginia insurers filed proposed individual market premiums for 2019. Over the coming weeks and months, insurers in the other 48 states and DC will announce proposed premiums. In Maryland and Virginia, many insurers are asking for incredibly large premium increases. In Maryland, average requested rate increases are 30 percent over 2018. In Virginia, proposed premiums are rising more than 15 percent.
Under the guise of creating low-cost health options, the Trump administration has two new regulations that will have dire consequences for two groups:
As the largest single source of health insurance and coverage for behavioral health services in the country, Medicaid plays a pivotal role in addressing substance use disorder (SUD). Medicaid covers nearly 4 in 10 non-elderly adults in the country with opioid addiction. But this coverage could go further: at least 17 percent of opioid addicts are uninsured, a rate nearly 50 percent higher than the general population.
An increasing number of states are making harmful changes to their Medicaid programs using “Section 1115 waivers.” Families USA is tracking state Medicaid waivers that restrict access to quality, affordable health care for low-income families and adults. This new grid offers an overview of the status of each state’s waiver proposal, the restrictive elements of the waiver proposal, and CMS’s decision on each element.
By weakening the standards around what benefits health plans must cover and other changes, the latest policy from the Trump Administration will threaten the quality and affordability of health coverage.
Trump Administration 'Public Charge' Rule Threatens Health Care for Immigrant Families, Including U.S. Citizen Children
The impact of a proposed Trump administration rule extends well beyond the directly targeted individuals and families whose health will be at risk. A community’s overall health depends on the health of all of its members. The impact of this proposed rule will spill over to others in many ways. Without insurance, families may delay care or forego it altogether. This means there will be more children in school, and adults in the workplace, without needed preventive services and untreated illnesses. More people delaying care until the last possible moment will strain emergency resources. Hospitals’ and clinics’ uncompensated care burdens will increase.