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Delay Won’t Keep People From Obtaining Health Coverage

July 3, 2013

Here’s the bottom line about the Obama Administration’s announcement yesterday to delay health reform’s employer responsibility requirement and related reporting rules until 2015:  it will not keep people from getting health coverage, which is the key goal of health reform.

The vast majority of large employers — the only companies that are subject to the requirement to offer coverage...

Coming Cuts to Safety Net Hospitals Reinforce Importance of Medicaid Expansion

May 14, 2013

Health reform cuts supplemental Medicaid payments for hospitals that serve many low-income and uninsured patients because the need for such payments should shrink as more low-income people gain coverage through the law’s Medicaid expansion.  The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has now issued a proposed rule to allocate these cuts among the states — and the rule makes clear that...

Oregon Medicaid Study Strengthens — Not Weakens — Case to Expand Medicaid

May 3, 2013

The New England Journal of Medicine reported encouraging new findings yesterday from the Oregon Health Study, a landmark, ongoing study of the state’s Medicaid program.  Medicaid beneficiaries were more likely than the uninsured to access preventive care, such as mammograms for women, and they had far less financial...

Proposal to Delay DSH Cuts No Reason Not to Expand Medicaid

April 15, 2013

President Obama proposed in his 2014 budget to delay for one year a scheduled cut in supplemental Medicaid payments to safety net hospitals that serve large numbers of low-income patients.  Health reform calls for the cut in federal disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments beginning in fiscal year 2014, assuming that the hospitals’ need will fall as more low-income people become insured...

New Survey Shows Importance of Medicaid Expansion for Working Parents

January 30, 2013

The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured’s new annual survey of state eligibility policies in Medicaid and CHIP shows that income eligibility levels for working parents have continued to stagnate.  The median income level fell slightly, from 63 to 61 percent of the poverty line — $11,645 for a family of three.  For non-working...

Medicaid Increase for Doctors Shouldn’t Be on Chopping Block

December 12, 2012

The list of possible Medicaid cuts in an agreement to avert the “fiscal cliff” includes rolling back a scheduled payment increase for primary care providers.  That’s a bad idea, and it would undercut efforts to ensure that beneficiaries — including the people who become eligible for Medicaid under health reform’...

Will States Take Full Advantage of Health Reform?

November 7, 2012

With the election decided, it’s clear that health reform — the Affordable Care Act — is here to stay.  One of its key provisions enables states to expand Medicaid to cover low-income adults with incomes up to 133 percent of the poverty line, with the federal government paying nearly all of the cost.  The question now is...

Don’t Expect Big Savings on Care for “Dual Eligibles,” New Study Suggests

October 31, 2012

We recently cautioned policymakers that trying to shrink deficits by moving everyone who receives both Medicare and Medicaid into state-run managed care plans — and capping funding for their care below what it would otherwise be — risks harming this extremely vulnerable group.  A new...

What Arizona and Rhode Island Don’t Tell Us About Block-Granting Medicaid

October 24, 2012

Arizona and Rhode Island have come up in debates over converting Medicaid to a block grant because both states’ Medicaid programs operate under federal waivers that provide some added flexibility.  But these states’ experiences tell us nothing about the likely impact of a block grant, for a simple reason:  neither state has faced the sharp drop in federal Medicaid funding that a block grant...

Health Coverage Must Be Affordable for Families, Too

July 27, 2012

Many people who are uninsured because they can’t afford health coverage for their family would remain uninsured under the Treasury Department’s current interpretation of one piece of health reform (i.e., the Affordable Care Act or ACA).  The Government Accountability Office (GAO), which estimates that some 460,000 children could be...

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