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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...

Supreme Court Ruling Doesn’t Let Maine (or Other States) Cut Thousands from Medicaid

July 20, 2012

Under the health reform law, states must keep their current Medicaid eligibility rules for adults until 2014, when new, nationwide Medicaid eligibility rules will take effect and state-based health insurance exchanges will begin operating.  States must also maintain their Medicaid and CHIP eligibility rules for children until 2019.  (These are known as maintenance of eligibility, or MOE,...

The Latest Effort to Undo Health Reform

July 16, 2012

Led by Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), a group of Republican members of Congress recently asked governors to help them undermine health reform’s implementation by refusing to set up the “exchanges” that will give consumers a choice of private health insurance plans....

The Difference Medicaid Makes

July 9, 2012

With the House scheduled to vote Wednesday on repealing health reform, and some governors vowing not to move forward with the law’s expansion of Medicaid to cover low-income adults, this is a good time to remind ourselves why Medicaid coverage is so beneficial.


Health Reform’s Medicaid Expansion Is a Very Good Deal for States

June 28, 2012

Today’s Supreme Court decision essentially means that states can decide whether or not to expand their Medicaid programs to cover low-income adults.  The typical (or median) state only covers working parents who make less than 63 percent of the poverty line ($12,790 a year for a family of three) and non-working parents with incomes below 37 percent of the poverty line ($7,063 a year).  Only a...

Repealing Health Reform’s Medicaid Provision Would Weaken Coverage, Not Fight Fraud

April 24, 2012

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will try again this week to repeal a part of health reform that requires states to maintain their current Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) programs until other parts of the law take effect.

Contrary to critics’ claims, these “maintenance-of-effort” (MOE) requirements don’t interfere with ongoing state efforts to fight...

House Payroll Tax Bill Would Hike Health Reform Subsidy Repayments

December 14, 2011

The payroll tax-cut extension that the House passed yesterday includes a damaging change to the subsidies that health reform (that is, the Affordable Care Act or ACA) will give many families (starting in 2014) to help them afford health coverage.  The congressional Joint Tax Committee estimates that the provision would cause 170,000 people to go without subsidized health coverage because,...

Latest Attack on Health Reform Falls Flat

November 18, 2011

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), low- and moderate-income people who don’t have access to public coverage or affordable employer-sponsored coverage will get tax credits to help them pay the premiums for private coverage. Most states will set up regulated marketplaces called “exchanges” where consumers will shop for coverage. But in any states that don’t, the ACA calls for operation of a federal exchange in order to ensure that people have affordable coverage options.

Making Coverage Affordable for Families

August 16, 2011

As my colleague January Angeles has explained, the three draft regulations related to the Affordable Care Act that HHS and the Treasury Department issued last week will help people apply for coverage more easily. Unfortunately, one provision of the proposed Treasury rule could, if left standing, leave many people uninsured, undermining a core goal of health reform.