Issue: Affordable Care Act

Study: Without Medicaid expansion, poor skip care

Among the report’s findings: Nearly 20 percent of low-income people in states that did not expand Medicaid said they passed up needed medical care in the past 12 months because they couldn’t afford it. That compared to 9.4 percent in states that expanded the program. And about 8 percent of those in states that did not expand Medicaid reported they either skipped medication doses to save money or took less medication than prescribed. That compared to about 5 percent in states that expanded.

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The Value of Health Care Reform is More Than You May Think

Most Iowans probably know that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ended health insurance discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions. Parents are generally aware that adult children can stay on their health plan until age 26. These were great advances, but many of the long-range benefits of the ACA haven’t received much attention. Nonetheless, new structures have taken hold behind the scenes and they’re working to improve care quality, increase innovation and even boost the economy.

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Understanding ‘Short-Term’ Health Insurance Plans

The federal government has issued health insurance rules that will allow people to shop for so-called “short-term plans.” Most of these plans will be much less expensive than plans on the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) markets and to some people they may look like a better option. But the plans are cheaper for a reason: They cover fewer medical services than comprehensive insurance and they will cost more for people with pre-existing health problems, if they’ll cover them at all.

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How Iowa’s Individual Insurance Market Went from Bad to Worse

Iowa’s new law exempting certain health plans from state and federal regulation will make a bad situation worse for the state’s individual insurance market. The law is supposed to give individual market consumers access to cheaper, non-Obamacare health plans. But it’s likely the law will lead to further market segmentation as only healthier Iowans will benefit from these unregulated plans.

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5 Things to Know about Medicaid Work Requirements

A lawsuit before the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., will determine whether tens of thousands of low-income adults in Kentucky will have to find jobs or volunteer in order to retain their health coverage. But the ruling could have far-reaching implications affecting millions of enrollees nationwide and determining how far the Trump administration can go in changing Medicaid without congressional action.

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Pre-existing Condition Coverage Denial is Back on Table

In the wake of failed efforts to gain support for their health plan last month, the White House is negotiating to put repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) back on the table. While the previous proposal would have already driven up health care costs and stripped millions of coverage, the new proposal is reported to include provisions that would undo protections for the more than 130 million Americans who have a pre-existing health condition.

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What the Data Says about Medicaid, Work and Work Requirements

As of December 2017, 32 states (including Iowa) had expanded Medicaid. By design, expansion extended coverage to the working poor (both parents and childless adults), most of whom do not otherwise have access to affordable coverage. Some states and the Trump administration have stated that expansion targets “able-bodied” adults. In response, they want Medicaid eligibility contingent on work. Under current law, states cannot impose a Medicaid work requirement. However, some states are asking for waivers to this law and the Trump administration has indicated a willingness to approve such waivers.

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ACA Progress Remains Under Attack

The ACA has fulfilled its promise to extend health care coverage to millions of Americans, who in turn are no longer existing on the edges of the health care system. But health care advocates must remain aware of seemingly small changes that in fact are already undermining the ACA’s progress and increasing the number of Americans who are uninsured.

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Medicaid Work Requirements Meant to Fight Poverty? Public Doesn’t Buy It

Most Americans don’t buy the argument that the primary aim of allowing states to add work requirements to Medicaid is to pull more people out of poverty. Instead, more people believe the motivation is a different goal: to cut Medicaid spending by creating bureaucracy and barriers that then reduce enrollment in the health insurance program for low-income Americans.

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