Issue: Insurance - Page 2

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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Iowa’s Budget Needs to Prioritize Health Care

Iowa hospitals and other providers are urging legislators – and asking Iowans to join – to resist any further cuts to budget items that support Iowa hospitals or the Medicaid program and to restore retroactive Medicaid enrollment for all providers. Iowa’s budget should not be balanced on the backs of its most vulnerable citizens and those who provide them health care.

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How Medicaid Reduces Poverty: Summarizing the Research

In 2016, about 13 percent of the US population lived in poverty. Children continue to live disproportionately in poverty: children represent 23 percent of the population, but 33 percent of the population living in poverty. Research shows that Medicaid helps pull families out of poverty by providing access to affordable health coverage and lowering out-of-pocket costs. Here are some examples of that research.

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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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Medicaid Work Requirements Won’t Work and Are Likely Illegal

Work requirements appear to be a more subtle attempt to reduce the number of non-disabled adults added to Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, which survived multiple attempts last year by Congress to repeal and replace it. But a work requirement for Medicaid isn’t necessary and won’t work. Not when nearly 80 percent of adults on Medicaid already live in working families and about 60 percent work themselves.

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For Some States, Kids’ Insurance Fund Runs Out Next Week

Some states are facing a mid-January loss of funding for their Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) despite spending approved by Congress in late December that was expected to keep the program running for three months, federal health officials said late last week. The $2.85 billion was supposed to fund states’ CHIP programs through March 31. But some states will start running out of money after January 19.

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Left on Hold for the Holidays, CHIP Families and States Still Waiting

With bipartisan agreement on a strong, five-year funding extension and promises throughout the year that a CHIP extension would get done before January, states and families were counting on Congress to do its job. But Congress again punted action on CHIP with a short-term funding patch. This is an unprecedented abdication of responsibility for this important and successful program and creates a shameful burden for vulnerable families who spent the holidays worrying about health care for their children.

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Now in Canada, Longtime Iowa Doctor Reports Back

For Peter Cram, an American internist who spent most of his career practicing in Iowa City, moving to Toronto in 2014 was an easy decision. He says he is among a handful of American doctors who went north to practice in Canada’s single-payer system. Now he doesn’t worry about whether his patients can afford treatment. “Everyone gets a basic level of care,” he says, which lets him focus on their medical needs instead of their finances.

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