Government health insurance markets holding up, barely

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Cutting Medicaid does nothing to reign in personal healthcare costs. The biggest problem with that growth rate is that it's faster than what's projected for our economy as a whole. Especially for people with disabilities, Medicaid has been and remains an essential lifeline. This objective, however, does not lessen the necessity of placing the program on a financially sustainable course.

This situation creates irresistible political opportunities for those inclined to exploit them.

Harris, however, said the cut to Medicaid funding isn't, strictly speaking, a cut at all. "But actions by the Administration and Congress around the mandate and CSRs have made that impossible". After working behind closed doors, without public input and keeping both their constituents and health care advocates in the dark, they are now planning to ram through a bill without a single hearing and no meaningful time for health care experts and the American people to review, understand, and debate. Countless editorials and news articles have portrayed an intent by Congress to "gut" Medicaid to pay for "tax cuts for the rich". It's going to cost her nearly $100,000 a year.

- Improve affordability: Insurance reforms that increase access to quality, affordable health insurance coverage must be coupled with reforms that address rising health-care costs. Your mother will most likely run out her savings until she qualifies for Medicaid ... But Medicaid is not "somebody else's" insurance. "Under a block grant system, a predetermined amount of federal funding would be granted to states for their Medicaid programs", the report confirmed.

"Under the BCRA, families can expect to pay higher premiums for insurance plans that fail to cover the services they need". The nursing home is a last resort.

Ammo went away for a time, but is now coming back.

Republican leaders in Washington can't afford to squander their best opportunity by pushing through a "repeal and replace" measure that could leave Maine's moms and newborns behind. The ACA's Medicaid expansion population involved childless adults under the age of 65, a different category of beneficiaries altogether.

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In another risky move, the Senate bill would also cut federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which would jeopardize the ability of clinics to deliver preventive health services, including HIV testing and transition-related care. President Trump's budget calls for $610 billion in additional Medicaid cuts over ten years, in addition to the cuts in the AHCA. We quickly realized the need to develop a comprehensive perinatal outreach network with Maine's hospitals, many of which were small, rural community facilities, so that people could receive care without having to travel long distances. Low income people-an estimated 23 million-will be stripped of all health coverage. Based on the ratio of blind people now using Medicaid relative to the total population of disabled people using Medicaid, more than one hundred thousand blind people would lose insurance, making these proposed cuts a potential catastrophe for blind people everywhere.

If current Medicaid eligibility requirements stay the same between 2019 and 2028, researchers estimate the AHCA would reduce federal Medicaid spending by $373.6 billion, or 8.2 percent.

All seven governors, Republicans and Democrats, represent states that have expanded Medicaid coverage. And third, the AHCA could also make it harder for some people to gain coverage because of pre-existing conditions. But no one should associate figures such as $800 billion in cuts with these proposed caps. At first they merely cited "uncertainty" as reasons for the premiums hikes, but recently insurers in states have broken out exactly how much the CSR issue has driven up the costs.

It is perfectly appropriate for there to be a vigorous, even impassioned debate about whose proposals would provide the best way forward for the Medicaid program. We should increase subsidies for middle class families, support a public option, and provide support to offset the costs of the sickest and most costly patients. If advocates want their health policy arguments to be taken seriously, and to usefully inform the American public, groundless hyperbole should be shelved in favor of a focus on what existing proposals would actually do.

Editor's Note: This piece was originally published by Economics21 at the Manhattan Institute.

Charles Blahous, a contributor to E21, holds the J. Fish and Lillian F. Smith Chair at the Mercatus Center and is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution.

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