McCain’s Complicated Health Care Legacy: He Hated the ACA. He Also Saved It.

August 25, 2018, Kaiser Health News, Emmarie Huetteman- There are many lawmakers who made their names in health care, seeking to usher through historic changes to a broken system. John McCain was not one of them. And yet, the six-term senator from Arizona and decorated military veteran leaves behind his own health care legacy, seemingly driven less by his interest in health care policy than his disdain for bullies trampling the “little guy.” He was not always successful. While McCain was instrumental in the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, most of the health initiatives he undertook failed after running afoul of traditional Republican priorities. His prescriptions often involved more government regulation and increased taxes.

GOP senators introduce bill to preserve ObamaCare’s pre-existing conditions protections

August 24, 2018, The Hill, Jessie Hellmann- Ten GOP senators this week introduced legislation that they say would protect ObamaCare provisions for people with pre-existing conditions. The bill, introduced on Thursday, comes as congressional Democrats try to tie Republicans to the Trump administration’s decision not to defend some ObamaCare provisions in a federal lawsuit filed by red states. The legislation is an effort by the GOP to push back on the Democratic attacks, and it shows the concern among Republicans over the court case ahead of the midterms. “There are strong opinions on both sides when it comes to how we should overhaul our nation’s broken health care system, but the one thing we can all agree on is that we should protect health care for Americans with pre-existing conditions and ensure they have access to good coverage,” said Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), a main sponsor on the measure.

Medicaid Covers Foster Kids, But Daunting Health Needs Still Slip Through The Cracks

August 24, 2018, Kaiser Health News, Phil Galewitz- Sherri and Thomas Croom have been foster parents to 27 children - from newborns to teenagers - during the past decade. That has meant visits to dozens of doctors and dentists for issues ranging from a tonsillectomy to depression. While foster parenting has innumerable challenges, health care coverage for the children isn’t one of them. Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for the poor, picks up the tab for nearly all children in foster care and often continues to cover them if they are adopted, regardless of their parents’ income. And as a result of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, foster children who have Medicaid at 18 can retain the coverage until they turn 26. “We would not be able to foster without Medicaid,” said Sherri Croom, 41, of Tallahassee, Fla. “It pays for everything.”

Mississippi adult day care facilities violating state law, feds say

August 23, 2018, Mississippi Today, Larrison Campbell- After inspecting 20 Mississippi adult day care facilities, a federal oversight agency found that every facility it reviewed violated one or more state regulations, according to a report released Thursday. The report, from the Office of the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, also found that Mississippi did not fully comply with federal and state requirements because the state’s own yearly inspections of adult day care facilities “(failed) to ensure a continuously safe and nonhazardous environment.” The reason, according to the report, is that the state has chipped away at the funds it needs to regulate these facilities, which care for some of the state’s most vulnerable adult.

ObamaCare more popular than GOP tax law

August 23, 2018, The Hill, Nathaniel Weixel- ObamaCare is more popular than the GOP tax law, according to a new Fox News poll. The 2010 health-care law registered a 51 percent approval rating, compared with 40 percent for the 2017 Republican tax cuts, according to the survey released on Thursday. The poll, which surveyed 1,009 registered voters, also found that only 36 percent of respondents approve of the way President Trump is handling health care, with 55 percent disapproving. Congressional Republicans tried and failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act last year, but they continue to criticize it.

Mississippi to test limits of Medicaid work requirements

August 23, 2018, The Hill, Nathaniel Weixel- The Trump administration is facing a key test with Mississippi’s Medicaid program as the state seeks permission to be the first ever to impose work requirements without expanding Medicaid under ObamaCare. Already one of the poorest states in the nation, advocates say work requirements for “able-bodied” beneficiaries could decimate the health coverage that tens of thousands of residents depend on. While the administration touts state flexibility and has already approved work requirements in Medicaid expansion states, there could be far reaching practical and political consequences for approving them in Mississippi. If those individuals are required to work, they’ll likely earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, even though the jobs likely won’t offer insurance. It’s a Catch-22 that the administration is keenly aware of. Roy Mitchell, executive director of the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program, said he expects the administration to approve the waiver, adding that his organization is preparing to help people who will lose coverage.“We have a consumer assistance program to help people who were denied Medicaid eligibility,” he said. “We anticipate a lot of people falling through the cracks.”