June 2, 2017, News & Observer, Ganga Moorthy- The American Health Care Act threatens health coverage for children. As pediatricians, we work to combat childhood illnesses and promote well-being. Health-insurance coverage ensures that we can provide needed services to the youngest and most vulnerable among us, even in the face of complex social and structural barriers and disparities. Over the past eight years, health-insurance coverage among American children has improved to 95 percent, and the rate of uninsured children in North Carolina has fallen to 4.4 percent - less than the national average. In North Carolina, 69 percent of all Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, enrolees are children.
May 31, 2017, Kaiser Health News, Julie Rovner- The health overhaul bill passed by the House earlier this month accomplishes one major feat: It is even less popular than the not-very-popular Affordable Care Act it would largely replace, a new poll finds. According to the monthly tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 49 percent of respondents said they have a favorable view of the ACA, while 31 percent said they favored the GOP’s American Health Care Act, which narrowly passed the House on May 4. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the foundation.) But in a mirror image of the ACA’s standing with the public, more than two-thirds of Republicans said they support their party’s health plan. Even more Democrats (78 percent) favored Obamacare.
May 31, 2017, Associated Press, Sheila Burke and David Eggert- As a thyroid cancer survivor battling nerve damage and other complications, Lisa Dammert was in such dire financial straits in 2014 that she and her husband did the unthinkable: They let their health insurance lapse for a while. If the Dammerts and some of the millions of other Americans like them do that under the Republican health care plan now making its way through Congress, they could end up paying a heavy price. Under the bill, people who go without insurance for even just a couple of months - whether because of a job loss, a divorce, a serious illness that leaves them unable to work, or some other reason - could face sharply higher premiums if they try to sign up again for coverage, especially if they have a pre-existing condition. Some might find themselves priced out of the market.
May 30, 2017, Kaiser Health News, Michelle Andrews- Signing up for coverage on the health insurance marketplace should be easier for some people this fall because new federal rules will allow brokers and insurers to handle the entire enrollment process online, from soup to nuts. Some consumer advocates are concerned, though, that customers going this route won’t get the comprehensive, impartial plan information they need to make the best decision due to the financial self-interest of insurers and brokers. “Facilitating the participation of brokers and getting web brokers involved is a good thing for the market,” said Timothy Jost, emeritus professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law in Virginia and an expert on health reform. But there are risks for consumers.
Trump’s budget forces states into ‘difficult decisions’ about spending for hospitals serving indigen
May 29, 2017, Winston-Salem Journal, Richard Carver- A prominent rating agency, Moody’s Investors Service, said Thursday the proposed Trump administration budget could form an even darker financial cloud over the nation’s not-for-profit health-care systems and state legislatures. Moody’s said the White House budget, if approved in its current form by Congress, would represent a “credit negative” for both groups. The White House budget calls for $610 billion in Medicaid cuts over 10 years as well as eliminating $250 billion dedicated to state Medicaid expansion programs. A projected $834 billion in lower Medicaid spending over 10 years was scored by the Congressional Budget Office if the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is enacted. The bill also would lead to 23 million Americans losing their health insurance by 2026, the office projected.
May 26, 2017, MS News Now, Morgan Wagner- If President Trump’s budget were to pass as is, Congressman Bennie Thompson says some Mississippians would have trouble feeding their families or getting them medical care. “Every county I represent, all 26, are medically under served,” said Representative Thompson. “That means we don’t have enough health professionals to go around. Medicaid, It’s not just children but it’s people in nursing homes who really can’t afford the nursing care without Medicaid.” Mississippi and our neighboring states could also lose out on some promised oil royalties money. Money that comes from the 2006 Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act which was designed to encourage offshore drilling by giving states a cut when Washington leases federal water to energy companies for exploration.