In Clash Over Health Bill, a Growing Fear of ‘Junk Insurance’

July 15, 2017, The New York Times, Reed Abelson- Julie Arkison remembers what it was like to buy health insurance before the Affordable Care Act created standards for coverage. The policy she had was from the same insurer that covers her now, but it did not pay for doctor visits, except for a yearly checkup and gynecological exam.“I couldn’t even go to my regular doctor when was I sick,” said Ms. Arkison, 53, a self-employed horseback-riding teacher in Saline, Mich.The plan did not cover her exams before and after hip surgery, her physical therapy after her operation, the crutches she needed while she recovered, or any of her medications.

Opposition To GOP Repeal Bill Inches Up And Intensifies

July 14, 2017, Kaiser Health News, Jordan Rau - Public opposition to the Republican effort to replace the Affordable Care Act grew stronger this month, but a core group of Republicans remained in support, according to a poll released Friday.Sixty-one percent of the public said this month they did not like the GOP health care effort, now undergoing a revised push in the Senate. That was a 6 percentage point increase from the Kaiser Family Foundation’s monthly tracking results in June, when 55 percent expressed unfavorable opinions. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)

In Senate Health Care Bill, A Few Hidden Surprises

July 13, 2017, Health Affairs Blog, Stan Dorn and Sara Rosenbaum-  A low-income person, eligible for Medicaid but not enrolled, is hit by a car or a bullet. Gravely injured, she arrives at the hospital unconscious. Thanks to expert, intensive care that lasts for days or weeks, she gradually recovers. Eventually, her health improves to the point where she can complete the paperwork needed to apply for Medicaid.Such a hospital can be paid today, thanks to Medicaid’s “retroactive eligibility.” Even if the combination of medical problems and bureaucratic delays prevents an application from being filed and completed for several months, Medicaid will cover the care if the patient was eligible when services were provided.

Tupelo forum explores health reform

July 12, 2017, Daily Journal, Michaela Gibson Morris- A Tuesday health reform forum aimed to shine some light on efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare. “There’s been a lot of confusion, a lot of talking points,” said Amanda Ptashkin of Community Catalyst, a national nonprofit organization focused on health policy and advocacy. “There’s a lot of really serious implications.” The Jackson-based Mississippi Health Advocacy Program partnered with local organizations like Tupelo’s CATCH Kids, to host forums across Mississippi this week to have conversations about legislation, which could come up for a vote in the next few weeks. The forum drew more than 40 people to a three-hour event at the Link Centre in Tupelo on Tuesday.

GOP governors to party’s senators: Do no harm to health care

July 10, 2017, MS News Now, Alison Noon and Bill Barrow- The pressure is on Republican senators - from congressional leaders, conservative groups and impatient GOP voters - to fulfill a seven-year-old promise to scrap much of Democrat Barack Obama’s health care law. But back home, Republican governors who have experienced some of the upside of the law are warning their GOP senators to first, do no harm. For these governors, the issue is less about delivering a triumph to President Donald Trump and more about not blowing a hole in state budgets and maintaining health care coverage for constituents.

Senate GOP effort to shield disabled from Medicaid changes would leave many kids on the outside

July 9, 2017, The Washington Post, Jordan Rau- Aidan Long is a 13-year-old in Kalispell, Mont., who has suffered seizures nearly every day for a decade. These episodes defy medical cure, and some of them continue for weeks, requiring Aidan to be airlifted to children’s hospitals in Denver or Seattle. The medical bills, covered in large part by Medicaid, have been enormous. “I kept track of these until about 2 million bucks,” recalls his father, Ben Long, “and then I said I can’t spend any more time worrying about it.” But Senate Republicans’ health-care bill could radically affect the Medicaid coverage on which Aidan and several million children with special medical needs depend.