The American Healthcare Act: Impact on Mississippi families

March 17, 2017, MS News Now, Morgan Wagner- Nearly 800,000 Mississippian are signed up for insurance through Medicaid and almost another 40,000 have plans through Obamacare.  But if the new American Healthcare Act is approved, funding to Medicaid would get cut by $880 Billion.  Roy Mitchell with the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program says the cut would kill the 50-year-old program and put a large number of Mississippian without a place to turn. “Right now, the program stand allows for who ever meets the eligibility requirements to receive the benefits,” explained Mitchell. “Under a cap program, only so many people will be allowed on the program. Only a certain amount of services will be afforded to them and they’ll basically have no redress. There will be no due process.”

No Magic in How G.O.P. Plan Lowers Premiums: It Pushes Out Older People

March 14, 2017, The New York Times, Margot Sanger-Katz- There are a lot of unpleasant numbers for Republicans in the Congressional Budget Office’s assessment of their health care bill. But congressional leadership found one to cheer: The report says that the bill will eventually cut the average insurance premiums for people who buy their own insurance by 10 percent. House Speaker Paul Ryan pressed that point in a series of appearances Monday night, suggesting that the budget office had found that the House bill would increase choice and competition and lead to lower prices. The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, issued a statement saying, “The Congressional Budget Office agrees that the American Health Care Act will ultimately lower premiums and increase access to care.”

GOP faces dilemma over ObamaCare tax credits in red states

March 16, 2017, The Hill, Lauren Clason- Nine of the 10 states using the most ObamaCare tax credits were won by President Trump, new data show, highlighting the divisions his party faces as it seeks to remake the health law. Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and South Dakota had the highest use of the law’s tax credits during the 2017 open enrollment, according to data released Wednesday by the Trump administration.  At least 88 percent of exchange enrollees in those states qualified for assistance, the data show. The reality of the bill’s effects is undermining the party’s ability to corral lawmakers who would be hurt most by repeal. Moderates in both the House and Senate are expressing alarm, objecting to the current bill out of concern for the needy losing coverage.

The Original Lie About Obamacare

March 14, 2017, The New York Times, David Leonhardt- You hear it from Republicans, pundits and even some Democrats. It’s often said in a tone of regret: I wish Obama had done health reform in a bipartisan way, rather than jamming through a partisan bill. The lament seems to have the ring of truth, given that not a single Republican in Congress voted for Obamacare. Yet it is false -demonstrably so. That it’s nonetheless stuck helps explain how the Republicans have landed in such a mess on health care. The Congressional Budget Office released a jaw-dropping report Monday estimating that the Republican health plan would take insurance from 24 million people, many of them Republican voters, and raise medical costs for others.

Senate slashes $10 million from Medicaid’s 2018 budget

March 14, 2017, Mississippi Today, Larrison Campbell- The Senate approved a $10.1 million cut to Medicaid for the upcoming fiscal year on Tuesday in an ongoing effort to reduce costs at one of the state’s largest agencies. Medicaid Committee Chairman Sen. Brice Wiggins, R-Pascagoula, stressed that the new $909.3 million budget represents only a 1.1 percent reduction from the agency’s 2017 budget, which ends June 30. Sen. David Blount, D-Jackson, noted that Medicaid already has weathered three rounds of cuts and was initially funded less than the $1 billion that Medicaid requested. Taking these factors into account, Blount said later that the new budget for 2018 actually represents $99 million less than what Medicaid said it will spend next year.

Nonprofit hospitals focused more on community needs under the ACA. That may change.

March 14, 2017, The Washington Post, Shefali Luthra- For the past six years, Mardi Chadwick has run a violence prevention program at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The program’s goal is to address broader, community-based health issues and social problems that make people ill or expose them to injury. In Chadwick’s view, this endeavor has made a big difference in neighborhoods. But its profile in administrators’ eyes got a boost from an Affordable Care Act provision that requires nonprofit hospitals to conduct tri¬≠ennial assessments of local health needs and devise strategies to address them. Falling short triggers a financial penalty.