Community Health Centers Lead to Medicaid Savings

September 29, 2016, Mississippi Public Broadcasting, Sid Scott- Mississippians who visit community health centers for primary care often save Medicaid dollars down the line. That’s according to a study to be published in November by the American Journal of Public Health. The authors analyzed Medicaid data in 13 states—including Mississippi—and found Medicaid patients who used community health centers make Mediaid claims less often than those who don’t. Janice Sherman is CEO of the Mississippi Primary Health Care Association. She tells MPB’s Karen Brown investments in community health centers lead to savings down the line.

600,000 Veterans May Go Without Health Insurance Next Year: Report

September 29, 2016, NBC, Maggie Fox- More than 600,000 veterans will go without health insurance next year unless 19 states stop holding out against expanding Medicaid, researchers said Wednesday. Even with Medicaid expansion, hundreds of thousands of vets are going to go without a way to pay for medical care, the report from the left-leaning Urban Institute finds. But 327,000 of those who will go without health insurance live in the 19 states—all with Republican governors—that have not expanded Medicaid, the researchers said.

The Health Care ‘Public Option’ Is Back. Can It Help Obamacare?

September 29, 2016, The New York Times, Reed Abelson and Margot Sanger-Katz- On the campaign trail and in the halls of policy wonks, the health care term of the moment is “the public option.” The idea is to create a government-run health care plan that would be an alternative to the private insurance plans offered under the Affordable Care Act, or provide a fallback in markets where insurers have been pulling out. In an article in The New England Journal of Medicine published on Wednesday, Hillary Clinton reiterated her support for such a measure. Margot Sanger-Katz and Reed Abelson, two New York Times reporters who have been covering Obamacare, discuss the public option and the questions it raises.

POLITICO-Harvard poll: Americans blame drug companies for rising health costs

September 28, 2016, Politico, Joanne Kenen- A POLITICO-Harvard poll released Friday finds that Democrats and Republicans alike hold the pharmaceutical industry responsible for rising costs more than any other health care sector, though that sentiment is stronger among Democrats. On another emerging hot-button issue, Americans favor creating a public option in the Affordable Care Act exchanges - and that’s not just Democrats. A slight majority (54 percent) favors adding a government-sponsored health insurance option - and among Democrats, fully three-quarters back the idea, as do 52 percent of Independents. Among Republicans, 60 percent oppose the public option but more than one in four support it (26 percent).

It’s Easy for Obamacare Critics to Overlook the Merits of Medicaid Expansion

September 26, 2016, The New York Times, Aaron E. Carroll- Three years into Obamacare and it seems as if much of the news is bad: private insurers exiting the exchanges, networks being narrowed, premiums rising and competition dwindling out of existence. But it’s important to remember that many, if not most, of the newly covered Americans became insured through an expansion of Medicaid. Here, too, you hear a lot of bad news: that Medicaid offers poor quality and little choice of providers, that it is expensive for the states to administer and that its growing cost will eventually bankrupt states. As of today, 19 states have still refused to participate in the expansion.

Pulse Check: Anne Filipic warns that Obamacare doom-and-gloom can be self-fulfilling

September 22, 2016, Politico, Dan Diamond- With insurers dropping out and premium rates going up, Obamacare has hit its roughest patch in years. Even some Democrats are acknowledging the law needs fixes. But according to Anne Filipic, the doom-and-gloom predictions aren’t just misplaced - they’re making her job harder.
“We have real challenges in reaching the remaining uninsured and helping them understand that there are affordable options,” the president of Enroll America told POLITICO’s “Pulse Check” podcast. “This broader narrative isn’t helpful to them.”