Record number of signings in Mississippi for endangered Obamacare

December 15, 2016, Mississippi Business Journal, Jack Weatherly- A record number of Mississippians have signed up for health insurance through the federal exchange, deadline for which is Thursday for those who want coverage starting Jan. 1.
Those who sign up or make changes during open enrollment after Dec. 15 but by Jan. 31 will get that coverage starting March 1. Meantime, the Trump administration vows to make short work of dismantling Obamacare. State Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney says the Trump plan will not happen so fast and that folks can count on coverage through 2017. “I don’t expect a wholesale repeal of it overnight,” Chaney said in an interview. “I have encouraged people to go ahead and sign up” under the Affordable Care Act. Chaney cautioned that will be fewer special signup periods.

Real people rely on Obamacare: Column

December 15, 2016, USA Today, Topher Spiro- In policy and political debates, we often forget the human impact of weighty choices. Abstract numbers, ideological arguments, “he said, she said” talking points and outright falsehoods - these are the currency of our public discourse. But elections and policies have real consequences in the everyday lives of ordinary families. As Congress considers repeal of the Affordable Care Act, we at the Center for American Progress (CAP) are collecting stories from people who would be affected. In some cases, their very lives are at stake.

White House report makes case against ObamaCare repeal

November 13, 2016, The Hill, Sarah Ferris- The White House’s top economists released a sweeping report Tuesday warning of “profound implications” for a majority of Americans if ObamaCare is repealed and replaced. The report, dubbed “the economic record” of President Obama’s healthcare reforms, marks the administration’s most public effort since the presidential election to pressure Republicans into keeping parts of the law in place. “We do think this is a particularly critical moment,” said Aviva Aron-Dine, senior counselor to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

Obamacare’s Demise Could Be Quicker Than Republicans Intend

November 12, 2016, NPR, Alison Kodjak- Republicans in Congress say they’ll vote to repeal much of the Affordable Care Act early next year - even though they don’t yet have a plan to replace it. But they also insist that they don’t want to harm any of the millions of people who got their health insurance under the law. The lawmakers’ strategy? Vote to repeal, and fulfill their top campaign pledge. But delay the changes, and keep running Obamacare for as long as two years while they figure out how to fill the hole they’ll create in the insurance market. “We will move right after the first of the year on an Obamacare replacement resolution,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Monday, using terminology that refers to the type of vote lawmakers will take to defund the health care law.

After health-care repeal vote, some in GOP fear a cliff

December 12, 2016, PBS, Alan Fram- Republicans are eagerly planning initial votes next month on dismantling President Barack Obama’s health care law, a cherished GOP goal. But many worry that while Congress tries to replace it, the party will face ever-angrier voters, spooked health insurers and the possibility of tumbling off a political cliff. Republicans have said they first want to vote to unwind as much of the health care law as they can, though it wouldn’t take effect for perhaps three years. That’s to give them and new President Donald Trump time to write legislation constructing a new health care system - a technically and politically daunting task that has frustrated GOP attempts for unity for years.

Keep people healthy, out of hospital to cut costs

December 11, 2016, The Clarion Ledger, Lynn Evans- The Legislative Budget Recommendations are out with a planned cut for Mississippi Medicaid for fiscal 2018 of 2.5 percent or almost $100 million.  State leaders say they want to rein in state health care costs, or at least cost increases. However, since Mississippi gets 74.17 percent of our Medicaid dollars from the federal government, a full $1 billion state allocation would bring down $3 billion in matching federal funds to support the Mississippi health care system. It is hard to see how our state could pay our health care bills without those federal dollars, or reimburse the sorely needed new physicians going into practice around the state.