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Medicaid Expansion Takes Center Stage in Senate Health Care Debate

19 Mai 2017

MA has the highest rate of insured people in the nation, with 96.4 percent of the state's residents having either private, employer or government-backed medical coverage in 2015, according to the Center for Health Information and Analysis.

Requiring people to maintain continuous coverage is the Republicans' preferred alternative to Obamacare's individual mandate that requires people to have insurance or pay a fine.

North Dakota is one of the few states in the USA that still has a high-risk pool.

In places that have posted rates - Connecticut, Maryland, Vermont and the District of Columbia - multiple insurers have submitted plans to participate. States could apply for waivers that would allow insurance companies to charge older people more than five times what they charge younger people for the same policy, and they could eliminate the so-called essential health benefits, including maternity care and mental health coverage. The House plan curbs future increases to the medical inflation rate.

The bill, passed by the House and now under consideration by the Senate, aims to greatly reduce federal spending on health care by modifying the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA).

"That will effectively have the same impact" as repealing the regulation, she said. Obamacare enshrined in law protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions, prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage and, importantly, not allowing insurers to charge significantly higher premiums for these individuals. "So that's a big (cost) driver".

Mr. Wyden said he didn't envision waivers being used this way when he pushed for them as part of the Affordable Care Act. Version 1.0 of the American Health Care Act died without a vote; version 2.0 deserves to die in the Senate. However, after 2020, anyone who signs up would no longer benefit from the federal funds provided by the Affordable Care Act, reducing the 73 million low-income and disabled people in the United States who now benefit from Medicaid by 14 million, according to estimates from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). In its first incarnation, House legislators took the bill off the floor, once it became clear it didn't have enough support.

"With the tax credits being skimpier and Medicaid being rolled back, the number of people having a gap in coverage is sure to increase", he said.

Many of them would have been unable to buy health insurance before the ACA. The case is on hold while the House GOP and the Trump administration figure out their next steps, but Trump on his own has threatened to halt them because he believes that would force Democrats to negotiate on repealing Obamacare. Insurers would have to hike rates further and might even leave the marketplace entirely if the money isn't provided. We paid it off, but that taught me that no one should ever face bankruptcy just because they get sick.

Medicaid Expansion Takes Center Stage in Senate Health Care Debate