Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion

Feds Rescind Texas Medicaid Waiver

A federal Medicaid waiver approved for the state of Texas in the waning days of the Trump administration has been rescinded by the Biden administration. The waiver called for spending as much as $100 billion for health care for low-income Texans over the next ten years. Officially, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services revoked the waiver on technical grounds, maintaining that the agency “… erred in exempting the state from the normal public notice process – a critical priority for soliciting stakeholder feedback and ensuring public awareness.”  The Washington Post, however, reports that according to two unnamed federal health [...]

Medicaid Expansion Slows Opioid Deaths

Opioid deaths are less likely to occur in states that expanded their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act, according to a new study. According to the study, Adoption of Medicaid expansion was associated with a 6% lower rate of total opioid overdose deaths compared with the rate in nonexpansion states... Counties in expansion states had an 11% lower rate of death involving heroin… and a 10% lower rate of death involving synthetic opioids other than methadone… compared with counties in nonexpansion states. In addition, Medicaid expansion, the study found, has made treatment for substance abuse disorders more widely available. [...]

2020-01-16T06:00:49+00:00January 16, 2020|Affordable Care Act, Medicaid|

Medicaid Expansion Brings Improvements to Expansion States

States that expanded their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act have experienced fewer hospital admissions, shorter lengths of stays in the hospital, and lower hospital costs, according to a new Health Affairs study. Specifically, they experienced: a 3.1 percent decline in inpatient days a 3.5 percent decrease in discharges for conditions considered “ambulatory care-sensitive,” such as diabetes, chronic respiratory problems, and pneumonia a reduction of nearly three percent in hospital costs. Learn more about how Medicaid expansion has improved the health of the population in states that expanded their Medicaid programs in the Health Affairs study “Medicaid Expansion Associated [...]

2019-11-06T06:00:39+00:00November 6, 2019|Affordable Care Act, Medicaid|

ACA May be Improving, Saving Lives

The insurance expansion made possible by the Affordable Care Act may be improving and even saving lives, some studies and anecdotal evidence suggest. While observers warn that it is difficult to attempt to render a final verdict on the reform law’s insurance expansion and its impact, various studies and observations point to encouraging developments.  Among them: High blood pressure is being detected at a higher rate now among people who bought insurance as a result of the ACA than it was prior to the law’s passage. Fewer 19-26 year-olds, now permitted to remain on their parents’ health insurance, are choosing [...]

2019-10-02T15:48:44+00:00October 2, 2019|Affordable Care Act, Medicaid|

Uninsured Rate Rose in 2017

The rate of uninsured Americans rose in 2017, the first such increase since implementation of the Affordable Care Act. According to a new Urban Institute study, The increasing uninsurance rate between 2016 and 2017 was driven by losses of private nongroup coverage, such as that purchased in the health insurance marketplaces, and decreases in Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage (-0.4 percentage points each). In addition, Overall, coverage losses were concentrated in the 19 states that did not expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act by July 1, 2017…Between 2016 and 2017, uninsurance held stable in Medicaid [...]

2019-08-21T10:58:26+00:00August 21, 2019|Affordable Care Act, Medicaid|

More Medicaid Matching Funds for Only Partial Medicaid Expansion?

The federal government is considering providing an unusual amount of federal Medicaid matching funding for only partial state Medicaid expansion. At least that’s what Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator Seema Verma told a health care conference in Georgia last week. The state of Georgia has proposes partially expanding its Medicaid population.  Under the Affordable Care Act, states that fully expand their Medicaid programs under the terms established by the 2010 health care law receive nine dollars in federal matching funds for every one dollar they spend on their Medicaid expansion population.  States that only partially expand their Medicaid [...]

Pay Raise Didn’t Lead More Docs to Participate in Medicaid

The temporary rate increase that the Affordable Care Act provided as means of encouraging more doctors to serve Medicaid patients did not work, according to two new studies published in the journal Health Affairs. According to the studies, the increase in the number of physicians who decided to begin serving Medicaid patients as a result of the fee increase was negligible. Among the reasons the studies’ authors offer for the lack of growth in the participation of doctors are the limited nature of the pay raise and the documentation required to receive it. Despite this, the authors note, access to [...]

2018-07-23T06:00:18+00:00July 23, 2018|Affordable Care Act, Medicaid|

A New Wave of Medicaid Expansion?

Spurred by the Trump administration’s invitation to states to apply for approval to make work requirements a part of their Medicaid program, a number of states that spurned the opportunity created for expansion under the Affordable Care Act may consider pursuing Medicaid expansion in the near future. Currently, some elected officials in Idaho, Kansas, North Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming appear to be considering what they once considered unthinkable:  making more of their residents eligible for Medicaid. For the most part, expansion talk is coming from moderate Republican legislators who believe a work requirement may help soften the staunch opposition [...]

2018-02-01T06:00:45+00:00February 1, 2018|Affordable Care Act, Medicaid|

ACA Improves Access to Surgical Services

The Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion has improved access to surgical services for Medicaid patients. Or so says a new study published in JAMA Surgery, which reports that In this study of patients with 1 of 5 common surgical conditions, Medicaid expansion was associated with a 7.5–percentage point increase in insurance coverage at the time of hospital admission. The policy was also associated with patients obtaining care earlier in their disease course and with an increased probability of receiving optimal care for those conditions. As a result, the study found, The ACA’s Medicaid expansion was associated with increased insurance coverage [...]

2018-01-29T06:00:37+00:00January 29, 2018|Affordable Care Act, Medicaid|

Medicaid in the Spotlight

State-option work requirements. A cap on federal spending. New flexibility for states to address eligibility, benefits, and provider payments. Rolling back the Affordable Care Act’s eligibility expansion. Medicaid is under the policy microscope in Washington these days in ways it has not been for many years as the new administration continues to work to put its stamp on the federal government’s major program to provide health care to low-income Americans. What are policy-makers considering and what are the potential implications of their efforts?  Learn more in the new Health Affairs blog article “Medicaid Program Under Siege,” which can be found [...]

2018-01-24T06:00:13+00:00January 24, 2018|Affordable Care Act, Medicaid|
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