Affordable Care Act

Congress Spares Medicaid DSH Cut – for Now

An oft-delayed cut in Medicaid disproportionate share allotments to states was delayed once again in the latest temporary spending bill passed by Congress last week. The stopgap spending bill, which runs until March 8, delays an $8 billion a year cut in Medicaid DSH payments that was part of the Affordable Care Act and has been put off by Congress on numerous occasions ever since. The reduction was envisioned as an appropriate move in anticipation of a significant increase in uninsured Americans after the 2010 reform law’s passage.  While that increase has occurred, many hospitals continue to care for significant [...]

Hospitals Seek Delay in Medicaid DSH Cuts

“Delay upcoming cuts in Medicaid DSH payments” is the message hospitals delivered to Congress recently in response to a reduction of $8 billion in Medicaid disproportionate share cuts scheduled to take effect on October 1. The cuts, mandated by the Affordable Care Act, have been delayed by Congress on several occasions over the years in response to the belief that far more people remain uninsured than was anticipated when the 2010 health care reform law was adopted.  According to proponents of the delay, the safety-net hospitals that receive Medicaid DSH payments continue to provide free care to significant numbers of [...]

Health Insurance Markets Remain Highly Concentrated

The health insurance market was highly concentrated in 42 of the 50 states in 2019 and 2020 – the continuation of a trend identified in 2010 that has persisted ever since, according to a new report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The GAO considers a market concentrated if three or fewer insurers in a state have 80 percent of that market.  Using Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services health insurance enrollment data, the GAO looked at three distinct aspects of markets – individual policies, small group policies, and large group coverage – and found that Each of the three [...]

2022-11-10T06:00:51+00:00November 10, 2022|Affordable Care Act, Uncategorized|

Federal Health Policy Update for Monday, June 21

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government as of 2:15 p.m. on Monday, June 21.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents. Supreme Court Decision in Affordable Care Act Challenge The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act in the California v. Texas case by a 7-2 vote in which the court concluded that the plaintiffs did not have standing to pursue the matter because they were not directly harmed.  See the court’s opinion here. White House The White House has posted a transcript of the June [...]

2021-06-21T21:31:34+00:00June 21, 2021|Affordable Care Act, Coronavirus, COVID-19|

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 [...]

ACA Medicaid Expansion Cut Young Adult Uninsurance in Half

The number of uninsured young adults fell nearly 50 percent after the Affordable Care Act authorized states to expand their Medicaid programs, a new study has found. According to the Urban Institute, the uninsured rate among people between the ages of 19 and 25 fell from 30.2 percent to 16 percent between 2011 and 2018, with most of the decline coming between 2013 and 2016, when the first round of states expanded their Medicaid programs. The decline in the rate of uninsured young adults mirrored declines in the overall U.S. uninsured rate, which fell from 27.7 percent to 11.3 percent [...]

2021-02-25T13:00:37+00:00February 25, 2021|Affordable Care Act, Medicaid|

Coronavirus Update for Friday, January 29

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 2:30 p.m. on Friday, January 29. The Biden Administration The Biden administration has issued an “Executive Order on Strengthening Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act” to make it easier for the uninsured to get coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The order: reopens access to the federal Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplace for three months, from February 15 through May 15, and restores some of the Affordable Care Act exchange marketing funds that had been eliminated by the previous administration and calls for the review of all [...]

2021-02-01T06:00:16+00:00February 1, 2021|Affordable Care Act, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Medicaid|

Administration Reveals Regulatory Priorities for 2020

The Trump administration’s health care regulatory priorities for 2020 have been outlined by the Office of Management and Budget in a newly released “Statement of Regulatory Priorities for Fiscal Year 2020.” The statement, an annual OMB document, organizes the priorities as follows: Facilitating patient-centered markets Fixing health care financing through protecting private insurance and Medicare Fixing health care financing through reforming the individual market Fixing health care financing through making the ACA and Medicaid fiscally sustainable Bringing value to health care through price and quality transparency Bringing value to health care through patient-centered health IT Bringing value to health care [...]

Safety-Net Hospitals Gird for Loss of Medicaid DSH Money

Safety-net hospitals and others will lose a significant portion of their Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) payments on November 22 unless Congress delays implementation of the cut in those payments that was mandated by the Affordable Care Act. And hospitals that receive these payments are now preparing for the worst. The Medicaid DSH cut was included in the 2010 health care reform law in anticipation of a great reduction in the number of uninsured people leaving hospitals providing much less uncompensated care and therefore not in need of as much DSH money.  The law’s reach has not proven to be [...]

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|
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