Earlier this week, members of the Senate Finance Committee announced an agreement to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The announcement had been anxiously awaited by families and advocates across the nation, as the program’s federal funding expires in about two weeks. The agreement is good news, but coverage for CHIP’s 8.9 million children isn’t safe just yet.
The idea that the Affordable Care Act is a job killer is one of those regularly debunked talking points that won’t disappear. So, here’s yet more evidence that the ACA has had very little impact on the labor market.
Umair Shah’s story isn’t an uncommon one in public health. Starting out in medicine, with a career as an emergency department doctor, he said it quickly became clear that most of what impacts our health happens outside the hospital and in the community.
With the future of the Affordable Care Act still up in the air, most of the news coverage has gone to insurance coverage, premiums and Medicaid. And rightly so. But also included in the massive health reform law were a number of innovative measures to improve the quality and value of the medical care we actually get in the doctor’s office. With repeal still on the table, those measures are at risk too.
Remember in the bad old days before the ACA, when those who bought individual plans on the private market faced unpleasant surprises – like finding at out a very inopportune time that their plans didn’t cover hospitalization or maternity care, or that they’d reached a lifetime limit? If Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has his way, we’ll be going back to those hated conditions, but with the added burden of deep Medicaid cuts and other provisions that are awful for public health.
Both the Senate BCRA and the Freedom Caucus budget proposal aim to cut spending on crucial assistance programs while granting large tax breaks that disproportionately benefit the wealthy.
The Congressional Budget Office’s initial score of the Senate’s “Better Care Reconciliation Act” calculated that 22 million people, 15 million of them Medicaid beneficiaries, would lose health insurance by 2026. For Medicaid recipients, though, the picture worsens steadily after that ten-year window, due to per-capita caps on how much the federal government would contribute.