Health Care Blog
- Posted byon December 12, 2013 at 1:28 PM EDT
Under the Affordable Care Act, states have the opportunity to expand Medicaid coverage to provide millions of Americans access to affordable healthcare. In return, states receive 100 percent of federal funding to cover those costs for the first three years and no less than 90 percent federal support for those costs in the years following. Taken together, if all 24 states that haven’t expanded coverage did so, about 5.4 million uninsured Americans would gain access to health insurance coverage by 2016.
This leaves state officials facing a critical decision: play political games and continue to block Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act or put partisanship aside and bring in much needed funds to allow millions of citizens access to healthcare. It should not be a difficult choice. Now is the time for elected officials to follow the example of Governor John Kasich in Ohio and Governor Jan Brewer in Arizona to put politics aside and expand Medicaid.
As Nebraska State Senator Jeremy Nordquist said:
“It’s often overlooked that Nebraska has a high number of uninsured in rural counties. Without expansion, rural hospitals will face growing financial challenges, which will undoubtedly lead to a reduction in the services they provide and – we are hearing – a real risk of these critical hospital closing their doors. The good news is that the Nebraska Legislature is unique. We are nonpartisan, unicameral and constantly find ways to work together to move our state forward. On this issue, there is a strong bipartisan majority that supports expanding Medicaid. Providing access to quality, affordable health care should be a priority for all of us who represent the ‘good life’ in Nebraska. If all legislators and our Governor truly care about growing our economy and strengthening our health care system, we will pass Medicaid expansion in 2014.”
Here’s a sample of some coverage from the last week about local leaders and organizations across the country encouraging leaders to put politics aside, and improve access to quality healthcare by expanding Medicaid:
Washington Times: White House PR blitz hits states that rejected Medicaid expansion The Obama administration’s all-out public relations push to sell its health care reform law increasingly is targeting individual governors, who will bear much of the blame, the White House says, if millions of poor Americans remain uninsured. Administration officials Monday joined with state and local Democratic leaders in North Carolina to put pressure on Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, to expand Medicaid eligibility under Obamacare. Under Mr. McCrory, North Carolina is one of two dozen states that so far have opted out of that expansion, a crucial building block of the Affordable Care Act but one that became voluntary as a result of a Supreme Court decision last year. LINK
McClatchy: White House, N.C. Democrats press state to expand Medicaid The White House enlisted two top North Carolina Democrats on Monday to urge Gov. Pat McCrory and the legislature to reconsider their opposition to Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. “Medicaid expansion is a smart choice for states,” White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said during a telephone news conference along with Durham Democrats, Mayor Bill Bell and state Sen. Floyd McKissick. Earnest said that states would save money “over and above the expense of expanding Medicaid.” Bell said that in Durham, the state’s fourth largest city, 61,000 people would get insurance if the expansion went through. LINK
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Lisa No Longer Has to Worry About Her Daughter's Pre-Existing ConditionPosted byon December 12, 2013 at 12:15 PM EDT
Lisa's daughter Zoie was diagnosed with childhood kidney cancer at age 3. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies are now prohibited from denying health coverage to children like Zoie who have pre-existing conditions. Below, see what Lisa has to say about how the health care law is helping her familiy.
For more information:
- Posted byon December 4, 2013 at 11:40 PM EDT
“You have stage IV cancer”.
“Well, how many stages are there? Five, Six, Ten?”
“There's only four”.
Two months after proposing to my wife and just three months before my 36th birthday, those were the first words spoken to me by my oncologist.
A check-up with my family doctor only days before spawned a whirlwind of appointments, scans, and tests. I sat, listening in awe, trying to wrap my head around the reality of balancing fear and uncertainty with wanting to fight, but not really knowing how. I learned that I was now a stage IV, metastatic colorectal cancer patient. A cancer that usually afflicts those 65 and older wasn’t just inside my body, it was growing and making its way through my body, spreading from my colon to a tumor in my liver and possibly a lesion on my lungs.
I was otherwise healthy my whole life – 35 years old, an athlete into college, professionally doing important work I’d only dreamed of, and finally about to be married and start my own family. Fighting to survive a catastrophic disease was NOT part my plans.
Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to have insurance through my employer and my cancer was treatable and curable they said. Thankfully, because I had insurance, they said, if I gave them the next year for treatment, they’d give me back the rest of my life.
But imagine if I didn’t have access to health insurance through my job. Until that week, just 16 months ago, I could have made the case that I almost didn’t “need” to spend money on health insurance. Technically, with only yearly check-ups and mostly needing only over-the-counter medicines, I could have afforded to pay for my healthcare needs myself.
- Posted byon December 4, 2013 at 8:50 PM EDT
This afternoon, youth leaders from across the country gathered here for our White House Youth Summit. The Summit was made of up 160 of this country's finest national and local leaders aged 18-35. Joined by White House and Administration staff, these millennial participants discussed issues important to their generation -- especially spreading the word about the Affordable Care Act and organizing to get people enrolled in their respective communities. They also participated in a series of panels and breakout workshops with administration officials, stakeholder groups, and advocates.
To kick off the event, a very special guest dropped by to speak to the Youth Summit: President Obama -- who let young Americans know he needed their help.
So I'm going to need you all to spread the word about how the Affordable Care Act really works, what its benefits are, what its protections are and, most importantly, how people can sign up. I know people call this law Obamacare. And that's okay -- because I do care. I care about you. I care about families. I care about Americans.
But no matter how much I care, the truth is, is that for your friends and your family, the most important source of information is not going to be me, it's going to be you. They are going to trust you. If you're taking them on a website, walking them through it saying, look at the price you're able to get, look at the benefits you're able to get. That's what's going to be making a difference.
- Posted byon December 4, 2013 at 4:46 PM EDTYou've probably been hearing a lot about health reform and HealthCare.gov these past few months.Here's the bottom line: Reform is improving the lives of millions of Americans, right now. Here are just a few of their stories.
You might also like:
- Posted byon December 3, 2013 at 5:25 PM EDT
Today, HHS released its first monthly report on Medicaid enrollment and enrollment in the Children’s Health Insurance Program – and it’s good news. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act and decisions by Democratic and Republican elected officials in 26 states to expand their Medicaid programs, 1.46 million hardworking Americans have applied for and been deemed eligible to enroll in quality, affordable health care.
More hardworking Americans will know the security of health care coverage in states that chose to expand Medicaid than those states that chose to recklessly and irresponsibly deny health coverage to millions of Americans. In fact, if every state expanded Medicaid coverage, over 5.4 million more Americans—and more than 1 million in Texas alone—would get health coverage. And today’s report showed that states that expanded Medicaid have seen over a 15 percent increase in applications for Medicaid and CHIP, compared to the average monthly enrollment in the three preceding months. While states that refused to expand Medicaid only saw a 4.1 percent increase in applications.
This spike in applications confirmed what we have always known: hardworking Americans need and want the security of affordable health coverage.