Archive for Medicaid

 

Federal Health Policy Update for Tuesday, April 27

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government as of 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 27.

The White House

COVID-19

Health Policy News

Congress

  • The New Democrat Coalition is a group of 94 mostly centrist Democrats working to bridge the gap between left and right on health care by offering proposals that seek to build on the policy infrastructure that currently exists rather than replacing it.  The coalition has written to President Biden with its list of policy recommendations that it asks him to incorporate into the American Families Plan.  Learn more about the New Democrat Coalition here and learn more about the health care policies it espouses in its recent letter to President Biden.
  • A group of 17 Democratic senators has written to President Biden asking him to pursue expansion of Medicare in his soon-to-be-unveiled American Families

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A federal Medicaid waiver approved for the state of Texas in the waning days of the Trump administration has been rescinded by the Biden administration.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 officials, the decision was “… an effort to push state officials toward accepting the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, which would cover more low-income residents….”

According to the Post, “Health advocates had described that waiver as an effort to work around the federal Medicaid expansion by setting up alternate funding to help cover the costs of uninsured patients.” The Post notes that the Biden administration has been urging Texas and the other 11 states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care to do so.

Learn more about the CMS decision to rescind the Texas …

Medicaid Changes Coming?

In office only three months, it appears the new administration has its sights set on expanding Medicaid. According to the Washington Post, Medicaid expansion could be in the works in several areas, including:

  • elimination of work requirements
  • Medicaid expansion in more states
  • extended coverage for women who give birth
  • increased funding for home-based care
  • easier enrollment processes
  • increased coverage for recent immigrants and prisoners

Learn more about possible Medicaid changes to come in the Washington Post article “Trump tried to shrink Medicaid.  Here’s how Biden will try to expand it.”

Medicaid Coverage “Cliff” Poses Threat to Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries

Nearly one-third of Medicare beneficiaries do not meet the criteria for Medicaid eligibility but have so little income that they are unlikely to be able to afford their share of their Medicare costs, such as co-pays and deductibles.

This is known as the “Medicaid coverage cliff,” and Becker’s Hospital Review, drawing from a recent study published in the journal Health Affairs, takes a brief look at what the Medicaid cliff is and how it may affect the well-being of those affected by this cliff.  Learn more in the Becker’s Hospital Review article “5 things to know about the Medicaid coverage ‘cliff’.”…

Federal Health Policy Update for Wednesday, April 14

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government as of 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday, April 14.

Temporary Halt to Use of the Johnson & Johnson Janssen Vaccine

  • The White House held a press briefing on Tuesday, April 13 during which the White House press secretary, its COVID-19 response coordinator, and Dr. Anthony Fauci discussed the decision to halt administration of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine until its safety can be further examined.  Learn more from a transcript of that briefing.
  • Representatives of the FDA and CDC briefed the news media on the situation involving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.  Listen to that briefing here.
  • The FDA and CDC issued a joint statement noting some adverse effects from the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and explaining that

CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Wednesday to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates these cases. Until that process is complete, we are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution.

  • The CDC has published a health alert about its