Senate File 118 expands Medicaid eligibility to the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion population— roughly 24,000 working-age, able-bodied adults—for at least three years. This bill would enroll some of the Medicaid expansion population in qualified health plans on the ObamaCare health insurance exchange and would enroll some individuals in Old Medicaid. Enrollees earning less than the federal poverty level would be charged premiums totaling no more than 2 percent of their income (no more than $19/month). The bill does not specify how much enrollees earning between 100 and 138 percent of the federal poverty level would pay for their health care. The bill seeks to “avoid creating a disincentive for a beneficiary to increase that beneficiary’s household income” and allows the governor to consider Health Savings Accounts.
SENATE FILE 118 CREATES A TWO-TIERED SYSTEM OF CARE
Under this expansion, able-bodied, working-age adults will receive private health insurance on the ObamaCare health insurance exchange. But the existing Medicaid population—children, seniors and individuals with disabilities—are stuck in the broken Old Medicaid system.Read More
After lawmakers in Arkansas and Iowa adopted a new brand of Medicaid expansion in 2013, legislators in other states—even those opposed to traditional Medicaid expansion—began considering replicating these so-called “Private Option” Medicaid expansions.
The Nebraska Legislature is currently considering one of these “alternative” plans to expand Medicaid eligibility, which it calls the Wellness in Nebraska (WIN) plan. This program sets forth numerous goals, namely that it will protect the most vulnerable, promote personal responsibility, reduce uncompensated care and provide budget stability. Unfortunately, this new proposal is unlikely to meet any of these objectives.
Rather than protecting the most vulnerable, WIN is likely to create a two-tiered system of care, prioritizing able-bodied adults over the truly needy. Rather than encouraging cost-conscious behaviors, the WIN plan, as structured, will reduce personal responsibility and cost-sharing, incentivizing enrollees to pick the most expensive options and engage in inappropriate utilization of health care services. The experiences of other states that have expanded Medicaid also highlight why it is unlikely that the WIN plan will significantly reduce uncompensated charity care. Finally, the WIN plan is designed in a way that is likely to lead to uncontrollable and unpredictable costs, not the kind of budget stability hoped for by proponents.Read More
More Broken Promises for Maine Patients & Taxpayers
PROMISE: MEDICAID EXPANSION WILL DRAMATICALLY REDUCE MAINE’S RATE OF UNINSURED
TRUTH: OBAMACARE’S MEDICAID EXPANSION WILL HAVE NO IMPACT ON THE UNINSURED RATE
• Maine’s prior Medicaid expansion resulted in a virtually unchanged uninsured rate among the non-elderly, from 12.3% (132,000) in 2002 to 11.8% (133,000) by 2011. Arizona, Delaware and Oregon had the same experience.
• Medicaid expansion encourages people to drop private coverage they pay for themselves to enroll in taxpayer-paid Medicaid.
Projections of how many Americans will enroll in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) insurance exchanges are a moving target. The Supreme Court’s ObamaCare ruling in 2012 and the implementation decisions of individual states have kept federal projections in flux. Initial estimates of 14 million enrollees in 2014 have been quietly downplayed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services—an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office now predicts just 7 million people will enroll in the exchanges in 2014. The administration hopes that enrollment will rise to 24 million individuals by 2017.
The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) keeps tabs on these federal projections and calculates enrollment projections on a state-by-state basis. Over the next six months, FGA will track actual enrollment as well to see how successful the federal government has been in convincing Americans to enroll in the ObamaCare exchanges.Read More
In January, Utah Governor Gary Herbert announced that “doing nothing is not an option” when it comes to expanding Medicaid as permitted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The two options under consideration by Utah’s Health Reform Task Force are largely based on Arkansas’s Private Option, which is often held up as a market-oriented alternative to ObamaCare.Read More
Chairman Burris, Chairperson Bledsoe and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to speak today. My name is Jonathan Ingram. I am an attorney and serve as director of research at the Foundation for Government Accountability. We are a non-partisan research organization focused exclusively on health and welfare issues and we work with legislators and executive branch officials across the country to improve failing Medicaid programs. You can learn more about our work at MedicaidCure.org.Read More
Medicaid expansion is perhaps the single most important aspect of ObamaCare. Once fully implemented, most of the individuals the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) expects to gain coverage under ObamaCare will do so through Medicaid expansion. The agreement Arkansas made with the Obama administration explicitly states that the Private Option expands Medicaid coverage to all groups made eligible through Title II of ObamaCare.Read More
Representative Bruce Westerman, Majority Leader, Arkansas House
Tarren Bragdon, Chief Executive Officer at the Foundation for Government Accountability
Jonathan Ingram, Director of Research at the Foundation for Government Accountability
The Arkansas Private Option, passed in 2013, is being held up by its in-state supporters as a market-oriented alternative to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion. As a result, many legislators in other states who may be opposed to Medicaid expansion are considering replicating Arkansas’ so-called Private Option in their own states.Read More
Many citizens are unaware of the extensive role the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) plays in the administration and compliance of ObamaCare (Affordable Care Act) tax credits. While some media attention has been paid to the enforcement of the individual mandate by the IRS, the agency’s role and scope over the tax credits is significantly greater.Read More