Affordable Care Act/Medicaid Expansion
Health Care For All
After drastic cuts were made in Missouri’s Medicaid program in 2005, Women’s Voices began advocating for quality, affordable health care for all. In January, 2007 we learned about the Massachusetts initiative to provide health care for all their residents and in March, 2007 we stated our position, saying in part that:
Every resident of Missouri deserves to have access to adequate, affordable health care. Providing such a network of care would be a wise investment in the state’s future, benefiting all Missourians, including aging adults, working parents, individuals with disabilities, and the mentally ill. We called for affordable health services for all Missouri’s children, including prevention services.
See the right column for programs on health care for all, the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Expansion.
New Executive Orders on Health Care
On October 12, President Trump issued two new executive order aimed at changing the rules for health insurance.
- First, the President issued an Executive Order aimed at allowing insurance companies to sell cheap, junk insurance plans that are exempt from important consumer protections. These plans can discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, and they don’t have to offer comprehensive coverage.Experts fear these plans will lure healthy people away from high quality insurance with the promise of cheap premiums. As a result, more people will be vulnerable to financial devastation if they suddenly become ill or injured. And, anybody who isn’t in perfect health will face quickly-rising premiums for the insurance plans that can’t discriminate against them.In short, the Executive Order would lead to a two-tier health insurance system: One that sells cheap but skinny plans to people who are currently healthy, and one that sells increasingly expensive to the rest of us – anyone who isn’t in perfect health.
- Later that night, President Trump announced that he will halt cost-sharing subsidies that help insurance companies lower deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for low-income Americans.Experts and elected officials from across the political spectrum agree that this will lead insurance companies to raise premiums even further, and may even lead more insurers to leave the Marketplace. The announcement comes less than three weeks from the start of Open Enrollment for 2018 plans.
What Consumers Need to Know
Most people who buy their health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you should be worried, but not panicked. Here are some things to know:
- President Trump’s Executive Order on junk insurance plans will need to go through months of rule-making and public comments, so it will not take effect immediately.
- By law, insurance companies have to continue providing discounts on out-of-pocket costs like deductibles to those who qualify. If you’re getting these discounts, they will continue. The insurance company won’t get paid back, however, which is why we expect companies to compensate by raising premiums for everybody.
- If you qualify for premium discounts, those discounts are safe and will hold your premiums steady. Because the price you pay is tied to your income, you will be insulated from premium hikes.
- If you don’t qualify for premium discounts, you will pay the price for these reckless decisions. Already, insurance companies in many states had filed huge rate increases because of concerns that the Trump administration would stop the cost-sharing reduction payments. Please be sure to contact your members of Congress and tell them how you will be personally impacted by premium increases of 20% or more.
Obamacare Repeal Fails
The U. S. Senate rejected a replacement for the Affordable Care Act on July 28, 2017. Read more
Thank you to everyone who kept up the pressure on our senators to reject any bill that would take away health care from millions of Americans and remove vulnerable low income workers from Medicaid. The effort to take health insurance from millions of people failed last night. The ACA – Obamacare – remains the law of the land.
Important Factors in Health Care Reform
Provided by Missouri Health Advocacy Alliance
Missouri health-care providers worry as pressure continues to curb Medicaid
“Missouri has among the most restrictive Medicaid programs in the nation, in part, a consequence of the state refusing to expand the program under the Affordable Care Act. And while Republican efforts to repeal and replace the law known as Obamacare fell short last week, health care analysts say pressure on the Medicaid program will continue.”
“If patients start losing Medicaid coverage and more become uninsured, Carron said it would create a ripple effect in his county, causing access problems for patients and financial strain for hospitals and a “hidden tax” on insurers and employers.” Our state legislators are considering changes to the program which have providers and recipients concerned.
Read the 3/26/2017 Post-Dispatch article here
The ACA Is Here To Stay!
June 25, 2015
The Supreme Court ruling maintaining subsidies to offset the cost of health insurance “was a huge win,” according to Robert Gatter, St. Louis University School of Law. At a celebration of the ruling at Central Reform Congregation June 25, Gatter said that the court did the right thing by interpreting the intent of the statute. The purpose of having “an exchange established by a state” was to support health insurance markets, not destroy them. And by allowing consumers who earn 100-400% of poverty to purchase insurance on an exchange, regardless of whether it is run by a state or the federal government, supports health insurance markets.
LaDonna Applebaum stood with Women’s Voices member Melanie Shouse in front of the office of Representative Lacy Clay advocating for the creation of the Affordable Care Act. Melanie, under-insured, was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and died in 2010. But while battling her disease she worked tirelessly for health care for all. LaDonna said, “Because of Melanie, I am here today.”
LaDonna and her husband Tom purchased insurance on the exchange and received their health card January, 2014. In June, Tom had an accident requiring surgery on his hand. In August, LaDonna was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has completed her chemo therapy and radiation treatments. And for those who claim she and Tom are “takers”, she says, “We’re not takers; we’re giver backers!” They hope to earn enough next year to not require a subsidy.
Steven Engelhardt, Communication Director for Representative Lacy Clay, read a statement from the representative. Rep. Clay said that he is gratified that the essential funding mechanism which has provided insurance for 16 million Americans is now the “settled law of the land.” Clay encourages us to use this win as an incentive to work with our state legislators to expand Medicaid and stop allowing 5.4 million dollars to be lost each day by refusing the federal funds. Clay says it is “time for our legislators” to provide the same insurance they receive to the 200,000 Missourians who fall into the coverage gap.