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smoking penalties, er fees, premiums on the poor: how states want to shrink medi


indiana hopes to make medicaid enrollees pay a fee if they smoke cigarettes. arizona wants to put a five-year limit on how long its poor residents can be enrolled in the program. and kentucky wants families earning as little as $5,100 to pay medicaid premiums - and to kick patients out of the program if their payments get 60 days behind.these proposals are part of a host of changes that mostly conservative states have unsuccessfully sought for years to overhaul medicaid, a federal insurance program for the poor and disabled.now, the trump administration is giving at least some of these initiatives the green light. on thursday, health officials issued new guidance to state medicaid directors, saying the administration would allow states to impose work requirements on certain medicaid recipi






medicaid recipients should get jobs and pay premiums, new chief says


washington - hours after she was sworn in, the trump administration’s top official for medicaid and her boss dispatched a letter to the nation’s governors, urging states to alter the insurance program for poor and disabled people by charging them insurance premiums, requiring them to pay part of emergency room bills and prodding them to get jobs.the letter, sent tuesday night by seema verma, the new administrator of the centers for medicare and medicaid services (cms), and health and human services secretary tom price, also derides the medicaid expansion that 31 states and the district of columbia adopted under the affordable care act (aca).the expansion, which has extended medicaid to 11 million people with incomes of up to about $16,000 for a single person or nearly $34,000 for a family






medicaid recipients should get jobs, pay premiums, chief says


washington - hours after she was sworn in, the trump administration’s top official for medicaid and her boss dispatched a letter to the nation’s governors, urging states to alter the insurance program for poor and disabled people by charging them insurance premiums, requiring them to pay part of emergency room bills and prodding them to get jobs.the letter, sent tuesday night by seema verma, the new administrator of the centers for medicare and medicaid services (cms), and health and human services secretary tom price, also derides the medicaid expansion that 31 states and the district of columbia adopted under the affordable care act (aca).the expansion, which has extended medicaid to 11 million people with incomes of up to about $16,000 for a single person or nearly $34,000 for a family






trump administration to allow states to require some medicaid patients to work t


the trump administration cleared the way thursday for states to impose work requirements on many americans who depend on medicaid, the mammoth government health insurance program for the poor.the much-anticipated move would mark the first time in the program’s half-century history that the government will require people to work in exchange for health coverage. in states that decide to impose the new requirement, it is widely expected to shrink medicaid rolls.the new plan sets the stage for a potentially long and contentious legal battle over the shape and purpose of a health program that more than 70 million americans now depend on.the administration is outlining the work-requirement plan in a letter to state officials. the letter indicates the administration’s willingness to grant state r






tom cotton says ‘able-bodied’ poor people don’t deserve ‘welfare’


sen. tom cotton (r-ar) on sunday called on “able-bodied” poor people to be removed from medicaid. cnn host jake tapper noted during an interview on state of the union that republican governors had criticized house speaker paul ryan’s (r-wi) plan to repeal obamacare because it would reduce funds for medicaid, leaving millions without medical coverage.“they are saying, by removing the medicaid expansion that happened during obamacare, that helped provide insurance to 250,000 arkansans, this replacement is going to take it away,” tapper explained. “does that concern you?” cotton declared that many people on medicaid should be purchasing their own insurance instead. “medicaid is a welfare program,” he said. “it’s primarily designed for the indigent, elderly, the disabled, the blind and childre






trump is right to let states impose work requirements for medicaid


the trump administration announced thursday it will allow states to impose work requirements on abled-bodied adults to qualify for medicaid. this marks the first time the federal government has allowed any kind of work requirement for medicaid eligibility—and it’s about time.on the surface, work requirements for medicaid might seem cruel or punitive. after all, medicaid is supposed to provide health coverage to the poor and disabled, the most vulnerable among us. as a policy proposal, work requirements may seem almost tailor-made to make republicans look cold and heartless.but the reality is that medicaid, like most federal and state welfare programs, has gotten so out of control and strayed so far from its original purpose that imposing work requirements on able-bodied adults will actuall






the latest: gop health plan cuts medicaid, ends penalties


washington — the latest on the senate republicans' health care bill (all times edt):5:45 p.m.sources say top senate republicans are finalizing their plan for dismantling president barack obama's health care law.their proposal would cut and revamp medicaid, end penalties on people not buying coverage and eliminate tax increases that financed the statute's expansion of coverage.that's according to lobbyists and congressional aides who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly.departing from the house-approved version of the legislation — which president donald trump privately called "mean" last week — the senate plan would drop the house bill's waivers allowing states to let insurers boost premiums on some people with pre-existing conditions.sena






kellyanne conway won’t abandon deception that trumpcare won’t kill medicaid


kellyanne conway doubled down on her claim over the weekend that the senate version of the healthcare bill did not cut medicaid. during an appearance with “fox and friends,” conway swore it wasn’t “a lie.” “in fact, this is slowing the growth of medicaid and allowing governors more flexibility in their states to be able to give the dollars out as they — because they are closest to the people in need,” she told the panel. the republican healthcare plan replaces federal investments in medicaid and passes it onto the states and will ultimately, completely phase out the program as we know it today. still, republicans like conway and others are hoping they can claim the cuts aren’t there and americans will believe it. a new poll reveals only 38 percent are aware that the bill would cut it.“also






‘do they really need a wheelchair?’ fox doctor complains medicaid patients getti


one of fox news’ in-house doctors said on thursday that americans using medicaid have it too good because they’re going to get treatments without even paying deductibles.via media matters, dr. marc siegel appeared on fox & friends to talk about the gop’s proposed health care bill. as part of the segment, he said the goal should be to cut back medicaid services to the bare basics because, at the moment, many medicaid patients are getting too much care.“no disincentive for overuse,” siegel said of medicaid. “no co-pays. no deductibles. in states that have the medicaid expansion, emergency room visits are up by nine percent. now, hospitals like that because patients that used to be uninsured now have their medicaid card, but they’re flocking into the ers to get services they don’t often need.






‘great bumper sticker — it won’t give you healthcare’


republicans are big fans of the free market, but joy reid was merciless in her cross-examination of heritage foundation staffer tommy binion attempting to claim the free market fixes all. “i think the markets would respond the way we expect a free market to respond,” binion began. “we know that free markets bring competition between firms when they’re competing for your business, they’re going to offer a better product at a lower price. part of the reasons premiums have gone up so high is because of obamacare. i expect premiums to get a lot cheaper if obamacare were to be repealed.”that’s when reid pounced. “if there was a robust market to insure the people who were added to the insurance rolls under the medicaid expansion, these are basically the working poor, people at 125 percent of the






‘great bumper sticker — it won’t give you healthcare’


republicans are big fans of the free market, but joy reid was merciless in her cross-examination of heritage foundation staffer tommy binion attempting to claim the free market fixes all. “i think the markets would respond the way we expect a free market to respond,” binion began. “we know that free markets bring competition between firms when they’re competing for your business, they’re going to offer a better product at a lower price. part of the reasons premiums have gone up so high is because of obamacare. i expect premiums to get a lot cheaper if obamacare were to be repealed.”that’s when reid pounced. “if there was a robust market to insure the people who were added to the insurance rolls under the medicaid expansion, these are basically the working poor, people at 125 percent of the






‘great bumper sticker — it won’t give you healthcare’


republicans are big fans of the free market, but joy reid was merciless in her cross-examination of heritage foundation staffer tommy binion attempting to claim the free market fixes all.“i think the markets would respond the way we expect a free market to respond,” binion began. “we know that free markets bring competition between firms when they’re competing for your business, they’re going to offer a better product at a lower price. part of the reasons premiums have gone up so high is because of obamacare. i expect premiums to get a lot cheaper if obamacare were to be repealed.”that’s when reid pounced.“if there was a robust market to insure the people who were added to the insurance rolls under the medicaid expansion, these are basically the working poor, people at 125 percent of the p






who wins and who loses in the senate health bill (as if you can't guess)


the senategop leadership calls its proposal to overhaul obamacare the “better care” act. but better care for whom?* not for the working poor. the bill’s new premium subsidies for those not covered by large employer health plans would be less generous than they are now, pushing recipients into policies with higher deductibles and co-pays. and when the new subsidies begin in 2020, the bill would end the second set of subsidies that the affordable care act provided those near the poverty line to offset their out-of-pocket costs.* not for the middle class. instead of extending help to more middle-income consumers squeezed by higher premiums in the individual market, the bill would extend help to fewer.* not for impoverished, childless adults in the 31 states that expanded medicaid to cover the






medicaid may require work, payments from the poor, as indiana tried


indiana model for medicaid expansion may provide blueprint for 19 states without it.        






what the budget analysts say about gop health care bill


washington — the republican bill to replace major portions of barack obama's health care law would leave 24 million additional people uninsured over the next decade, according to projections from the congressional budget office. a look at what the cbo said monday about the house gop plan that's backed by president donald trump:___— it would reduce budget deficits by $337 billion over a decade. the largest savings would come from reductions for medicaid, the federal-state health care program for low-income americans, and elimination of obama's subsidies for individuals buying coverage.— fourteen million more people would be uninsured next year, mostly 6 million who wouldn't get coverage on the individual market and 5 million fewer under medicaid.— the number of uninsured would rise to 24 mi






l.a. county might stop charging needy defendants a $50 fee


indigent and other needy criminal defendants in los angeles county may soon get a reprieve from the $50 fee they are charged for representation by public defenders or court-appointed lawyers.the board of supervisors is expected to approve a motion tuesday that would revoke the registration fee, which the county allows these defendants to be charged before they receive any legal services. the motion does not address other fees that defendants might be assessed after a case ends.the move comes amid growing awareness nationwide of the criminal justice system’s disproportionate impact on the poor.advocates say that though there has been some reform of the bail system, in which poor people are forced to await trial in jail because they can’t post bail, less attention has been paid to the admini






a look at the house republican health care bill


washington — house republicans have passed legislation to roll back much of former president barack obama's health care law. the legislation would rework subsidies for private insurance, limit federal spending on medicaid for low-income people and cut taxes on upper-income individuals used to finance obama's overhaul.the nonpartisan congressional budget office estimates that the republican bill would result in 24 million fewer people having health insurance by 2026, compared to obama's 2010 statute.here are key elements of the bill:__ends tax penalties obama's law imposes on individuals who don't purchase health insurance and on larger employers who don't offer coverage to workers.__halts extra payments washington sends states to expand medicaid to additional poorer americans, and forbids






a look at the house republican health care bill


washington — house republicans planned a vote thursday on a revised bill rolling back much of former president barack obama's health care law. the legislation would rework subsidies for private insurance, limit federal spending on medicaid for low-income people and cut taxes on upper-income individuals used to finance obama's overhaul.the nonpartisan congressional budget office estimates that the republican bill will result in 24 million fewer people having health insurance by 2026, compared to obama's 2010 statute.here are key elements of the bill:__ends tax penalties obama's law imposes on individuals who don't purchase health insurance and larger employers who don't offer coverage to workers.__halts extra payments washington sends states to expand medicaid to additional poorer americans






west virginia's capito in a spot with gop health care bill


morgantown, w.va. — west virginia's republican senator, shelley moore capito, is under pressure from those in her state opposed to medicaid cuts in the senate gop health care bill.west virginia has one of the country's lowest median incomes. it's home to some of the worst rates of drug overdose deaths, smoking, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and disabilities.around 3 in 10 west virginians are on medicaid, making it the state most dependent on the health insurance program for the poor, disabled and nursing home residents.capito says she cares deeply about health care but that changes and reforms to medicaid are necessary.one of the few republicans opposed to the bill as written, capito says she wants to protect the state's medicaid expansion and keep other programs helping her con






graham-cassidy bill would cut funding to 34 states, report shows


the latest senate republican drive to dismantle the affordable care act would sharply reduce federal spending on health insurance and cause 34 states to lose such funding, according to an analysis that details the checkerboard of winners and losers the plan would create.the analysis by avalere health, a washington-based health-policy consulting firm, forecasts that the amount of federal money devoted to medicaid and private insurance subsidies would shrink by $215 billion between 2020, when the plan would begin, and 2026, the last year money is provided in the cassidy-graham bill.more than half of the overall cuts in the legislation - named for its primary sponsors, republican sens. bill cassidy, la., and lindsey graham, s.c., - would come from medicaid, the analysis shows.states with rela






graham-cassidy bill would cut funding to 34 states, report shows


the latest senate republican drive to dismantle the affordable care act would sharply reduce federal spending on health insurance and cause 34 states to lose such funding, according to an analysis that details the checkerboard of winners and losers the plan would create.the analysis by avalere health, a washington-based health-policy consulting firm, forecasts that the amount of federal money devoted to medicaid and private insurance subsidies would shrink by $215 billion between 2020, when the plan would begin, and 2026, the last year money is provided in the cassidy-graham bill. its primary sponsors are republican sens. bill cassidy, la., and lindsey graham, s.c.more than half of the overall cuts would come from medicaid, the analysis shows.states with relatively low medical costs, skimp






how trump’s budget helps the rich at the expense of the poor – the denver post


for president barack obama, the gap separating rich and poor americans was, as he put it in a speech in 2013, “the defining challenge of our time.” he and his administration labored against republican opposition and tough economic realities to shrink that disparity for eight years, making reducing inequality a central goal of national policymaking.despite those efforts, the united states remains among the most unequal developed countries, and on tuesday, president donald trump decisively abandoned his predecessor’s attempts to narrow inequality.to the contrary, the policies described in his first comprehensive federal budget would add to the incomes of the rich, while taking away from the poor.“it’s just the complete obverse of what obama was doing,” said jared bernstein, who was chief eco






how trump’s budget helps the rich at the expense of the poor – the denver post


for president barack obama, the gap separating rich and poor americans was, as he put it in a speech in 2013, “the defining challenge of our time.” he and his administration labored against republican opposition and tough economic realities to shrink that disparity for eight years, making reducing inequality a central goal of national policymaking.despite those efforts, the united states remains among the most unequal developed countries, and on tuesday, president donald trump decisively abandoned his predecessor’s attempts to narrow inequality.to the contrary, the policies described in his first comprehensive federal budget would add to the incomes of the rich, while taking away from the poor.“it’s just the complete obverse of what obama was doing,” said jared bernstein, who was chief eco






west virginia’s capito in a spot with gop health care bill


morgantown, w.va. (ap) — west virginia’s republican senator, shelley moore capito, is under pressure from those in her state opposed to medicaid cuts in the senate gop health care bill.west virginia has one of the country’s lowest median incomes. it’s home to some of the worst rates of drug overdose deaths, smoking, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and disabilities.around 3 in 10 west virginians are on medicaid, making it the state most dependent on the health insurance program for the poor, disabled and nursing home residents.capito says she cares deeply about health care but that changes and reforms to medicaid are necessary.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.one of the few republicans opposed to the bill as written, capito says she wants to protect the sta






gop focus on lowering health premiums may undermine benefits


washington (ap) — republicans trying to dismantle former president barack obama’s health care law have run into the same problem that bedeviled him: quality health insurance doesn’t come cheap, especially if it protects people in poor health, older adults not yet eligible for medicare, and the poor.something has to give.now, the gop’s laser focus on lowering premiums could undermine comprehensive coverage that consumers also value, such as the current guarantees that people with medical problems can get health insurance, or that plans will cover costly conditions such as substance abuse.“premiums do not tell the whole story,” said trish riley, executive director of the national academy for state health policy, a nonpartisan organization that advises states.most read storiesunlimited digita






gop focus on lowering health premiums may undermine benefits


washington (ap) — republicans trying to dismantle former president barack obama’s health care law have run into the same problem that bedeviled him: quality health insurance doesn’t come cheap, especially if it protects people in poor health, older adults not yet eligible for medicare, and the poor.something has to give.now, the gop’s laser focus on lowering premiums could undermine comprehensive coverage that consumers also value, such as the current guarantees that people with medical problems can get health insurance, or that plans will cover costly conditions such as substance abuse.“premiums do not tell the whole story,” said trish riley, executive director of the national academy for state health policy, a nonpartisan organization that advises states.most read storiessale! get 90% of






latest health repeal bill in senate could cost minnesota billions


washington — minnesota stands to lose billions of dollars in federal funding if senate republicans are successful next week in their latest bid to dismantle the affordable care act.supporters of the so-called graham-cassidy bill say it returns control of health care policy to the states. but many minnesota health officials counter that it endangers care of seniors and people with disabilities, and would lead to even more costly premiums in the individual market.“people won’t be able to afford to get coverage and at the end of the day more people will go without the medical care that they need,” said jim schowalter, ceo of the minnesota council of health plans. “this takes us back several steps.”like other states, minnesota under the proposal would get a federal health care block grant, wit






latest health bill in senate could end up costing minn. billions


washington – minnesota stands to lose billions of dollars in federal funding if senate republicans are successful next week in their latest bid to dismantle the affordable care act.supporters of the so-called graham-cassidy bill say it returns control of health care policy to the states. but many minnesota health officials counter that it endangers care of seniors and people with disabilities and would lead to even more costly premiums in the individual market."people won't be able to afford to get coverage and at the end of the day more people will go without the medical care that they need," said jim schowalter, ceo of the minnesota council of health plans. "this takes us back several steps."like other states, minnesota under the proposal would get a federal health care block grant, with






major shift as trump opens way for medicaid work requirement


rewriting the rules on health care for the poor, the trump administration said thursday it will allow states to require "able-bodied" medicaid recipients to work, a hotly debated first in the program's half-century history.seema verma, head of the centers for medicare and medicaid services, said requiring work or community involvement can make a positive difference in people's lives and in their health. the goal is to help people move from public assistance into jobs that provide health insurance. "we see people moving off of medicaid as a good outcome," she said.but advocates said work requirements will become one more hoop for low-income people to jump through, and many could be denied needed coverage because of technicalities and challenging new paperwork. lawsuits are expected as indiv






major shift as trump opens way for medicaid work requirement


rewriting the rules on health care for the poor, the trump administration said thursday it will allow states to require "able-bodied" medicaid recipients to work, a hotly debated first in the program's half-century history.seema verma, head of the centers for medicare and medicaid services, said requiring work or community involvement can make a positive difference in people's lives and in their health. the goal is to help people move from public assistance into jobs that provide health insurance. "we see people moving off of medicaid as a good outcome," she said.but advocates said work requirements will become one more hoop for low-income people to jump through, and many could be denied needed coverage because of technicalities and challenging new paperwork. lawsuits are expected as indiv






ap sources: senate gop would halt obamacare penalties, taxes


top senaterepublicans prepared wednesday to release their plan for dismantling president barack obama's health care law, a proposal that would cut and revamp medicaid, end penalties on people not buying coverage and eliminate tax increases that financed the statute's expansion of coverage, lobbyists and congressional aides said. departing from the house-approved version of the legislation — which president donald trump privately called "mean" last week — the senate plan would drop the house bill's waivers allowing states to let insurers boost premiums on some people with pre-existing conditions. it would also largely retain the subsidies obama provided to help millions buy insurance, which are pegged mostly to people's incomes and the premiums they pay. the house-approved tax credits were






ap sources: senate gop would halt obamacare penalties, taxes


top senaterepublicans prepared wednesday to release their plan for dismantling president barack obama's health care law, a proposal that would cut and revamp medicaid, end penalties on people not buying coverage and eliminate tax increases that financed the statute's expansion of coverage, lobbyists and congressional aides said. departing from the house-approved version of the legislation — which president donald trump privately called "mean" last week — the senate plan would drop the house bill's waivers allowing states to let insurers boost premiums on some people with pre-existing conditions. it would also largely retain the subsidies obama provided to help millions buy insurance, which are pegged mostly to people's incomes and the premiums they pay. the house-approved tax credits were






the medicaid threat that isn’t getting much attention


heath haussamen / nmpolitics.netthe u.s. capitol buildingno corner of the health care system would be harder hit than medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for the poor, if republican leaders in congress round up the votes to repeal major portions of the affordable care act.gop lawmakers have proposed winding down the medicaid expansion that added 17 million people in 31 states and the district of columbia under the aca, and eventually capping the program’s spending per capita.if the current bill in the senate becomes law, 15 million fewer people would have coverage through medicaid by 2026, the congressional budget office has predicted.but other efforts that are garnering much less attention would further reshape medicaid, potentially knocking millions more off the rolls. t






the medicaid threat that isn’t getting much attention


heath haussamen / nmpolitics.netthe u.s. capitol buildingno corner of the health care system would be harder hit than medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for the poor, if republican leaders in congress round up the votes to repeal major portions of the affordable care act.gop lawmakers have proposed winding down the medicaid expansion that added 17 million people in 31 states and the district of columbia under the aca, and eventually capping the program’s spending per capita.if the current bill in the senate becomes law, 15 million fewer people would have coverage through medicaid by 2026, the congressional budget office has predicted.but other efforts that are garnering much less attention would further reshape medicaid, potentially knocking millions more off the rolls. t






some win and some lose with 'obamacare' still around


washington — the old and the poor made out great when house republicans failed friday to dismantle barack obama's affordable care act. the rich and the almost rich didn't do so well.the measure would have repealed major parts of obama's health law, capping future funding for medicaid and cutting tax increases for high-income families, health insurance companies and drugmakers.the bill would have repealed tax credits that people can use to purchase health insurance and replace them with a new tax credit that would have been less generous for most.the winners, losers and a few in between:___winners—some 24 million additional people who would have been without health insurance by 2026. that's the tally according to the nonpartisan congressional budget office.—individuals ages 50 to 64. under






some win and some lose with ‘obamacare’ still around


washington (ap) — the old and the poor made out great when house republicans failed friday to dismantle barack obama’s affordable care act. the rich and the almost rich didn’t do so well.the measure would have repealed major parts of obama’s health law, capping future funding for medicaid and cutting tax increases for high-income families, health insurance companies and drugmakers.the bill would have repealed tax credits that people can use to purchase health insurance and replace them with a new tax credit that would have been less generous for most.the winners, losers and a few in between:most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.___winners—some 24 million additional people who would have been without health insurance by 2026. that’s the tally according to the nonpartisan






from spitting whales in japan to car-racing crashes in hungary, the week in p os


jul 24, 2015 4:54 pm et in this week’s p os, a spitting whale in japan, a car-racing crash in hungary, wildfires in british columbia and more. to read the full story, subscribe or sign in