Eric Jacobson, executive director of the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities, a state advocacy group, says, “Medicaid is the lifeline for people with disabilities.” The bulk of spending on the federal-state health care program goes to cover care for seniors, people with disabilities and children. Meanwhile, in Michigan, officials and health care providers try to raise support for the Medicaid expansion in the state. And Sen. Susan Collins, a key Republican in the upcoming health care debate, voices some support for expanding Medicaid in Maine.
Medicaid Cuts Threaten Services For Disabled And Elderly People
When Ben [Gapinski of Glendale, Wis.,] was a toddler he was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. He barely communicated with his parents and needed constant monitoring to stay safe. The Gapinskis needed help. They found a therapist to work with Ben for 24 hours a week, which cost more $50,000 a year. Dan’s workplace insurance paid for some of the costs, but not all. So they turned to Medicaid. … President Trump and Republicans in Congress have proposed massive cuts to Medicaid’s budget over the next decade, and Nancy and Dan Gapinski worry that the services they used for Ben won’t be there if he needs them in the future, or be there for other families.
Disability Advocates Fear Impact Of GOP Health Plan
Several decades ago, Evan Nodvin’s life probably would have looked quite different. Nodvin has his own apartment just outside Atlanta, in Sandy Springs, Ga., which he shares with a roommate, and a job at a local community fitness center. He also has Down syndrome. “I give out towels, and put weights away, and make sure people are safe,” the 38-year-old says. (Yu, 6/6)
Anti-Cancer Group Warns GOP Against Medicaid Cuts
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the advocacy arm of the American Cancer Society, is urging Republicans not to include Medicaid cuts in healthcare legislation. Chris Hansen, president of ACS CAN, wrote to Republican governors on Monday ahead of what the organization said were expected to be calls between governors and Senate Republican leadership this week. (Sullivan, 6/5)
The Associated Press:
State: Keeping Expanded Medicaid Costs $800M Under GOP Bill
It could cost Michigan up to $800 million a year to keep its Medicaid expansion at current enrollment levels if cuts approved by the U.S. House are enacted, top officials in Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration warned Monday while defending a program they said is working and saving lives. (Eggert, 6/5)
Michigan: Medicaid Expansion Producing Big Savings
Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration wants to broaden the equation used to calculate state savings from expanded Medicaid eligibility as it works to protect the Healthy Michigan plan from a potential demise. The 2013 Michigan law includes a trigger that would end expanded eligibility for the low-income health insurance coverage if state costs outweigh savings that result from federal funding. That could happen by fiscal year 2021, according to the nonpartisan Senate Fiscal agency — and even sooner if Congress cuts Medicaid funding as part of the national health care overhaul legislation approved last month by the U.S. House. (Oosting, 6/5)
State And Health Care Officials Call On Federal Government To Preserve Medicaid Expansion
Nick Lyon is the Director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. He said there are improvements that can be made to health care coverage. But their main concern is keeping the Healthy Michigan expansion. “Not only is it valuable to us from a budgetary perspective, it lower the cost long term,” he said. “But also, it gets people the help and care they need before it turns into an urgent situation where they’re in ER.” (Roth, 6/5)
Portland (Maine) Press Herald:
Sen. Collins Says Indiana’s Plan To Expand Medicaid Could Be A Model For Maine
Sen. Susan Collins touted the Medicaid expansion in Indiana as a possible model for Maine on Monday, although she was quick to point out it’s not her decision to make. State governments decide whether to expand Medicaid, and Maine is among the 19 states that have not done so. … The Obama administration approved waivers allowing Indiana and six other states to expand Medicaid to those earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. The states can charge modest premiums and cost-sharing to help pay for the cost of care. (Lawlor, 6/6)
In other Medicaid news —
Oregon Lawmakers Introduce Cost Trimming Bill Aimed At Reducing Deficit
Gov. Kate Brown and lawmakers are considering a package of health care taxes to shore up the state’s Medicaid budget, and Democratic leaders are also pushing to bring in more taxes from corporations. Republicans and some businesses have insisted that any tax increases be accompanied by reductions in state spending and public employee costs. (Borrud, 6/5)
Des Moines Register:
Mercy, AmeriHealth Avoid Split That Would Have Limited Care Choices For 220,000 Iowans
One of Iowa’s largest hospital and clinic systems has reached a deal to continue treating more than 220,000 poor or disabled Iowans covered by the Medicaid managed care company AmeriHealth Caritas. The Mercy Health Network, which includes Des Moines’ Mercy Medical Center and hospitals in 12 other cities, had been in a contract dispute with AmeriHealth since last spring. If the dispute wasn’t settled by July 1, people who receive Medicaid via AmeriHealth would no longer have been able to go to Mercy hospitals and clinics for routine care. (Leys, 6/5)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.