As I announced a couple weeks back, I spent most of the past week attending the annual Families USA healthcare conference in Washington, D.C. The conference has been going on for many years, but this is the first time I attended, so it was a big deal for me.
Families USA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan consumer health advocacy organization. It was co-founded in 1981 by attorney Ronald Pollack, its current executive director, and Philippe Villers, the organization’s current president. Families USA is an influential advocate in Washington, D.C., and has played a leading role on virtually every major piece of health care legislation, especially the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), numerous Medicaid measures, and the Medicare Part D plan.
(Update: Ron Pollack stepped down last year; Frederick Isasi is the new Executive Director)
Press Release: Governor Cuomo Ensures Medicaid Coverage for DACA Recipients Regardless of Federal Action
If Congress Does Not Act to Protect DACA, New York DACA Recipients will Remain Eligible for State-Funded Medicaid
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy will remain eligible for state-funded Medicaid, regardless of any federal changes to or termination of the program. There are approximately 42,000* DACA recipients in New York, many of whom are at risk of losing their employment-based health insurance if the federal government changes or terminates the program. Under New York law, DACA recipients are considered PRUCOL (Permanently Residing Under Color of Law) and eligible for state-funded Medicaid or CHIP.
U.S. Rep Pat Meehan said Tuesday he had developed a deep “affection” for a younger aide and told her that he saw her as “a soul mate” as they talked over ice cream one night last year, but in an interview with the Inquirer he said he never pursued a romantic relationship with the woman, who later accused him of sexual harassment.
Meehan, a Delaware County Republican, also acknowledged that he initially reacted “selfishly” when he found out the aide, decades younger than him, had entered into a serious relationship with another man, and shared a heartfelt, hand-written letter he wrote to her in May wishing her well, but also thanking God “for putting you into my life and for all that we have seen and experienced and genuinely shared together.”
He also said he intends to continue running for reelection in Pennsylvania’s Seventh District.
Washington Healthplanfinder Closes Open Enrollment with Record 242,000 Sign-Ups Health plan selections spike eight percent over last year, dental plan selections jump 12 percent
OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington Health Benefit Exchange announced today that more than 242,000 customers signed up for Qualified Health Plans (QHP) through Washington Healthplanfinder by the close of open enrollment on Jan. 15 – an eight percent increase over the previous year.
Yesterday I correctly noted that Congressional Republicans took around 9.6 million hostages during budget negotiations: 8.9 million children enrolled in the CHIP program, and 690,000 DACA recipients (aka Dreamers)...young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States when they were minors (or even infants in some cases), and who are at risk of being deported stating in March thanks to Donald Trump rescinding their status for no particular reason.
After negotiations with the kidnappers broke down last Friday, the Dems tried to rescue all 9.6 million hostages, but were only able to free the 8.9 million children; the remaining 690,000 young adults are still being held hostage by the GOP as I write this, and negotiations for their futures are still murky.
However, I forgot about a few other hostages still being held as well:
WHEREAS, a primary goal of my administration is to ensure that every New Jerseyan has access to affordable health insurance and none of our residents are unable to see a doctor when they are sick; and
WHEREAS, the Affordable Care Act represented a huge step forward in ensuring that all Americans have access to affordable health insurance; and
WHEREAS, New Jersey turned down a substantial amount of federal funding when it declined to create a state-based exchange that would have been customized to the needs of New Jersey residents, and given the State greater flexibility in its enrollment period; and
WHEREAS, over 275,000 New Jerseyans currently receive health insurance coverage on the federal marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act; and
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s requirement that consumers have health insurance remains in place, and consumers may face stiff tax penalties if they are not covered in 2018.
A recent study estimates 70 percent of consumers, who are uninsured and eligible for financial help, could purchase health insurance coverage for less than the price of the tax penalty.
Most consumers are paying less in monthly premiums than they did a year ago.
More than 342,000 consumers have newly enrolled during the current open-enrollment period, which remains ahead of last year’s pace, and continues in California through Jan. 31.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California announced new enrollment figures as it approaches the final weeks of the annual open-enrollment period, and sought to quell consumer confusion by clarifying the federal penalty rules in place for 2018.
CHIP was originally funded as a 10-year program. When the original funding ran out in 2007, it was extended for two years (to 2009) under George W. Bush with little incident (he had previously vetoed an expanded version but later signed the extension of the existing version).
Under President Obama, CHIP was extended (and expanded) again through 2013. The Affordable Care Act added another 2 years to CHIP, extending funding through 2015. In 2015, CHIP funding was extended again, through September 30, 2017.
The completely GOP-controlled Congress allowed CHIP funding to expire. Most state still had a few months worth of money held in reserve for the program, but some started sending out termination notices to the parents of enrollees, letting them know that they'd be kicked off the program within the next month or two.
An analysis of potential premium changes in states across the nation shows increases of 16 to 30 percent likely in 2019 if federal steps are not taken.
While the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s subsidies would largely insulate subsidized consumers from these costs, millions of unsubsidized consumers would pay the full price of these increases. Many would likely be priced out of coverage.
Continued policy and premium uncertainty risks further carrier withdrawals, leaving more consumers with only one health plan and even the prospect of “bare counties.”
The analysis reviews three federal policy options that could stabilize markets and mitigate the impact of premium increases in many states.
Covered California’s open-enrollment period is still underway and consumers have through Jan. 31 to sign up for coverage.
The United States federal government shut down for the first 17 days of October 2013 because Ted Cruz and other Congressional Republicans, furious about the Affordable Care Act surviving everything they had thrown at it over the preceeding 3-4 years, thought that pulling the plug would torpedo the launch of the ACA's first Open Enrollment Period.
Rather, any defunding would be temporary, because of a government shutdown. On the day the exchanges were due to open, much of the federal government would go offline, including a big portion of the Health and Human Services Department that is running the coverage expansion. But legislative inaction cannot gut Obamacare in the way that legislative action could. During a shutdown, implementation would “substantially” continue.
That’s according to a Congressional Research Service report prepared for Senator Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican. In no small part, the reason is that much of the Affordable Care Act’s financing comes from mandatory spending, rather than discretionary spending, and a continuing resolution concerns only the latter. Moreover, some of the law’s money comes from multiyear or “no-year” discretionary funds that do not get wrapped up in the continuing-resolution process either. The Health and Human Services Department says its reform implementation fund would not get touched by a lapse in appropriations.
A few days ago I reported that the Washington Health Benefit Exchange had enrolled 234,000 people in private policies for 2018 when they had just a couple of days left to go.
Today Hannah Recht provided a link to this WA state navigator meeting in which rough final numbers were included as part of the slideshow presentation, along with a bunch of other data points which should be of interest to other healthcare/navigator wonks. 242,800 is a rough number but assuming it doesn't get changed by much, it means the Apple State enrolled 7.6% more people in QHPs this year than last, with nearly 1/3 of them being new to the WA exchange.
Washington State was already beating their 2017 numbers anyway, so this update just pads their lead.
UPDATE 1/22/18: Covered California has just issued a major update to their enrollment data, adding another 122,000 QHP selections to the national tally. Everything below has been updated to include this.
UPDATE 1/28/18: The deadline for Massachusetts has passed and they've posted their final numbers. Everything below has been updated to reflect this update.