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Good News for Seniors

Affordable Care Act  looks promising for seniors. Read More: The Affordable Care Act- Stronger Benefits to Seniors, Billions on Savings This Year  

What are you thoughts, is this what you expected?

House Committee’s Budget Plan Threatens the Health Coverage of Millions of Children

The following was released  by First Focus Campaign for Children:

April 25, 2012

Washington – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee voted 30-22 to pass legislation that could negatively impact the health insurance coverage of millions of children. The legislation, required by the House budget resolution for federal fiscal year 2013, would cut $113 billion out of health insurance and public health programs across the country.

Among the cuts, the budget package would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid maintenance of effort (MOE) requirement, which protects coverage for low-income children and other vulnerable populations by requiring states to maintain their pre-ACA Medicaid eligibility rules through 2019. If this provision is repealed, an estimated 14 million children currently covered by the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or Medicaid would be put at risk for losing coverage. The CBO analysis indicates that over 90 percent of the cuts from this provision would apply to CHIP, as states could cut or repeal their CHIP programs and children would either become uninsured or move into the health insurance exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The remaining 10 percent of the cuts would apply to Medicaid and might also largely fall on children.

The Committee’s reconciliation package would also repeal the ACA’s Prevention and Public Health Fund, defund grants to help states set up health exchanges, reduce payments to hospitals that serve a greater-than-average share of patients covered by Medicaid, cap Medicaid provider tax rates, and cut Medicaid funding to the territories. Additionally, the Committee voted to end the CHIPRA bonus payments that reward states for increasing children covered by Medicaid and streamlining enrollment. Overall, $22 billion would be cut directly from the Medicaid program.

In response to the Committee’s action, First Focus Campaign for Children President Bruce Lesley issued the following statement:

“By every measure, Medicaid and CHIP work. Medicaid and CHIP allow 30 million kids to get the quality care they need to grow and thrive. Unfortunately, striking the MOE would put the future of CHIP in jeopardy with children either losing coverage entirely or, ironically, move into less comprehensive coverage in the health insurance exchanges that Republicans have fought against. Moreover, with $22 billion in proposed federal cuts to Medicaid, the coverage and access to care of millions of additional low-income children would be put at risk.

“With one-in-five children living in poverty, this isn’t the time to take children’s health care away. And making kids uninsured doesn’t mean they stop getting sick, so when their parents can’t pay at the ER, it’s small businesses and families with private insurance that will have to pay when providers shift those costs. The House should reject this shortsighted plan, so millions of kids can continue to get the care they need and we can continue the serious business of making health care work.”


The First Focus Campaign for Children is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization affiliated with First Focus, a bipartisan children’s advocacy organization. The Campaign for Children advocates directly for legislative change in Congress to ensure children and families are a priority in federal policy and budget decisions. For more information, visitwww.ffcampaignforchildren.org.

Ed Walz
202-657-0685 (office)

SC Medicaid agency employee violates policy, more than 200k people breached

South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services recently discovered a violation of agency policy when an employee working within the Medicaid division inappropriately transferred personal information of 228,435 Medicaid beneficiaries to his personal email account. Learn more details here: 

Things that make you go hmmmmmmm…

From the LA Times:

The lead plaintiff challenging the Affordable Car Act says she should not be forced to buy health insurance. She apparently doesn’t need health insurance because she doesn’t have any intention of paying for health care to begin with. Why pay for something you can get for free? Turns out, as part of a bankruptcy she filed along with her husband, she managed to avoid paying $4,500 in medical bills last fall, including $2,140 to Bay Medical Center in Panama City.

“This is a very common problem. We cover $30 million in charity and uncompensated care every year,” said Christa Hild, a spokeswoman for the hospital center. “If it’s a bad debt, we have to absorb it.”

So she bankrupts the medical bills, causing the hospital to absorb the bad debt, which the hospital most likely passes on to us in the form of higher prices. No wonder she doesn’t want anyone to make her pay for health insurance.

Who loses if the Affordable Care Act is Struck Down?

Soon, the Supreme Court will decide the fate of the Affordable Care Act. But it’s important to remember that there are millions of individuals who have already benefited from its enactment.  Old and young people, people we work with, people we worship with and people in our circle of friends who now have affordable healthcare could see it suddenly taken away.

There are roughly 2.5 million young adults around the nation under the age of 26 that can stay on their parent’s health insurance plans thanks to the ACA. This allows them to have health insurance even if they are not being offered plans at work.  These young people will lose their coverage if the ACA is struck down.

Millions of older Americans who were unable to afford their prescription drugs once they entered the Medicare donut hole received millions of dollars back to reimburse them for medications.  Thanks to the ACA, they get medications at a lower cost.  Medicare patients also receive preventive care screenings for free.  These older people will lose their coverage if the ACA is struck down.

South Carolina children are protected through the continued funding of the Children’s Health Insurance Program.  This expanded Medicaid program will cover over 70,000 of our state’s children starting in July of 2012.  It also guarantees that no child can be turned down for health insurance coverage due to a pre-existing condition. These young people will lose their coverage if the ACA is struck down.

Small businesses owners receive a tax credit when they make health insurance coverage available for their employees. Hundreds of thousands of businesses have been able to take advantage of this help.  These people we work with will lose their coverage if the ACA is struck down.

Tens of thousands of Americans who were previously uninsured because of medical conditions now have affordable health insurance through the Pre-Existing Conditions Insurance Plans administrated by the states or federal government.  These people in our circle of friends who have finally secured affordable insurance coverage could lose it and go back to the status of uninsured if the ACA is repealed.

Finally, thousands of very ill patients who previously lost their insurance because they reached the lifetime cap get coverage under the ACA. But they will once again find themselves uninsured and facing either financial ruin or death. These people we worship with will lose their coverage if the ACA is struck down.

Who loses if the ACA is struck down?  All of us.  This includes those who are now fortunate enough to feel the benefits, and those of us who would have benefited through affordable coverage and knowing our healthcare needs will be met.

While we wait for the court to decide, we must take inventory of what we have and what we will lose if the ACA is struck down.  This is our chance to ensure affordable, quality healthcare for all. We cannot go backwards!