Medicaid has played a big role in keeping millions of Americans adequately insured and protected with a viable health coverage. Specifically designed to make healthcare more accessible to low-income Americans, Medicaid implements a strict standard before an individual can be declared eligible for the benefits offered.
Many of the beneficiaries of Medicaid are elderly or disabled. The program’s existence is crucial to states delivering quality healthcare to their constituents. States and local governments must carefully balance their budgets to have adequate resources to allocate for this program.
Medicaid as well as the rest of the components of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) remains under threat of repeal and replacement. It had a very close call only recently, but the reprieve is short as another proposal has now been passed by the GOP.
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For quite some time now, Medicaid has been the most widely available source of health coverage for people living across the United States. Through this program, over 72.5 million Americans, particularly disabled individuals, pregnant women, children, and seniors, were able to gain affordable health coverage. Due to recent events, however, many of them are at risk of not being able to avail of Medicaid when they would need it most.
After the recent collapse of the proposed American Health Care Act or AHCA, there has been increased interest among the Republicans to add work requirement into the eligibility for Medicaid. In fact, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma both sent letters to various state governors, giving them greater flexibility when it comes to approving Medicaid Section 1115 waivers. At the same time, these include a number of work-related proposals.
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It’s been a tense past couple of months as efforts to repeal the ACA, dubbed Obamacare, appears to be more imminent than ever. At this point, people are now simply wondering when it will happen as opposed to whether it will happen. With the resounding support of the Republican majority in Congress, its repeal is most certainly guaranteed already.
Beyond the abolishment of the ACA, however, the more pressing question for all those affected centers on its replacement. Without the ACA in place, what kind of system will be introduced to fill its void?
Filling the Gap
There are no concrete plans announced as of yet, although there have been plenty of talks pointing to what the changes could be. Included in the possible revisions is the removal of the highly contested income-based tax credit of the ACA. In its stead, an age-based tax credit system might be invoked. In this new system, it wouldn’t matter if you are a high or low wage earner. You’ll be getting coverage and benefits equally, as long as you meet the age bracket requirement.
Another looming issue drawing much concern from those currently insured under the ACA is the report of anticipated revisions to Medicaid. A couple of days before February ended, a “discussion draft” was leaked to the public. The draft was supposedly a work in progress by the GOP. However, it conveyed a very telling picture of what will most likely transpire once the ACA is repealed. Read more from this blog. http://bit.ly/2mr9Smj