The health care bill, signed into law last year by President Obama, doesn’t fully kick in for awhile, yet. The most noticeable changes so far have been (a) higher premiums in private health insurance because adult children can be carried on the insurance and because pre-existing conditions can’t be denied coverage and (b) lower FLEX account caps.
Tomorrow, Gov. Mark Dayton will sign an early Medicaid expansion for Minnesota, which requires the use of some matching staff funds. The Tea Party says it will protest the event, which was moved from today at the request of new House Speaker Kurt Zellers.
The blog, Minnesota Budget Bites sees it differently:
It’s good for the people. Under the Medicaid option, close to 100,000 very low-income Minnesotans will gain access to a full set of benefits, won’t face enrollment limits and will be able to get their care closer to home. This is extremely important to this group, because research looking at the original GAMC population has shown that 30 percent had one or more chronic medical conditions and 60 percent suffered from a mental health or chemical dependency problem. This is in sharp contrast to life under the vastly scaled-back GAMC program, where only four hospitals in the state (all in the Twin Cities metro area) have been offering a limited set of services – and these hospitals have closed enrollment at times to control costs.
It’s good for the community. Under the Medicaid option, health care providers will get higher reimbursement levels than under the limited GAMC program, and those reimbursements won’t be capped. That will minimize the financial risk for providers, which is good for the people they employ and the communities they serve. Compare that to life under the modified GAMC program, where funding for care has been capped, placing the financial risk on health care providers. When the money runs out, providers go uncompensated for their services.
It’s good for the state budget. Under the Medicaid option, the federal government will pay for half the costs of health care for this group. Right now, GAMC is a fully state-funded program. Taking the Medicaid option will bring more than $1 billion in federal funds to Minnesota during the next biennium and does not add to the state’s budget deficit. And remember, no matter what action Minnesota takes now, the Affordable Care Act will expand Medicaid to include these low-income adults and many others starting in 2014 when adults with incomes up to 133 percent of federal poverty guidelines become eligible. At that point, the expansion will be fully funded by the federal government for a period of time. This is a chance for Minnesota to get a jump-start on better health care for this population and bring more federal dollars into the state.
Next week, the U.S. House will vote on a bill to repeal the health care bill.
JOB-KILLING HEALTH CARE LAW.–Effective as of the enactment of Public Law 111-148, such Act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted.
HEALTH CARE-RELATED PROVISIONS IN THE HEALTH CARE AND EDUCATION RECONCILIATION ACT OF 2010–Effective as of the enactment of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-152), title I and subtitle B of title II of such Act are repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such title or subtitle, respectively, are restored or revived as if such title and subtitle had not been enacted.
The House will pass the legislation, the Senate will try to bury it.
Here’s the question: What does it mean to you? Have you carried your over-age-21 students on your health insurance? If not, why not?
Tell me your personal story below.