Health care costs slowing, Failing to repeal it, GOP takes new aim at ACA, Medicaid expansion–just write off almost the entire south, while Congress has its own personal exchange

My apologizes for being remiss in sending regular stories and updates.  I have been working on a major writing contract with a series of tight deadlines this month and next.  These recent stories caught my attention, and they should yours.

Washington State ACA enrollment update:  As of November 78,000 people have enrolled through the state exchange and another 55,000 have completed applications.

Health Care Costs are Slowing.  Could provisions of the ACA already have a positive impact on health care costs?  See chart and story.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/11/20/this-chart-is-amazing-news-for-our-health-cost-problem/?wprss=rss_business&clsrd&wpisrc=nl_wonk

Having nearly shut down the government in an attempt to repeal the ACA, Republicans are now preparing a new line of attack.  Even when Medicare and Medicaid passed in the mid-60s over storms of protest and difficult implementation, there was not this constant barrage against the bills. There was against the Catastrophic Care Act in the late 1980’s, but that was because of a powerful non-partisan grassroots uprising. I know. I lived through that one as a Medicare HMO marketing director.  This is really unprecedented and very disturbing.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/21/us/politics/gop-maps-out-waves-of-attacks-over-health-law.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20131121&_r=0

Where Medicaid is being expanded, and more importantly, where it is not. What is also unprecedented is the number of people who will not be eligible for the new Medicaid expansion–almost the entire south–and some of the states with the lowest per capita incomes.

I remember in 1993, I think it was, that Mississippi actually had a bill that would eliminate all the Medicaid nursing home beds as a way to balance the state’s budget. It ended up not passing, but can you imagine how poor and resourceless you would have to be to be eligible for a nursing home bed in Mississippi?  It has the lowest per capita income in the country.

http://kff.org/medicaid/report/getting-into-gear-for-2014-shifting-new-medicaid-eligibility-and-enrollment-policies-into-drive/

Now see the Chart on State Per Capita Incomes.  Be sure and compare to DC to the median incomes from the other states.  At $71,000, it is often more than double the median income of several states.

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0104652.html

Could this by why  Congress has its own gold plated insurance exchange?  

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/20/us/politics/for-lawmakers-a-gold-plated-insurance-exchange.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20131120

Kathleen O’Connor, (c) November 21, 2013

 

About Kathleen

Kathleen O’Connor: 30+ year health care consumer advocate, non-profit executive and author. For more information about Kathleen, please see "About" on the main content bar above.
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