ACHP Media Monitoring Report – June 14, 2017

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ACHP in the News: ACHP’s Seemin Pasha and other policy experts and stakeholders joined a Politico discussion focused on how the Medicaid program can be used as a laboratory for innovation – including  in payment and delivery reform, managing long-term support and addressing the social determinants of health. Read the report here.

Trump dissatisfied with House health care bill
President Trump criticized the House health care bill for being too “mean” during a closed meeting with Senate Republicans yesterday. Trump said the Senate bill should be more “generous” and “kind”, and suggested additional funding may be included. The President didn’t specify publicly how the additional money would be used. However, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) suggested the President wanted to ensure adequate funding for programs designed to help low-income, elderly people and protect people with pre-existing conditions.

CMS estimates 13 million will lose coverage under AHCA
An analysis by the CMS’ Office of the Actuary found that 12.6 million Americans would lose coverage under the AHCA, versus the 23 million projected by CBO. The difference in estimation comes from appraisals of the efficacy of cost-saving measures implemented by the bill. The CMS report also projected that the AHCA would save $383 billion, mainly from cuts to ACA Medicaid expansion.

Slow rollback could keep ACA taxes in place temporarily
The Senate version of health care reform may leave ACA taxes in place for a longer period of time than the House version would. Republican Senators are considering a more gradual phase-out of the Medicaid expansion, stronger tax credits and additional money for opioid abuse treatment and will need ACA taxes to pay for the transition. The Senate hopes to vote on the bill by the July 4 recess.

Insurers make plans for ACA exchange participation
Dozens of counties may be left without options for purchasing insurance in the ACA marketplaces in 2018, leaving about 35,000 enrollees without coverage. Next year will be the first time that any county has zero insurers participating in the exchange, and many regions will have just one insurer. In Iowa, 94 of 99 counties are expected to have only one insurer participating. Many insurers are citing uncertainty in the marketplace, created in part by the Administration’s silence on funding for cost-sharing reductions, as the cause for leaving.

While insurers are dropping out of many counties, Centene announced plans to expand into more ACA exchanges. Centene will begin offering plans in Missouri, Kansas and Nevada, as well as increase its presence in Florida, Ohio, Texas and Washington. The expansion could help fill coverage gaps in regions where insurers are leaving the marketplace.

ACA coverage correlates to more jobs
Axios analyzed state insurance rates and job markets and found a relationship between increased rates of coverage and growth in health care jobs. Coverage alone did not determine job growth, but legislation that leaves more people uninsured may hurt the demand for health care workers. A study from GW’s Milken Institute and the Commonwealth Fund estimates that there would be 942,000 fewer jobs in 2026 and that nearly every state would experience an economic downturn if the House healthcare bill takes effect.

Slow progress on keeping Medicaid enrollees out of nursing homes
States have been slow to help Medicaid beneficiaries avoid costly nursing home care by providing home care or community services, according to a report from AARP. Demand for long-term care is expected to grow in the coming years, and the pace of improvement is not keeping up with demographic demands. AARP assessed state performance on benchmarks including the supply of home health aides, nursing home costs and nursing home stays.