Health Law's Cost And Coverage Issues Draw Attention

In an exclusive report, the Associated Press notes an unintended consequence of that health law — some older adults could pay sharply different amounts for private health insurance. Meanwhile, CQ HealthBeat reports on some recent developments in the policy debate over the health law's maintenance-of-effort provisions.

The Associated Press: AP Exclusive: Fuzzy Math In Health Law Formula
Older adults of the same age and income with similar medical histories would pay sharply different amounts for private health insurance due to what appears to be an unintended consequence of the new health care law. Aware of the problem, the administration says it is exploring options to address a potential disparity that could mean added controversy for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. The law expands coverage to more than 30 million uninsured people and would require most Americans to carry insurance (Alonso-Zaldivar, 6/30).

CQ HealthBeat: Ending 'MOE' Would Hasten Erosion Of CHIP Enrollment, Advocates Say
Although ending "maintenance of effort" provisions in the health law would mean an estimated 300,000 insured Americans would lose their health coverage, the impact on enrollment in the Children's Health Insurance Program would be far larger, child health advocates warn. Advocates point to an estimate by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that CHIP enrollment would fall by 1.7 million in 2016 if the MOE is repealed. That's a blow even though many of those children would pick up coverage elsewhere, advocates say. Why? Because the insurance they get won't be as good as that provided by CHIP. Bruce Lesley, president of the children’s health advocacy group First Focus, notes that under the CBO estimate, 700,000 of the 1.7 million falling out of CHIP in 2016 will get coverage through state-based insurance exchanges. Another 700,000 will get coverage through employer-sponsored plans (Reichard, 6/29).

Meanwhile, in other Medicaid news —

Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette: W.Va. Legislators Warn Manchin Of 'Terrible Consequences' If Cuts To Medicaid Approved
In a letter to U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, the chairmen of the West Virginia Legislature's health committees warn of "terrible consequences to our state" if the federal government slashes the state's Medicaid funding. "Not only would it be devastating to our families, it would also be devastating to our economy and totally detrimental to any hope of job creation in West Virginia," wrote Senate Health and Human Resources Chairman Ron Stollings, D-Boone, and House Health and Human Resources Chairman Don Perdue, D-Wayne (Long, 6/28). 

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