First, she douses progressives’ impeachment dreams in cold water, telling the Washington Post that such a divisive and drastic political step should only be taken over egregious criminality that’s “compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan.” She cagily adds, “he’s just not worth it,” a personal swipe at the president, likely deployed to placate Trump haters who will bristle at her stance. Insulting him is a little wink that she’s still ‘on the team.’ But even if the hard-Left wing of the party is willing to forgive Pelosi’s hesitant posture on impeachment, how might they react to her intense fiscal skepticism on ‘Medicare for All’ — the holy grail of the statist agenda?
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar revealed Thursday that his department is in talks with states about instituting block grants in Medicaid without congressional approval.
“We have discussions with states where they will come in and suggest ideas,” Azar said at a Senate hearing in response to questions from Sen. Bob CaseyJr. (D-Pa.). “There may be states that have asked about block granting, per capita, restructurings around especially expansion populations … It’s at their instigation.”
But he warned that how such a system would work — and who would pay for it — are big questions that have yet to be answered.
“For me, I think it’s a great opportunity for the industry to be able to expand the population that it’s coordinating care with,” Broussard said Tuesday at the Barclays Global Healthcare Conference in Miami Beach, Fla.
Surprise billing is an unexpected event that requires significant financial resources. That’s hardly a unique economic phenomenon, and the usual solution is … insurance! The unique aspect of this event, however, is that it takes place in the context of an insurance contract. What could be modified? There are really two pieces: the surprise and the bill. The former can be ameliorated by giving patients clear, up-front knowledge that they will be treated by an out-of-network provider and perhaps providing an estimate of the likely charge. That would reduce the surprise element of the phenomenon.
Legislators at both the federal and local level are trying to do something about the problem of surprise billing, what wonks often call “balance billing.” A modest, bipartisan measure proposed by state legislators in Texas would penalize emergency rooms that charge more than 200 percent above the average hospital charge for a comparable service.
A plethora of bills introduced in the U.S. Senate, including one from a group led by Sens. Michael Bennet (D., Colo.), Tom Carper (D., Del.), Bill Cassidy (R., La.), Chuck Grassley (R., Ia.), Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.), and Todd Young (R., Ind.), would limit out-of-network prices in the emergency setting to the greater of (1) the median in-network rate for a particular geographic area; or (2) 125 percent of the “average allowed amount” in a geographic area: a proxy for what hospitals charge regardless of insurer contracts.
Michigan’s new Democratic governor is attempting to reverse course on steps taken by her Republican predecessor to require childless, able-bodied beneficiaries of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion to meet work, training or community service requirements. In a February letter to the federal administrator of the program, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called the work requirements “onerous.”
In the letter, Whitmer cited an analysis by the Manatt law firm, which predicted that Michigan’s new Medicaid work requirements would cause 61,000 to 183,000 people to lose their health coverage over the course of a year.
Doug Badger, senior fellow at the Galen Institute, says when so few individuals who were eligible for the Medicaid expansion in Arkansas re-enrolled, they made a rational decision that they were better off without the benefits.
“If you don’t report any work activity at all, after being told that this would cause you to lose benefits, that suggests that you don’t value the benefits very highly. This is consistent with research showing that Medicaid recipients receive about 20 to 40 cents of benefits for every dollar of Medicaid spending,” Badger said.