Health Care

CLASP advocates for access to affordable health care for low-income people by calling attention to proposals that would dismantle the Affordable Care Act and make other harmful changes to Medicaid. CLASP's news releases, publications, blog posts, and webinars on the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and other policy proposals are below.

News releases:

Senate Health Bill Would Slash Medicaid, Taking Health Care from Millions of Low-Income People
The Senate Republicans' so-called Better Care Bill—which would actually make care worse—would reverse the progress made under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It would weaken the health care premium tax credits and raise consumers’ costs while reducing their benefits. The core of the bill is deep and permanent cuts to the Medicaid program that will result in millions of people losing coverage and billions of dollars in tax cuts that will primarily benefit corporations and wealthy individuals.

CBO Report: Republican Health Bill Would Cut 14 Million People from Medicaid
The independent Congressional Budget Office released its updated “score” of the American Health Care Act which showed 23 million people would lose health coverage by 2026, including 14 million who would lose Medicaid coverage.

House Votes to Take Away Health Coverage from Millions
The U.S. House Republicans passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) by a 217-213 vote, taking a major step toward undoing the historic health care gains of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  This vote was rushed through just hours after the updated bill text was released, with no hearings, no analysis of the implications for the employer-provided health insurance market, and no score by the independent Congressional Budget Office of the number of people who would be left without health coverage.

Price is Wrong: Why New HHS Secretary Is Clear Threat to Low-Income, Vulnerable People
Representative Tom Price, who was confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Service (HHS) by a narrow party line vote of 52-47, poses grave danger to the health and wellbeing of vulnerable low-income children, families, and individuals. As chairman of the House Budget Committee, Rep. Price championed Medicaid proposals, like block grants and per capita caps, that would undermine the promise of comprehensive coverage for all eligible individuals and would force states to choose between vulnerable populations.

Statement: Strong Reduction in Poverty, Improvement in Health Insurance, But More to Do for Next Generation's Families
The Census Bureau’s annual report on poverty, income, and health coverage shows major economic improvement on a number of indicators, including a drop in poverty from 14.8 percent of Americans in 2014 to 13.5 percent in 2015.  The health coverage report shows the smallest share of Americans ever to be uninsured, with just 9.1 percent (29 million) of people without insurance in 2015, down by about 4 million people from 2014.

CLASP in the News:

Making Medicaid Recipients Work Being Pushed by Indiana, Other States (USA Today)

Cites CLASP's comments on Indiana's 1115 waiver application describing the administrative barriers work requirements impose. 

Guest Column: While Health Bill Benefits Affluent, Losers Include Our Children, Parents, Siblings, Us (The Advocate, Baton Rouge)

An analysis from the Center for Law and Social Policy shows that if the House bill were to pass, Louisiana would need to replace $10 billion over the next 10 years to maintain benefits for current Medicaid enrollment."Guest column: While health bill benefits affluent, losers include our children, parents, siblings, us "An analysis from the Center for Law and Social Policy shows that if the House bill were to pass, Louisiana would need to replace $10 billion over the next 10 years to maintain benefits for current Medicaid enrollment."

How Higher Ed Would Feel Medicaid Cuts (Inside Higher Ed)

David Socolow was quoted about Medicaid cuts in the Senate health-care plan would impact higher education.How Higher Ed Would Feel Medicaid Cuts David Socolow was quoted about Medicaid cuts in the Senate health-care plan would impact higher education.

Congress Shouldn't Jeopardize Children (The Advocate, Baton Rouge)
Hannah Matthews co-authored this op-ed that describes the many reasons why the repeal of the Affordable Care Act is damaging to children and their families in Louisiana and around the country.

Problems with Tumpcare Start with its Meanness (Bangor Daily News)
Cites analysis from CLASP about how low-income college students could be hurt by both losing their health care and by strained state budgets that would likely cut funding for higher education. 

Medical Colleges: Reject Senate Health Care Bill (Inside Higher Ed)
Olivia Golden, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy, said the Medicaid cuts in the Better Care Reconciliation Act would put pressure on state budgets and likely lead to cuts to education budgets. 

Wrong Direction on BadgerCare (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
In this op-ed co-authored by Elizabeth Lower-Basch, CLASP asserts that Medicaid work requirements are counterproductive and harmful to low-wage workers.

Publications:

Health Insurance: A Critical Support for Infants, Toddlers, and their Families

Thhis brief from CLASP and ZERO TO THREE highlights the importance of health insurance to infants, toddlers, and their families as well as historic gains in coverage made under the Affordable Care Act.

Top Five Threats to Child Welfare from the Senate Health Care Repeal Proposal

The Senate’s proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and to sharply cut Medicaid payments to states through so-called per capita caps can sound very abstract to social workers and policymakers coping with the day-to-day tragedies and crises of child welfare. But these disastrous changes could take a major step toward becoming law after the July 4 recess when the Senate will return to its bill. The dangers of these changes are very real to abused and neglected children, their birth, adoptive, and foster parents, as well as state agencies and providers.

Congressional Plans Would Make Us Sicker and Health Care More Expensive
Congressional proposals create barriers to continuous health care coverage under Medicaid by reducing retroactive coverage, shortening redetermination periods, and giving states the option to institute work requirements as a condition of getting health coverage. These administrative and procedural barriers have been demonstrated to reduce access to benefits in health care as well as the other programs. In addition, the bills penalize people purchasing coverage on the nongroup market who have experienced gaps in health insurance. By reducing access, eviscerating Medicaid expansion efforts, adding administrative costs, and penalizing people for caps in coverage, these bills will make Americans sicker and health care more expensive. Moreover, these bills would be a sharp departure from recent bipartisan efforts by states to reduce administrative costs, streamline eligibility, and improve efficiency in Medicaid and other work supports, such as efforts under the Work Support Strategies initiative.

ACA Repeal, Medicaid Changes Would Hurt Early Care and Education Providers, Reduce Quality of Early Care and Education
The early childhood workforce, in addition to the children and families they serve, will be directly and negatively
affected by the Republican plan to roll back health coverage. They stand to lose the affordable health care so
important to their own wellbeing. The loss of coverage threatens their own family economic stability and in some
cases, their ability to remain on the job.

AHCA's Medicaid Cuts Would Harm Students and Threaten State Funding for Postsecondary Education
Under the AHCA, many low-income and nontraditional students would be likely to lose health insurance coverage, which would harm their ability to complete and persist in postsecondary education. In addition, the proposed bill would further damage postsecondary education, because it would take away billions of dollars of federal Medicaid spending, forcing states to deny coverage and ration care—or to divert state funds from other purposes, such as state funding for postsecondary education, to replace the lost federal investment in Medicaid.

Young Adult Health Justice
This fact sheet lays out the top five ways the ACA has changed the game for low-income young adults and the top five threats to low-income young adults under Republican health proposals. 

Doubling Down: How Work Requirements in Public Benefit Programs Hurt Low-Wage Workers
In the face of a labor market that offers many low-income people only unstable, low-quality jobs, these crucial programs help people find and keep work and also lift millions of families out of poverty every year. Recently renewed efforts to impose work requirements to receive public benefits reflect a profound misunderstanding of the realities of low-wage jobs. When the nature of the low-wage labor market is taken into account, it is clear that work requirements are misguided, hinder people’s ability to get ahead, and are an administrative burden for state governments.

"Everybody Got Their Go Throughs": Young Adults on the Frontlines of Mental Health
In the context of the current federal health care fight, this report highlights the racial and economic justice implications of the Medicaid expansion and full implementation of the mental health parity and prevention provisions of the Affordable Care Act for low-income young adults. Beyond the current political moment, the report also outlines a set of principles for framing mental health policy and practice.

Why the Affordable Care Act Is Critical for Young Adults
Young adults earning higher wages or from higher-income families have had the greatest gains in coverage in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), yet coverage gaps still exist for lower-income young adults, particularly in states that have not taken up the option to expand Medicaid to those earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. This paper explores why coverage is so critical for young adults, the key provisions of the ACA that help young adults get coverage, and how public policy can increase rates of insurance.

Adding Stumbling Blocks in the Path to Health Care: New State Option in House Bill Promotes neither Health nor Work
The American Health Care Act (AHCA) introduces a provision that would allow states to institute "work requirements" as a condition of Medicaid receipt for most adult recipients who are not pregnant, seniors, determined disabled by the state, or single parents of young children or children with disabilities. The proposed requirements would throw obstacles in the path to health coverage, making it harder for sick people to get healthy enough to work, would do little to improve employment outcomes, and is a bureaucratic hassle.

Children Need Health Insurance—So Do Their Parents
Access to health care is arguably the most basic ingredient for children’s healthy development and wellbeing. And the well-being of parents is also enormously critical to child well-being. Historic gains in health coverage over the past three years are a direct result of ACA provisions that provided coverage to many parents for the first time. Efforts to roll back the ACA threaten the historic gains in insuring low-income parents, as well as the record high rate of insurance among children. Losing ground on these gains would have devastating consequences for child well-being.

The Evidence Builds: Access to Medicaid Helps People Work
Untreated illness can make it hard to work. Health insurance is a key work support and tool that provides working-age adults with access to care that helps them get and keep a job. A recent in-depth report provides compelling new information from Ohio about the ability of Medicaid expansion enrollees to seek and maintain employment. This report adds to the growing body of research confirming the benefits of Medicaid expansion.

Medicaid Financing: Dangers of Block Grants and Per Capita Caps Summary and Full Report
The consequences of changing Medicaid’s financing structure to a block grant or per-capita cap would be far reaching and cause significant damage to a program that's vital to the vulnerable people it serves. Such changes would place severe fiscal pressures on states and threaten patient access to care. CLASP draws on the lessons learned from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the Child Care and Development Block Grant to demonstrate the detrimental effect a block grant or per capita cap would have on Medicaid.

Medicaid Changes Would Spell Trouble for Maternal Depression Screening, Treatment
Access to Medicaid and the services it provides is a lifeline for poor parents and is crucial for the healthy development of their children. One benefit of the ACA and Medicaid expansion has been greatly expanded access to screening and treatment for maternal depression—a widespread public health problem that affects millions, including poor mothers, and that has lasting implications for children. Efforts to fundamentally restructure Medicaid, reduce federal Medicaid spending or to eliminate the Medicaid expansion put these incredible advances at risk.

Top Five Ways ACA Repeal and Medicaid Financing Changes Would Harm our Youngest Children

CLASP’s Senior Policy Analyst, Stephanie Schmit, was featured as a guest writer for the Georgetown Center for Children and Families blog, Say Ahhh! where she explained how Congress is actively working to repeal the ACA and radically restructure, or limit, federal Medicaid funding, either through a block grant or per capita cap. Both would limit federal contributions to Medicaid, shifting costs to states and forcing them to make hard decisions about who to cover and where to make cuts. If passed, both the ACA repeal and efforts to restructure Medicaid could harm young children in the many ways.

Medicaid Expansion Promotes Children’s Development and Family Success by Treating Maternal Depression
This paper examines why access to Medicaid for poor adults is crucial for children’s healthy development. It summarizes the evidence that a mother’s untreated depression can hinder children’s healthy development; that safe and effective treatments exist, yet low-income mothers too often don’t get treatment; and how Medicaid coverage could change that.

Paid Leave Necessary for an Ounce of Prevention
Although preventive care use under ACA is improving, for the many U.S. workers who lack access to paid leave, improved health insurance coverage may not be enough. Because American labor standards are out of date and out of touch with the current realities of the workforce, far too many workers cannot take the time away from work they need in order to make use of their newfound right to access care.

Blog Posts:

Repealing the ACA is still a bad idea

In Midst of Health Care Turmoil, States Step up for Immigrant Children

New Senate Health Care Bill Isn’t Really “New”; Still Guts Medicaid and Risks Coverage for Millions

Health Care Vote Delayed in Senate; Significant Threats Still Loom

Medicaid Work Requirements Ignore Reality of Low-Wage Work

State Medicaid Waiver Proposals Threaten Health Coverage

The President’s Budget Would be Devastating for Children with Special Needs

Medicaid Waivers Should Advance Health Care - Not Undermine It

A Golden Opportunity for Expanding Health Care

Supports for Individuals with Disabilities Are at Risk

GOP Proposal: Dismantle Medicaid and Gut the ACA, Leaving Hard-Working Americans without Coverage

Defying the Evidence, Congress Rushes to Repeal the ACA

Medicaid is Critical Support for Citizens Re-entering their Communities from Incarceration

It's Open Enrollment for the ACA...Medicaid Enrollment Open Year-Round

People Need Medicaid to Work, Not the Other Way Around

Misguided Medicaid Proposals Risk Jeopardizing Coverage

It's Final: Parity in Medicaid

Using Medicaid Data to Help Kids Eat at School

Comments and Letters:

CLASP Comments on Utah's Draft 1115 Waiver Amendment Application

CLASP Comments to CMS on Wisconsin's Draft 1115 Waiver Amendment Application

CLASP Comments to CMS on Indiana's Draft 1115 Waiver Amendment Application

CLASP Comments on Indiana's Draft 1115 Waiver Amendment Application

CLASP Comments on Arkansas' Draft 1115 Waiver Amendment Application

CLASP Comments on Maine's Draft 1115 Waiver Amendment Application

CLASP Comments on Wisconsin's Draft 1115 Waiver Amendment Application

CLASP Letter on the American Health Care Act

CLASP Comments on Market Stabilization Rule

Webinars:

Webinar: An Update on Threats to the ACA and Medicaid--What's at Stake for Children and Families

The Center for Law and Social Policy and the Georgetown Center for Child and Families (CCF) hosted a webinar to highlight what’s included in the House-passed bill and its impact on children and families. The webinar also presented key data on Medicaid and ACA health coverage access for children and their parents and provided up-to-date information about where things go from here and other efforts to restructure Medicaid. Speakers also explained the important role that child care and early education providers, advocates, and stakeholders can play to help protect the safety net for children and their families during this critical period.

Threats to the ACA and Medicaid: What's at Stake for Children
CLASP’s Stephanie Schmit and the Georgetown Center for Child and Families’ Elisabeth Burak hosted a webinar on the critical importance of health coverage for low-income children and parents. The webinar highlights key data on children's and parents' health coverage under Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It also provides up-to-date information about current efforts to roll-back the ACA and threats to radically restructure the Medicaid program — both of which would have devastating impacts on children. Additionally, speakers will discuss the important role child care and early education providers, advocates, and stakeholders can play in protecting the safety net for children and their families.

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