Legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act continue as several states challenging whether the health reform law is constitutional. Most critics have focused specifically on the individual mandate (the part of the law that requires individuals without insurance to purchase it or risk paying a penalty).
But a more recent case headed to the Supreme Court focuses on the Medicaid program, an integral part of the law, and a constant challenge for state budgets. The ACA expands Medicaid coverage to all individuals who make less than $14,484 per year which is a good thing, but it is also expensive, and while the law provides financial assistance to states for new enrollees, who are in trouble due escalating health care costs that are already having a negative impact on State Budgets.
In case you haven’t been paying attention to local politics, numerous states are in financial trouble, and looking for ways to cut spending and raise revenue. Medicaid is often a target because of its massive size relative to other programs. It is also viewed as less politically risky to cut compared to roads and education.
States like mine and others have considered a Medicaid provider tax as way to pay for the growing cost of operating the program. This can be problematic for providers because Medicaid reimbursement rates (the amount paid for each claim) is much less than private insurance in some cases as low as 60 cents on the dollar or less. So the hospitals, doctors and others, may become more skeptical seeing Medicaid patients. Furthermore, when these providers are taxed more on top of lower reimbursement rates that leaves less money for other operating costs.
From the Washington Post, click the below link for the full article.
Court cases to overturn the Affordable Care Act have gotten no shortage of attention. But there’s another Supreme Court case coming up this term that, in the view of many health policy experts, could have a similarly sweeping impact on the future of health insurance coverage.
The case is Maxwell-Jolly v. the Independent Living Center of California, in which California providers are challenging the state’s proposed 10 percent cut to Medicaid provider payments. Last July, in a brief to the Supreme Court, they argued that a cut so sweeping violates the federal requirements that come with participating in the Medicaid program. Federal law says Medicaid rates must be “sufficient to enlist enough providers” so that Medicaid recipients have the same access to care as other people in the area.