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KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: All About Medicaid

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Medicaid, the joint federal-state well being program for folks with low incomes, serves greater than 70 million folks, covers 1 in each 5 births within the U.S. and foots greater than half the nation’s invoice for long-term care. Yet Medicaid isn’t one program, it’s 56 separate applications (one for every state plus the District of Columbia and U.S. territories).

Understanding Medicaid isn’t straightforward, however with plans to overtake the well being system again within the information, it’s important.

This week KHN’s “What the Health?” podcast takes a deep dive into Medicaid. First, host Julie Rovner talks with Diane Rowland, govt vp emerita of the Kaiser Family Foundation and one of many nation’s main specialists on the Medicaid program. (KHN is an editorially impartial program of the muse.)

Then, panelists Joanne Kenen of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN and Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times be part of Rovner for a dialogue of among the prime points going through Medicaid in Washington and the states in 2019.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

Fourteen states nonetheless haven’t expanded the federal-state medical health insurance program for lower-income folks. In a few of these states, Republican governors or state legislators opted in opposition to growth, however voters responded by approving poll initiatives in favor of it. The end result has not essentially been what voters supposed. In states like North Carolina, for example, the place robust political variations between the governor and the legislature have triggered a protracted funds meltdown, it has turn into an ongoing irritant. In Maine, the growth was on maintain for greater than a 12 months after the poll query’s approval, till the Republican governor was changed by a Democrat. States are additionally taking a look at concepts equivalent to coupling growth with a piece requirement as a way to proceed. It isn’t clear, nonetheless, that courts will enable work necessities to go ahead. Turning federal Medicaid funding right into a block grant can also be nonetheless on the desk. The thought dates to at the very least the 1980s, and it includes giving states a lump sum of cash ― lower than they’d obtain in any other case ― in trade for permitting them extra flexibility to run their applications with much less federal oversight. The final time block grants had been severely thought of, nonetheless, when Senate Republicans proposed them in 2017, public opinion turned sharply in opposition to the concept. People feared that much less cash would inevitably imply this system would cowl fewer folks and/or fewer advantages.

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