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Showing 3 posts from July 2012.

The Federal Medicaid Apple: Poison or the Cure?

As the uncertainty about healthcare reform was extinguished by the Supreme Court in its 5-4 decision upholding the Affordable Care Act, with the provision that the Department of Health and Human Services may not withhold Medicaid funding from states that refuse to adopt the Medicaid expansion, all states, including Kentucky, now have important decisions to make about expansion of Medicaid to a projected 22.3 million uninsured eligible individuals.  Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government will pay the full cost of covering the newly eligible Medicaid participants for three years from 2014 to 2016.  Thereafter the federal share will gradually decline until it reaches 90% in 2020.  For traditional Medicaid, the federal government now pays, on average, about 57% of a state’s total Medicaid costs.  With 826,941 Kentucky Medicaid beneficiaries in January 2012, and an additional 290,000 individuals that would be covered under the expansion, Governor Steve Beshear has announced that he is studying the issues and the costs. More >

House Bill 1

Kentucky’s General Assembly passed House Bill 1 during the 2012 Special Session. House Bill 1 will become effective July 20, 2012.  More >

Supreme Court Ruling on the ACA

Writing for the majority, in the Supreme Court of the United States’ decision upholding the health care law, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote,  “[t]he Affordable Care Act is constitutional in part and unconstitutional in part.” The Court held that even though “[t]he individual mandate cannot be upheld as an exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause,” that “it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but (who) choose to go without health insurance. Such legislation is within Congress’s power to tax.”  Roberts made a point of noting that he and the other justices “possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”  So, in other words, the Court held that Congress cannot require individuals to enter into an activity so that it could regulate it but that the individual mandate passed muster under the taxing power.  The Court also held that the States cannot be coerced into expanding their Medicaid programs and that States are free to opt of the expansion, which is projected to add nearly 30 million more people to the insurance program for our nation’s indigent, if they choose. More >

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