August 20, 2012 |
Health insurance giant Aetna Inc., trying to capitalize on growing enrollment in Medicare and Medicaid, has agreed to acquire Coventry Health Care Inc. for about $5.7 billion in cash and stock. The Hartford, Conn., company and nation's third-largest health insurer said the Coventry deal will allow it to add more than 5 million new members, many of them in faster-growing Medicare Advantage and Medicaid managed-care plans. Other insurers have been striking similar deals as they seek to take advantage of Medicare's growth as more baby boomers retire and the federal healthcare law adds an estimated 15 million Americans to the Medicaid rolls starting in 2014.
August 7, 2012 |
The Congressional Budget Office recently estimated that 30 million Americans still will be left without health insurance in 2022, after the U.S. Supreme Courtruling that largely upheld President Obama's healthcare plan. The part of the plan that was not upheld by the high court, however, contains the key to lowering that number. The issue revolves around what it means to be covered by health insurance, and who decides. Before the Supreme Court's ruling, the answer was unambiguous.
August 5, 2012
Re "GOP's push to cut Medicaid is shortsighted and just plain mean," Column, Aug. 3 Just as slumlords have been sentenced by courts to actually live in the hovels they own, I'd like to see Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.), who is sponsoring a bill to freeze Medicaid spending, be denied his plush congressional healthcare policy in favor of the Medicaid he claims coddles the unfortunates forced to depend on it. Put your health where your mouth is, representative, or shut up. Spencer Grant Laguna Niguel Since when is a spending freeze considered a cut?
August 2, 2012 |
Republican leaders are determined to protect rich people from paying higher taxes. Now they also want to reduce health coverage for the poor. You've really got to wonder about these guys. My colleague Noam N. Levey reported this week that conservative politicians at the state and federal level are laying the groundwork to scale back Medicaid if the GOP takes control of Congress and the White House in November. Some Republican governors are already cutting coverage for low-income people, arguing that Medicaid has grown ineffective and unaffordable.
July 25, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - As states consider whether to expand their Medicaid insurance programs for the poor under President Obama's healthcare law, new research indicates the decision may have life-and-death consequences. A study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that residents of states that expand coverage will likely live longer, be healthier and have better access to medical care. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health - who compared states that voluntarily expanded their Medicaid programs over the last decade with neighboring states that did not - found mortality rates were more than 6% lower in states with more generous coverage.
July 20, 2012 |
UnitedHealth Group Inc. reported a 6% increase in second-quarter profit and raised its full-year outlook, but the nation's largest health insurer warned about a tough environment for its Medicare and Medicaid plans as governments face more financial strain. UnitedHealth Chief Executive Stephen Hemsley, in a conference call with analysts and investors, said that "there continues to be more downward than upward pressure across the healthcare landscape.... State budgets are clearly constrained for Medicaid.
July 14, 2012 |
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - America's governors have long used their semiannual gatherings to lock arms in opposition to dreaded unfunded federal mandates and emphasize a pragmatic approach to problem-solving in stark contrast to a hyperpartisan, even dysfunctional Washington. But the makings of a real divide loomed over the summer meeting of the National Governors Assn. here, as state leaders grappled with the fallout of the Supreme Court ruling that granted unexpected leeway with regard to a key component of President Obama's landmark health law: whether to accept billions of federal dollars in return for expanding coverage for the poor through Medicaid.
July 9, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry, joining with several other Republican governors, said Monday that he would not expand Medicaid programs, taking advantage of one element of the Supreme Court's ruling last week that upheld the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate but also allowed states to opt out of the law's Medicaid expansion. “We in Texas have no intention to implement so-called state exchanges or to expand Medicaid under Obamacare,” Perry said in a statement.
July 3, 2012 |
Will Republican-led states "opt out" of the expansion of Medicaid that is one of the chief pillars of the Obama administration's healthcare law? Political figures in both parties have increasingly focused on that question since Thursday's Supreme Court decision upholding most parts of the law. Several Republican governors, most prominently Florida's Rick Scott, already have said they will refuse to cooperate. As we reported the day of the decision , Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.'s insistence that states have an option on whether to cooperate with parts of the new law could open the way to a significant red state/blue state divide over healthcare coverage.