Friday Five - April 28, 2017

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April 28, 2017
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It’s Friday and this week in our Friday Five series, MAXIMUS is tracking legislation in Florida that would implement work requirements for Medicaid recipients; the latest on the GOP’s American Health Care Act; and, how health care spending compares among countries worldwide.

1. The Role of Medicaid in Rural America

People in rural areas face unique challenges in health care coverage and access, including fewer providers, longer travel times to care and greater health care needs due to older age and lower income. Medicaid plays an important role in helping to address these challenges and fill in coverage gaps. Check out a recent brief by the Kaiser Family Foundation on how Medicaid impacts the 52 million people living in the rural US. 

2. Work Requirements for Florida Medicaid Recipients Move Forward in House

Florida’s House of Representatives recently passed legislation to require Medicaid recipients who are able to work to demonstrate that they are working, enrolled in job training or actively seeking employment. State Rep. Travis Cummings, Chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee, called it a “responsible policy” that would help encourage people to get back into the workforce. The Tampa Bay Times describes next steps for the legislation and how it might play out in Florida.

3. House Delays Obamacare Vote

House Republican leaders last night delayed a vote on their health care bill until next week at the earliest. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and his top lieutenants decided during a late-night huddle in the Capitol that they still do not have the votes to pass the legislation as at least 15 House Republicans remain solidly opposed to the bill, with 20 more leaning no or still undecided. Politico offers an analysis of how the votes line up and what this means for President Trump’s 100-day benchmark. 

4. What Country Spends the Most (and Least) on Health Care Per Person?

Did you know the United States spends $9,237 per person on health care? Compare that amount – the highest in the world – to the lowest, Somalia’s $33 per person. NPR examines where the money comes from, what that means for countries’ populations and whether life expectancy and other measures of health improve as medical spending increases.

5. Bills Would Expand VA Telehealth Services Across State Lines

Telehealth services for veterans have expanded dramatically in recent years, but – amid concerns that federal rules governing remote care have not kept up with technology – a bipartisan group of lawmakers reintroduced legislation designed to boost access for veterans by easing those rules. The bill argues that patients in rural areas or facing travel difficulties are being disadvantaged by outdated regulations. Military Times discusses the legislation that would, according to Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), allow “veterans, in the comfort of their own home, to be able to consult with a physician, over the phone or the internet.”