Friday Five - August 25, 2017

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August 25, 2017
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In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about what lies ahead for Medicaid: The program could still be impacted by federal legislative changes, but now that the popular perception of Medicaid is trending positively and more people are aware of who is covered under the program, many expect any further changes to come at the state level.

1. Not out of the woods yet: 5 looming threats to Obamacare and Medicaid

While Republican bills in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act failed to pass, this article from Talking Points Memo lists five ways the healthcare system could still be affected, including a dial back of ACA enrollment efforts, uncertainty around subsidy payments to insurers, shrinking Medicaid expansion, and the approval and implementation of Medicaid waivers.  

2. Time to modernize Medicaid’s broken waiver process

Almost all states have used waivers to test programs or enroll patients for health services. This opinion piece, published in Morning Consult, calls for a streamlined process to apply for and approve Medicaid waivers, a call echoed by bipartisan groups of Medicaid directors and governors. 

3. Two-thirds of those on Medicaid are children, seniors or disabled

Politifact reviews the accuracy of Rep. Sean Maloney’s (R-NY) statement that most people on Medicaid are children, seniors, or the disabled by verifying that 2/3 of Medicaid enrollees nationally fit this criterion, while more than half do so in New York.

4. How Medicaid expansion affected out-of-pocket healthcare spending for low-income families

Research by the Commonwealth Fund found that Medicaid expansion allowed low-income families to have no or lower out-of-pocket costs for healthcare (as compared to states that did not expand Medicaid) and families were less likely to have “catastrophically high” spending levels. This followed up on previous research that found expansion helped lower financial barriers to healthcare access.

5. Medicaid directors see boon in newfound public awareness

While Medicaid directors are paying close attention to legislative efforts to curtail Medicaid, many are cautiously optimistic that the increase in public awareness of the program will allow them to improve their state’s offerings, Bloomberg BNA reports. A recent poll found that 74% of respondents viewed Medicaid in a positive light and states are hoping to tweak their programs to encourage value-based care and better manage the chronically ill.

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