Friday Five – December 8, 2017

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December 08, 2017

In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about potential cuts to government health and human services programs, concerns over how Medicaid work requirements would impact drug treatment, and how health insurers are expanding into primary care.

1. Paul Ryan says Republicans to target welfare, Medicare, Medicaid spending in 2018

Congressional Republicans are on the verge of passing a tax bill that analysts say would increase the deficit by at least $1 trillion. In this Chicago Tribune article, Paul Ryan confirms Republican plans to follow that up by focusing on cutting spending on federal health care and welfare programs in 2018.

2. Advocates: Cost of GOP tax bill puts entitlement programs at risk of cuts

CNBC reports that consumer advocates are concerned that the deficit created by the tax bill pending in Congress will result in large funding cuts for government programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP. 

3. States – and 9M kids – ‘in a bind’ as Congress dawdles on CHIP funding

Funding authorization for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) expired September 30 and has not yet been reauthorized by Congress. According to Kaiser Health News, states have begun notifying families that their children may lose health insurance as the funds run out. Nearly 9 million children currently have insurance through the program. 

4. GOP Medicaid work rules imperil care for opioid abusers  

As states wait to hear back from the Trump administration on the status of Medicaid waivers that include work requirements, Politico reports on concerns that the requirements will decrease the ability of individuals with drug problems to get help.

5. New mega-deal shows how health insurers are taking over your access to medical care

Two major health insurers are expanding their portfolios into primary care: UnitedHealth is buying 300 primary and specialty care clinics, while CVS is purchasing Aetna. The Washington Post reports these moves are attempts to coordinate care and control costs in new ways.