Michigan scrapped its racist Medicaid work exemption. But it’s still happening elsewhere.

Michigan Republicans are dropping a plan to exempt 17 overwhelmingly white counties from the state’s proposed Medicaid work requirements.

State Sen. Mike Shirkey (R), the bill’s sponsor, told the Associated Press that lawmakers are removing a provision to exempt Medicaid beneficiaries who live in counties with high unemployment, saying it’d be too difficult to administer. Instead, Shirkey said he is drafting a new bill that lowers the hours of work requirements and...

Congress is hyperfocused on opioids. Is it focusing enough on addiction?

Congress is trying to pass legislation that addresses the opioid crisis in an election year, so they’re moving fast, passing a bill through committee Thursday that would free up Medicaid dollars for opioid addiction treatment in institutionalized care. But it could be more harmful than lawmakers realize.

Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) is aiming for the House to take up legislation in June. So to keep with schedule, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce — on which Walden se...

A 15-week abortion ban is heading to the Louisiana governor’s desk

The Louisiana legislature has sent Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) a bill to ban abortion after 15 weeks, except in the cases of a medical emergency. The governor is expected to sign the measure into law.

If a doctor performs the procedure, they’d be imprisoned for at least one year (and up to ten years) and fined anywhere between $10,000 to $100,000. The state Senate overwhelmingly voted in favor of the bill (24-5) on Wednesday.

Roughly 94 percent of abortions in Louisiana t...

Here is Trump’s alternative to Medicare drug negotiation after breaking populist promise

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar is doing damage control, pushing back against criticism that President Donald Trump broke a key campaign pledge to have the federal government directly negotiate Medicare drug prices.

On Friday, Trump gave an underwhelming speech that spared drug companies and also released an ‘American Patients First’ blueprint that prompted more questions than answers — 135 questions to be exact. And on Monday, Azar defended him...

Trump breaks key populist campaign promise to negotiate Medicare drug prices

On the campaign trail, candidate Trump promised to save hundreds of billions of dollars standing up to the pharmaceutical industry, and said he’d “negotiate like crazy” to bring down Medicare prescription drug prices.

Allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies for better prices has long been a goal for progressives, and when voters heard Trump stray from the Republican party orthodoxy, railing against Big Pharma as he asked for their support, many ...

Health Department secretary open to national Medicaid work requirements

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told a Senate panel Thursday that he’s willing to work with Congress on legislation that would require people to work a designated amount of hours or lose Medicaid.

States that want to implement Medicaid work requirements have so far sought federal permission to do so, by waiver, but now, Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-LA) is aiming to go further by proposing that the federal government impose work requirements across the board in ever...

New insurance rates prove Trump’s policies have increased Obamacare premiums

Early signs show health insurance companies are trying to exponentially raise prices for plans sold on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace — and for people who don’t qualify for federal assistance, there’s no relief in sight.

Insurers in Maryland and Virginia are asking for double-digit premium increases to 2019 monthly plans. CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield CEO Chet Burrell said that Maryland’s exchange is in the “advanced stages of a death spiral.̶...

Trump administration stops short of approving the most restrictive Medicaid policy yet

The Trump administration just denied Kansas’ request to create an unprecedented “lifetime limit” on Medicaid, a federal insurance largely for the poor and disabled.

“We seek to create a pathway out of poverty, but we also understand that people’s circumstances change, and we must ensure that our programs are sustainable and available to them when they need and qualify for them,” Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma ...

The racial redlining in Michigan’s Medicaid work requirements

There are a lot of problems with work requirements for Medicaid.

They aren’t necessary because the majority of people who can work, work already; they would increase the ranks of the uninsured; and despite what supporters think, they wouldn’t actually pull people out of poverty but could further hurl them into it.

But there’s also another big issue: Medicaid work requirements could increase racial disparities in health care.

Last week, the Michigan Se...

Medicare change to give greater dialysis access to remote Indigenous Australians

Move is welcomed as a lifeline for the growing health crisis of Indigenous kidney disease

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The federal government has added dialysis services to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) to provide remote-living Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people better access to lifesaving treatment.

The sector has welcomed the move as a lifeline for the growing health crisis of Indigenous kidney disease, which has had to rely on private donations and fundraising to provide care because of inadequate government funding.

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