Saturday, May 31, 2014

The 3 I s

The Three “I’s” of the Affordable Care Act

The triple ‘AIM’ is a term often quoted by health policy pundits.

CALIFORNIA’S MEDICAID CONUNDRUM

While California’s Medicaid enrollment exceeded projections by 1.4 million, many of those new enrollees had already been eligible for the program. The federal government provides states a 100% Medicaid match through 2016, but that’s only for those individuals newly eligible under the 2010 health-care law; if individuals who had already been eligible for but not enrolled in Medicaid come out of the woodwork, states will pay a portion of those costs. In 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services estimated that states would pay an average of 43% of those enrollees’ Medicaid costs in this fiscal year.

Some states opted to expand Medicaid under the health-care law, raising costs and budgetary pressures at a time of volatile tax revenue. In some cases, the result has been cognitive dissonance. California Gov. Jerry Brown was quoted in Thursday’s Journal saying: “We can’t spend at the peak of the revenue cycle--we need to save that money, as much of it as we can.” But two days earlier, Mr. Brown had expressed pride in the “huge social commitment” that health-care expansion represented in his state--even as it caused a billion-dollar overspend.
Ultimately, states that expand Medicaid could face pressure to cut other important services, whether health-related or in areas such as corrections or education. Recent trends have moved toward reductions because when an irresistible force such as a shrinking tax base meets an immovable object--the rising costs from expanding Medicaid--something has to give.


The three Is of the Affordable Care Act,  Inadequate  Ill-conceived,   and incompetent
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