Category Archives: Government

Budget includes massive cuts to Medicaid beyond AHCA proposal

Joanne Kenen

About Joanne Kenen

Joanne Kenen, (@JoanneKenen) the health editor at Politico, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health reform and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on health reform resources and tip sheets at joanne@healthjournalism.org.

The Trump administration is doubling down on its goal of reshaping Medicaid financing and sharply reducing spending.

As we’ve noted before, the House version of the American Health Care Act would put a stop to the open-ended entitlement funding of Medicaid. States would either get a per capita cap (a yearly amount per person) or a block grant (a lump sum). The per capita cap would give states more flexibility as the economy cycles through good and bad periods. In slumps, when more people go on Medicaid, the amount would go up. The block grant amounts would rise by a pre-determined amount for 10 years, but states would have more flexibility in program design. Continue reading

#AHCJ17 panelists wrestle with the unintended consequences of complying with MACRA  

Joseph Burns

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Pia ChristensenRandi Terry (left), of Munson Healthcare in Traverse City, Mich., explains some of the difficulties of complying with MACRA and getting clarification from CMS on the rules.

Any legislation is bound to have unforeseen outcomes, and the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 is no exception, according to two members of a panel discussion on MACRA at Health Journalism 2017.

Anders Gilberg, senior vice president of government affairs for the Medical Group Management Association, and Randi Terry, director of information services for Munson Healthcare in Traverse City, Mich., described some of those unintended consequences. Continue reading

What we know about the nation’s newest health IT czar

Rebecca Vesely

About Rebecca Vesely

Rebecca Vesely is AHCJ's topic leader on health information technology and a freelance writer. She has written about health IT since the late 1990s for a variety of publications.

Donald Rucker

On Friday, Politico broke the story that Donald W. Rucker, M.D., has been named the new national coordinator for health information technology. Rucker is the first head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in the Trump administration.

His appointment carried no official announcement and did not require Senate confirmation. As of Monday afternoon, the ONC website did not have him listed under their leadership bios page. Continue reading

Proposed cuts to senior program funding spark outrage

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in Kaiser Health News, The Atlantic.com, New America Media, AARP.com and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College in New York City, and co-produces HealthStyles for WBAI-FM/Pacifica Radio.

Photo: Timothy Valentine via Flickr

By now, most of you are probably aware of the controversial remarks made by Mick Mulvaney, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, about the administration’s proposed 2017 budget, which would adversely affect home- and community-based services for the elderly.

Among them is Meals on Wheels, which provides daily nutritious food to homebound older adults, the disabled and veterans. Continue reading

Looking at the conservative ‘heritage’ of some core ACA features

Joanne Kenen

About Joanne Kenen

Joanne Kenen, (@JoanneKenen) the health editor at Politico, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health reform and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on health reform resources and tip sheets at joanne@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Fibonacci Blue via Flickr

The New York Times Magazine recently looked at the prolonged fight against the Affordable Care Act (ACA) waged by Heritage Action for America, the political arm of conservative think tank Heritage Foundation, which has helped populate the Trump administration both in and out of health care.

Vice President Mike Pence and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price are Heritage supporters and have brought in like-minded associates.

But, as we have seen, the task of repealing the ACA is hard, in part because the legislation has changed the health care landscape in so many ways. Continue reading