Photo: Ted Eytan via FlickrA sign from a 2017 rally in support of the ACA in Washington, D.C.
The latest anti-Affordable Care Act lawsuit from a score of conservative state attorneys general – partly backed by the U.S. Department of Justice – brings protections for people with pre-existing conditions squarely back into the political and policy forefront. (And you should expect this lawsuit and pre-existing condition protection to come up in the Senate confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh in early September).
So how many people really do have pre-existing conditions who are vulnerable to losing coverage? And where are they?
A bill recently signed into law by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey opens the way for dental therapists to begin providing services in tribal health centers, safety net clinics and other public health settings across the state.
Diverse supporters of the change ranged from health advocacy groups and tribal organizations to the libertarian Goldwater Institute, which issued the report, “The Reform That Can Increase Dental Access and Affordability in Arizona.” Continue reading
There’s been a spurt of Medicaid expansion activity in several states. Thirty-three states plus the District of Columbia have approved expansion (including Maine – more on that below.)
Virginia is the most recent state to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam ran last fall on a Medicaid pledge – and the balance of power in his state’s legislature shifted too, with the GOP still in control but now with narrow majorities in both chambers. Continue reading
Photo: Rob! via Flickr
Getting dental care to America’s elders is a big challenge.
Medicare has never covered routine dental benefits. Medicaid dental benefits for poor adults (including more than 7 million seniors) are scant in many states.
Out-of-pocket costs and problems with mobility can complicate the search for care. As a result, many seniors delay dental visits. Disease progresses. Tooth loss is a grim indicator of the problem. One-third of older Americans have lost six or more teeth, according to a new report by the nonprofit Oral Health America (OHA), based in Chicago. Continue reading
States are going to have unprecedented opportunities to shape health care policy during the next couple years, as President Trump’s administration approves Medicaid waivers and loosens rules around the Affordable Care Act.
States are going to have tools and options they have never had before, said Joanne Kenen, executive health editor at Politico. Kenen moderated a panel on states and health care in the age of Trump on Friday at the Association of Health Care Journalists conference, Health Journalism 2018, in Phoenix. Continue reading
A state’s oral health status represents an interesting indicator of the overall health and economic well-being of its people. On a personal and population level, oral health is not achieved in a vacuum.
Many factors play a role in ensuring the good oral health, from the availability and cost of professional dental services to access to nutritious food and optimally fluoridated water. Shortages of dental providers, high rates of smoking and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption can take a toll. So, can the lack public or private dental benefits, water fluoridation and school sealant programs. Continue reading