U.S. House Approves American Health Care Act
Staff Contact: Daniel Landon
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the American Health Care Act, which would repeal and replace various components of the Affordable Care Act. The vote was 217-213. The House legislation includes the “MacArthur” and “Upton-Long” amendments previously described.
MHA President and CEO, Herb B. Kuhn released the following statement.
“The American Health Care Act, if enacted in the form adopted in the House, would reduce access to health insurance for more than 200,000 Missourians by 2020. In addition, the 19 states that didn’t expand Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act — including Missouri — will be harmed disproportionately as the Act takes effect. The legislation is grossly inequitable. The AHCA includes funding enhancements and losses targeted directly to states that expanded Medicaid and those that did not. On a per-capita basis, those AHCA changes give the residents of expansion states 61 percent more than the residents of nonexpansion states, including Missouri.
Although the Act rolls back some of the cuts to hospital payments included in the ACA, it does not roll them all back. Between 2017 and 2026, Missouri hospitals will continue to bear the $5.7 billion in Medicare payment reductions that were included in the ACA, and not repealed in the AHCA. This will occur at the same time as hundreds of thousands of Missourians will be priced out of their health insurance. Hospital uncompensated care — already more than $1.2 billion annually — could skyrocket as hospitals continue to provide care to the newly uninsured in communities throughout the state.”
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Budget Conference Committee Completes Work On State FY 2018 Budget
Staff Contacts: Daniel Landon, Rob Monsees or Brian Kinkade
Yesterday evening, a budget conference committee met to resolve the differences in state fiscal year 2018 budget bills previously passed by the House and Senate. The outcomes of differences that were of significance to hospitals include the following.
- FRA estimated appropriation. Conferees agreed to add $155 million to the FRA appropriation and not to make it an adjustable “estimated” appropriation. MHA expects this appropriation to be sufficient although the loss of the estimated status means a loss of flexibility.
- Continuation of FY 2017 supplemental funding. Conferees agreed not to add funding to the FY 2018 budget for costs budgeted in FY 2017 supplemental appropriations. Rather, funds will be held on the state’s balance sheet for the FY 2018 supplemental budget that will be considered next spring.
- Point count for nursing facility and in-home services eligibility. Conferees agreed to reduce the point count from 21 to 24 for participants to qualify for in-home care and nursing facility care. They also agreed to provide appropriation authority to maintain the point count at 21 (current level), but this funding is contingent on the House and Senate passing a bill that ends the circuit breaker tax credit for low-income elderly and certain disabled renters.
- Medicaid managed care. Managed care expansion is funded in the budget adopted by the conferees.
The House and Senate must each pass the budget bills that emerged from these negotiations by 6 p.m. Friday, May 5.
They remain at work seeking final approval.
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House Passes Omnibus Appropriations Bill
Staff Contact: Andrew Wheeler
The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate have both passed a fiscal year 2017 omnibus appropriations bill which would fund the federal government through Saturday, Sept. 30. Specifically, the bill includes an increase of $3.8 billion for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, for a total of $73.5 billion. The bill also provides an increase of $3.7 billion to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services program management and operations, which is equal to the fiscal year 2016 enacted level. The bill now will be sent to President Trump for his approval.
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Department Of Insurance Urges Missouri Insurers To Provide Assistance
Staff Contacts: Daniel Landon or Sarah Willson
The State of Emergency Executive Order signed by the governor because of recent flooding has spurred the Missouri Department of Insurance to urge payers licensed in Missouri to make exceptions for coverage for those living in affected flood areas. A Department of Insurance bulletin addresses continuance of coverage and out-of-network benefits. Missourians who have questions or concerns about their insurance coverage should contact the department’s insurance consumer hotline at 800/726-7390 or visit insurance.mo.gov.
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