Stoltz Of Coudersport

Street Machines Auto Care

Blake Dentistry Coudersport, PA.

Bokman of Wellsville, NY

Do You Know: You can buy this marquee ad on Solomon's words for the wise for your business or event for only $10. per day! It's just one of the low cost advertising options available. Your ad is viewed 30,000 to 50,000 times every day. Email us for information on other ad locations.

Solomon's Auction & Yard Sale Page

Howard's Inc.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Anticipated Changes Coming to Medicaid/ACA in 2017

By Rep. Matt Baker (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter)
Recent news coverage points to Congress likely overhauling, modifying or completely eviscerating the state insurance marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was originally designed to allow workers without employer-provided coverage to shop for insurance. However, double-digit premium increases and lack of insurer competition have made the marketplaces a sore spot for both consumers and policymakers.

Congress could dismantle the exchanges altogether or ask states to take them over. Because of this, states will be keeping a close eye on the $509 billion Medicaid program, which is the single largest budget item for most states. The ACA included huge financial incentives for states to expand Medicaid programs to cover more people, and 31 states took advantage of the deal. Those expansions added some 16 million citizens to the Medicaid rolls.

Now, with Republicans in control of Congress and the White House, it is likely that some of the changes we could see might include work requirements, cost controls, more insurer competition both interstate and intrastate, greater portability, elimination of the Cadillac tax, and the individual and employer mandates to name a few. Far more sweeping changes could change the Medicaid program into a block grant program to the states. Rather than having states and the federal government share cost increases in the program, the feds could agree to pay a fixed and limited share and then give states more flexibility to spend the rest of their Medicaid dollars as they see fit. Although states could potentially keep their Medicaid expansions in place under that scenario, it’s more likely that they would limit access to control costs.

Here in Pennsylvania, the state budget for the Department of Human Services (DHS) is over $30 billion in both federal and state funds that are used to provide a multitude of services for over 3 million Pennsylvanians. Due to its size and complexity of issues for which DHS oversees, it is likely that substantive changes could result, given any changes made to the ACA.

In anticipation of some of these changes, I have introduced three bills in the House of Representatives.

One bill would let insurers sell health insurance plans across state lines, something that was technically allowed but never fully implemented under the ACA. I believe this free-market approach will spur competition and hopefully lead to insurance costs going down, thereby making insurance more affordable and consumer participation go up. I believe this approach may also be part of the federal reform to the ACA repeal.

Another bill would require the commissioner of the Department of Insurance to review state laws to determine how best to go about allowing Pennsylvania residents to purchase health insurance sold in other states by carriers not subject to Pennsylvania laws. This is an important component to the successful implementation of the bill I mention above.

The last bill in the package would provide a tax credit for the purchase of more affordable Health Savings Account policies. This would target segments of the population that are uninsured and need and can afford insurance but choose not to purchase coverage. My plan would permit greater flexibility and offer rewards for healthy lifestyles while eliminating unnecessary state and local premium taxes.

In the end, if we can open up the health insurance markets, greater choice for consumers will ultimately result in more customized plans and better pricing.

This year promises to be a year of change both at the federal and state levels that will have an impact all across our nation. As a Pennsylvania state representative and chairman of the House Health Committee, I look forward to working with my colleagues on these and many other important issues to best serve our great state.


Anonymous said...

How about the main thing that should be done is get rid of the tax penalty for not having health care. Alot of people that have a full-time job with a family but their employer doesn't offer health insurance can not afford the rediculously high premiums under the ACA. So if someone can not afford health insurance at a couple hundred dollars a week why force them to pay penalty for providing for their family.

Anonymous said...

It would be advantageous to have a plan, before even thinking about repealing and replacing the ACA. So far, there is nothing on paper that would prove whatever the GOP is planning, would be better than what there is now.

Health savings accounts are going to work for those that make under $10,000? Don't think so. They have a difficult time making ends meet now without worrying about how they will save any extra money to put into a savings account.

The GOP is working on funding Trump's WALL with our taxpayer's dollars, not Mexico's! Put that $10 Billion to better use and apply it to the ACA!

Anonymous said...

By building that wall, we will save by.
Not having to give ins. To illegals
Not having to house illegals
Not having to educate illegals
Need I go on?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, 8:27 continue on. *rolling my eyes*

Better yet...let's build a WALL to the North too to keep the Canadians on their side too.

Waste of our taxpayers dollars!

Shane Pease said...

We have been wasting tax $$ by all the above things.
And with Obama care, and with almost half the country on some kind of assistance.
How much more do you think the working people have to give?

Anonymous said...

The wall is going to be YUGE !

Anonymous said...

Build that wall ! Build that wall !


Anonymous said...

One problem.... We are going to pay for the YUGE wall.

Anonymous said...

Canada is building a wall to keep amerks out.

Anonymous said...

Liberals don't care who they screw just so they get their freebees!

emily said...

I worry about the HSA idea too. Even if I put all the money I'm saving from not having sky high insurance, one hospital trip could very well be over 10k. There's no way I'd ever save that much! So I'm interested to see how this plays out. Does anyone know if there is more of a plan than HSAs? They just seem unrealistic for low & even middle income people.

Anonymous said...

There is no plan 10:10, that's why they are hedging on appealing it right now. What would they do when millions of folks aren't covered by health insurance and start storming their offices demanded answers?

We, the people, elected these representatives to work for us, to do right by us. All one has to do is contact their state rep and speak up!

The's not going to happen. IF Trump makes it through all 4 years, he'll be adding to our national debt by the billions.

Anonymous said...

Health Insurance Plans are obsolete. We now have Go Fund Me accounts and community fund raisers. Replaces the need for Homeowner's Insurance, too. Lol.

Next thing is to allow purchasing health insurance across state lines! That's what we want! We don't need the government telling us we're we can buy insurance. Ah, I wonder why insurance companies have offices in Pennsylvania? Oh well, after this change passes, the insurance companies can close down their PA offices, lay off employees and relocate to Wyoming. Then, not only CAN you buy insurance from another state, you will be REQUIRED to buy insurance from another state (if not India).

Anonymous said...

You sure said a mouthful....
I'd like to know who is behind this Gofundme that rakes in the percentage off it......