Conservative fiscal policies at the state and national level have been a key cause of the lackluster economic recovery following the Great Recession, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). EPI’s findings are especially relevant for Maine; while EPI cites the post-2009 recovery as one of the longest on record, Maine’s recovery has been even slower. The U.S. economy recovered its pre-Recession employment levels … Read the rest
History is happening: the percent of Americans without health coverage is the lowest it’s been since the 1990s. Medicare costs are declining – not just slowing – making the program more sustainable in the future. Maine’s 2015 marketplace premiums are either flat – or lower than last year. Health reform is working.
I happened across a time capsule this summer, and it brought home for me exactly how huge an … Read the rest
The classic “divide and conquer” strategy, often attributed to cunning Julius Caesar, operates on the premise that pitting your adversaries against each other before you strike is one sure path to victory. In a recent press release heralding $25.4 million in excess MaineCare funds now available to shore up struggling nursing homes, the LePage Administration appears to be following Caesar’s formula.
This funding is great news for nursing homes in … Read the rest
For the moment, people who have affordable coverage as a result of tax subsidies—including an estimated 39,000 Mainers—have nothing to fear. But two federal appellate court decisions have set the stage for the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a challenge to the subsidies.
Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled to drastically limit the number of Americans who could qualify for federal … Read the rest
This year, 1,300 Mainers will be saddled with catastrophic health costs. Here’s how it could have been avoided – while creating thousands of jobs and boosting state GDP.
Yesterday, the White House Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) released a report examining the differences between states that have accepted federal healthcare funds to expand Medicaid and the minority of states – including Maine – which still have not expanded. Fittingly, … Read the rest
Despite the historic opportunity offered by the federal funds available to expand Medicaid to cover Maine’s uninsured, millions of dollars earmarked for our state have been lost – more than $143 million since January 1 -repudiated in a din of partisan politics. The governor vetoed majority votes in favor of Medicaid expansion five times. But decisions have consequences – and one of the consequences might be the future of the … Read the rest
Between the lines of stockholder calls, refusing Medicaid expansion bad for hospitals’ balance sheets
First-quarter financial results are in, and the CEOs of some of America’s publicly-traded hospitals systems are finding Medicaid expansion is good for business. And they are reporting big differences between their facilities in states that have expanded Medicaid and the hospitals in states still refusing federal healthcare dollars. In states that have accepted federal healthcare funds and worked to promote the ACA, hospital executives are realizing significant increases in the … Read the rest
The Urban Institute (UI) recently released a new analysis of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer mandate (Why Not Just Eliminate the Employer Mandate?) and what the impact would be if the employer mandate were eliminated.
UI concludes that:
“. . . eliminating the employer mandate will not reduce insurance coverage significantly, contrary to its supporters’ expectations. Eliminating it will remove labor market distortions that have … Read the rest
More evidence that accepting federal funds to expand health care is the right prescription for Maine
A new study finds that Romneycare – the Massachusetts health insurance program that was used as a model for the Affordable Care Act – has prevented 230 deaths a year since it began in 2006. Since this study collected data on 270,000 people for a full four years – not just the initial months after people were covered – this is the best evidence yet that health insurance and access … Read the rest
Maine has a higher-than-average number of small businesses and one in seven Mainers is self-employed. More than half of Mainers are self-employed as farmers, loggers, fishermen, and many other professions. Small business owners and the self-employed drive Maine’s economy. They also face the steepest barriers to affordable healthcare because many of these jobs tend to be low-wage, especially in rural areas. If Maine does not accept federal funds to expand … Read the rest