Medicaid is the United States’ public health insurance program for people with low incomes and chronic health conditions. Medicaid covers one in five Americans; mostly children, people with disabilities, and the elderly. The Affordable Care Act (ACA; aka Obamacare) expanded Medicaid coverage to include the working poor (those who make 138% of the Federal Poverty Level or below) who do not typically have access to affordable care. Thirty-two states have implemented the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. Some states, along with the Trump administration, have pushed for imposing a work requirement for Medicaid recipients.

Of the 25 million affected by the Medicaid expansion nearly 80% live in working families, many of whom are self-employed. Close to half of working Medicaid enrollees work for small businesses which often do not offer health coverage. Most of those who are not working report inability to work due to illness, disability, or caregiving responsibilities.

Kentucky

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Health care in America was a constant subject of conversations in public venues and political forums in 2017. There has been confusion about health insurance, failed legislation, Executive Orders reversing Obamacare guidelines, tax plans affecting healthcare costs, and the failure to fund healthcare programs that cover millions of low-income Americans. People in the United States continue to count healthcare costs as a major concern.

We at NeedyMeds prefer to remain apolitical, but it is difficult to avoid the partisan nature of the changes in health care in America since the Trump administration’s inauguration last year. Donald Trump ran on the platform of repealing the Affordable Care Act (aka ACA; Obamacare), saying it would be “so easy.” He claimed his Obamacare replacement would have “insurance for everybody” and that “Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.” In practice, all “Trumpcare” bills failed to pass through Congress due

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This year we have been tracking the evolution of healthcare in the United States under the Trump administration, from the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) bills failing to pass through Congress, the expiration of the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) which covers 9 million children—many of whom have chronic health conditions—to Executive Orders undermining the Affordable Care Act (ACA; aka Obamacare) to the effect of destabalizing the insurance markets, causing confusion among consumers and higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs. More recently the U.S. Congress has been focused on tax reform, though critics have described efforts as a healthcare repeal disguised as a tax bill. This week the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has scored the Senate’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act bill that, if passed, could take effect on January 1, 2018.

For those concerned with America’s growing debt, the CBO analysis finds the $1.4 trillion would be added to the federal deficit over the next decade. Critics decry raising taxes for lower-income families while lowering

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The Affordable Care Act (ACA; aka Obamacare) Health Insurance Marketplace begins its fifth Open Enrollment period today. American healthcare consumers can sign up on the federal insurance exchange at healthcare.gov or through their state marketplaces. This year, there is increased confusion and anxiety surrounding Open Enrollment due to changes (and attempted changes) made to the ACA under the Trump administration.

Previous years Open Enrollment period ran 90 days after November 1 until the end of January but has been cut to 45 days this year unless you qualify for the Special Enrollment Period, extending the enrollment period by an additional 60 days. Further limiting access to enrollment, the healthcare.gov website has scheduled weekly 12-hour maintenance outages. Advertisements encouraging public awareness in Open Enrollment are also cut, with some allocated funds being used for an anti-ACA ad campaign, and federal health representatives have been told not to engage in outreach to help more people access enrollment.

There is also considerable confusion, with many Americans being unsure as to the

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Donald Trump, President of the United States, has taken steps to systematically change America’s health insurance system. He has failed on his promise to pass healthcare reform through Congress due to lack of support, mostly from the destabilization the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) would have caused for premium costs and uninsured rates. The morning of October 12 he signed an Executive Order undermining the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and opens the door to low-benefit insurance despite lack of Congressional support. Later that night, Trump ordered an immediate end to subsidies to insurance companies that help cover low-income Americans between 100% to 250% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

Trump has repeatedly called the ACA (aka Obamacare) a “disaster” that is “failing” despite the more than 50 million uninsured in 2009 decreasing to 28 million uninsured by 2017. Since taking office the Trump administration has been

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