SCOTUS Medicaid Case Could Endanger Elderly, Disabled People, Advocates Warn

This story was originally published by The 19th. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week on a case disability, eldercare and health care advocates described as “an assault” on the rights of older adults, people with disabilities and their families. Advocates are so concerned over the potential impact of Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County v. Talevski that they’re still pressing both sides to withdraw or settle before a decision is rendered. The case could radically alter Medicaid and a host of other government programs by limiting private citizens’ right to sue when those programs aren’t fairly and…

South Dakota Approved Medicaid Expansion, But Implementation May Not Be Easy

South Dakotans voted Tuesday to expand the state’s Medicaid program to cover thousands of additional low-income residents, becoming the seventh state to approve expansion via the ballot box. But as other conservative states have shown, voter approval doesn’t always mean politicians and administrators will rush to implement the change. In Missouri, for example, experts said subpar publicity efforts and an outdated application system led to a glacial pace of enrollment after voters there approved Medicaid expansion in 2020. A similarly slow rollout could occur in South Dakota, said Tricia Brooks, a Georgetown University research professor who studies Medicaid. South Dakota’s…

Kentucky Governor Expands Medicaid to Include Dental, Vision and Hearing

On Wednesday, Kentucky’s Democratic governor announced a plan to expand the state’s Medicaid program to include dental, vision and hearing care for adults. Gov. Andy Beshear’s plan to expand the services available under Medicaid in Kentucky will impact around 900,000 adults enrolled in the program. New benefits will go into effect on January 1, 2023. Medicaid is a joint state- and federally-funded program that provides medical coverage to individuals and families with low incomes across the U.S. In Kentucky, a single adult is only eligible for the program if they earn less than $18,075 per year; for families of four,…

Congress Can Help Prevent Health Coverage Disruptions and Lock in Recent Gains

The uninsured rate is at a record low, according to the latest Census data. One major reason: the temporary prohibition on terminating Medicaid coverage for most enrollees during the federally declared public health emergency (PHE). But this “continuous coverage” requirement will phase out when the PHE ends, likely next year. As Congress begins work on end-of-year legislation, policies that protect and bolster health coverage, particularly for low-income people, should be a top priority. Medicaid’s continuous coverage provision has helped keep people, including millions of children, insured despite the economic and social disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The continuous coverage…

Data Shows States With Strictest Abortion Bans Have Higher Rate of Child Poverty

A new analysis finds that states that have implemented abortion bans following far right Supreme Court justices’ overturn of Roe v. Wade also tend to have the worst levels of parental support in terms of poverty rates, rates of insured people and health outcomes. NPR reports that the 14 states with abortion bans are among the states with the highest rates of child poverty, people living in maternal health care deserts and women who are uninsured. Nine states that are in the process of passing bans, or that have passed bans that ended up being blocked by a judge or…

Biden Announces Hearing Aids Will Soon Be Able to Be Sold Over the Counter

Millions of Americans who need hearing aids will be able to purchase them over the counter as soon as this fall under a new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rule that will likely also lower costs, the Biden administration has announced. The FDA finalized a rule on Tuesday that would create a new over-the-counter category for hearing aids, which the agency says will largely benefit those who experience mild to moderate hearing impairment. As soon as mid-October, those with hearing loss will be able to purchase aids online or in-store without a prescription or an appointment with a medical professional.…

Infant Formula Crisis Highlights Breastfeeding Barriers in Southern States

Despite efforts in recent weeks by the federal government to address the ongoing infant formula shortage, parents are still struggling to find formula. The Food and Drug Administration announced this week that nearly two million cans of infant formula from a United Kingdom-based company would arrive in the United States in the coming days. Abbott Laboratories — the Illinois-based company whose alleged unsanitary conditions led to a voluntary recall of baby formula, the deaths of two infants, and the closure of a large formula manufacturing plant in Michigan, sparking the crisis — announced it will release about 300,000 cans of…

Biden’s Proposed Budget Leaves Out the Hyde Amendment — for Now

This story was originally published at Prism. President Joe Biden’s 2023 budget proposal was released March 28, sans a 40-year-old restrictive clause known as the Hyde Amendment. This is the second year Biden has excluded the controversial amendment that denies insurance coverage of abortion for people enrolled in Medicaid. Public support for ending Hyde is at an all-time high, with nearly six in 10 Americans supporting health insurance coverage for abortion, whether public or private. Abortion rights advocates hope the budget will be passed without Hyde and that legislators will not reintroduce the amendment to appease conservative lawmakers, like during…

Conservatives on Supreme Court Poised to Block Biden’s Vaccine and Mask Mandates

Despite the fact that we are in the midst of an unprecedented and deadly pandemic with no signs of abating, the right-wing majority on the Supreme Court appears unlikely to stop the carnage. The reactionary “justices” seem more inclined to shield corporate profits and red states’ rights than to protect the health and safety of the people. Scientists have achieved near unanimity that vaccines and masking are effective in preventing COVID infections. Nevertheless, the high court is being asked to block Biden administration rules that would mandate vaccines and/or masking and testing. On January 7, the court heard arguments in…