This week, our In Focus section reviews updated information issued by the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Medicaid expansion enrollment from the “May 2017 Medicaid and CHIP Application, Eligibility Determination, and Enrollment Report,” published on July 21, 2017. Additionally, we review 2017 Exchange enrollment data from the “Health Insurance Marketplaces 2017 Open Enrollment Period: Final State-Level Public Use File,” published by CMS on March 15, 2017. Combined, these reports present a picture of Medicaid and Exchange enrollment in the first half of 2017, representing nearly 75 million Medicaid and CHIP enrollees and more than 12 million Exchange enrollees.
This week, our In Focus section reviews “North Carolina’s Proposed Program Design for Medicaid Managed Care,” a draft proposal published this week for public comment, which provides a detailed overview of the planned statewide Medicaid managed care program to be launched in 2019. By 2023, North Carolina estimates it will have transitioned roughly 1.8 million Medicaid beneficiaries in the state to managed care. North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is encouraging public comment on the program design proposal through September 8, 2017, ahead of a planned request for information (RFI) release later this year.
In deference to Miracle Max, after last week’s failed votes on “Repeal and Replace,” “Straight Repeal,” and “Skinny Repeal,” the GOP’s efforts to undo the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through budget reconciliation appear to be at least “mostly dead.” While it is possible strictly partisan discussions will reaccelerate at some point, it appears that Congress is, for the first time, considering bipartisan proposals for shoring up the underwriting challenges in the individual market. In light of this change in direction, we are using this week’s In Focus section to chronicle the events that transpired over the last five months leading to last week’s historic vote. Our objective here is to create a reference piece for our readers so that the next time Congress revisits major healthcare legislation we can look back on the strategies and approaches that led to last week’s result. Many times over the last eight months, we have reflected on the key dynamics surrounding the passage of the ACA in 2010 as a guide for what factors to watch in the efforts to repeal the ACA – budget reconciliation issues, Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scoring, key proposals to win over recalcitrant legislators, the President’s role in pushing the agenda – but our memories were not always up to the task. So in the spirit of having a reference document for future reflection, we record below the key events associated with this effort.
The 2017 National Cannabis Summit will feature the workshop, Implementing Retail Marijuana Legalization: Public Health’s Role in Implementation of Prevention and Education Efforts Following Legalization of Retail Marijuana. During this workshop, HMA Principal Shannon Breitzman will share her unique expertise on how state agencies begin the complex implementation process of regulatory and programmatic needs after retail marijuana is legalized.