For years, the Center for Medicare Advocacy has warned of wasteful overspending on private Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, the limitations on access to physicians and health care provided by MA, and the difficulties in obtaining the same coverage from the plans as is available in real Medicare. (See Case Study below.) Despite these efforts, Medicare … Read more

Over the last several years, the Center for Medicare Advocacy (the Center) has written at length about the Trump Administration’s detrimental changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicare, Medicaid, and other vital health care programs. On October 23, 2019, the House Committee on Energy & Commerce, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, held a hearing … Read more

On September 10, 2019 the Census Bureau released the annual national-level income, poverty and health insurance statistics for 2018 in two reports, Income and Poverty in the United States: 2018 and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2018. According to the reports, “the rate and number of people without health insurance increased from 7.9%, … Read more

On August 14, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted a final rule to the Federal Register that amends DHS regulations regarding how an application for legal immigration into this country will be assessed, expanding the government’s ability to deny entry based on the possible future use of services like Medicaid. The “Public Charge” … Read more

A Modern Healthcare article about the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ 2018 Accident and Health Policy Report, reports that short-term health plans, greatly encouraged by the current administration, offer little coverage for enrollees. The article reports that the average amount spent per dollar of premium paid by the five insurers bringing in the most premiums … Read more

Oral argument in Texas v United States, the lawsuit seeking to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, will be held Tuesday July 9, 2019. At stake in this case is the health care of millions of Americans. The case will affect the entire health care system and every aspect of the Affordable Care Act, not just the much-discussed … Read more

A recent report by the Sunlight Foundation’s Web Integrity Project shows that the Administration removed 85 pages of information about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). According to the report, the removed information concerned “a wide range of information about programs offered, and rights guaranteed, under the ACA, and how the law affects coverage for a … Read more

The landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA) included an anti-discrimination provision – the Health Care Rights Law – otherwise known as Section 1557.  This provision prohibits discrimination by certain health programs or facilities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. Unfortunately, the Trump Administration recently released a proposed rule (not yet … Read more

Repeated efforts to repeal and undermine the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have led to growing public awareness of the importance of access to health coverage and accompanying patient protections. Recognition of the important role of the ACA and Medicare, and growing support for Medicaid, have combined to shape public support for expanding health coverage, instead … Read more

Court Strikes Blow For Health Care Last week, a federal district court judge put a stop to another effort by the Administration to sabotage the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The judge’s ruling halts an attempt by the Department of Labor to expand Association Health Plans and weaken the ACA. In past Alerts, we have highlighted … Read more

— Statement from the Medicare Rights Center and Center for Medicare Advocacy — Washington, DC – This week, the Department of Justice took a new, more extreme position in a federal case challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), agreeing with a federal district court in Texas that the entire law should be … Read more

We are only a few weeks into 2019 and the Administration is already busy sabotaging the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the 2020 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters rule. In one part of the rule, CMS seeks input on ending an ACA process called “silver … Read more

The Center for Medicare Advocacy and the Medicare Rights Center recently issued a joint statement on the misguided decision of a federal court in Texas against the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If this decision stands, all of the ACA’s coverage and consumer protections will be null and void. People with pre-existing conditions and those who … Read more

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 17, 2018 Contact: Center for Medicare Advocacy – Matt Shepard: 202-293-5760, MShepard@MedicareAdvocacy.org Medicare Rights Center – Mitchell Clark: 212-204-6248, MClark@medicarerights.org Joint Statement from The Center for Medicare Advocacy and The Medicare Rights Center Texas Affordable Care Act Decision Flawed ACA is Still the Law of the Land Washington, D.C. – In … Read more

There are only two days left to get covered! Consumers have until December 15th to obtain health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace. Those who need coverage should visit www.healthcare.gov to shop, compare and find a plan that meets their needs. It is important to keep in mind that ACA plans prohibit annual … Read more

We have previously written about new guidance from the Administration that will make it easier for states to both ignore Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage and consumer protection rules, and weaken the ACA Marketplace. Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued waiver concepts about how states can implement the new guidance. … Read more

There is not much time left to obtain health insurance from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace during this year's Open Enrollment period. Consumers who need coverage should visit www.healthcare.gov to shop, compare and find a plan that meets their needs. Consumers should act quickly.  Not only has this year’s Open Enrollment period been shortened … Read more

As results from this week’s mid-term elections continue to come in, it is clear that the Democrats will control the House of Representatives and Republicans will retain control of the Senate in the 116th Congress that starts in January.  According to polling conducted before and during the election, health care was the top issue for … Read more

Today is one of the most consequential elections of our lifetime. Millions of voters will head to the polls and decide on the kind of future we want for our country. Ballots cast today will decide issues of economic fairness, equality under the law and whether our government is truly “of the people, by the … Read more

With the mid-term elections just days away, the President unveiled a minimal drug proposal in yet another effort to suggest minor changes at a politically opportune time. This is a distraction from the fact that the Administration is not “strengthening” Medicare as claimed, but fragmenting it and putting it on a path to privatization. Don’t fall for the … Read more

Earlier this week the National Committee shared a list of “Campaign Codewords” to watch out for this election season.  Here’s what some of the phrases they highlighted (and one of our own) will really mean when you hear them.   When You Hear…   It REALLY Means… Reform/Save → Privatize it! Raise the Retirement Age … Read more

This week the Administration issued new guidance that will make it easier for states to ignore Affordable Care Act (ACA) rules and weaken the ACA Marketplace. The new guidance concerns state innovation waivers which would allow states to expand inadequate coverage such as short-term plans and Association Health Plans. As Politico reports, “Many health insurance … Read more

The mid-term elections are just 14 days away. Medicare Matters A recent Kaiser Health poll shows that health care is the top issue for voters in this election. The poll finds that for 7 in 10 voters, health care is a “very important” factor in determining their vote. Unfortunately, the poll shows that only about 17% … Read more

The mid-term elections are 20 days away. To help keep Medicare in the forefront of candidates’ and voters’ minds, our SaveMedicareNow project is focusing on issues relevant to the promise and future of the Medicare program.  Last week, we focused on the importance of Medicare to young people.  This week, we focus on the growing … Read more

Yesterday, USA Today published an Op-Ed by President Trump entitled “Democrats [sic] 'Medicare for All' plan will demolish promises to seniors.” In addition to the inflammatory rhetoric throughout the piece (which includes language reminiscent of the “Red Scare” fears used to oppose passage of Medicare in the 1960s), it is filled with false and misleading statements about the … Read more

As midterm elections near, young Americans will be in the spotlight. Young Americans have been integral to a number of surprising primary victories across the country. And, for the first time, they will surpass Baby Boomers as the largest generation of Americans eligible to vote.[1] Medicare is often at the forefront of national discourse. However, … Read more

Starting this week, consumers may purchase short-term, limited-duration insurance policies that will provide coverage for up to one year.  It is important to remember that these skimpy plans were never intended to be used as long-term comprehensive health insurance. At best, they should be a stopgap for consumers who experience a temporary break in coverage. … Read more

In the weeks leading up to the mid-term elections, the Center for Medicare Advocacy will work to ensure Medicare gains momentum as a top issue for voters and candidates. During an audio news conference announcing the SaveMedicareNow initiative, led by the Center, key experts discussed policy and structural changes that threaten the Medicare program. Presenters … Read more

Public Support for Medicare is at an All-Time High, But Experts See Continuing Threats to the Program Sept. 25, 2018​, WASHINGTON – The Center for Medicare Advocacy held a media briefing today to shed light on ongoing and upcoming threats to the Medicare program. The beloved program, which provides health care to nearly 20 percent of … Read more

This week, CMS announced it was awarding significantly less funding for navigator organizations than in the past for the upcoming Affordable Care Act open enrollment season. Overall, the program’s funding has been reduced from 2016’s $100 million budget to $10 million for 2018. Navigator organizations are non-profits that provide critical assistance to consumers who need … Read more

Thanks to a final rule issued by the Administration, Association Health Plans (AHPs) will be available starting this month. Expanding AHPs will make it easier for certain small employers to offer plans that don’t have Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage protections. In previous Alerts, we highlighted how these inadequate plans would draw younger healthier people … Read more

New Legislation Dealing with Pre-existing Conditions is Not What it Seems Last week Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and others introduced the Ensuring Coverage for Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions Act. This bill would amend the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act to supposedly guarantee the availability of health coverage. The sponsors of the legislation claim that … Read more

In conjunction with other advocacy organizations, the Center for Medicare Advocacy submitted comments during the re-opened comment period for the Kentucky HEALTH Medicaid Section 1115 waiver demonstration application. The Center strongly believes that Kentucky HEALTH should be rejected as it will lead to substantial coverage losses. Kentucky’s proposal will take health coverage away from individuals … Read more

Last week, the Secretary of Health and Human Services was reported as claiming, in remarks to the American Legislative Exchange Council, that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has caused 28 million Americans to be uninsured. In light of this statement, we highlight the many ways the ACA has actually expanded access to insurance coverage and … Read more

Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the final rule expanding the use of Short-Term Limited-Duration Insurance. For months, we have been highlighting how these “Junk Plans” would adversely impact both the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace and consumers with complex care needs. Short-term insurance is meant to be a … Read more

This week, the Kaiser Family Foundation released a poll showing that 56% of Americans believe that the Administration is “trying to make the ACA fail.” The polling also shows that by nearly seven to one, people think this is a negative thing. Over the last few months, we’ve highlighted negative actions taken by the Administration … Read more

In a previous CMA Alert we highlighted a statement reportedly made by CMS Administrator Seema Verma that she took “exception to those out there who have made claims that we have tried to sabotage the health care of the American people, particularly when it comes to the health-care exchanges…” We listed actions taken prior to … Read more

Last year, we highlighted how the Administration cut funding for Affordable Care Act (ACA) outreach and enrollment assistance. They are at it again. This week it was reported that the Administration is slashing even more funding for organizations called “navigators” that assist people who need health insurance. The Washington Post reports that for the upcoming … Read more

This week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released their reports on the performance of the exchanges and individual health insurance market. These reports include the Early 2018 Effectuated Enrollment Snapshot, Exchange Trends Report and the Trends in Subsidized and Unsubsidized Enrollment. In the press release for these reports, CMS makes a few … Read more

Last week, the Health Policy Consensus Group released a plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It is reported that this group, led by longtime ACA critic, former Senator Rick Santorum, has been working with Senate Republicans and the White House on this “new” plan. Make no mistake; as we noted in a joint … Read more

Statement from The Center for Medicare Advocacy and The Medicare Rights Center June 22, 2018 The plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) released this week by the Health Policy Consensus Group is essentially a redo of the Graham-Cassidy bill that was overwhelmingly rejected last summer. The American people saw that bill for what … Read more

This week the Department of Labor issued the final rule for Association Health Plans. The release of this rule is yet another action taken by the Administration to undermine the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Expanding these Association Health Plans will make it easier for certain small employers to offer plans don’t provide ACA coverage protections. … Read more

In a previous Alert, we highlighted a lawsuit against the federal government by State Attorney’s General in twenty states led by Texas. At the center of the lawsuit is the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate penalty, which was repealed by Congress in last year’s tax bill. The lawsuit claims that the ACA is null … Read more

June 6, 2018 Contact: Matt Shepard (MShepard@MedicareAdvocacy.org, 860-456-7790) The Medicare trustees estimate the Part A Trust Fund will be insolvent in 2026, three years sooner than last year’s projection. The good news is this is about nine years later than it would have been without the Affordable Care Act.  The bad news is the projection reflects … Read more

This week, Politico reported the President as saying "I have my two Alexes [Azar and Acosta]… coming out with plans that are phenomenal plans, phenomenal plans,” and that “They’ll be out over the next four weeks [and] it's going to cover a tremendous amount of territory." The report goes on to say that “Trump specifically … Read more

The Center for Medicare Advocacy, Justice in Aging and the Medicare Rights Center recently sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) raising “strong objections to serious inaccuracies” in the draft 2019 Medicare & You Handbook, and urged CMS to rectify the errors prior to dissemination.  As stated in a joint … Read more

Last week, it was reported that the failed Graham-Cassidy repeal and replace bill may be making another appearance in some form. In its original form, the bill was defeated as it sparked a huge public outcry and the mobilization of advocates around the country. The public saw it for what it was – a bad … Read more

In a New York Times article this week, Robert Pear reported on a study done by the chief actuary of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which shows the devastating impact of expanding access to short-term, limited-duration plans, as proposed by the Trump Administration. According to the Times, the study finds that as many … Read more

In a recent speech to the World Health Care Congress, CMS Administrator Seema Verma reportedly said “I take exception to those out there who have made claims that we have tried to sabotage the health care of the American people, particularly when it comes to the health-care exchanges. Obamacare was failing long before Donald Trump … Read more

This week, the Center working with other advocacy organizations, submitted comments for the Administration’s proposed rule on Short-Term Limited Duration Insurance. This refers to the “fake insurance” or “junk plans” that we have been highlighting for the last few months. Our Comments come on the heels of the Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for … Read more