Rural Health News

Supreme Court Preserves Health Insurance Marketplaces

On June 25, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court announced their decision upholding tax subsidies to help low- and middle-income people purchase individual health insurance plans through a federal health insurance marketplace. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion in the 6-to-3 decision.
 
The case focused on creation of a federal health insurance exchange that provides access to a health insurance marketplace, and tax subsidies, for qualified individuals in states that did not create their own state exchanges.
 

Montana Passes Compromise Medicaid Expansion Bill

In late April, lots more eyes than normal were on the Montana legislature. Legislators were debating the Montana Health and Economic Livelihood Partnership (HELP) Act, which expands Medicaid to everyone below 138% of the federal poverty line. 

A coalition of legislators from both political parties passed the bill despite some procedural tricks designed to block legislators from bringing the bill to a vote. It passed both houses, and was signed by Governor Bullock. 

Saving Families from the Financial Ledge: Medicaid Expansion in Nebraska

For modest-income families in Nebraska expanding Medicaid is a no-brainer. Not only does it provide access to needed health insurance and health care, it provides a host of positive economic benefits.
 
According to a recent report from Dr. Allan Jenkins and Dr. Ron Konecny of the University of Nebraska at Kearney, expanding Medicaid in Nebraska would result in an increase of $1,100 in discretionary income per enrollee in an expanded Medicaid program, or a total of $88 million statewide.
 

For Pete's Sake

The Legislature recently voted to delay LB 472, the Medicaid Redesign Act, until the 2016 session. While the bill is still alive, this means another year without access to health insurance for up to 77,000 Nebraskans, another year of health consequences that inaction will demand of them, and another year our rural hospitals are in financial jeopardy.
 
What’s more discouraging is the absolute lack of a reasonable alternative plan to provide access to health insurance for these Nebraskans.
 

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