We’re facing an uncertain future. The Affordable Care Act will very likely be repealed, but what will happen after that, nobody can tell. This could carry serious implications for Medicaid programs. Explore the potential changes in Medicaid under the incoming administration, what seniors can expect, and how an attorney can help.
Changes to Medicaid
One of the central tenets of the ACA was the broad expansion of Medicaid benefits, which are in place to provide aid to millions of people across the nation in need of financial assistance. The incoming administration has made it a stated priority to roll back the ACA and replace it with a different and better program.
The problem is, nobody knows what the new program will look like, and it will inevitably carry changes to Medicaid. Many are rightfully concerned as a result.
“Do No Harm”
To borrow a phrase from the doctor’s oath, President Trump promised to do no harm to Medicare or Medicaid, and promised to leave in place laws requiring coverage for those with pre-existing conditions and expanded coverage for those who live at home until their mid-twenties.
In fact, Vice President Pence engineered a broad expansion of Medicaid while governor of Indiana, so he has a history of supporting the program.
The Price to Be Paid
However, this support of Medicaid comes at a cost. In Indiana, the “personal responsibility” mandate requires those who benefit from Medicaid to pay into healthcare savings accounts to help the program. President Trump, on the other hand, favors giving block grants to each state with lump sums for Medicaid. Another option is a per-capita funding allotment per beneficiary in a state.
The new Republican-controlled Congress, on the other hand, favors sweeping rollbacks to get rid of every part of the ACA; their legislation to do so was vetoed by President Obama in January. Some Republicans favor tax credits to allow people to buy healthcare at affordable rates.
It remains to be seen whether President Trump, who claims to be in the final strokes of drafting his new healthcare plan, will use his own veto (or line item veto) power to protect the parts of the ACA he vowed to keep in place.
States’ Rights in Healthcare
Most people expect the Trump administration to award states the sweeping power to run their Medicaid as they see fit, and some states are already working on programs to do so. Some proposals on the table have involved co-payment programs or minimum work requirements. However, the Federal government has the ability to overrule these strictures should they interfere with the intent of the program.
The Times Are Changing
Whether it’s block grants or allotments per person, states are likely to see less federal money for Medicaid than they currently expect, which will lead to them needing to come up with a solution to avoid cutting some benefits.
Whatever happens, changes in Medicaid are coming down the pike. It doesn’t look like the program is going anywhere, but more people may need to fight for the benefits they need. If this is the case, your best bet is with the help of an experienced elder law attorney. Stano Law has decades of experience helping seniors in Ohio and we can help you as well. Give us a call for more information today.