Trump & Co. continue to dig deeper into the Pit of Cruelty®
2019 OPEN ENROLLMENT ENDS (most states)
Time: D H M S
One of the most popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act's Three-Legged Stool's "Blue Leg" is the prohibition of caps on annual or lifetime benefits. When you consider that a baby born prematurely or a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy can eat up several million dollars worth of care within a few months, this makes perfect sense. Even a moderately wealthy family can be brought down by high medical costs, and a middle class family can be financially wiped out. If you're lower income, don't even get me started.
Naturally, the Trump Administration's response to everything above is "Hmmmmm...screw all that:"
After approving Medicaid work requirements, Trump’s HHS aims for lifetime coverage limits
After allowing states to impose work requirements for Medicaid enrollees, the Trump administration is now pondering lifetime limits on adults’ access to coverage.
Capping health care benefits — like federal welfare benefits — would be a first for Medicaid, the joint state-and-federal health plan for low-income and disabled Americans.
If approved, the dramatic policy change would recast government-subsidized health coverage as temporary assistance by placing a limit on the number of months adults have access to Medicaid benefits.
...However, advocates say capping Medicaid benefits would amount to a massive breach of the nation’s social safety net designed to protect children, the elderly and the impoverished.
...At least five states — Arizona, Kansas, Utah, Maine and Wisconsin — are seeking waivers from the Trump administration to impose lifetime Medicaid coverage limits. The Department of Health and Human Services said it could not comment on the pending applications.
OK, it's technically a limit on the amount of time one is eligible for Medicaid, not on dollar amounts, but it amounts to the same thing. What happens if you get kicked off of Medicaid and then get hit by a bus or develop some costly ailment? Well, tough luck, pal.
There's also the same types of additional "burdensome regulatory headaches" which Republicans supposedly can't stand:
Critics say Medicaid time limits will pose an enormous administrative burden by requiring states to track recipients’ employment, eligibility and disability status. It could also shave valuable coverage months from people with health problems that impede their ability to work.
In addition, low-wage workers who may not get health coverage through their jobs could also reach their Medicaid coverage limit “as if it’s their fault that their job isn’t offering insurance,” said Leonardo Cuello, director of health policy at the National Health Law Center. “And this would happen to thousands upon thousands of people across the country,” if the policy catches on nationwide.
Others argue that attaching time limits and work requirements to Medicaid coverage does not meet a basic requirement of HHS waiver experiments and demonstration projects: to further the objectives of the Medicaid program, such as improving coverage, health outcomes and access to providers.