Ohio will soon ask the federal government to waive an Obamacare requirement that nearly everyone in the state get health insurance coverage.
It will also ask permission to make some Medicaid recipients work 20 hours a week, go to school or take on similar activities. The state announced both these actions today, anticipating it will submit separate applications to Washington in about a month, after holding public hearings.
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Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has energized Democratic voters with a proposal for a $1.38 trillion single-payer health care system that he says would provide universal coverage and make medical care more efficient.
By contrast, his opponent in the Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton, is promising to defend the Affordable Care Act and make reforms to help lower deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs.
In other words, Sanders wants revolution; Clinton wants to build on what President Obama started.
If elected, each candidate could potentially have a significant impact on the nation’s health care policies and the choices and costs facing consumers.
The leading candidates for the Republican nomination are all proposing to repeal ObamaCare. The difference between them is what they would replace it with.
Businessman Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas both have said they want to increase competition to allow Americans to purchase insurance across state lines, but neither has offered a detailed plan for replacing President Obama’s signature law.
Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida would provide tax credits to help Americans purchase individual health insurance policies and give states more control of their insurance markets.
Meanwhile, Ohio Gov. John Kasich says the focus should be on improving primary care and rewarding providers that generate better health outcomes and help to hold down costs.
Whoever is nominated will have a chance to bring about a fundamental shift in health care policy.
A Plain Dealer analysis of plans offered through healthcare.gov, the exchange website, shows that deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance expenses are putting up significant barriers to accessing medical care, particularly for middle-income earners. The average deductible for a silver-level plan – among the most affordable options for someone with medical needs – is $3,561 in Cuyahoga County for a 40-year-old male earning $30,000, according to the analysis. The maximum annual out-of-pocket expense for that individual averages $6,277.