The Republican proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act would strip away what advocates say is essential coverage for drug addiction treatment as the number of people dying from opiate overdoses is skyrocketing nationwide.
Beginning in 2020, the plan would eliminate an Affordable Care Act requirement that Medicaid cover basic mental-health and addiction services in states that expanded it, allowing them to decide whether to include those benefits in Medicaid plans.
The proposal would also roll back the Medicaid expansion under the act — commonly known as Obamacare — which would affect many states bearing the brunt of the opiate crisis, including Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia expanded Medicaid under the ACA.
Categories: State Issues, National Issues
The Trump administration is seeking to slash the budget of one of the government’s premier climate science agencies by 17 percent, delivering steep cuts to research funding and satellite programs, according to a four-page budget memo obtained by The Washington Post.
The proposed cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would also eliminate funding for a variety of smaller programs, including external research, coastal management, estuary reserves and “coastal resilience,” which seeks to bolster the ability of coastal areas to withstand major storms and rising seas.
NOAA is part of the Commerce Department, which would be hit by an overall 18 percent budget reduction from its current funding level.
Categories: Local Issues, State Issues, National Issues
As Republicans try to unite around a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, one of the most popular parts of the law will be among the most difficult to replace: the guarantee of health coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.
The challenge of providing insurance for Americans who have no other alternative has some congressional Republicans considering whether to ask the states to reboot high-risk pools, an option with a rocky history. In the past, the pools served as insurers of last resort for people in poor health who could not get an individual policy from a commercial insurer.
"It's definitely a hand-off to the states," said economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who has reviewed the GOP plans and a recent briefing document for members of Congress. "It's a commitment for money. It doesn't say how much."
• Hundreds of thousands of women gathered in Washington on Saturday in a kind of counterinauguration after President Trump took office on Friday. A range of speakers and performers cutting across generational lines rallied near the Capitol before marchers made their way toward the White House.
• They were joined by crowds in cities across the country: In Chicago, the size of a rally so quickly outgrew early estimates that the march that was to follow was canceled for safety. In Manhattan, Fifth Avenue became a river of pink hats, while in downtown Los Angeles, even before the gathering crowd stretched itself out to march, it was more than a quarter mile deep on several streets.
With the surrender of House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.) to the Trump crusade, it is fair to wonder what the Republican Party stands for.
Ryan’s endorsement of Trump, which appeared in an op-ed the speaker wrote for his hometown paper — rather than before a gaggle of reporters and newscasters with his arm draped around Trump’s shoulders — was a white flag from the establishment opposition.
In his op-ed, Ryan explained that though he doesn’t support all of Trump’s ideas (brave!), he’s confident that a President Trump would support the House agenda. Moreover, Ryan felt that his endorsement was needed to maintain a Republican majority in the House.