Monthly Archives: December 2017

The Effects of Tax Reform on the Affordable Care Act: An Attempt at Death by a Thousand Cuts

Posted by Dana Petrillo on December 22, 2017
ACA, Affordable Care Act / No Comments

The sweeping Republican tax reform bill, H.R. 1 (115), was passed by Congress on Wednesday afternoon, and signed by President Trump today. Although the President said on Wednesday that, “ObamaCare has been repealed in this bill,” due to the bill’s elimination of the Individual Mandate, it remains to be seen whether this will truly strike the final blow to ObamaCare (the Affordable Care Act, or “ACA”) as envisioned by the President.

If the ACA manages to survive, it will not be for lack of trying on the Trump administration’s part. On top of the elimination of the Individual Mandate, the Trump administration has removed some subsidies, halved the insurance enrollment period, destroyed the Obamacare marketing campaign, and has permitted skimpy new health plans that will inflict even more damage on the ACA. All together, these add up to an incremental corrosion of the law.

However, although the ACA is weakened, it has so far survived the assault, even if in a diminished form. In fact, numerous polls have found that the ACA is increasingly popular with the American public. And several factors indicate that the ACA may be able to weather the storm. Continue reading…

Dana Petrillo

Dana Petrillo

Dana handles a wide variety of regulatory, transactional, litigation, and corporate matters for hospitals, health systems, physician practices, nursing facilities, and other health care providers. Her experience includes ensuring clients’ compliance with federal and multi-state health care laws and regulations.

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CMS Waives Medicaid Retroactive Eligibility for Iowa: Is Your State Next?

Posted by Mark Gallant on December 01, 2017
Medicaid / No Comments

Medicaid, health concept. Stethoscope, syringe and pills on grey backgroundSince 1973, the Social Security Act has mandated that states provide retroactive Medicaid benefits for three months prior to the individual’s application.  SSA § 1902(a)(34).  Congress enacted this provision to provide coverage to those lacking knowledge about their Medicaid eligibility and to those whose sudden illness prevented them from applying.  Senate Report No. 92-1230, at 209 (Sept. 26, 1972).  Providers benefit from retroactive eligibility through the ability to enroll uninsured patients in Medicaid retroactively, including after discharge, to avoid uncompensated care costs.

Seeking to trim Medicaid expenditures, Iowa’s Governor this year signed a law requiring the State to seek a CMS waiver from the retroactive eligibility requirement.  When the State agency asked the public for comments on its waiver proposal, only one commenter expressed support.  The vast majority expressed concern that many patients—especially trauma patients who might lack the ability to promptly file Medicaid applications—would face new coverage gaps.  The State itself projected that the waiver would shed 3,000 members (monthly) and would slash Medicaid expenditures by $36.8 million (annually).  Providers unsurprisingly voiced concern that the waiver would increase uncompensated care costs. Continue reading…

Mark Gallant

Mark Gallant

Mark H. Gallant is co-chair of the Health Care Practice Group concentrating his practice in client counseling and litigation involving federal and state regulation of health care providers and third-party payers.

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