Advocating the right to quality, affordable health care for every person in Maine.
Consumer Assistance HelpLine

1-800-965-7476

Coffee CAHC policy round-up: December 13, 2017

Coffee CAHC is a twice-weekly newsletter where we round up and comment on the latest health coverage policy developments both nationally and here in Maine. We hope you find these updates helpful!

Have suggestions or feedback? Let me know (sbutterfield@mainecahc.org). If you like these emails, please share them with others, and ask them to sign up here.

 

Coffee CAHC

115th Congress, 1st session

128th Maine Legislature, adjourned

 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

 

It’s still striking to me, sometimes, how powerful sense memories can trigger big emotional responses. This morning, for instance, I awoke to a sound that – having grown up in Maine – was immediately familiar to me: the crunchy scrape, scrape, scrape of cars being chipped free from their snowy blankets. And the big emotional response was also familiar: I groaned out loud and pulled the blanket up over my head.

 

National level

Watching Congress flail around is becoming demoralizing.

The conference committee working on reconciling the House and Senate tax bills seems to have no interest whatsoever in Alexander-Murray or Collins-Nelson, the two bills that Senator Collins has said must be passed before she will support the tax bill.

Leadership is now also saying that CHIP reauthorization is unlikely to happen in this calendar year, even as states have begun the process to send notices to families that kids are about to lose coverage. Health centers seem tied up in that same limbo.

In a weird way, readers, I wish that this section was longer. I wish that the past few Coffee CAHCs had been longer. Because that would mean that something was happening, or moving, or being debated, in a way that allowed for analysis. But right now it just feels like everything in DC is spinning its wheels. That’s frustrating to folks like us who try and advocate for these programs; imagine the frustration of being the parent of a kid who relies on CHIP, or a rural Mainer who relies on the care they get at their community health center. It’s unbelievable.

In other “national” news, open enrollment ends this Friday. We’ll be watching closely to see how the final enrollment numbers shake out, which we should know in a few weeks. Our HelpLine team here at CAHC is all hands on deck this week, fielding calls and helping folks enroll.

 

State level

As I mentioned, the Appropriations Committee is meeting in Augusta today to go over some info about next year’s budget. Included on their agenda is a discussion about Medicaid expansion. I’ll have more for you in Friday’s edition to unpack whatever happens in there today.

 

Would you like to know more?

A quirky wrinkle in the system: folks who have frozen their credit reports after data breaches may face difficulties in enrolling through the Marketplace, where identity verification depends on access to Experian credit files.

The American Academy of Actuaries weighed in with a letter to Congress, stating that Alexander-Murray will do nothing to mitigate the devastating impacts of repealing the individual mandate (which, yeah, we already knew, but still). (and h/t to Axios for flagging this one in their Vitals newsletter this morning.)

 

Until next time, friends, I remain,

-Steve

Comments are closed.

The work we do is made possible through the support of individuals like you.

IMPORTANT: If your 2017 health insurance plan was discontinued, you may qualify for an extension to sign up for a new plan until March 1, 2018.

The Open Enrollment period to get health insurance for 2018 ended on December 15, 2017. Open Enrollment is the time of year you can sign up for health insurance. If you don’t have any insurance, you might have to pay a fine when you file your taxes.

If you didn't sign up during Open Enrollment, you may be able to get a Special Enrollment Period to sign up now if you have a qualifying life event, like loosing other insurance, getting married or having a baby.

You can also apply for MaineCare anytime of year!

Check out our Guide to Maine Health Care or call our HelpLine at 1-800-965-7476 to learn more and find out what you can qualify for!

Get Covered

Find free help from a “navigator” or other local assister in Maine — a service of enroll207.com. Search by city or zip code.

Workshops & Events

    There are currently no events listed for this category.
SEE ALL EVENTS