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Battle Over Obamacare
weekly primer
Jan 30, 2018

Sum-Up: Obamacare and National Health Care Policy

Congress failed repeatedly to repeal Obamacare (ACA) in 2017, but succeeded in repealing the individual mandate and, through the latest short-term spending bill, in delaying several of Obamacare’s taxes. In 2018, with the midterms looming and lawmakers skittish, Republicans will likely move away from attacking health care programs through legislation and instead go after them through administrative regulation or, more specifically, deregulation. The Trump administration’s recent decision to allow states to impose a work requirement on their Medicaid-dependent population is an example. Kentucky was the first state to receive such a waiver, and at least nine other states have applied. Trump’s HHS and Republican governors argue that these requirements will force more Medicaid recipients to find jobs, which, they say, will raise their incomes and improve their health. These waivers, however, mean that hundreds of thousands of people could lose access to Medicaid — both those who can’t find employment and those who can’t navigate the new bureaucratic hurdles that work requirements will…

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