By Chris Pirschel, Staff Writer, and Alec Stone, ONS Public Affairs Director

Trump Officials Considering Cuts to Obamacare Outreach Groups

An initial proposal from the Trump administration might cut funds for outreach related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As of yet no decisions are finalized and funding may still remain consistent, but limiting funding for outreach of the ACA, known to most as Obamacare, isn't a new move for the current administration. In 2017, it cut funding for navigators who educated and enrolled Americans in the ACA marketplace, leading to confusion among potential applicants and lower enrollment numbers. If funding is cut again this year, new or returning enrollees are unlikely to find success when looking for coverage.

Currently advocacy groups are seeking ways to assist the education efforts for Americans, but no final decisions have been made for future allocations. Join ONS's advocacy efforts and help inform policymakers and elected officials about the important issues facing your patients with cancer.  

Those Who Don't Qualify for Government Aid Aren't Buying Obamacare Plans

Government subsidies are given out to people who can’t afford healthcare plans on the individual marketplace of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, new information from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid suggest that Americans aren’t purchasing health plans if they haven’t been awarded subsidies to defer the costs. As premiums rise, people are dropping their unsubsidized health care, assuming they can’t find plans that fit their budget. With fewer ACA navigators providing education and enrollment assistance to potential buyers, this group of unsubsidized, uninsured Americans could continue to grow.

Health insurance affordability continues to be a mainstay debate in politics, and rising insurance premiums are proving to be untenable for many. The ACA has been a double-edged sword. Some elected officials point to numbers that suggest those who are most in need are not enrolling, whereas ACA defenders point to the millions of previously uninsured Americans who now have access to health care. It's hard to determine where the balance is struck, considering that the need and aggregate numbers fluctuate from year to year. Read about more ACA news.

Judge Blocks Kentucky Medicaid Work Requirement Hours Before Implementation

Adding federal work requirements for Medicaid beneficiaries is a controversial topic. Recently, a federal court judge blocked the implementation of work requirements in Kentucky. Some see this as a setback. Many GOP officials wanted to see sweeping changes to the federal program. Ultimately, work requirements could pose an issue for recipients attempting to access healthcare through Medicaid.

Currently, amicus briefs—otherwise referred to as "friend of the court" briefs—have been filed on behalf of Medicaid beneficiaries, citing complications to the program's intent and design. The issue will likely find its way to the Supreme Court, which will hold sway over many health policy issues like this in the coming years. For work requirements to be accepted, the administration will have to explain how the requirements would further the aims of the Medicaid program—which could prove to be a daunting task. ONS continues to advocate for access to affordable health care for all patients.