With less than a month before the 2012 Presidential election, both candidates have offered vastly different visions for the future of America’s health care system. At the heart of the debate is the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – the President’s landmark legislative achievement and a lightning rod for his opponents.
New federal regulations from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) give States considerable flexibility in creating “Affordable Insurance Exchanges,” an important part of health care reform. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires each State to have in place, by 2014, a health insurance exchange market where consumers and small businesses can compare and enroll in health plans, get answers to questions, and see if they are eligible for tax credits or subsidized programs like the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
On May 12, 2011, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee passed by a vote of 14 to 9 the State Flexibility Act of 2011 (H.R. 1683). The bill, sponsored by Representatives Phil Gingrey, M.D. (R-GA) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), repeals the Medicaid Maintenance of Effort (MOE) requirements that were first included in the stimulus bill (ARRA) and also within the Affordable Care Act (ACA). H.R. 1683 repeals the stability provisions in Medicaid and CHIP – putting at risk our nation’s most vulnerable citizens.