The Daily Need

Health care law: How it might work

Now that we can all stop guessing how the U.S. Supreme court will rule on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act –- it upheld the individual mandate, but limited the Medicaid expansion — we can now all start speculating about how it will actually work, right?

Well, the answers might be closer than you think.

As we reported earlier this month, Massachusetts passed its own individual mandate and Medicaid expansion in 2006, part of a health insurance overhaul law that was signed by then-governor Mitt Romney and served as a template for the federal law.

Watch The Massachusetts mandate on PBS. See more from Need To Know.

But the vast majority of the state’s 439,000 newly insured were the poor and low-income workers, who gained insurance through the expanded Medicaid program and other new subsidized options.

The Supreme Court ruled the federal Medicaid expansion constitutional, but limited the government’s ability to enforce it. The government can offer money as an incentive, but it can’t deny funds as a punishment.

As we saw in Massachusetts, the Medicaid expansion played a large role in getting everyone covered in that state, and it was expected to play a large role in expanding coverage under the federal law, too. As it rolls out in the 49 other states, a big question will be how many opt for the Medicaid expansion, and how those that don’t will cover their poor.

 
SUGGESTED STORIES
  • thumb
    Casey Medals for NTK
    Need to Know was honored by the Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism. Watch both recognized pieces online.
  • thumb
    Spotlight on California
    Rawan Jabaji gives us a preview of two upcoming stories about redistricting and San Francisco's first Asian American mayor.
  • thumb
    Justice for the Congo
    The ICC has handed down its very first ruling, convicting Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga on charges of forcibly conscripting child soldiers into combat.

Comments

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002043380911 Recognizemyname Smith

    If primary emphasis were on being (becoming and remaining) HEALTHY via proper diet, exercise and avoiding accidents health care needs would decrease for most.  I believe government activity in health care is more concerned with the fiscal health of those providing care than with helping the population to avoid the need for medical intervention.

    It would likely be more beneficial to general health for government intervention to provide fresh vegetable to all who ask at small to zero cost and taking steps to reduce overuse of salt, sugar and other refined carbohydrates.  Many middle age and later health problems are directly related to diet.  THIS IS NOT NEWS.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002043380911 Recognizemyname Smith

    If
    primary emphasis were on being (becoming and remaining) HEALTHY via
    proper diet, exercise and avoiding accidents health care needs would
    decrease for most.  I believe government activity in health care is more
    concerned with the fiscal health of those providing care than with
    helping the population to avoid the need for medical intervention.

    It would likely be more beneficial to general health for government
    intervention to provide fresh vegetable to all who ask at small to zero
    cost and taking steps to reduce overuse of salt, sugar and other refined
    carbohydrates.  Many middle age and later health problems are directly
    related to diet.  THIS IS NOT NEWS.