Medicaid

If you're poor, uninsured and have a bad car wreck or fall seriously ill, there's a chance in most states to enroll for Medicaid after the fact. If you qualify for Medicaid, the program will pay your medical bills going back three months.

This "retroactive eligibility" provides financial protection as patients await approval of their Medicaid applications. It protects hospitals, too, from having to absorb the costs of caring for these patients.

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On this edition of "Political Rewind," another mass shooting rocks the country. Is easy access to guns to blame? In Georgia, new efforts are underway to move away from the past in a city that was a key part of the Civil War. We discuss. Also, a Republican legislator says it’s time to move past “repeal and replace” and look to using Obamacare to expand Medicaid in Georgia, but with a narrow purpose in mind. Plus, candidates for mayor of Atlanta gear up to get out the vote for Tuesday’s election.

When Taylor Merendo moved to Bloomington, Ind., nearly two years ago, fleeing an abusive marriage, she needed help.

"I was six months pregnant and at that point in time, I really didn't have a stable place to live," Merendo says.

Two former directors of Medicaid — one who served under a Democrat, the other under a Republican — are asking Congress not to change Medicaid right now.

Is Medicaid the best health care possible?

A lot of people who use it seem to think so.

A new study released by Harvard's Chan School of Public Health shows that people enrolled in Medicaid are overwhelmingly satisfied with their coverage and care.

It was about a year ago that Ornella Mouketou walked into the emergency room at the George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C., and told them she wanted to end her life.

She was in her early 20s, unemployed and depressed.

"I was just walking around endlessly. I was walking around parks, and I was just crying all the time," she says. "It was like an empty black hole."

Montana was one of the last states to expand Medicaid, and its Obamacare marketplace is doing pretty well. It has 50,000 customers, decent competition and no places that have come to be called "bare counties" — where no insurers want to sell plans.

Still, the three insurers selling in Montana now say that if GOP plans to cut Medicaid and repeal the individual mandate go through, it will mean higher costs all around.

This week, as senators have decamped from Washington for the Fourth of July recess, the future of the Senate's Affordable Care Act replacement plan — and by extension, Medicaid — remains uncertain.

In late May, several senators went to the floor of the Senate to talk about people in their states who are affected by the opioid crisis. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., talked about Chelsea Carter.

"She told me her drug habit began when she was 12 years old," said Capito.

Alex E. Proimos / Foter

The U.S. Senate’s proposed health care overhaul is likely to cut health coverage for poor people and children. We talk about what’s in the bill and the potential consequences with Georgia Health News Editor Andy Miller, Georgia Budget & Policy Institute Health Policy Analyst Laura Harker, and Karoline Mortensen, Professor of Health Sector Management and Policy at the University of Miami.

First, President Trump recently unveiled new trade restrictions with Cuba. We look at how this will impact Georgia’s poultry industry. Joining us is James Sumner, President of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council and Marisa Anne Pagnattaro, Associate Dean for UGA’s Terry College of Business.

Medicaid is the government health care program for the poor.

That's the shorthand explanation. But Medicaid is so much more than that — which is why it has become the focal point of the battle in Washington to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

President Trump's full budget proposal for fiscal year 2018, to be released Tuesday, calls for a $9.2 billion, or 13.5 percent, spending cut to education. The cuts would be spread across K-12 and aid to higher education, according to documents released by the White House.

None of this can be finalized without Congress. And the political track record for Presidents who want to reduce education funding is not promising, even in a far less poisoned atmosphere than the one that hovers over Washington right now.

Student loans

Updated at 3:02 p.m. ET.

The Trump administration says it can balance the federal budget within a decade. Its proposal calls for significant cuts to social safety net programs and assumes more robust economic growth.

The administration released what it calls a "Taxpayer First" budget on Tuesday.

"This is, I think, the first time in a long time that an administration has written a budget through the eyes of the people who are actually paying the taxes," White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters in a briefing on Monday.

Republicans will be tested today on the strength of party unity in the Trump era and their party's ability to deliver on the promises they've made to the voters that sent them here.

"This is our chance and this is our moment. It's a big moment," House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters earlier this week. "And I think our members are beginning to appreciate just what kind of a 'rendezvous with destiny' we have right here."

The Affordable Care Act replacement plan championed by President Trump would hurt low-income people in rural areas that voted heavily for the Republican last fall, according to an NPR analysis of data on proposed subsidy changes from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

After years of waiting, it's finally here.

Republicans plan to turn control of Medicaid over to the states as part of their replacement for the Affordable Care Act, according to an adviser to President Donald Trump.

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Georgia's decision not to expand Medicaid has cost the state billions of dollars in federal funding and thousands of jobs, and may prompt several hospitals to shut down. It’s also forced large hospitals like Grady Memorial in Atlanta to absorb the costs of helping poor, uninsured and mentally ill patients.

Donna Nickerson spent her last working years as the activity and social services director at a Turlock, Calif., nursing home.

But when she developed Alzheimer's disease and needed that kind of care herself, she and her husband couldn't afford it: A bed at a nearby home cost several thousand dollars a month.

"I'm not a wealthy man," said Nickerson's husband Mel, a retired California State University-Stanislaus professor. "There's no way I could pay for that."

Wiki Commons

Georgia's decision not to expand Medicaid has forced large hospitals like Grady Memorial in Atlanta to absorb the costs of helping the poor, uninsured and mentally ill.

Journalist Mike King traces the history of urban hospitals and how public policies have failed them in his new book, "A Spirit of Charity: Restoring the Bond between America and Its Public Hospitals." 

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Georgia’s decision not to expand Medicaid in 2012 has left rural and urban hospitals in a fragile position. Five rural hospitals have already closed their doors since 2013, and many more face potential financial collapse once federal reimbursements – known as Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments – are phased out by January 2018.