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health care

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s Attorney General will not be joining some of his fellow state attorneys general in challenging President Trump’s decision to end Obamacare subsidies.

The White House plans to halt payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The U.S. Senate takes up a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act this week.    

Under the bill, states would assume greater control over health care, and Obamacare coverage mandates could be waived for people with pre-existing conditions.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, still thinks there's a path forward for a last-ditch effort to end Obamacare, even after his friend, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said he opposes the bill.

Syringe with drip
ZaldyImg / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Physicians are coming out against a bill in Lansing that would make it easier for qualified nurses to administer anesthesia. Currently, a physician has to sign off and supervise while a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist gives anesthesia to a patient. Senate Bill 550 would give hospitals the option to end that mandate.

Syringe with drip
ZaldyImg / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

New legislation aims to improve patients' access to anesthesia in Michigan's hospitals.

A current mandate requires physician supervision when anesthesia is administered by certified registered nurse anesthetists — even if that physician has little or no training in anesthesia.

Senate Bill 550 would allow Michigan hospitals to choose the anesthesia model that best meets the needs of their patients and communities, and give them the option to either keep or eliminate that rule.

President Donald Trump
Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services announced Tuesday that it won a 30-day extension to publish proposed health insurance rate hikes, citing "uncertainty" over whether insurers will be reimbursed for providing required financial assistance to low-income consumers who purchase insurance through the individual marketplace.

John Auchter / Michigan Radio

This week's cartoon is an open question to my fellow Christians. It's not intended to exclude non-Christians — you're certainly welcome to ponder it, too. It's just that I've never committed myself to a non-Christian faith or philosophy, so I wouldn't presume to have the qualifications. Whereas I've been an active, practicing Roman Catholic all my life.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Rick Snyder is concerned about what a Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act will mean for tens of thousands of Michiganders on Medicaid.

Today, U.S. Senate Republicans issued a revised version of their health care bill. The changes include a penalty for people who let their insurance lapse. 

The uncertain future of the Affordable Care Act is likely influencing some of the health care rate increases.
Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Health insurance costs are going up next year. By a lot. How much depends on the Trump administration and Congress.

Blue Cross plans to raise insurance rates for plans it offers through the Affordable Care Act by an average of about 27% for individuals and close to 14% for Blue Care Network plans. The Detroit News reports another insurer, Priority Health, is proposing a nearly 18% hike for individuals buying through the Affordable Care Act. But, the rate hikes could be even higher.

Rep. Justin Amash takes questions from constituents in Grand Rapids.
Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Congressman Justin Amash faced more than two hours of harsh questioning from constituents at a town hall event in Grand Rapids last night.

It was Amash’s first town hall since his controversial vote in the U.S. House to support the Republican health care bill, known as the American Health Care Act or AHCA.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State Republicans and Democrats are sparring over a proposal to keep some key Affordable Care Act provisions in place in Michigan, even if Congress succeeds in repealing Obamacare.

doctor
Public Domain

More Medicare recipients in Michigan will qualify for subsidies to buy supplemental health insurance that covers their coinsurance and deductibles.

The Michigan Health Endowment Fund announced Monday it's raising the eligibility threshold, starting in July.

Residents with annual incomes at or below 225% of the poverty level – or $26,730 for an individual and $36,045 for a couple – will qualify. The existing cutoff is 150% of poverty - $17,820 per individual and $24,030 per couple.

The monthly subsidy ranges from $40 to $125 depending one's age and disability status.

Unless you spent yesterday in a salt mine, you know that the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill radically altering the Affordable Care Act.

If you don’t know exactly what’s in this bill, or how it would affect you, you are not alone. Neither did virtually any of the members of congress, all of them Republicans, who voted for this bill, which they are calling the American Health Care Act.

ALEX PROIMOS / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

In a close vote of 217 to 213, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a new health care insurance plan this afternoon.

For weeks, Republicans have struggled to gain enough votes to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Doctor's office
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Relieved Republicans have pushed their prized health care bill through the House. The mostly party-line 217-213 vote advances a bill that addresses their longtime pledge to erase the 2010 Obama health care law.

“Today, I voted to keep the promise I made to the voters of my district to rescue Americans from the collapsing health care law that has raised premiums and deductibles and replace it with a better health care system,” says Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland.

Paul Ryan
Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Republican US House leaders on Friday withdrew their bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. House Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the bill from the floor after it was clear the measure would not have enough votes to pass. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about whether Gov. Rick Snyder and Healthy Michigan advocates can breath a sigh of relief.

Capitol Hill
johrling / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Gov. Rick Snyder has written letters to every member of Michigan's congressional delegation to warn how House Republicans' health care legislation would "adversely impact" the state's most vulnerable residents.

The Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act would require employees to undergo genetic testing and hand over those results to their employer.
Wikipedia.com

How would you feel if your boss demanded you undergo genetic testing and hand over the results? And if you refuse, you could wind up paying a penalty of up to 30% of your health insurance's total cost?

A bill to do just that cleared a House Congressional committee last week. 

As you almost certainly know, there’s a Republican-backed bill before Congress that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, known to most people as Obamacare.

Republicans control both houses of Congress, and if they stay united on this, the bill should become law, perhaps within weeks.

If that happens, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that within nine years, the number of people without health insurance in this nation would grow by 24 million.

A hospital emergency room entrance.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

You'll be able to buy the health care insurance plan you want. Premiums will be lower. Everyone will be covered. Access to quality, affordable care will improve.

Those promises from President Donald Trump and Republican leaders like Speaker Paul Ryan seem less likely after a report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Expanding Medicaid was a key part of the Affordable Care Act. In our state, it's known as Healthy Michigan, and it has meant health care coverage for more than 600,000 people.

But if you wind up in the criminal justice system, even if its just pre-trial detention, Medicaid benefits turn off immediately.

Researchers at the University of Michigan say excluding inmates from Medicaid is driving up costs and hurting the health of inmates.

Capitol Hill
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Last week, House Republicans submitted their bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The bill, which has been under intense committee debate, has drawn criticism from Democrats, some Republicans, health care organizations, doctors, and others. But it is largely supported by House Republicans and the White House.

Some of the bill’s provisions would be enacted as soon as it is put into law, including the elimination of individual and employer mandates. Others would be delayed until 2020, such as limiting the Medicaid expansion and a repeal of subsidies for out-of-pocket expenses.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

I have an idea. This should especially appeal to everyone who either didn’t like President Obama, or thought there were flaws in his signature achievement, the Affordable Care Act. Let’s get even by taking health care away from 650,000 Michiganders with lower incomes.

Now, granted, this will have repercussions.

STEVE CARMODY / Michigan Radio

The Next Idea

With all the talk of reforming health care, what if we are missing the bigger picture?

What if all this emotional debate about whether to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, was a waste of time?

The Toad / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The question of how to improve Michigan's $2.4 billion mental health care system has been on the front burner for the better part of a year.

The latest twist came when Michigan's 11 Medicaid health plans called on state policy makers to give them a greater say in controlling the system. But it was concern over this very action, of moving control of mental health services out of the public's hands and turning it over to for-profit insurance companies, that sparked the year-long dialogue in the first place.

The move blindsided those who were working on a proposal they thought everyone had agreed upon, including the health plans. Among them is Kevin Fischer, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Michigan

Clare Luz (left) and Joan Ilardo (right)
Courtesy of MSU Today / Michigan State University

As the retirement-age population grows in Michigan, in-home care is increasingly in high demand. The state, however, is struggling to maintain a workforce that meets the need. 

Two researchers at the MSU College of Human Medicine are working to change that. They received grants from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. The Fund was set up in 2013 under state law. (Read more about the it here.) 

Michiganders rally at Macomb Community College in Warren to save the Affordable Care Act.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Thousands of Michigan residents showed up to a healthcare rally to show Republican leaders they don’t want the Affordable Care Act to be repealed.

Senator Bernie Sanders, along Democrats with Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow enthused the crowd at Macomb Community College in Warren about fighting to keep their health coverage.

While the Republicans in Washington D.C. have already begun plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Democratic leaders say without a replacement plan, about 30 million Americans would lose their health coverage.

user clarita / morguefile

What happens to the state’s economy when 600,000 more Michiganders get health insurance, thanks to the state’s Medicaid expansion – AKA the Health Michigan plan that’s part of the Affordable Care Act?

According to Dr. John Ayanian, professor and director of the Institute of Healthy Policy and Innovation the University of Michigan, you get about 30,000 new jobs a year.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A push to curtail health care benefits for municipal retirees in Michigan is setting off a fight between those who say billions in debt can no longer be ignored and critics who contend it would cheat people out of coverage.

  The new Republican-sponsored plan could be enacted yet this year. It aims to address $11 billion in unfunded liabilities.

  Starting in May, newly hired municipal workers would no longer qualify for health insurance in retirement. Local governments could instead contribute to a tax-deferred account such as a health savings plan.

Public Domain / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A new University of Michigan study is the fourth in the country to look at fear of childbirth and how that fear might affect outcomes for mother and baby. However, it is the first qualitative study and the first to include any people of color or lesbian women.

The study was conducted by Lisa Kane Low, president of the American College of Nurse Midwives, and Lee Roosevelt, a nurse midwife and Clinical Assistant Professor at the Michigan School of Nursing. 

Bruce LaBrecque says there are so many painful issues that a woman's OBGYN might be reluctant to ask about that can be treated with physical therapy.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Whether it's baby boomers seeking help for aging joints or people seeking alternatives to surgery, the physical therapy industry is growing. And now women are turning to physical therapy for specialized help.

Bruce LaBrecque, an RN and a women's health physical therapist in Bay City with Renue Physical Therapy, joined Stateside to talk about how more and more women, young and old, are turning to physical therapy to address intimate health issues. 

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