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URGENT – APA/APAPO LEGISLATIVE ACTION ALERT

Early Saturday morning the Senate voted to pass major tax reform legislation by a vote of 51-49.  Congress is now beginning conference committee work to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions, with a goal of passing a final version of the legislation within days.

The bills include provisions that APA and APAPO strongly oppose because of their adverse effect on both psychologists and consumer access to mental health and substance use treatment.  The Senate bill would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate and cut Medicare spending by 4% each year for the next ten years, starting with a cut of roughly $25 billion in 2018.  The Congressional Budget Office projects that eliminating the ACA’s requirement that most individuals obtain health insurance would cause average premiums in the individual market to jump 10%, resulting in the loss of coverage for millions of Americans.  The cuts to Medicare are the results of the bill’s increase to the federal deficit, which triggers automatic budget constraints established under the Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 (PAYGO).  Continue reading and take action.


NC MEDICAID UPDATE

On November 20, the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) submitted an amendment to the 1115 demonstration waiver application originally submitted in June 2016. This amendment is the next step in the transformation of North Carolina Medicaid and NC Health Choice programs to managed care.  DHHS notes it has worked with stakeholders and experts to refine program design and its implementation approach, including seeking public feedback during dozens of listening sessions held across North Carolina.

NC Amended Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver Application – Nov. 20, 2017

1115 Amended Waiver Application Fact Sheet – Nov. 20, 2017


APA STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO HOUSE, SENATE TAX BILLS

On Thursday, November 16, APA President Antonio E. Puente, Ph.D., issued the following statement in response to several critical measures in the tax bills making their way through the House and Senate:

“Congress needs to take action to increase health insurance coverage and make coverage more affordable. Repealing the individual mandate would take our country in the wrong direction on both of these goals. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that repealing the mandate will result in 13 million fewer people with health insurance coverage in 2027 than would be the case under current law. While some of these 13 million people may forgo purchasing insurance they do not believe they need, many will become uninsured because average premiums in the individual health insurance market would increase by about 10 percent, pricing needed coverage out of their reach. Strong, stable health insurance markets are vitally important to our members and to the millions of Americans with mental health and substance use disorders.”  Click here for the complete statement.


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