There’s less than two years to go before the massive expansion of the Medicaid program occurs under the Affordable Care Act. While the Supreme Court could halt that expansion by overturning the health law, federal officials are preparing to move forward anyway.
One of the trickiest pieces will be dealing with the 3.7 million individuals with mental illnesses and substance abuse problems who are expected to gain coverage in 2014. Officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation are looking to patient advocacy groups, state licensing boards, and other government agencies for guidance.
Courtesy HHS/Chris Smith
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius spoke at the National Association of Community Health Centers in March.
Meanwhile, federal officials are also handing out checks to community health centers. The Department of Health and Human Services recently awarded $728 million to renovate existing health centers.
Lawmakers have also been busy. Congress is debating whether to strip funding from the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund and use it to fund other priorities such as deficit reduction. Check out this week’s Policy & Practice podcast for details on the fate of the prevention funding.