CBO issues updated ACA health coverage estimates    07/24/2012
An estimated 3 million fewer people will be insured as a result of the Supreme Court decision allowing states to choose whether to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to estimates released today by the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation. Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program are expected to cover about 6 million fewer people. How many of those people obtain coverage through the exchanges or go without coverage will vary from year to year. CBO estimates that in 2014 there will be 2 million more people enrolled in insurance exchanges and 4 million more uninsured than previously projected. In 2022, they estimate 3 million more people will be enrolled in the exchanges and 3 million additional people will be without any insurance. CBO and JCT estimate that the ACA's insurance coverage provisions will cost the federal government $84 billion less over the 11-year period as a result of the Supreme Court's decision, because the reductions in spending from lower Medicaid enrollment are expected to more than offset the increase in costs from greater participation in the exchanges.
GAO recommends IRS reconsider ACA 'affordability' standard    07/24/2012
More than three-quarters of the roughly 7 million children who were uninsured in January 2009 would be eligible for Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program or the new premium tax credit under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Government Accountability Office estimates in a new report. The remaining children had family incomes too high to be eligible, were noncitizens or would be ineligible for the premium tax credit under the Internal Revenue Service's proposed affordability standard, which defines affordability based on the cost of an employee-only plan rather than the higher cost of family coverage. The report recommends that the Treasury Department consider the cost of insuring eligible family members, or seek clarification from Congress regarding its intent with respect to this standard. Among other findings, GAO estimates that 14% of children who met ACA eligibility criteria for these programs could experience a change in household income that would affect their eligibility within one year.
Depression rate for girls triples between the ages of 12 and 15   07/24/2012
The percentage of girls who experience a major depressive episode during the past year triples from 5.1% at age 12 to 15.2% at age 15, according to a report released today by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Girls aged 15 to 17 were more likely to receive treatment than girls aged 12 to14. Each year about 1.4 million girls aged 12 to 17 experience a depressive episode. For more information, see the SAMHSA release.