Last week, the fifth Circuit Court of Appeals said the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that requires individuals to purchase health insurance is unconstitutional, but declined to rule on the status of the rest of the law. The Appeals Court sent back to the court that had previously heard the case the question of whether the rest of the law can remain without the mandate. Lutheran Services in America urges Congress and the Administration to preserve in federal law the critical pre-existing condition provisions and Medicaid expansion.
On Dec. 19, the Senate passed the two bills which will fund the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2020 (through September 30, 2020.) The President is expected to sign both bills into law before the expiration of current funding authority at midnight on December 20. While H.R. 1158 focuses primarily on defense and security priorities, H.R. 1865 addresses domestic spending. Highlights of that bill include tax code changes that benefit nonprofits, health and human services programs and funding, and much more.
To expand and strengthen our collective efforts, Lutheran Services in America is seizing an opportunity to improve outcomes in our nation’s heartland with the formation of the Midwest Results Network. The Midwest Results Network is working toward the “Moonshot Goal” established by our organization to dramatically improve the trajectory of the lives of 20,000 vulnerable children in America by 2024.
On Dec. 6, Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Wyden announced a bipartisan agreement that would include a permanent funding reauthorization for the Money Follows the Person Medicaid Demonstration Program. Introduction of a bipartisan proposal to permanently fund MFP is a milestone achievement that is the result of persistent, ongoing federal advocacy by groups like our national network.
Lutheran Services in America launched Phase 2 of the Connect-Home Collaborative this month at a meeting in Washington, D.C. At the training meeting, Collaborative members learned that interventions like Connect-Home not only need to be effective, but they also must reach the intended populations, be adopted by providers, be implemented with fidelity, and be maintained over time. Members will use this model in their three quality improvement cycles as a means to measure progress over time.