The Medicaid program is mandated to provide health insurance to low-income individuals. The federal-state Medicaid insurance program is an endeavor of both the federal and state government as a measure of ensuring that poor citizens get access to health care. The federal government partially funds the states with the states taking the role of administering the health care programs. Obama’s health care reforms seek to expand the federal-state Medicaid insurance program to cover the more than 32 million low income earners.
The expansion of this program is federal-state health care program carries several implications to the federal government and the states with financial implications being paramount. The expanded federal-state Medicaid insurance program The expanded federal-state Medicaid insurance proposal empowers small businesses as well as families to buy insurance plans thereby covering 32 million uninsured Americans. In this program, small businesses are expected to obtain tax credits which will cater for 35 percent of employees’ premium payments with the amount being expected to increase to 50 percent by 2014.
The Obama’s health care reform is expected to come into effect in 2014 whereby all non-elderly individuals who fall under the category of 133% federal poverty level will be eligible for state Medicaid programs. It should be noted that the health care program will receive a joint funding (federal and state funding) as an endeavor to expand the number of persons covered by the Medicaid program. In 2010, the health care reform program is expected to cater for persons who were forced to early retirement by setting up a reinsurance program that would compensate for the costs of health care for these individuals (Rosenbaum, 2010).
The health care reform program eliminates the possibility of insurance companies refusing to cover pre-existing conditions and severe illnesses or any other limit to coverage. The insurance companies will be required to show that a substantial amount (a minimum of 80 percent) of premium payments is spent on medical services and not on other managerial or advertisement services. The proposal also stipulates that more funds should be provided in order to expand the number of health care professionals like nurses as well health care facilities such as health centers.
This is to ensure that the expected increase in patients will be catered for when the program begins to be implemented in 2014. The wealthy are expected to experience higher taxes with Medicare taxes increasing to 3. 8 percent for high income earners (earnings above $200,000). As of 2013, persons who will fail to buy insurance will be eligible to fines which are incremental from $325 in 2015 to $695 in 2016. It is important to note that states will be required to offer health insurance to pregnant women as well as children (Health Insurance, 2010).