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President's "Affordable Choices" Initiative Provides Little Support for State Efforts to Expand Health Coverage

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Publication Date: April 2007

Publisher(s): Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (Washington, D.C.)

Author(s): Judith Solomon; Robert Greenstein

Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Topic: Health (Health services for the uninsured)

Keywords: State budgets; Economic projections; Health insurance; Economic inequality

Coverage: Louisiana

Abstract:

Affordable Choices, however, falls well short in responding to states’ need for federal assistance. Under the Administration’s proposed initiative, states would receive no new federal funds. The Administration’s plan simply offers states the option of diverting federal funds currently being used to help support hospitals providing care to the uninsured. States would be allowed to convert these funds to subsidies that uninsured people could use to help pay for “basic private coverage.” The Affordable Choices initiative has serious shortcomings. These shortcomings are illustrated by an examination of how the Administration has responded to efforts by the state of Louisiana to expand health care coverage and reform that state’s system of delivering health care to low-income people."