Discuss the role and impact of lobbyists, special interest groups, and other consumer advocates on the development of healthcare policies in the U.S.
You are the director of community affairs for the health lobby organization, Pathways to a Healthy America. In 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. As a result, millions of Americans who were previously uninsured gained access to the healthcare system. One of the initial provisions of the Act required individual states to expand the eligibility criteria for Medicaid. The program’s costs would be absorbed by the federal government at a rate of 100% for the first three years of program participation which would decrease to 90% after 2020, still, considerably higher than previous funding by the federal government. However, in 2012, the Supreme Court ruled the mandate unconstitutional allowing individual states to voluntarily “opt” out of the Medicaid expansion program. As a result of the various states’ decision to “opt” out of the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, millions of adults fell into the critical coverage gap. Your organization represents a state which has decided to forego participation in the ACA expansion program. The decision was met with both praise and criticism.
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