News from the AFL-CIO
- What is Medicaid?
June, 23 2017
What is Medicaid?
It may be America’s biggest health plan, covering more than 70 million people, but many people do not know what Medicaid is. Here’s what you should know:
Every State Has a Different Name for Medicaid: One reason few people know Medicaid itself is that each state runs its own plan and typically does not include Medicaid in its name. If you live in West Virginia, for example, you might know it as Mountain Health Trust or WV Health Bridge. In Ohio, maybe you participate in the Buckeye Health Plan or another managed care program paid for by Medicaid.
Medicaid is for People Struggling to Make Ends Meet: Whatever your state calls Medicaid, it is the health plan that provides access to health care for people struggling the most to make ends meet. States generally determine the rules for who qualifies, but all states provide Medicaid for some low-income people, families and children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with disabilities. The federal government pays most of the cost of benefits, with states covering the rest.
More People are Eligible Because of Obamacare: Under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, states can expand who qualifies to include all adults who have low incomes (that is, below 138% of the federal poverty level). This year, for example, a single person with household income less than $16,643, or a family of four with income less than $33,948, would be eligible for Medicaid in Nevada. Thirty-one states and Washington, D.C., have expanded coverage in this way, resulting in 11 million more people getting health insurance they otherwise could not afford.
Benefits to Meet Personal Needs: Each state’s Medicaid plan pays for health services you usually think of when it comes to health insurance: things like doctor visits and hospital stays. These plans also can pay for other important services that other health insurance plans do not. Here are some examples of things you might not expect:
- Help at home for children with special care needs, such as those with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and autism, and for their parents.
- Funding for schools throughout the country to provide services to Medicaid-eligible children and hire school nurses, counselors and speech therapists.
- Nursing home care for seniors and people with disabilities.
- Help with basic daily activities to enable people with disabilities, including seniors, remain in their own homes and communities.
Fri, 06/23/2017 – 16:06
- What You Need to Know About the Senate Health Care Bill
June, 23 2017
What You Need to Know About the Senate Health Care Bill
This week, Senate Republicans unveiled their vision for health care in America. We won’t spend much time going over numbers and percentages (you can read that here), but here is what you need to know right now about this bill. It will:
1. Make millions of working people pay more for less care
2. Tax your workplace plans if you get decent health coverage at work
3. Give massive tax breaks to wealthy corporations and CEOs
4. Take away health care from millions of working people
5. Drastically cut Medicaid, which provides vital services for a large group of Americans.
There isn’t a lot of time to stop this complete hijacking of our health care.
Call your senators today and every day to demand they vote “no” on a bill that takes away our health care: 1-888-865-8089. Tell your friends to call too.
Fri, 06/23/2017 – 12:41
- Why Working People Benefit from Apprenticeship Training
June, 22 2017
Why Working People Benefit from Apprenticeship Training
There is a distinct difference between a job training program and an apprenticeship, and leaders in the labor movement are spreading this message.
“Apprenticeships are comprehensive experiences, where individuals not only learn a skill, they practice and develop that skill in conjunction with the needs of the business community, while earning a fair, living wage,” said Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale. “Any job training program that does not involve businesses and industry, a decent living and solid instruction, fails in comparison. Highly skilled manufacturing jobs are the future, and apprenticeship programs are an essential part of filling those jobs.”
Representatives from industrial labor unions, manufacturing employers, state labor federations, state and federal labor agencies, and education and workforce and development advocacy groups met earlier this week in Oakwood, Pennsylvania, to discuss state and national efforts to bolster apprenticeship programs.
Apprenticeship training programs mean working people who participate in them learn the latest technologies and skills, and also learn how to stay safe on the job. “Embracing and developing these training programs will modernize systems and procedures to improve productivity and safety,” said Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga.
The event was co-hosted by the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO and the Ohio AFL-CIO.
Thu, 06/22/2017 – 12:00
- Why Do We Need Medicaid?
June, 16 2017
Why Do We Need Medicaid?
Like many Americans, you may have parents or other loved ones in nursing homes because they require around-the-clock care.
Nursing-home care is expensive, typically $80,000 per year for a semiprivate room—far more than the income of a typical senior. Medicare generally pays only for short-term nursing-home stays. Yet only about 1 in 10 people 65 and older have private long-term care insurance to cover nursing-home costs. For a great many people, that insurance is too expensive.
Medicaid is the one thing people can count on when their money has run out. Losing that coverage, as could happen to some people if congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump succeed in gutting Medicaid funding to pay for tax cuts for corporate CEOs and the wealthiest 1%, would force working people to make impossible choices about how to care for their parents and other family members when they can no longer care for themselves.
This is just one reason why Medicaid matters to working people and their families. Consider a few other impressive Medicaid facts and think about what would happen to you, your family, your friends and your community without it:
- Medicaid helps seniors and other people with significant disabilities stay in their homes and communities, instead of being forced to go to nursing homes.
- Medicaid guarantees more than 30 million children access to medical care.
- Nearly 5 million children with special care needs, such as Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and autism, are covered by Medicaid and other public insurance.
- Medicaid pays for half of all childbirths in the United States.
Watch the video above reminding all of us why Medicaid is so important to working people, and why slashing Medicaid’s federal funding by half to pay for huge tax cuts for the wealthiest 1%, CEOs and corporations is so wrong.
Fri, 06/16/2017 – 12:54
- Tell the Labor Department Not to Repeal the Persuader Rule
June, 15 2017
Tell the Labor Department Not to Repeal the Persuader Rule
The Labor Department issued a proposal on Monday that would rescind the union-buster transparency rule, officially known as the persuader rule, designed to increase disclosure requirements for consultants and attorneys hired by companies to try to persuade working people against coming together in a union. The rule was supposed to go into effect last year, but a court issued an injunction last June to prevent implementation. Now the Trump Labor Department wants to eliminate it.
We wrote about this rule last year. Repealing the union-buster transparency rule is little more than the administration doing the bidding of wealthy corporations and eliminating common-sense rules that would give important information to working people who are having roadblocks thrown their way while trying to form a union.
AFL-CIO spokesman Josh Goldstein said:
The persuader rule means corporate CEOs can no longer hide the shady groups they hire to take away the freedoms of working people. Repealing this common-sense rule is simply another giveaway to wealthy corporations. Corporate CEOs may not like people knowing who they’re paying to script their union-busting, but working people do.
If the rule is repealed, union-busters will be able to operate in the shadows as they work to take away our freedom to join together on the job. Working people deserve to know whether these shady firms are trying to influence them. The administration seems to disagree.
A 60-day public comment period opened Monday. Click on this link to leave a comment and tell the Labor Department that we should be doing more to ensure the freedom of working people to join together in a union, not less. Copy and paste the suggested text below if you need help getting started:
“Working people deserve to know who is trying to block their freedom from joining together and forming a union on the job. Corporations spend big money on shadowy, outside firms that use fear tactics to intimidate and discourage people from coming together to make a better life on the job. I support a strong and robust persuader rule. Do not eliminate the persuader rule.”
Thu, 06/15/2017 – 11:22