May 22, 2019

New poverty definition could cut health benefits for millions

A homeless encampment in Harbor City, Calif. Photo: Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

The Trump administration's proposal to change how the federal poverty level is calculated would cut millions of people's health benefits, according to a new analysis by the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

What's happening: The Office of Management and Budget proposal would adopt a lower rate of inflation to determine poverty — meaning the poverty limit would rise more slowly, and fewer people would qualify for assistance.

By the numbers: After 10 years, the change would result in:

  • More than 250,000 seniors or people with disabilities either losing their eligibility for Medicare Part D's low income subsidy program, or receiving less assistance from it.
  • More than 150,000 seniors or people with disabilities losing assistance with their Medicare premiums.
  • More than 300,000 children losing Medicaid and CHIP coverage.
  • More than 250,000 people losing the coverage they gained through the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion.
  • More than 150,000 ACA exchange enrollees losing all or some of their cost-sharing assistance.
  • Tens of thousands of ACA enrollees losing their premium subsidies, and millions receiving smaller subsidies.

Go deeper: Poor people spend more of their income on health care

Go deeper

The wreckage of summer

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We usually think of Memorial Day as the start of the summer, with all of the fun and relaxation that goes with it — but this one is just going to remind us of all of the plans that have been ruined by the coronavirus.

Why it matters: If you thought it was stressful to be locked down during the spring, just wait until everyone realizes that all the traditional summer activities we've been looking forward to are largely off-limits this year.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 5,428,605 — Total deaths: 345,375 — Total recoveries — 2,179,408Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 1,643,499 — Total deaths: 97,722 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil Over 100 cases in Germany tied to single day of church services.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.