Are health care costs starting to stabilize?
Health care costs are the biggest contributor to our long term deficits, and so this issue gets a ton of attention in Washington. President Obama has argued for years that simply bending the long term cost curve on health care will result in huge savings regarding government spending helping to reduce deficits. The trend may have already started.
Health care spending growth has famously slowed over the past five years, significantly enough that the Congressional Budget Office recently revised its projections of Medicare and Medicaid spending over the coming decade downward by hundreds of billions of dollars.
Now, research papers suggests the recent slowdown doesn’t just reflect temporary economic weakness, but also structural shifts in how health care is delivered and financed — possibly attributable to the Affordable Care Act — and thus might be a harbinger of a longer-term trend.
If they’re right, and the trend continues, it means workers can expect higher wages and the country’s projected medium term deficits are significantly overstated, which in turn suggests lawmakers’ continuing obsession with the current budget deficit, and deficits over the coming decade, are misguided.
One of the keys to Obamacare is to move our health care system away from fee for service care to health care delivery that takes a holistic approach where doctors and hospitals are paid for overall care and outcomes as opposed to more tests and procedures. It makes sense that this shift has started to decrease overall costs.
Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Affordable Care Act
A victory today for President Obama as the supreme court rules in favor of health care for everyone.
The mandate would require all Americans to purchase health insurance and those who don’t will be penalized with a tax, which in effect, would be the cost of a years worth of coverage.
The court ruled that congress has the right to levy a tax on the citizens of the United States.
The dissenters including Anthony M. Kennedy, contend that the law is overreaching.
The majority, lead Chief Justice Roberts, agree that the Affordable Care Act is Constitutional but did substantially limit the law requiring the expansion of Medicaid by the states.
The court’s ruling, seen as one of the most significant in decades, is a crucial milestone for the law, allowing almost all of its far-reaching changes to roll forward. Several of its notable provisions have already been put in place in the past two years, and more are imminent. Ultimately, it is intended to end the United States’ status as the only rich country with large numbers of uninsured people, by expanding both the private market and Medicaid.
President Obama spoke from the White House shortly after the decision was handed down. “Whatever the politics, today’s decision was a victory for people all over this country whose lives are more secure because of this law,” he said.
Health Care Reform Interesting Facts
As the debate continues to address the constitutionality of national health care, 10 facts which are a part of the reform may impact your daily life.
Take a look at these 2 and read on for more.
A few little known facts about the health care reform law:
2. More breastfeeding rooms and breaks
Many working mothers now get a more appropriate place for expressing breast milk than they had before. Employers must provide “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.”
Nursing mothers also can take “reasonable” breaks during the workday to express milk, as frequently as the mother needs. The exception is companies with fewer than 50 employees, which can claim it’s an undue hardship.
Effective date: March 23, 2010.
The law requires restaurants with 20 or more locations to list calorie content information for standard menu items.
3. Caloric reality at every major chain restaurants
Under the law, you would walk into a place like McDonald’s and see calories listed under every menu item — Big Mac (540 calories), McNuggets (10 pieces- 470 calories) and medium fries (380 calories).
The law requires restaurants with 20 or more locations to list calorie content information for standard menu items on menus and drive-through menus. Other fun facts like fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrates, sugars, fiber and total protein would have to be made available in writing upon request.
So far, there is mixed evidence about whether calorie postings sway nutritional choices.
The rule also extends to vending machine operators who own or operate 20 or more vending machines. The FDA issued a report in April 2011, and left out movie theaters among those establishments required to post calories. So, if implemented, you can tell how many calories your sandwich has at Subway, but you won’t be able to tell how many calories your buckets of popcorn have at the movie theater.
Effective date: The FDA has not yet issued a final rule, so there is no time line on its implementation.
These are just 2 of the provisions which will be put into place
The Battle Begins Over Birth Control Coverage
The gauntlet has been thrown down as House Speaker, John Boehner R-Ohio, lets the president know that he is in for a fight over a bill that would allow for mandatory coverage of birth control by private insurance.
“If the president does not reverse the (Health and Human Services) department’s attack on religious freedom, then the Congress, acting on behalf of the American people, and the Constitution that we’re sworn to uphold and defend, must,” House Speaker John Boehner, R- Ohio, said in a speech on the House floor Wednesday.
In a society where Viagra is covered but not birth control one has to wonder about the priorities and the logic.
Posted in: Health Care Policy, Health Insurance, Medicaid, Quality Control, Resources
Tags: birth control, Capitol Hill debate over birth control coverage, Catholic Church and birth control, John Boehner, national health insurance, Obamacare, President Obama health insurance, women's health
Obama Health Care Fails
The CLASS Obama health care program is not going forward.
Not enough young, healthy people are signing up to make the program financially viable.
The CLASS program was similar to long-term care plans available in the private sector in which workers sign up and pay a monthly premium. It was voluntary and was to be paid for entirely by the premiums from those who signed up. In return, subscribers would get a daily benefit.
Obama’s Health Care Reform Upheld in Court
Obama’s health care bill is not overturned in a court ruling.
Obama wins this round and now has the Tea Party and Republican party with whom to do battle at the primaries.
A sluggish economy and poor jobs market may just be the momentum behind the president to make this law stick.
But does it help anyone to be required to buy into a broken health care system?
Standardizing costs and preventive health care should be the priority. Supporting big pharmaceutical companies with tax payer dollars will not help in the long run.
“Virginia, the sole plaintiff here, lacks standing to bring this action,” said the ruling from the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. “Accordingly, we vacate the judgment of the district court and remand with instructions to dismiss the case for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.”
The Richmond-based court becomes the second such federal court to uphold the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, particularly the “individual mandate” provision requiring most Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014 or face a financial penalty. Another appeals court had ruled against the administration.
The U.S Appeals Court Rules Against Obama Healthcare Law
President Obama’s healthcare plan requiring every American to purchase healthcare insurance was ruled as unconstitutional.
It will be interesting to see how this affects the upcoming election considering that this was such a hot button topic and a cornerstone of his campaign promises.
It has been historically difficult and unpopular to promote national healthcare.
Follow the story here.
The U.S. Appeals Court for the 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta, ruled 2 to 1 that Congress exceeded its authority by requiring Americans to buy coverage, but it unanimously reversed a lower court decision that threw out the entire law.
The legality of the individual mandate, a cornerstone of the healthcare law, is widely expected to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Opponents have argued that without the mandate, which goes into effect in 2014, the entire law falls.