Last week, Speaker Boehner announced that the House and Senate have agreed on a two month extension of current Medicare payment rates, the payroll tax cut, and unemployment benefits.
My understanding is that the agreement has the House accepting the Senate’s proposal to extend the payroll tax break, unemployment insurance benefits, and current Medicare payment rates through the end of February, along with an agreement with the Senate to appoint a House-Senate conference committee to begin negotiations on a longer-term extension. It remains unclear exactly when the votes in the House and Senate will take place, and at least in the Senate, it will require unanimous consent by all Senators. If it passes both the House and Senate, Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty*
As we get closer to January 2012, the originally scheduled implementation date for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), the time has come to reexamine the showpiece of President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010.
The final rules for ACO’s are now scheduled for release on January 2012. The implementation was originally scheduled for January 2012. As the original rules are being studied and interpreted the program for ACOs implementation became more confusing. Dr. Don Berwick (CMS Director) has refused to discuss the final rules until they have been published in the Federal Register.
“The ACO program is based on the hubristic assumption that the federal government can design the best organizational structure for the delivery of care, foster its development, and control its operation for the entire country.
The federal government has big-footed health system reform. Although there is no one right way to organize care, the federal government (Dr. Don Berwick and President Obama) thinks it has found one—and exerts top-down, bureaucratic control through PPACA to implement it.”
ACOs are supposed to be organizations that improve coordinated care. If an ACO decreases the cost of care Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Repairing the Healthcare System*
Short and sweet. That’s how President Obama addressed healthcare reform in his State of the Union address [Tuesday] night. In less than 700 words, he outlined how he’d improve but not retreat on what’s been enacted into law.
He’s willing to work on changes, he said, naming malpractice reform and reducing onerous paperwork burdens for small businesses. But, he cautioned, “What I’m not willing to do is go back to the days when insurance companies could deny someone coverage because of a pre-existing condition.”
President Obama had invited two real people to his address to highlight the law’s successes. One is a brain cancer survivor who can access health insurance through high-risk pools created by the law. The other is a small business owner who lowered health insurance costs by $10,000 for his nine employees, a probable jab at the “job-killing” title of an attempted yet futile repeal vote last week.
The President’s remarks come at a time when the public is of two minds on healthcare reform. While many state they don’t like the entire package, they also love individual aspects of it. The individual mandate remains widely unpopular, but allowing those with pre-existing conditions to access insurance is widely popular, as does Medicare and Social Security.
The Republican response by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Chairman of the House Budget Committee, responded that, “The President mentioned the need for regulatory reform to ease the burden on American businesses. We agree — and we think his healthcare law would be a great place to start.” The House has voted for a repeal and Senate Republicans are preparing legislation and promising to ask for a vote. (Los Angeles Times, Politico, Kaiser Health News, Greenville [South Carolina] Online)
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*
It’s not often you get invited to the White House. I had my chance this week, when I was a guest at the White House’s Hanukkah party. Now, when I say “guest,” I mean I was a guest of the president — of Hadassah, that is.
My mother, Nancy Falchuk, is the president of one of the largest Jewish charitable organizations in the world, Hadassah. Her organization sponsors many different charitable activities, particularly related to healthcare (here she is in Jerusalem speaking at the ceremony lighting the walls of the Old City pink in honor of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.)
One of the terms she uses a lot is “healthcare diplomacy” — the idea that part of the solution to intractable problems of war and peace is building bridges through something that we all share – the need for healthcare. Her organization does incredible work to realize this mission. She has been a regular guest at this annual event at the White House. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at See First Blog*
Microsoft’s Dr. Bill Crounse Talks with Todd Park, CTO of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, on Health Tech Today
There’s a plethora of health information for consumers today. We are surrounded by smart meaningful material, but somehow it is easy to get lost in the maze of information. We get stuck navigating through it and we find it hard to obtain information that is right for us.
Even the most savvy health consumer may find it difficult to find information out about healthcare reform, insurance plans and the Affordable Care Act. But Dr. Bill Crounse, host of Health Tech Today talks with Todd Park, CTO of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about Healthcare.gov — a government website that makes it simple to find information on prevention, consumer rights, health insurance plans, and tools to assess the quality of care you’re getting.
Dr. Crounse calls Todd Park the “tech guru” behind the government website, charged with improving the nation’s health through the innovative use of technology and data. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Health in 30*