According to the Urban Institute's Health Reform Monitoring Survey, "Though the Affordable Care Act [ObamaCare] has led to increased health insurance coverage for millions of nonelderly adults, and early signs indicate improvements in broad measures of access to care and affordability, we find that gaps in access to dental care remain even for insured adults and that low- and moderate-income adults in particular face challenges affording dental care." [more inside]
Everyone is convinced that someone else is getting a better deal, that somewhere a horde of Kansans are gaming the system and preventing the truly needy from getting help. It’s a sentiment that Brownback eagerly exploits when attacking Medicaid expansion and other forms of public assistance. [more inside]
Health insurance companies are illegally charging for birth control, according to studies conducted by the National Women's Law Center. [more inside]
The Obama Brief: The President considers his judicial legacy. (SL New Yorker)
Thomas Scully, the Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President George W. Bush, once said, “Fifty percent of the social safety net was created by Henry Waxman when no one was looking.” After 40 years and 17 consecutive terms, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) is retiring from Congress. [more inside]
Forbes provides a list of 5 major scams that have popped out of the woodwork with the beginning of deployment of the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare). Be on the lookout! [more inside]
- “It is strange, in my opinion, that the insurance market has evolved so, that so few individuals understand the fundamentals of the medical insurance plans they are insured under."
- Among the 19% polled who are uninsured, nearly four in 10 don't realize the law requires them to get health insurance next year. Among young people, whose participation is seen as crucial for the exchanges to work, just 56% realize there's a mandate to be insured or face a fine.
- Health policy is an extremely personal and complicated topic... Observing historical patterns of attempted healthcare reform and backlash towards these reforms, we may begin to understand what is keeping such a prominent and promising nation from enlisting a social contract of health.
the Contraceptive Choice Project finds that free birth control access significantly cuts abortion rates
Free birth control cuts abortion rate dramatically, study finds: "When more than 9,000 women ages 14 to 45 in the St. Louis area were given no-cost contraception for three years, abortion rates dropped from two-thirds to three-quarters lower than the national rate." [more inside]
A new working paper by economists Charles Courtemanche (University of Louisville) and Daniela Zapata (UNC-Greensboro) shows that Massachusetts 2006 uniform healthcare coverage caused improvements for numerous health outcomes. To the degree that the Massachusetts experiment is a guide for the federal Affordable Care Act, this study provides some guidance for guessing which individuals and approximately how much the benefits of the program will be. [more inside]
Mary Brown, a 56-year-old Florida woman who owned a small auto repair shop but had no health insurance, became the lead plaintiff challenging President Obama's healthcare law because she was passionate about the issue. Brown "doesn't have insurance. She doesn't want to pay for it. And she doesn't want the government to tell her she has to have it," said Karen Harned, a lawyer for the National Federation of Independent Business. Brown is a plaintiff in the federation's case, which the Supreme Court plans to hear later this month. But court records reveal that Brown and her husband filed for bankruptcy last fall with $4,500 in unpaid medical bills. Those bills could change Brown from a symbol of proud independence into an example of exactly the problem the healthcare law was intended to address. [more inside]
Yesterday, the Supreme court granted certiorari to several of the challenges to the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Here's a great roundup of several news stories. I like the NPR story for a quick summary of the issues. The Court will hear a total of 5.5 hours of oral argument, and a decision is expected by the end of the current term, in June.