Posts Tagged ‘aca

18
Jan
15

ObamaCare: Making History Every Day

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Tara Culp-Ressler: Obamacare Has Reversed A Negative Trend. Researchers Call It ‘Remarkable’

For the first time in a decade, the number of people struggling to pay their medical bills has started to decline, according to a new survey released on Thursday by the Commonwealth Fund. The researchers attributed the historic drop to the number of people gaining insurance under the health care reform law. Between 2012 and 2014 — as Obamacare’s main coverage expansion took effect — the Commonwealth researchers found that the number of people who had issues paying for health treatment dropped from 41 percent to 35 percent. Over the same time period, the people who skipped out on health services because they couldn’t afford them declined from 43 percent to 36 percent

In a press release, the researchers described the declines as “remarkable.” This marks the first time since 2005, when Commonwealth started surveying people on these questions, that the number of Americans struggling to afford medical care hasn’t increased. Commonwealth’s findings, which also documented a drop in the number of Americans going without insurance, track closely with other surveys that have reported declines in the uninsured rate under Obamacare. The number of Americans without health care was reduced by about 25 percent last year, which means that between eight million and eleven million people have gained coverage.

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Margot Sanger-Katz: Signs of A Decline In Financial Distress Connected To Medical Bills

After rising for a decade, the number of Americans experiencing financial distress from their medical bills has started to decline, a new survey has found. The result provides new evidence that the Affordable Care Act, by providing uninsured people with health insurance, is also improving their financial security, a major goal of the law. The large telephone survey, from the New York-based health research group the Commonwealth Fund, has been asking people about their medical bills every few years for a decade. In each survey through 2012, a higher percentage of Americans said they struggled to pay their medical bills, were paying off medical debt or had been contacted by a collection agency.

The most recent installment of the survey, the first since the health law’s major provisions kicked in, shows a reversal in that trend. The survey also found that fewer people were avoiding doctors’ visits because of concerns about cost. But Commonwealth also found that, over all, even people who had insurance before 2014 were having fewer problems with medical bills than they were before. That change may reflect rules in the health law that require individual insurance plans to cover a minimum set of benefits for every customer.

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25
Oct
14

Latino Uninsured Rate Plunges. Thanks, ObamaCare

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Noam Levey: Number Of Latinos With Insurance Coverage Surges Under Healthcare Law

The federal healthcare law has dramatically increased coverage among Latinos, according to a new report that provides a comprehensive look at the effects of the Affordable Care Act on a historically underinsured community. Overall, the percentage of Latinos ages 19 to 64 lacking health coverage fell from 36% to 23% between summer 2013 and spring 2014. That parallels a broader increase in coverage that has taken place since insurance marketplaces opened last fall and states began expanding Medicaid under the healthcare law.

The overall uninsured rate for U.S. adults under 65 plummeted from 20% to 15% in the same period, according to the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit group that studies U.S. and global health systems. Other surveys have shown similar declines. “The Affordable Care Act appears to be working for millions of Latinos who, as a group, have long faced the nation’s highest uninsured rates,” said the Commonwealth Fund’s Michelle Doty, the report’s lead author. “These substantial improvements will mean better health and healthcare for millions of people.” The Medicaid expansion proved particularly important for Latinos, the Commonwealth Fund report indicates. In states that expanded Medicaid, including California, the uninsured rate among working-age Latino adults dropped by about half, from 35% to 17%.

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15
Oct
14

At the gates of St. Peter

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Even at a ripe 45, I have some of the sense of invulnerability that I had at 25. There is no good reason for me to be so confident; I have the physicals and admonitions from my doctor to prove so. But, I guess it’s better than being like some people, who treat every errant mole as a sign of the Grim Reaper’s impending visit.

However, everything ends. The one surety in life is that your time on Earth is short an precious. Would we appreciate life if we somehow discovered the fountain of youth? I don’t know. But the short lives we have now make every moment unique, of a singular nature, whether in joy or sorrow.

As life is short, something which always informs my decisions is the question: Am I making the world a better place. I’m not talking about great, macro-historical acts. I’m talking about the little things, the everyday kindnesses, the quotidian miracles which will not make it to the history books, but which may change a person’s life in innumerable ways for the better.

It’s a question by which I try to live. But it’s also a question which too few of our fellow citizens ask.

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Continue reading ‘At the gates of St. Peter’

12
Oct
14

Young Adults Love ObamaCare. GOP Ends Up With Egg On Face

So Sue Me

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Jeffrey Young: Conservatives Proven Utterly Wrong On Key Aspect Of Obamacare

Remember when Obamacare was a terrible deal for young adults, and how “young invincibles” didn’t even want health insurance? Conservative groups — acting, no doubt, out of deep concern for the well-being of the nation’s 20-somethings — even staged events where young people burned their “Obamacare cards” (there is no such thing). Instead, this is what happened:

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Not so scary, after all. That’s right: The share of the population between 19 and 25 years old without health insurance has fallen since the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010. That year, the uninsured rate for that group was more than 30 percent. By the end of this March, it had fallen to 21 percent, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey data presented in a report the White House Council of Economic Advisors released Wednesday. In fact, the uninsured rate fell more for young adults than any other age group from the end of 2013 to the close of the first quarter of this year, the CDC survey found. And that doesn’t even account for a surge in Obamacare enrollments at the end of March and early April, especially among younger people, for insurance coverage that didn’t kick in until April or May. Turns out, people under 30 also think having health insurance is a good idea.

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11
Oct
14

Thanks To ObamaCare, Happy Dances Are Here Again

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Sharing my Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) recent Happy Dance re: No rate increases for my medical plan for 2015, dental rate decreased, while the Benefit Maximum more than doubled, yea!!). in the last 3 months, I have had a flu shot, a mammogram, and a blood test, all without co-pays. My yearly dental X-Rays scheduled for December is also without any other costs. Finally, the one medication that I take is only 1.81 $ for a month’s supply. When I retired in the summer of 2013, my biggest financial concern was the cost of health care (I am under 65 and single) that I would be directly responsible for for the first time (it was an employee benefit prior to this). It has been manageable so far, thanks, in part, to the ACA. When I received the news that there would be no rate increases for 2015, I was greatly relieved. I love Obamacare and the man who brought it to us. I am always so tickled that the term that the GOPers used as a pejorative, has instead insured that PBO would forever get credit for this law that has begun to transform the health and well-being of our nation.

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09
Oct
14

Hospitals Will Save $5.7B?!?! Thanks, ObamaCare

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HHS.Gov: New Report Projects A $5.7 Billion Drop In Hospitals’ Uncompensated Care Costs Because Of The Affordable Care Act

A report released today by the Department of Health and Human Services projects that hospitals will save $5.7 billion this year in uncompensated care costs because of the Affordable Care Act, with states that have expanded Medicaid seeing about 74 percent of the total savings nationally compared to states that have not expanded Medicaid. For over a decade prior to the Affordable Care Act, the percentage of the American population that was uninsured had been growing steadily. But with the significant expansion of coverage under the health care law through the Health Insurance Marketplace and Medicaid, the uninsurance rate is at historic lows.

As a result, the volume of uncompensated care provided in hospitals and emergency departments has fallen substantially in the last year, particularly in Medicaid expansion states. Projections from today’s report suggest that hospitals in states that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act will see greater savings than hospitals in states that have not expanded Medicaid. Hospitals in states that have expanded Medicaid are projected to save up to $4.2 billion, which makes up about 74 percent of the total savings nationally this year. Hospitals in states that have opted not to expand Medicaid are projected to save up to $1.5 billion this year, and which is only 26 percent of the total savings nationally.

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