Posts Tagged ‘obamacares

29
Jan
15

Lowered Healthcare Costs? Thanks, ObamaCare

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Tara Culp-Ressler: How The Obama Administration Is Getting Serious About Lowering Health Costs

The Obama administration unveiled an ambitious plan on Monday that will make historic changes to the way that doctors get paid. The ultimate goal is to tie more of doctors’ payments to the quality of care they provide, hopefully driving down the trillions of dollars that the U.S. currently spends on health services every year. The reforms are targeted at Medicare, the government program that provides coverage for Americans over the age of 64. Most Medicare providers currently get paid through what’s called a “fee for service” system. They’re paid a flat free for every test or procedure they perform, regardless of whether those services actually improve their patients’ health. Now, the administration wants to shift the program so that more of its payments are tied to health outcomes.

Essentially, that means providers will be rewarded for keeping their patients healthy, and penalized for unnecessary services that don’t advance that goal. Proponents of payment reform are encouraged by the move — which they see as a serious step toward creating a health care system that’s based on the value, rather than the sheer volume, of services. The Affordable Care Act has been slowly moving in this direction over the past few years. The health law created alternative payment models — called “Accountable Care Organizations,” or ACOs — to incentivize providers to work together to improve patient care and cut down on costs. So far, there’s been some evidence that ACOs are successfully improving the quality of health care for Medicare patients. Some are also starting to generate cost savings. If ACOs save enough money, the participating providers earn bonuses, a goal that about a fourth of of them hit last year.

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05
Jan
15

A Life Saved. Thanks, ObamaCare

ObamaCare Bumper Sticker

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Noam N. Levey: Obamacare’s Guaranteed Health Coverage Changes Lives In First Year

Like many working Americans, Lisa Gray thought she had good health insurance. That was until she was diagnosed with leukemia in mid-2013, and the self-employed businesswoman made a startling discovery: Her health plan didn’t cover the chemotherapy she needed. “I thought I was going to die,” Gray, 62, said recently, recalling her desperate scramble to get lifesaving drugs. it was a new health plan through the Affordable Care Act that Gray credits with saving her life. The plan, which started Jan. 1, 2014, gave her access to the recommended chemotherapy. Her cancer went into remission in the fall. It is now one year since the federal law began guaranteeing coverage to most Americans for the first time, even if they are sick.

For many Americans like Gray — who were stuck in plans that didn’t cover vital services or who couldn’t get insurance because of a preexisting medical condition — the law has had a personal, even life-changing impact. “A couple years earlier, I think I would have been done,” Gray said. But the insurance guarantee — which includes billions of dollars in aid to low- and middle-income Americans — has extended coverage to about 10 million people who previously had no insurance, surveys indicate. That cut the nation’s uninsured rate more than 20% last year, the largest drop in half a century. The law also changed coverage for millions more people who were in plans like Gray’s that capped or excluded benefits, a once-common feature of health insurance that is now banned.

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04
Jan
15

Obamacare: The Single Most Important Anti-Smoking Initiative

Michael Hiltzik (Los Angeles Times)

by Desertflower

Did you know that the Affordable Care Act may be the single most important anti-smoking initiative in the country?

Of course not. That’s because Obamacare’s supposed friends, the Democrats, have been too craven to talk about its benefits, while its enemies, the Republicans, want only to depict it as a “disaster” without addressing its many provisions.

“If the ACA’s tobacco-cessation provisions are fully implemented, they could turn out to be one of its greatest legacies.”

– Tim McAfee, et al, New England Journal of Medicine

But the New England Journal of Medicine in its latest issue sets the record straight. The authors, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the University of Wisconsin, point out that the poor uptake of smoking cessation programs has much to do with their expense and the only spotty coverage by health insurance plans. They say ACA makes this coverage mandatory, without co-pays, cost sharing, or the requirement that doctors get prior authorization from insurers before prescribing. (See accompanying graphic.)

The anti-smoking initiative is just one of many provisions of the ACA that are little-known but likely to have a significant impact on Americans’ health. That underscores the fatuousness of much of the anti-Obamacare campaign. When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., expresses glee at the prospect that the Supreme Court may yet “take down” the law because he doesn’t like anything that has President Obama’s name on it, these are the babies he’s willing to throw out with the bathwater.

Under the ACA, the NEJM authors write, smoking cessation must be treated as one of the preventive services that private health plans are required to cover without cost-sharing or prior authorization.

THIS INFURIATES ME!! Not this wonderful provision, but the glee at which people like McConnell and other Republicans hope that this signature and historic achievement for the American people, gets gutted! FOLLOW THE FUCKING MONEY….these RWNJ’s care nothing about people. they never did. Never will. They care about money and access and greed…and sucking every last breath from ordinary people just so they can have even MORE! Because to them, this is a win/lose game. If you win, THEY LOSE…and we can’t have that now, can we? Rather than we all want the best for ALL Americans, they don’t subscribe to this. Not even close.

Why do I say this? What the blue fucking blazes set ME off?? I was a smoker. I smoked for 38 years of my life and i loved it and hated it. I was killing myself slowly and I felt guilty as sin for forking over more and more murder money for the tobacco company every time I wanted to feed my addiction. I knew it was bad..I wanted to stop but I was so afraid…thinking of how hard it would be…or gaining some weight…or, or, or…the days went to weeks, weeks to months, months to years and I somehow excused myself. I was a “polite” smoker. Never in my car. Never in the house, Never around those that didn’t smoke. There were never ashtrays all over the place, overflowing with the cancerous remains….I was a one ashtray girl and cleaned up after myself. In fact, I got so good at this deceit, that most people had no idea I smoked at all. But I knew. I was ashamed and embarrassed to be so beholden to this toxic mess. Did you know that these tobacco companies but in things like oven cleaner, DDT and a shit ton of awful, awful stuff. (Cigarette Ingredients)

But look here ( from this piece)

The CDC estimates that about 42 million Americans, or 18% of all adults, are smokers. The highest rate belongs, as it happens, to McConnell’s home state of Kentucky, at 28.3%.

The ACA takes special aim at the Medicaid population. That’s wise, because smoking in the U.S. is especially prevalent among lower-income groups. The law makes no-fee smoking cessation programs and medications a part of Medicaid for new enrollees in those states that have accepted Medicaid expansion, prohibits states from excluding smoking medications from traditional Medicaid, and requires smoking cessation coverage for pregnant women in traditional Medicaid. That’s key, because 20% of pregnant women on Medicaid use tobacco, according to a 2012 study by researchers from UC Berkeley and UC San Diego.

Mitch McConnell would be SO FINE with the people of KY continuing to kill themselves! Continuing to give the tobacco companies money they really don’t have to spend….THIS is what makes me livid!

I have to tell you what made me stop. My son. My son and the perfect storm of his pleading and my readiness to take responsibility for my health and no longer making excuses. I need to tell you something else. It wasn’t hard. After 38 years…it wasn’t hard. I chose to vape my way off nicotine for good and I literally weaned myself off nicotine in about 3 months. None of the side effects that we all worry about…just relief and me being proud of myself and feeling better than anyone can imagine.

So when I see just how far these people (I use that term loosely) would go to have this all go away, AND BE HAPPY ABOUT IT! I want to scream.

America needs to Wake Up…those that feel “guilty” for voting for Republicans because they ” always have”…need to take a cold shower, admit they fucked up badly, and vow to be smarter and more aware in 2 more years. This is UNSAT. Unsatisfactory. Unacceptable. Unfuckingbelieveable that people could ever take pleasure in other people’s pain or want to keep them doing the very things that hurt them and not let them be better or flourish for the rest of their good long lives.

THIS is what pissed me off tonight. That these people hate this President and the American people SO MUCH, they would hope for the demise of something that would help people stop smoking.

If this doesn’t anger you into stopping, into thinking, into honest evaluation of so many things….I don’t know what will. This says they care NOTHING about you.

Your move.

18
Dec
14

Millions Now Have Health Coverage. Thanks, ObamaCare

Image: Supreme Court Upholds Obama's Affordable Care Act

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Zeke J Miller: Number of Uninsured Americans Near Historic Low

New federal government data shows the percentage of Americans without health insurance was at or near historic lows this year following the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act, and appears certain to fall to record levels next year. The data released Thursday from the National Center for Health Statistics’ National Health Interview Survey found that 11.3 percent of Americans were without coverage in the second quarter of 2014, down from 13.1 percent in the first quarter and 14.4 percent throughout 2013. An analysis by the White House Council of Economic Advisers finds the drop in the uninsured to be the largest in four decades,

amounting to roughly 9.7 million Americans getting insurance, consistent with other Affordable Care Act estimates. The new data does not include the nearly 2.5 million who have newly selected or re-enrolled for coverage in the latest round of open enrollment which began last month. Nor does it include those who’ve gained coverage in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program since the second quarter—including 400,000 from September to October, according to new data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services—as more states expand access to the program with federal money under the law.

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05
Dec
14

The Freedom To Retire Early And Have Good Health? Thanks, ObamaCare

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Amy Lynn Smith: Obamacare Gives Ohio Man The Freedom To Retire Early And Improve His Health

Jim worked 37 years for the same company, typically putting in 50-hour weeks that included travel and working weekends. It started taking a toll and he says his health began to decline. That’s why he decided to retire at age 59 — something he could not have done without the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. “June 28, 2012 was one of the happiest days of my life, when the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act,” Jim says. “Without the ACA, I could not get insurance at any price because my wife is a cancer survivor — she had leukemia 15 years ago —

and the only way I could get insurance was through work.” His wife’s leukemia was treated successfully and neither one of them has any chronic health conditions, but that didn’t stop insurance companies from turning people away or charging exorbitant prices because of pre-existing conditions before the ACA. Jim retired in March 2014 after doing his homework about the plans available on the insurance Marketplace at Healthcare.gov. The plan Jim chose would have cost $1,200 per month to cover him and his wife, but with a tax subsidy their premium costs just $127 per month.

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