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On Health Care Reform

VoicesForCare™ – News & Updates on Health Care Reform

$137 Million for Prevention & Health Programs is Granted to States under Affordable Care Act

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has today announced the award of $137 Million of grants, primarily under the Affordable Care Act, to States and non-profit organizations to fund prevention and health improvement services and initiatives. . . . → Read More: $137 Million for Prevention & Health Programs is Granted to States under Affordable Care Act

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New Rules to Simplify Purchase of Health Insurance Proposed under Affordable Care Act

The U.S. Departments of Health & Human Services (HHS), Labor, and Treasury issued proposed new rules under the Affordable Care Act on August 17, 2011 which would simplify the purchase of health insurance for consumers. Under the proposed new . . . → Read More: New Rules to Simplify Purchase of Health Insurance Proposed under Affordable Care Act

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11th Circuit Appeals Panel Strikes Insurance Mandate, Upholds Rest of Health Care Law

here attached. The description of the above provisions of the Affordable Care Act is found on pages 11-53 and pages 292-304 (Appendix A) of the attached document. The Health Care Litigation — Background The 11th Circuit’s ruling comes on . . . → Read More: 11th Circuit Appeals Panel Strikes Insurance Mandate, Upholds Rest of Health Care Law

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National Community Health Centers Provide Primary & Preventive Care to 20 Million

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced today that this week, August 7th-13th, is National Community Health Center Week. This is “an opportunity to recognize the vital work of community health centers, which provide high . . . → Read More: National Community Health Centers Provide Primary & Preventive Care to 20 Million

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S&P Downgrade of US Credit Rating Cites Political Brinksmanship, Looming Deficit from Rising Health Care Costs

actual S&P Research Update of August 5, 2011, downgrading the U.S. credit rating, was published by S&P on their website. It is entitled, “United States of America Long-Term Rating Lowered To ‘AA+’ On Political Risks And Rising Debt Burden; . . . → Read More: S&P Downgrade of US Credit Rating Cites Political Brinksmanship, Looming Deficit from Rising Health Care Costs

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How to Fix Medicare & Medicaid? 6 Hospital CEO's Weigh In

Here is food for thought: six CEO’s of Hospitals around the country have given their responses to the question: “How Would You Fix Medicare and Medicaid? These responses highlight issues that are not commonly covered in the public debate . . . → Read More: How to Fix Medicare & Medicaid? 6 Hospital CEO’s Weigh In

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Health Care Costs to Increase by 5.8% Per Year, CMS Projects; Baby Boomers Worry About Long-Term Care

A new report, from the Office of the Actuary at the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in Baltimore, and published in the journal HealthAffairs on July 28, 2011, projects that overall U.S. health care costs will grow . . . → Read More: Health Care Costs to Increase by 5.8% Per Year, CMS Projects; Baby Boomers Worry About Long-Term Care

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Follow-Up Programs Help Prevent Hospital Readmission, But Hospitals Have Financial Incentive Not to Implement Them

Two new studies published today in the Archives of Internal Medicine give hope that readmission to hospitals within 30 days after discharge can be reduced significantly by programs that include coaching of the patient at the time of discharge, . . . → Read More: Follow-Up Programs Help Prevent Hospital Readmission, But Hospitals Have Financial Incentive Not to Implement Them

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HHS Proposes Rules to Allow New Consumer Run Nonprofit CO-OP Health Insurance Plans; $3.8 Billion of Loan Financing Available

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services issued the following Press Release today: DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 18, 2011 New Private Nonprofit Health Plans Will Increase . . . → Read More: HHS Proposes Rules to Allow New Consumer Run Nonprofit CO-OP Health Insurance Plans; $3.8 Billion of Loan Financing Available

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U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Affordable Care Act

lower court ruling by U.S. District Judge George C. Steeh in Detroit. Judge Steeh upheld the Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, finding that the act of choosing not to buy health insurance was a consequential commercial decision that . . . → Read More: U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Affordable Care Act

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Affordable Care Act Has Saved Medicare Beneficiaries $260 Million on Prescription Drugs in 5 Months

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), reported today that in the first five months of 2011, the Affordable Care Act has saved $260 Million in prescription drug costs for . . . → Read More: Affordable Care Act Has Saved Medicare Beneficiaries $260 Million on Prescription Drugs in 5 Months

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Which State Provides the Best Health Care?

A study by the Commonwealth Fund ranked the 50 U.S. States as to the quality of their health care in 2009. [See Image At Left] Recently, U.S. States have signaled increasingly divergent approaches to health care, moving in opposite . . . → Read More: Which State Provides the Best Health Care?

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National Prevention Strategy Released June 16 Under Affordable Care Act

On June 16, 2011, the Surgeon General of the U.S. along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and members of the National Prevention Council, announced the release of the National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy, . . . → Read More: National Prevention Strategy Released June 16 Under Affordable Care Act

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Top 5 Recommendations for Improving Primary Care Issued Today by National Physicians Alliance

The National Physicians Alliance (NPA), an organization of 22,000 physicians in the U.S., has developed and issued today, three lists of “Top 5″ recommended changes in common clinical practices in primary medicine. They say, based on scientific literature and . . . → Read More: Top 5 Recommendations for Improving Primary Care Issued Today by National Physicians Alliance

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Government Imposes Review on All Premium Rate Hikes of 10% or More by Health Insurers

“Over the last 10 years, the cost of family health insurance has jumped an amazing 131 percent and today coverage is out of reach for millions of people and business owners,” the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services . . . → Read More: Government Imposes Review on All Premium Rate Hikes of 10% or More by Health Insurers

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City Emergency Rooms Closing - Linked to Profit Motive - While ER Use Increases

A significant new study reported in the May 18, 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, has found that a net 27% of Hospital Emergency Rooms in U.S. cities closed between 1990 and 2009, and those . . . → Read More: City Emergency Rooms Closing – Linked to Profit Motive – While ER Use Increases

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Health Insurers Report Record Profits, Yet Raise Premiums, While People Postpone Care

Kaiser Health News, which provides a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations, is reporting from several sources that health insurance companies have realized record profits for the third year in a row, enhanced even . . . → Read More: Health Insurers Report Record Profits, Yet Raise Premiums, While People Postpone Care

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Affordable Care Act Will Save $120 Billion for Medicare over 5 Years

CMS.gov. It outlines savings resulting from improvements to the Medicare program, including implementation of several provisions in the Affordable Care Act, cracking down on fraud, waste, and abuse in the Medicare system; reforming payment systems to reward high quality . . . → Read More: Affordable Care Act Will Save $120 Billion for Medicare over 5 Years

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2011 Medicare Trustees Report Shows Affordable Care Act Added 8 Years of Solvency to Medicare Part A Hospital Insurance Trust Fund

The Medicare Trustees issued their Annual Report for 2011 today. It shows that the Medicare (Part A) Hospital Insurance Trust Fund is now projected to remain solvent until 2024, eight years longer than would have been the case without . . . → Read More: 2011 Medicare Trustees Report Shows Affordable Care Act Added 8 Years of Solvency to Medicare Part A Hospital Insurance Trust Fund

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Lawsuits Challenging Health Care Law to Be Argued on Appeal May 10

Conservative blogs have pointed out that the Solicitor General usually argues cases only before the U.S. Supreme Court. E. Duncan Getchell Jr., Virginia’s solicitor general, will argue before the Fourth Circuit for the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the Dean . . . → Read More: Lawsuits Challenging Health Care Law to Be Argued on Appeal May 10

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Yale Study Links 'Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders' to Poor Surgical Outcomes & Higher Risk of Death

A new study by Yale researchers published today in the Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA journals of the American Medical Association, found that Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders were associated with poor surgical outcomes and a higher risk of death . . . → Read More: Yale Study Links ‘Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders’ to Poor Surgical Outcomes & Higher Risk of Death

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New Patient Safety Program Launched under Affordable Care Act

The “Partnership For Patients” program was officially launched today under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This $1 Billion program, announced by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), aims to improve patient outcomes by reducing . . . → Read More: New Patient Safety Program Launched under Affordable Care Act

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Survey Finds 9 of 10 Health Care Leaders Support Affordable Care Act; 7 of 10 Favor Implementing the Law with Little or No Change

A recent survey of leaders in health care and health care policy found that 9 of 10 Health Care Leaders agree that the general direction set by the Affordable Care Act is appropriate, and 7 out of 10 favor . . . → Read More: Survey Finds 9 of 10 Health Care Leaders Support Affordable Care Act; 7 of 10 Favor Implementing the Law with Little or No Change

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Doctors Try New Direct-Pay Models for Primary Care; Leaving Health Insurers Out

Much has been written about how our current insurance model encourages doctors to perform procedures and tests rather than for time spent with patients.  The role of the insurance companies, intervening between doctors and their patients, displeases both doctors . . . → Read More: Doctors Try New Direct-Pay Models for Primary Care; Leaving Health Insurers Out

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Florida Federal Judge Stays His Previous Decision Against Health Care Reform Law

U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson, the federal judge in Pensacola, Florida who previously ruled the Health Care Reform Law unconstitutional in its entirety, entered an Order on March 3, staying his own decision, pending appeal. This essentially suspends enforcement . . . → Read More: Florida Federal Judge Stays His Previous Decision Against Health Care Reform Law

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Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans (PCIPs) Available under Health Reform Law to Help Those With Pre-existing Conditions

While lawsuits and Republicans in Congress are seeking to overturn The Affordable Care Act of 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is continuing to institute many of the law’s provisions in an effort to provide low-cost . . . → Read More: Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans (PCIPs) Available under Health Reform Law to Help Those With Pre-existing Conditions

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D.C. Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging Health Care Law -- Courts now 3-2 in Favor of Law

February 22, 2011.  Senior U.S. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler in Washington D.C. today upheld the constitutionality of the Obama Administration’s Health Care Reform law and dismissed a lawsuit brought by individual plaintiffs who challenged the law’s constitutionality based . . . → Read More: D.C. Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging Health Care Law — Courts now 3-2 in Favor of Law

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AMA Favors Some Changes to Health Care Law; 92% of Poll Respondents Oppose Tossing Out Health Care Law, but 50% Do Favor Changes

An online chat on benefits and changes under the Health Care Law conducted by the Los Angeles Times Thursday, February 17 discussed changes to the new Health Care Law advocated by the American Medical Association (AMA), and featured the results . . . → Read More: AMA Favors Some Changes to Health Care Law; 92% of Poll Respondents Oppose Tossing Out Health Care Law, but 50% Do Favor Changes

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Florida Federal Judge Declares Health Care Law Void in its Entirety; Conflicting Judicial Decisions Now Pending Appeal

On January 31, 2011, Judge Roger Vinson of the Federal District Court in Pensacola, Florida, issued a decision declaring the new federal Health Care Law void in its entirety, finding that the mandate for all Americans to purchase health . . . → Read More: Florida Federal Judge Declares Health Care Law Void in its Entirety – Conflicting Judicial Decisions Now Pending Appeal

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New Disability & Long-Term Care Insurance Benefit Under The New Health Care Law

The new health care law established a new voluntary national insurance program that will provide cash benefits to participants who have a qualifying disability that limits their day-to-day living and who meet the other eligibility criteria. This new program . . . → Read More: New Disability & Long-Term Care Insurance Benefit Under The New Health Care Law

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New Medicare Benefits in 2011 under the Health Reform Law

Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services, has released a new Video explaining the new benefits that the Affordable Care Act (the Health Reform Law) provides in 2011 for people on . . . → Read More: New Medicare Benefits in 2011 under the Health Reform Law

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New report: 129 million Americans with a pre-existing condition could be denied coverage without the health reform law

In a News Release, Tuesday, January 18, 2011, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services reported: Without Affordable Care Act protections, in 2014, 1 in 2 non-elderly Americans could be denied coverage or charged more due to a . . . → Read More: New report: 129 million Americans with a pre-existing condition could be denied coverage without the health reform law

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Implementation Timeline for the Provisions of the Health Reform Law

Kaiser Family Foundation provides a very helpful and easy to understand ”Implementation Timeline”  — an interactive tool to explain how and when the provisions of the health reform law will be implemented over the next several years.  You can show or hide . . . → Read More: Implementation Timeline for the Provisions of the Health Reform Law

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Major Health Care Forum with Global Business and Government Leaders Taking Place in Miami Jan. 12-14, 2011

Under the leadership of its President, former U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services, Donna E. Shalala, the University of Miami will host a major Global Business Forum, entitled “The Business of Health Care: Defining the Future,” on January . . . → Read More: Major Health Care Forum with Global Business and Government Leaders Taking Place in Miami Jan. 12-14, 2011

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First Baby Boomers Hit 65: Looming Strains on Medicare Solvency

On New Year’s Day, the first baby boomers, those born in 1946,  will celebrate their 65th Birthday.  Beginning Jan. 1, 10,000 Baby Boomers a day will turn 65.  That will continue for the next 19 years.  “Baby Boomers” include . . . → Read More: First Baby Boomers Hit 65: Looming Strains on Medicare Solvency

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Nine Key Provisions of the New Health Care Reform Law Take Effect January 1, 2011

Here is a list of the nine key provisions of the new national Health Care Reform Law that take effect on January 1, 2011: Restriction on Insurance Company Use of Premium Dollars. Health-insurance companies will now be required to . . . → Read More: Nine Key Provisions of the New Health Care Reform Law Take Effect January 1, 2011

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The New Year Brings New Health-Care Benefits under Health Reform Law

On Saturday, January 1, 2011 important new changes to U.S. health insurance rules will take effect under the new Health Reform Law – the Affordable Care Act. Among the new provisions taking effect today are: New rules designed to . . . → Read More: The New Year Brings New Health-Care Benefits under Health Reform Law

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Central Provision of Health Care Law Is Ruled Unconstitutional

On Monday, December 13, Federal District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson of the Federal District Court in Richmond, Virginia ruled that the provision in the recently adopted health reform law requiring most Americans to obtain health insurance is unconstitutional.  . . . → Read More: Central Provision of Health Care Law Is Ruled Unconstitutional

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Is Long-Term Care Insurance Beginning to Fade Away?

When a Safety Net Is Yanked Away, By Ron Lieber, New York Times, November 12, 2010 “November is long-term care awareness month, and to celebrate, MetLife, a big player in the long-term care insurance industry announced on Thursday that . . . → Read More: Is Long-Term Care Insurance Beginning to Fade Away?

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Affordable Care Act Saves Seniors $3,500 on Average, under Medicare

A new study has found that the Affordable Care Act saves seniors, on average $3,500 per person under Medicare.  Highlights of the findings include:  Lower prescription drug costs, reduced waste, fraud, and abuse, and improvements to care quality and . . . → Read More: Affordable Care Act Saves Seniors $3,500 on Average, under Medicare

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States Back Rule to Use 80% of Health Premiums for Care

WASHINGTON — State insurance commissioners on Thursday, October 21, unanimously endorsed the tough new standards in the federal Health Reform Law, which would require health insurance companies to spend at least 80% of each premium dollar on health care for the benefit of . . . → Read More: States Back Rule to Use 80% of Health Premiums for Care

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‘Child only’ health insurance dropped by all major insurers in Florida as new health insurance mandate takes effect.

September 21, 2010.  Orlando Sentinel.  Most of Florida’s major health insurers have stopped writing new “child-only” insurance policies — some pulling out of the market just days before the health-care overhaul requires insurers to provide full coverage to kids . . . → Read More: ‘Child only’ health insurance dropped by all major insurers in Florida as new health insurance mandate takes effect.

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For Many Families, Health Care Relief Begins Today under the New Health Reform Law

September 23, 2010. The initial provisions of the new health care law go into effect today. On this, the six-month anniversary of the signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a number of its most central consumer . . . → Read More: For Many Families, Health Care Relief Begins Today under the New Health Reform Law

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Sebelius calls on health insurers to stop misinformation and unjustified rate increases

WASHINGTON, DC – Press Release from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote America’s Health Insurance Plans AHIP, the national association of health insurers, calling on their members . . . → Read More: Sebelius calls on health insurers to stop misinformation and unjustified rate increases

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Employers Pushing Increased Share of Higher Health Insurance Costs on Employees

A new 2010 study released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit research organization, found that health insurance premiums increased on average 3 percent from January to May, 2010, but because Employers were reducing their share of funding . . . → Read More: Employers Pushing Increased Share of Higher Health Insurance Costs on Employees

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Health-care overhaul: Long-term-care benefits are a long way off

The long-term care benefits promised in the Health Reform Law, though badly needed, are a long way off.  Read more, as reported in the Washington Post: Read More>>Health-care overhaul: Long-term-care benefits are a long way . . . → Read More: Health-care overhaul: Long-term-care benefits are a long way off

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HHS Announces Availability of $51 Million in Resources for States to Build New Competitive Health Insurance Marketplace

The US Department of Health & Human Services announced that it will be making grants to the States in a total amount of $51,000,000 in order to assiste the States in setting up the new competitive health insurance marketplaces required under the recently . . . → Read More: HHS Announces Availability of $51 Million in Resources for States to Build New Competitive Health Insurance Marketplace

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