Dr. Donald Berwick was sworn in today as the new Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Without a leader since 2006, the appointment of Dr. Berwick is a long-awaited addition to the federal agency. Dr. Berwick is widely known as a pioneer in the field of health care quality. The American Medical Association announced its support for Berwick weeks ago, stating,
When it comes to Medicare, we heard it all during the debate over health reform: Death panels! Rationing! Obama wants to kill granny! The rumors and scare tactics were so ridiculous, sometimes it was difficult to understand how anyone could believe them. But now that Americans are beginning to see the benefits of reform, it’s time we put the rumors to rest and start focusing on how the new law is improving health care across the country.
A new tracking poll released by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that support for the Affordable Care Act has risen dramatically from 41 to 48 percent, a 7 percentage point increase since the poll was last done in May.
Many of you have sent in questions about how the new health care law will affect you and your family. We’ve compiled some answers from our experts to help you navigate changes to the health care system. If you’d like to submit your own question, please click here.
Member from Montclair, NJ
Will health reform require new health care plans to cover pregnancy care and delivery by midwifes? Will lactation consultants’ services be covered?
The tax extenders bill (also known as the jobs bill), H.R. 4213, has been stalled in Congress for weeks. The Senate has now attempted to pass a bill to address the unemployment and state budget crisis three times to no avail. Each step along the way, the Senate has hit a wall of opposition that is supposedly based on concerns about increasing the federal deficit. To appease these concerns, the Senate cut a critical provision to provide additional assistance to states for Medicaid by one-third – but the bill still failed to win the 60 votes necessary to pass.
One of the earliest and most popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act is the provision that allows young adults to stay on their family’s health coverage until age 26. This is expected to help many graduating college and high school seniors—but it will also help hundreds of 20-somethings who are currently uninsured because they were not able to stay on their parents’ plan. Our fact sheet explains the details.
The web portal Is up and running!
Today, July 1, you can visit HealthCare.gov for the first time ever and view all the health coverage options that are available to you! Never before have consumers been able to view their coverage options in one place, until today. Thanks to health reform, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched a new web site to provide consumers with their health coverage options in a comprehensive and easy-to-navigate way.
During the final months leading up to the passage of health reform, it seemed you couldn’t read a newspaper without seeing a headline about another insurance company attempting to impose enormous rate hikes on its customers in the individual market.
Those of you who have followed health reform have probably heard a lot about Massachusetts’ historic health reform law that passed in 2006—what’s going well, what could be done better, and what it might mean for health reform implementation around the country. We’ve even blogged about it this month.
This past Tuesday, President Obama delivered a message to the health insurance industry, opponents of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and all the naysayers who think health care reform won’t succeed:
“We’re not going back. I refuse to go back.”