While Congress wrestles with budget reconciliation and takes another swipe at the Affordable Care Act, most state lawmakers are back at their day jobs and finished with legislative business for the year. The 2015 sessions produced a few highlights, and some lowlights, for health care advocates. Lawmakers continued to grapple with full implementation of the ACA, but some looked beyond the health care law to move their states toward a health reform 2.0 agenda. Below we note some of the significant work this year in state capitals.
The activity around payment and system reform creates an opportunity to develop interventions that directly address racial and ethnic health disparities. However, some reforms could inadvertently make disparities worse. For example, they could discourage providers from treating sicker, more complex patients, or undermine the financial viability of struggling safety net providers.
Fortunately, some communities are implementing delivery system reforms that reduce health disparities and bend the cost curve. The effective models we describe in this blog series share several features in common.
Tomorrow, July 21st, is a National Call-In Day to #ProtectOurCare.
The Senate’s quest to repeal health care for millions of Americans and make disastrous cuts to Medicaid is not over. Senators and administration officials met last night to continue negotiations on their harmful bill. Senate Majority Leader McConnell aims to vote on the “Motion to Proceed” to move forward with health care repeal as soon as Monday.
This Fourth of July recess week, constituents and health care advocates across the country have been turning up the heat on their Senators to reject the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), the GOP’s harmful bill to take health care away from millions. Although some members of Congress who have supported or are yet to reject repeal of the Affordable Care Act have been in hiding during recess, with some even canceling their July 4 parade appearances, there is no escaping the resounding voices of people throughout the USA standing up for the Affordable Care Act.
Last week, the federal government, for the first time, announced far-reaching regulations banning discrimination in health care. With this historic action, the government is prohibiting discrimination in the provision of health care services based on sex and gender identity. The new regulations announced by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also expand existing discrimination bans on the basis of disability or health status, race, national origin, age, or language spoken.
Yesterday, President Obama and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Burwell kicked off the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network (Network), a network of cross-sector stakeholders focused on quality and costs in the health care system. The network aims to transform our entire health care system—beyond Medicare and Medicaid—from a system that pays for volume to one that pays for quality and value and that actively engages consumers in their own care. More than 2,800 payers, providers, employers, and consumer groups (including Families USA) have registered to participate in the Network.
With the recent unveiling of the Senate bill to repeal health care, now more than ever it is critical for advocates for health care to take action to protect our care. To help you keep up the fight, Families USA has compiled a Spotify playlist of the Songs to Save Health Care.
We reached out to you— the advocates who have been mobilizing for months to fight against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and harmful cuts to Medicaid— to gather the songs that most inspire and motivate you in your fight to protect our care.
With last month’s Supreme Court ruling affirming that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is here to stay, advocates and decisionmakers can turn to building on the law’s success, such as closing the Medicaid gap, improving the value of care, and eliminating the “family glitch.” Another top priority in this next phase of health reform is making good on the promise of health care for all, regardless of immigration status. Last month, California, the state with the most undocumented immigrants, took a momentous leap in that direction.
Health information technology (HealthIT) offers many powerful tools in the fight to eliminate disparities in the delivery of care and health outcomes. From identifying variation in care delivery and outcomes by demographic group to harnessing the power of mobile devices to collect and share health data, the opportunities to leverage HealthIT in the promotion of health equity are plentiful.
We recently reported our findings on the potential problems posed by health insurance plans with high deductibles. Proponents of high-deductible plans assert that making consumers spend more to cover their medical care will encourage them to seek high-value care. But that isn’t possible for many consumers because they don’t have the tools or the basic understanding of how their health insurance works—both of which are necessary to make informed decisions about what care to get at what price.