With the new year under way, now is the time to finalize your plans to attend Health Action 2015—one of the nation’s biggest gatherings of health care advocates—which will take place January 22-24 in Washington, D.C. In addition to skills-building workshops and networking, you’ll have the opportunity to hear from U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Congress to Challenge American Workers’ Health Insurance—Changing the Definition of a Full-time Worker and Other Proposals
As the 114th Congress convened this week, conservatives in the House of Representatives acted quickly to take up a Republican bill that could weaken the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This bill is the first in a number of health care proposals that lawmakers may debate early in the session—some of which will seek to weaken the ACA and others that aim to continue programs that provide critical health coverage to consumers.
With five weeks left before the close of the second open enrollment period in the health insurance marketplace on February 15, enrollment experts have been working hard to make the final push to spur consumer sign-up. We held two teleconferences in January with state experts who shared updates on their plans. Listen to them here.
As Tennessee begins its new legislative session, Gov. Bill Haslam is urging legislators to support his plan to expand Medicaid in the Volunteer State. Business leaders in the state are endorsing the plan—Insure Tennessee—for its economic impact and its benefit to low-income workers.
Haslam has called for a special session of the legislature to meet February 2 to approve his Insure Tennessee plan, which would amend the state’s current Medicaid waiver.
The first significant challenge to the Affordable Care Act in the new Congress—redefining a full-time worker from 30 to 40 hours a week—is headed to the Senate, where it has limited bipartisan support. Because it could prompt some employers to cut hours, changing the definition of full-time under the ACA could create a shift toward part-time work and increase government spending.
Today, Families USA issues a call to action in support of Health Reform 2.0 – a series of 19 specific proposals to improve health care for everyone in our nation. In the years ahead, we will build support for those proposals to hasten their adoption.
The timing for our proposals is challenging—many of you might reasonably wonder, at a point when the Affordable Care Act faces one of its most fundamental threats, is this the time to be thinking about the future of health care? Our answer is, “yes.”
One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to live a healthier lifestyle, often with a focus on eating better, exercising more regularly, and losing weight. So we thought we’d do our part in marking this year’s Healthy Weight Week (January 19–23) by spotlighting research funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to provide useful information about effective ways to fight obesity.
5:00 p.m. update—With three weeks until the end of open enrollment, one thing that distinguishes this period from last year’s is the lack of news. Things have been going pretty well.
Kevin Counihan of CMS noted that he’s grateful for the work of everyone at the conference: “This audience represents our salesforce.”
Counihan ran down the improvements CMS made to Healthcare.gov: reduced number of screens required to enroll from 76 down to 16, the site is warmer, fonts are bigger. “We’re learning.“
5:30 p.m.—We just heard from two leading thinkers in health policy debate some of the most pressing issues related to access to affordable health care in America.
In a wide-ranging discussion that covered everything from Medicaid policy to children’s benefits on the exchanges to the ACA’s subsidies, these two feisty policy wonks hashed out their visions for the future while reflecting on the past year.