Tag: Medicare

Looking Ahead: More Hurdles for ObamaCare

Looking Ahead: More Hurdles for ObamaCare  By Ronald Bachman  Last week’s commentary, “ObamaCare Implementation Stumbles Along,” focused on the confirmed challenges in implementing the Affordable Care Act. Based on the already-checkered if brief past, the federal health law can expect even more implementation struggles moving forward.  Among them:  Health insurance exchanges: 27 states declared they would not establish a state run health insurance exchange. These states have defaulted to federally facilitated exchange. Will the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) be ready to implement these exchanges that are required to go live on October 1, 2013? There are serious doubts. In fact, Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute made a prediction earlier this week that an announcement will… View Article

ObamaCare Implementation: Stumbling Along

By Ronald E. Bachman On July 2, 2013, just a few short months before significant portions of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) were to take effect, a Treasury Department official announced the Obama Administration will “provide an additional year before the ACA mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements begin.” “Provide” is a generous description. A mounting list of problems and failures plagues key aspects of the law, the most recent being the announced delays until 2015. Postponed by fiat of the Health and Human Services Department, the coverage mandate requires businesses of 50 or more employees to provide health insurance or pay a penalty. Along with the individual mandate, it was supposed to be key to solving the uninsured… View Article

Checking Up On Health: July 23, 2013

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd Benita DoddVice President, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Even Dems are abandoning ship: The landmark health-reform law passed in 2010 has never been very popular and always highly partisan, but a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that a group of once loyal Democrats has been steadily turning against ObamaCare: Democrats who are ideologically moderate or conservative. Just after the law was passed in 2010, 74 percent of moderate and conservative Democrats supported the federal law making changes to the health-care system. But just 46 percent express support in the new poll, down 11 points in the past year. Liberal Democrats, by contrast, have continued to support the law… View Article

Checking Up On Health: July 16, 2013

  Benita DoddVice President, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd Much ado about nothing: A new paper identifies five overused medical treatments and offers proposals to prevent their overuse, which the report defines as use of a treatment that confers zero or negative benefits to a patient. The paper, by the Joint Commission and the American Medical Association-Convened Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement, cites antibiotics for viral upper respiratory infections; over-transfusion of red blood cells; tympanostomy tubes for brief middle ear effusion (fluid); early-term, non-medically indicated elective delivery, and elective angioplasty.   The $69 million machine that goes “ping:” In health care, “self-referral” is when providers refer patients to facilities or services in… View Article

Friday Facts: July 12, 2013

July 12, 2013  It’s Friday!  The Legacy of Hank McCamish On June 30 Georgia lost a great leader and a great man. Henry F. “Hank” McCamish Jr. was born and raised in Greenwood, SC, but after graduating from Georgia Tech in 1950 he never left Georgia.    A successful career as an entrepreneur allowed him to become a generous philanthropist. His leadership and gifts impacted countless charitable organizations and his guidance and mentorship influenced countless lives. Hank founded the Georgia Public Policy Foundation on October 29, 1991. He had two simple instructions: 1) Always tell the truth and make sure your facts are correct and 2) Focus on the issues and do not attack individuals. Humble throughout his life, nearly all… View Article

What if the Exchanges Are Not Ready on Time?

By John Goodman On October 1, millions of Americans are supposed to be able to go online and acquire health insurance on electronic exchanges in the states where they live. But a new GAO report is raising an issue I raised in The Wall Street Journal: What happens if the exchanges aren’t ready? Already, the Department of Health and Human Services has thrown in the towel on small-business exchanges that were supposed to allow employees to choose among competing health plans. The opportunity to make those choices has been put off for at least a year, leaving small-business employees with only their employer’s plans as options. As for individuals acquiring insurance on their own, the only states that have… View Article

Checking Up On Health: July 9, 2013

Benita DoddVice President, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd Presumed consentGenomeWeb reports that Wales has taken action to address the shortage of organs that are available to patients needing transplants by voting to shift to a system that assumes people are organ donors unless they, or their families, specify otherwise. Meanwhile, the journal Nature notes that while organ donation is a last option for many people who are facing death, new regenerative medicine technologies may in the future make donor lists less necessary. You didn’t need that kidney, did you? Maybe just a spoonful of sugar? Most voters continue to view President Obama’s national health care law unfavorably and believe… View Article

Checking Up On Health: June 25, 2013

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd A long way from home: With less than 100 days to go before the main provisions of ObamaCare take effect, there are at least 99 things still outstanding, according to Sarah Kliff of The Washington Post. Among them: opening massive call centers big enough to handle 42 million calls by the end of this year. And training those call center agents on the Affordable Care Act. “You can bet there will be lots of calls: As of November, the vast majority of Americans expected to be eligible for benefits had no idea that they would become available,” Kliff points out. Read her list here. It’s called choice? A… View Article

Checking Up On Health: June 11, 2013

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd It’s just not growing on you: Most voters continue to view ObamaCare unfavorably, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports survey. Two out of three expect it to increase the federal budget deficit, six out of 10 expect it to increase health care costs and half expect it to hurt the quality of care. The survey finds that 39 percent of likely U.S. voters hold at least a somewhat favorable opinion of the health care law, while 53 percent view it unfavorably. This includes 16 percent with a very favorable opinion and 38 percent with a very unfavorable one. Not affordable: An editorial in Investor’s Business Daily points out… View Article

Checking Up On Health: June 4, 2013

By Benita M. Dodd An involved patient is a physician’s dream. But how do you engage patients, given the looming physician shortages and growing numbers of insured under ObamaCare? Enter Americans’ constant companion: the smartphone, with all its apps. A friendly, conversational Virtual Health Assistant can guide patients through medication management, motivate them to stick with their wellness routines and more, right on the smartphone. Victor Morrison blogs in NextiIT that a Virtual Health Assistant deployed via a smartphone, tablet or PC is in position to be a constant life companion and personal coach, and the “natural language” platforms are improving to the extent that Virtual Health Assistants are able to have conversations with humans across service channels… View Article

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