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“Covering The ACA May Be Almost As Hard As Implementing It”

by Drew Altman

The latest Pulling It Together from Kaiser President and CEO Drew Altman, “Covering The ACA May Be Almost As Hard As Implementing It,” was adapted from a column published earlier this week in Politico, with a new introduction added. In the column, Dr. Altman writes that getting the health reform law’s story right will be nearly as difficult as implementation of the law itself and outlines four major challenges all news organizations will face.

Read the column here.

 

Health Tracking Poll Finds Nearly Half of Americans Confused About Status of Health Reform Law

The Kaiser Family Foundation’s February Health Tracking Poll reports that nearly half of Americans either believe that health reform has been repealed and is no longer law or doesn’t know enough to say whether it is still law. Meanwhile, views on repeal continue to be very mixed and overall opinion on the law is largely unchanged, with the public roughly divided and partisans on opposite sides of the issue. However a solid majority of the public oppose using the legislative budgeting process to stop implementation of the law. More information on the poll is available on the Kaiser Foundation website.

Table Compares California and Federal Benefit Exchange Provisions

(From CA Healthcare Foundation)  How will the California Health Benefit Exchange carry out the exchange provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA)? A table prepared by Ed Neuschler and Rick Curtis of the Institute for Health Policy Solutions compares provisions of California’s legislation to establish and define the state’s exchange (AB 1602/SB 900) with the corresponding ACA guidelines.

The side-by-side comparison addresses the principal components of both sets of laws regarding the exchange, including organizational location, governance, and staffing; funding of exchange operations; product offerings; and premium collection and plan payment. 

In addition, several unresolved issues are identified. Many provisions of the federal ACA are phrased in general terms, and their implications and requirements for the California exchange will not be fully understood until further federal regulations or administrative guidance are released.

Download the document here.

Pulling it Together: Health Reform’s Six-Month Checkup – Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling it Together: Health Reform’s Six-Month Checkup – Kaiser Family Foundation.

Six months after its enactment, there are two totally different stories to tell about the health-reform law. The public remains split on the law largely along traditional partisan lines. Confusion and misperception are rampant, with more than a third of seniors still thinking the law contains “death panels” (it does not). Yet beneath the political battle lies a success story of early implementation: The federal government that many regard as sluggish and ineffective has turned major elements of the legislation into reality right on schedule.

Since the bill’s passage, the Department of Health and Human Services has set up a program to help people with preexisting health conditions get coverage through state or federal high-risk pools; established a program to help employers provide health insurance to early retirees; issued rebates to help pay drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries stuck in the “doughnut hole”; provided tax credits to small businesses to provide insurance coverage; and created a consumer-friendly Web site, http://HealthCare.gov, that rivals anything coming out of Silicon Valley (where our organization is based).

Several popular provisions take effect Thursday. They include allowing adult children up to age 26 to be on their parents’ insurance; banning lifetime benefits caps and loosening annual limits on insurance coverage payouts; prohibiting insurance companies from kicking people off of their policies when they get sick; and requiring that newly purchased insurance policies cover preventive services at no cost to patients.

Views on Health Reform Back to an Even Split (Click to Enlarge)

Still, our monthly polling finds the public split on the law, with 49 percent in favor vs. 40 percent against in September and the rest undecided. Public sentiment about health reform has shifted within a narrow band since the spring, with slightly more in favor in some months and slightly more against in others.

Read more.

Categories: healthcare reform
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