WASHINGTON – Nebraska state Sen. Adam Morfeld, like health care advocates in many conservative states, was beginning to lose hope last year that his poorest constituents would ever get health coverage through the Affordable Care Act. “After seven years of losing in the Legislature, it was apparent that passing Medicaid expansion just wasn't politically feasible here,” he recalled. Today, Morfeld and advocates in Idaho and Utah are celebrating the unthinkable: Voters in these three deeply red states backed ballot measures in this month's election to expand Medicaid eligibility through the 2010 health care law, often called Obamacare. The victories — which bring to 36 the number of states that
Leading up to the midterms, we heard repeatedly that healthcare was the number one issue on the minds of American voters; exit polls from Tuesday night indicate that held true. A year removed from repeated attempts by Republicans to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, voters seemed determine to ensure that they, well, were insured. “Obamacare” now polls at over 50%, and its preexisting condition protections seem to have support across the political spectrum (except among elected Republicans, but even they began feigning support to avoid losing their seats). On the left side of the spectrum, there is also some general consensus — namely that more people should have healthcare, and that it should be cheaper.
The conversation may start out innocently enough, but there will be hints of what's to come after the turkey's been carved. "I love all of you, regardless of your pre-existing conditions." "My, my, you're getting tall! Almost as tall as the border wall." Then, after a few rounds of stuffing and possibly a few rounds of something stronger, someone will say something you can't ignore. "This pie is delicious. Democrat activists are funding the caravan, you know." They're not. You know that. You can bite your tongue, but for how long? Like the last piece of pumpkin pie, a fact-based Thanksgiving conversation is calling your name. (We can't promise it will be civil.) We're here to help you tackle
Jason Lewis, a Republican congressman from Minnesota who just lost his re-election bid, has come up with a counterintuitive take on the Democratic takeover of the House: It's the fault of John McCain, the Republican senator from Arizona who died in August. McCain's July 2017 vote against Republican legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare, Lewis argues, deprived Republicans of the ability to prove the critics of that legislation wrong. Lewis is being panned for blaming his and others' defeats on a dead man, especially a war hero, and even more especially for doing it in an op-ed that appeared on Veterans Day. It is not impossible, as paradoxical as it may sound, that passing highly unpopular legislation might have helped Republicans.
Across the country, a major issue in our recent elections was access to quality affordable healthcare. Hoping to provide more information on the topic, the Larchmont/Mamaroneck Local Summit, at its November 12 public breakfast, presented a panel of experts to discuss "A Snapshot of the Post-Healthcare Reform Era." The experts were drawn from business, government and academia, each presenting his or her view on where our health care delivery system is headed. The panel's first speaker, Professor Adam Block, an economist and Assistant Professor of Public Health at the School of Health Sciences and Practice, New York Medical College, started the conversation. Prof. Block, who had worked for the Obama Administration on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), explained that the ACA was more focused on expanding coverage and reducing the number of uninsured than on overall cost reductions.
Your Social Security benefits will be consumed by healthcare expenses How can you keep healthcare costs down? Talking with your doctor: Medical professionals can often help you find generic versions of expensive medications, may have prescription drug coupons to offer, and can otherwise find ways to help you reduce spending if you're struggling. Taking steps to stay healthy: The healthier you are, the lower your care costs. To stay healthy, get preventive screenings (which are often free under Medicare) so you can fix little problems before they turn into big ones. Avoid smoking, exercise regularly, and get help managing chronic conditions. Matching your insurance coverage to your needs. You
In this age of bitter political division, there's a health care reform that Americans overwhelmingly agree on — allowing the federal government to wield its vast purchasing power to drive down medication costs for seniors. The newly elected Democratic House majority ought to leverage this rare common ground to swiftly pass a Medicare drug price negotiation bill, putting pressure on the Republican-controlled Senate to do the same. Nearly 60 million Americans get medical coverage through Medicare, which primarily serves those 65 and older. The government-run insurance program pays for vast amounts of medication, accounting for nearly 29 percent of national retail pharmaceutical spending. Yet the
Connecticut's Affordable Care Act exchange, Access Health CT, is protesting a Trump administration plan that would require the nation's insurers to send a separate bill to consumers who purchase plans with abortion coverage. The Trump administration proposed changes earlier this month to how abortion coverage is billed. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, which has authority over the ACA, said it wanted to ensure that people who purchase health care coverage in ACA exchanges and receive federal subsidies to pay for their premiums and other expenses are not violating the Hyde Amendment, a federal law that bars the use of federal dollars to provide abortion services. Under the Obama administration
A Dental Connections mobile unit is parked outside Karen Acres Elementary School on Nov. 15, 2018 in Urbandale, Iowa. Dental Connections is a mobile unit that provides basic dental check-ups for students. Jenny Villegas, the school's nurse, spearheaded the program for students to receive dental services who may not otherwise receive them. Dylan Heuer/For the Register
Revel hires executive talent to lead expansion Two executives, including a founder of RedBrick Health, have joined another health-tech firm, Revel. Health IT has attracted hundreds of millions in capital over the last 15 years to try and suppress runaway health care costs. Kurt Cegielski, a founder of RedBrick in 2006, joined Revel as senior vice president. Ryan Schoenecker, another RedBrick executive, joined Revel as head of sales and marketing. “As Revel grows, we're adding infrastructure at the executive level to maintain alignment to our overall strategy and support the Revel teams working directly with our customers,” said CEO Jeff Fritz. RedBrick, which raised at least $75 million in venture
HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii agency tasked with regulating adult care homes issued licenses to many without completing inspections, according to a state audit. The Office of the Auditor examined 214 of the 493 care homes licensed by the state Office of Health Care Assurance last year, finding about half were allowed to operate with either an expired license or a license "hastily issued before all required steps" were completed. "We found that OHCA's primary objective is to support the continued operations of those care homes, not to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the facilities' residents as mandated by statute," State Auditor Les Kondo said in the report. At least eight care home had
I was in Canada this past June when I broke my wrist and had to go to the ER. They were fast and professional and the bill was much lower than what American ERs charge you just for walking in the door. Under single-payer health care, you can see the savings on administrative costs with your own eyes. When you walk into physicians' offices in Canada, they have a small administrative staff, often consisting of one person behind the counter. They don't need to employ extra people to fill out dozens of different forms for various insurers with multiple plans, all with different copays, deductibles and coverage. There are no copays or deductibles and everyone knows the rules for what is covered and
Researchers examined data on 2,876 children conceived with assistive reproductive technology (ART) and 207,751 kids born without ART in Western Australia from 1994 to 2002. Just 3,551 of these children were diagnosed with intellectual disabilities after being followed for at least eight years. Children born with the help of ART were 58 percent more likely to have intellectual disabilities by age 8 or older.
When Democrats in the House of Representatives assume the majority in January, they plan to introduce a sweeping “democracy reform” bill made up of a hodgepodge of past proposals that went nowhere under Republican control. The package includes authorizing large-scale government-funded political campaigns, mandating automatic voter registration and altering the Constitution to scrap one of the left's least favorite Supreme Court rulings. “On the first day of the new Congress, Democrats will introduce a bold and sweeping democracy reform package that will end the dominance of big money in our politics, ensure that public servants behave in Washington and make it easier, not harder, to vote,” Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., told Fox News.
Health care has been a universal topic of discussion this political season. Candidates from both parties say they are in favor of it, although definitions of “it” vary widely. But what all agree is that it has to do with access. Can I get the care I need when it is needed, or are there barriers such as pre-existing conditions? These are questions that vex patients and insurers including me in my former role as CEO of a health plan. Politicians have been talking mostly about pre-existing conditions as the way to ensure access to health care. But as a former health care insurance company CEO who now studies health care finance, I see this view as too simple. There are multiple levels of access