Health Care Reform to be Top of Mind in 2012

December 21, 2011
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It’s been almost a month since the Super Committee announced their stalemate on how best to reduce our national deficit. With no end in sight and the future of public health care programs in jeopardy, Democrats and Republicans alike are taking to the presidential campaign trail to discuss their ideas on how to cut national spending. The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD), in the interest of preserving and improving programs that improve health outcomes, has been closely monitoring the headlines.

 

It’s been almost a month since the Super Committee announced their stalemate on how best to reduce our national deficit. With no end in sight and the future of public health care programs in jeopardy, Democrats and Republicans alike are taking to the presidential campaign trail to discuss their ideas on how to cut national spending. The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD), in the interest of preserving and improving programs that improve health outcomes, has been closely monitoring the headlines.

 

  • On December 6th, PFCD served as the health care sponsor at Politico’s first annual P2 Policy + Politics event which honored Rep. Paul Ryan as Health Care Policymaker of the Year. Perspectives and video from the event and a follow -up Politicoarticle, discussed how President Obama is expected to use his campaign for re-election as a platform to aggressively defend the health care reform law he put into effect earlier this year.
  • It was announced this week that the Supreme Court will hear arguments on President Obama’s healthcare law over a three-day span in late March. The Hillreported that the schedule further confirms the “universal expectation that the court will issue a ruling on the healthcare law next June, at the height of the 2012 campaign,” and there is a possibility a separate federal law will prevent the courts from ruling until the law’s individual mandate has taken effect. With some of the law’s largest components not going into effect until 2014, including Obama’s solution for long-term health insurance, many Americans remain uneasy about the future of the healthcare system.
  • The New York Times reported the Obama administration under the 2010 health law, a single uniform set of “essential health benefits” that must be provided to patients by insurers will not be defined. Instead, it will allow each state to specify the benefits within broad categories, which will result in a wide variation of benefits available and offered from state to state. According to the article, by giving states the discretion to specify essential benefits, the Obama administration “sought to deflect one of the most powerful arguments made by Republican critics of President Obama’s health care overhaul — that it was imposing a rigid, bureaucrat-controlled health system on Americans and threatening the quality of care.”  The Department of Health and Human Services’ announcement can be found here.

As we look forward to 2012, PFCD will continue on its mission to raise awareness of chronic disease and its cost burden on our health care system in an effort to encourage solutions promoting prevention and care coordination. Averting, detecting and managing chronic disease are three critical ways to improve overall health and lower costs. 

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