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Healthcare Reform Update – June 2012
BREAKING NEWS: In one of the most closely watched and widely publicized decisions in history, the United States Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, largely upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA) signed into law in 2010 as constitutional. The most closely watched and debated provision of the law, the individual insurance mandate, will stand, as will most of the law's popular provisions. One major piece which fell in the decision was the requirement that the states must expand Medicaid for the poor. The decision and its ramifications are sure to become a "political hot potato" as the 2012 Presidential elections heat up.
HOW DID WE GET HERE? Enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010, ACA was one of the most cheered and maligned pieces of legislation adopted by Congress in recent decades. Because of the cloak of secrecy that marked the adoption process and the misinformation that created, surveys revealed that more than half of the citizens of the country were against the law. The situation was made worse by the admonition by many members of Congress who voted for the 1,500-page legislation that they did not read it before they voted.
In the ensuing months as more of the details were revealed, it became obvious that the “healthcare reform” package contained many provisions that put an end to some of the worst abuses of the insurance industry. Advocates believed that the ACA reforms provide Americans with new rights and benefits, including helping more children get health coverage, ending lifetime and most annual limits on care, and giving patients access to recommended preventive services.
While far from perfect (as is any federal legislation with sweeping implications), the concerns and demands of special interests of key senators were also included in the bill -- and many new rules and regulations were being left to various Federal departments and agencies to draft, adopt and enforce. These uncertainties and the lack of clarity of the impact of the law made its repeal a rallying cry in the November 2010 elections.
Since then, opposition to the law has ebbed and flowed. With the Republicans in a majority in Congress and their numbers strengthened in the Senate, efforts to repeal the law or various provisions of the law began the tedious process through the legal system, finally resulting in the June 28 Supreme Court decision.
Major pools continue to indicate that the vast majority of Americans do not select the healthcare reform act as a major reason for their voting choices. The economy and unemployment are usually cited as top issues. But healthcare remains a hot topic for Americans – and will be in the future as costs continue to rise.
With the decision handed down by the Supreme Court this week, what does it all mean for the future of "Obamacare"? Stay tuned to the ongoing saga of healthcare reform in America.
Health Care Issues – Including Dialogue on “Reform”
Facts we must all keep in mind as we monitor the fallout from the Supreme Court decision:
Within this framework the nation remains engaged in one of the most heated and emotional government public policy debates since the days of the Viet Nam War. Liberals, conservatives, moderates, independents, Democrats and Republicans -- all are using the “facts” and a fair amount of rumors and suppositions to support their side of the argument in favor or against the current system and the Supreme Court decision.
Unfortunately, the debate has led to more questions rather than answers. The editors of Accountability Central are focused on bringing our readers both and even the multi-sides of the issue by presenting the words, opinions and research of some of the best minds and institutions in the nation -- well identified and well-balanced.
We also would like to hear how you feel about this subject. We invite your comments in the space provided below – let’s hear from you!
Latest on Healthcare Dialogue
September 22, 2011 U.S. firms expect healthcare costs to rise at lowest rate since 1997Source: LA Times
Companies expect to pay 5.4% more on average for health benefits next year, the smallest increase in more than a decade, a survey says. Workers, however, may see their share of the costs outpace their earnings growth.
September 20, 2011 Obama's health care cuts spread the painSource: BusinessWeek
President Barack Obama says his deficit-reduction plan strikes a balance. When it comes to Medicare and Medicaid, it spreads the pain around. Future Medicare beneficiaries would take a hit. So would drug companies, hospitals and...
September 20, 2011 Survey: More than half of seniors confused by Medicare, healthcare reformSource: McKnights
Only 46% of seniors and baby boomers have a solid understanding of how Medicare works, and half of people over the age of 60 say they have a poor understanding of healthcare reform, a new report finds. What's more, 39% of all...
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