Affordable Care Act

Obamacare Health Industry News Recap: 2/29-3/4: What we learned this week

Published on March 04, 2016


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  • “Obama Says Enrollment in Affordable Care Act Reaches 20 Million”

President Obama said on Thursday that enrollment in health coverage under the Affordable Care Act had reached a new high, 20 million.
The 20 million figure includes people who have received private health insurance on exchanges, those who gained Medicaid coverage under state expansions and young adults who were able to stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26, the administration said.
Mr. Obama’s trip was intended to reward Milwaukee, which won a nationwide competition called Healthy Communities. Milwaukee helped enroll an estimated 38,376 people in private health insurance under the health care law.
According to Kaiser Family Foundation, average insurance premiums in the city fell 2.1 percent for 2016 plans.
Read more: (The New York Times)

  • “Consumer Choices Have Limited Impact On U.S. Health Care Spending: Study”

A new study criticizes the popular idea that consumers can save themselves and the health care system loads of money if they become savvier shoppers for health care services.
The analysis by the Health Care Cost Institute focused on what consumers paid out of pocket, where comparison shopping can result in lower costs. The study found that less than 7 percent of total health care spending in 2011 was paid by consumers for “shoppable” services.
“What surprised us was the percent of total spending that [consumers] could affect was really pretty modest,” said Amanda Frost, a co-author of the study and a senior researcher at HCCI, a nonprofit research group based in Washington, D.C. “Because these gains are pretty modest, designing systems around expecting consumers to become uber shoppers might not be the best way.”
Read more: (Kaiser Health News)

  • “Many Dislike Health Care System But Are Pleased With Their Own Care”

A poll conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health shows that only one-third of Americans say the health care they receive is “excellent.”
“When you’re talking about health care, we have this amazing kind of schizophrenia about our system,” says Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association.
According to the poll numbers, about 80 percent say they get good or excellent care. But 42 percent rate the health care system in their state as fair or poor.
“We deliver the best medicine and nursing on the planet, no question about it. But it requires a lot of things,” Benjamin says.
Benjamin says it’s this process of getting health care that people hate.
Things such as insurance cards, copays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs can be very frustrating and confusing for customers.
Read more: (NPR)

  • “Health Quality An Issue For Poor, 2 Years Into Obamacare, Poll Finds”

A series of polls in key states by NPR and its partners finds that more than half of adults in the U.S. believe the Affordable Care Act has either helped the people of their state or has had no effect. Those sentiments are common despite all the political wrangling that continues over the law.
Thirty-five percent of adults say the law has directly helped the people of their state, while twenty-seven percent say it has directly hurt people.
“The proportion of U.S. adults who believe the law helped people in their state about equals the proportion who believe it hurt them,” says Robert J. Blendon, Richard L. Menschel Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “On the other hand, on a personal level, most Americans do not believe the law directly affected them.”
The polls conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard Chan School are part of an in-depth study to assess the changing health care landscape in the two years since the Affordable Care Act took effect.
In seven separate state polls, approximately 1,000 people were surveyed in Florida, Kansas, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Wisconsin. A nationally representative survey of 1,002 people was also done, asking the same questions. People were contacted by telephone (cellphone and landline) from Sept. 8 to Nov. 9, 2015.
Read more: (NPR)

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