Monday, April 1, 2013


Moving Forward On Medicaid: More Important Than Ever, Richmond Times-Dispatch, April 1, 2013
As a community physician for more than eight years, I've seen how medical care helps keep families strong and secure. When parents and their kids can access health care — and have a way to pay for it — they are much less likely to face unpaid bills or have to put off doctor visits. Instead of worrying about how their family is going to survive, they can focus on how their family is going to thrive.
Why Uninsured Might Not Flock To Health Law's Marketplaces, Kaiser Health News, March 31, 2013
But persuading millions of people to buy insurance, even those eligible for subsidies, is still expected to be a very tough sell. The Obama administration, which will run the marketplaces in at least 33 states has yet to release any details of its marketing campaign designed to let people know about new insurance options and how to enroll. 
Using Medicaid Dollars For Private Insurance, New York Times, March 31, 2013
The Obama administration and Republican officials in several states are exploring ways to redirect federal money intended to expand Medicaid, the main public insurance program for the poor, and use it instead to buy private health insurance for Medicaid recipients. The approach could have important benefits for beneficiaries and for the future of health care reform. But the idea also carries big risks. Federal officials will need to enforce strict conditions before agreeing to any redirection of Medicaid dollars that were originally intended to enlarge the Medicaid rolls
Mental health "parity" is officially a done deal. Congress passed a law back in 2008 requiring health insurers to treat mental health on a par with physical health, covering care for mental illness and addiction no less than they cover physical care. Many states have also passed their own mental health parity laws. So why has former Congressman Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island -- lead sponsor of the 2008 bill together with his late father, Sen. Ted Kennedy -- spent much of the last couple of years criss-crossing the country to advocate for mental health parity? 
States that want to privatize the healthcare law's Medicaid expansion will need a waiver from the federal government, the Health and Human Services Department said Friday. The option of a private expansion has gained traction since Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe (D) first proposed it last month.
The Secret Republican Plan to Repeal Obamacare, The Atlantic, March 28, 2013
Republicans are doing their best to highlight and stoke the kind of constituent anger that would force Democrats to tweak the law. In fact, if Democrats come under enough pressure, Republicans believe they might be able to inject Obamacare into the broader entitlement-reform discussion they are planning to tie to the debt-limit debate this summer.

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