Health Care Blog
- Posted byon December 23, 2013 at 12:00 PM EDT
Ten years ago, skyrocketing premiums forced Nancy Beigel to choose between paying rent and paying for health insurance. She dropped her coverage and has been uninsured since then.
When she was diagnosed with cancer in 2009, a doctor told her it would be nearly impossible to find new coverage, since she now had a pre-existing condition. She pays out of pocket for her health care, but has many medical bills she can’t afford to pay off.
Nancy shared her story with President Obama, and told him she’d been “counting the days” until she could buy coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, where insurance companies couldn't turn her down due to her pre-existing condition. See what else she had to say in the video below, or watch on YouTube.
- Posted byon December 20, 2013 at 8:02 PM EDT
This afternoon, President Obama held his last press conference of the year from the White House briefing room. Before taking questions from the media, he discussed our economic progress over the last year, and laid out the work ahead for 2014.
In 2013, our businesses created another 2 million jobs, adding up to more than 8 million in just over the past 45 months. This morning, we learned that over the summer, our economy grew at its strongest pace in nearly two years. The unemployment rate has steadily fallen to its lowest point in five years. Our tax code is fairer, and our fiscal situation is firmer, with deficits that are now less than half of what they were when I took office. For the first time in nearly two decades, we now produce more oil here at home than we buy from the rest of the world, and our all-of-the-above strategy for new American energy means lower energy costs.
The Affordable Care Act has helped keep health care costs growing at their slowest rate in 50 years, and even as the Administration works diligently to address issues with HealthCare.gov, more than one million Americans have selected new health insurance plans through the federal and state marketplaces since October 1. "More than half a million Americans have enrolled through healthcare.gov in the first three weeks of December alone," President Obama said.
"And you add that all up and what it means is we head into next year with an economy that’s stronger than it was when we started the year," he said. "More Americans are finding work and experiencing the pride of a paycheck. Our businesses are positioned for new growth and new jobs."
"I firmly believe that 2014 can be a breakthrough year for America," President Obama said, offering some proof that the new year is already off to a good start: this week, for the first time in several years, both parties in both houses of Congress came together to pass a budget. And there are other areas where we can work together, he said, beginning with restoring the temporary unemployment insurance that helps people make ends meet when they are looking for a job.
"Because Congress didn’t act, more than one million of their constituents will lose a vital economic lifeline at Christmastime, leaving a lot of job-seekers without any source of income at all," he said. "I know a bipartisan group is working on a three-month extension of this insurance. They should pass it, and I’ll sign it right away."
- Posted byon December 20, 2013 at 7:38 PM EDT
I’m pleased to announce that we will be continuing our Google+ Hangout Series on the Health Insurance Marketplace in Chinese. Almost one in seven Chinese Americans lacks health insurance. Chinese Americans are also among the highest limited English proficient populations in the nation. Almost half of all Chinese Americans (46 percent) report speaking English less than very well. So, access to information on health care in Chinese is critical to increasing health insurance coverage and access to health care among Chinese Americans.
During the Hangout, there will be a live question and answer period with Mandarin-speaking representatives from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They will respond to your questions and provide information on how to obtain health care coverage through the new Marketplace.
The Chinese language Hangout will take place on Thursday, January 23, 2014 from 3:00 - 4:00 PM (EST). We hope you will join us by watching live at a local viewing party or online by joining our Google+ Hangout. You may also submit your questions in advance by emailing email@example.com or Tweeting them to @WhiteHouseAAPI. More information about the in-language Hangouts can be found on the WHIAAPI website, and more information about the Affordable Care Act can be found at HealthCare.gov.
We hope you will join the conversation – in Mandarin! Our goal is to bring greater awareness of health care to the AAPI population, so that all people achieve their full potential for health.
Ramey Ko is a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
你好，我很高兴宣布，美国白宫倡议为亚裔美国人和太平洋岛民将会继续以中文透过Google+ Hangout Series 讲解健康保险。大约7分之1的华人欠缺健康保险。在美国，许多华人的英语能力是有限的。根据我们的数据显示，百分之46的华人面对沟通上的语言障碍。因此，中文的医疗保险资料的重要性是能够提高医疗保险覆盖面并提供医疗保健给华人。
我们的华语Google Hangout将在星期四，2014年1月23日，下午3:00 - 下午4:00 (美国东岸时间) 举行。我们希望您能通过看直播在当地或网络加入我们的Google+ Hangout。参与的朋友可于Google+ Q&A问答环节以Twitter @WhiteHouseAAPI 或提前以电邮whitehouseaapi@ed.gov提交相关问题。更多关于语言Hangouts可以在WHIAAPI 网站上找到, 而更多有关医疗法的资料可以在HealthCare.gov找到。
你好，我很高興宣布，美國白宮倡議為亞裔美國人和太平洋島民將會繼續以中文透過Google+ Hangout Series 講解健康保險。大約7分之1的華人欠缺健康保險。在美國，許多華人的英語能力是有限的。根據我們的數據顯示，百分之46的華人面對溝通上的語言障礙。因此，中文的醫療保險資料的重要性是能夠提高醫療保險覆蓋面並提供醫療保健給華人。
我們的華語Google Hangout將在星期四，2014年1月23日，下午3:00 - 下午4:00 (美國東岸時間) 舉行。我們希望您能通過看直播在當地或網絡加入我們的Google+ Hangout。參與的朋友可於Google+ Q&A問答環節以Twitter @WhiteHouseAAPI 或提前以電郵whitehouseaapi@ed.gov提交相關問題。更多關於語言Hangouts可以在WHIAAPI 網站上找到, 而更多有關醫療法的資料可以在HealthCare.gov找到。
- Posted byon December 19, 2013 at 2:31 PM EDT
On Wednesday afternoon, President Obama and the First Lady met with a group of moms (and one aunt!) in the Oval Office to talk about how health reform has benefitted their families. They talked about the critical role that moms are playing in helping their families access quality, affordable health care by encouraging their adult children, family members and their peers to sign up for coverage.
Because many women in the group know first-hand why having the security of health insurance is so important, they’ve been working tirelessly to make sure that everybody in America is able to get high-quality health care coverage that provides them with financial protection and looks after them when they get sick.
“I think this conversation really drove home in a very personal way why this is important,” President Obama said. “Sometimes here in Washington, this is a very abstract conversation or an entirely political conversation. But when you boil it down to stories and people hear what it means to have the security of solid health insurance at an affordable price when you need it, it reminds me at least of why we've been fighting so hard to get this done.”
- Posted byon December 19, 2013 at 11:54 AM EDT
Yesterday, the President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama met in the Oval Office with a group of moms who have been working to encourage their families, neighbors and friends to #GetCovered under the Affordable Care Act.
Women have a huge influence on their families and are a key demographic for the ongoing effort to ensure that consumers know about the benefits they can access through the health law. Moms understand how vital it is to nurture our kids to help them grow up strong and healthy.
As a proud mother of two college-age daughters, the President’s health care law has already ensured my own peace of mind, by allowing my soon-to-be college graduates’ to stay on my plan until age 26. It used to be the case that many insurance companies would kick young adults off of their parents’ health plans on their 19th birthday or when they stopped being a full-time student. For a lot of young adults, that’s the exact time when they need the stability of staying on their parents’ health plans because they are transitioning in and out of school or jobs.
And my daughters are just two of the nearly 1 million young Latinos under the age of 26 who have benefitted from the health care law. Instead of worrying what may happen if they get sick, our children can focus on other important things, like getting an education.
- Posted byon December 18, 2013 at 11:49 AM EDT
Over the last four years at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI), we have been working with federal agencies across the board to improve data collection, analysis, and dissemination of findings and reports on Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPIs). We have been particularly focused on NHPIs, who, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, comprise just 0.4 percent of the total U.S. population, making it difficult to include them in sufficient numbers in most national population-based health surveys. The lack of reliable health data for this population has made it difficult to assess their health status and health care utilization. However, the available data for this population indicates that Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders experience significant health disparities when compared to other groups, such as lower utilization of health care services and higher rates of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and obesity.
That’s why we welcome the announcement made today that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will launch the first-ever, large-scale national health survey to collect detailed health information on NHPI households – the Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander National Health Interview Survey. This information will be collected through HHS’ National Health Interview Survey, the nation’s largest in-person, household health survey. Never before has there been a study of this scale to assess the health needs of NHPIs, and this type of survey has long been called for by the NHPI community. This important effort will help improve our understanding of the health concerns – from access to health care to health insurance coverage to rates of chronic diseases like diabetes or heart disease – faced by this community and to identify areas of opportunity for federal government to better address these concerns.
WHIAAPI encourages advocates and organizations across the country to join us in spreading the word about this landmark survey. We hope you can continue the conversation with us on Twitter using #NHPI.
Our hope is that the results of this study will provide researchers, policymakers, and community leaders with the data they need to understand and address disparities in health and health care, and provide lessons for data collection and analysis focused on small populations.
The Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander National Health Interview Survey will begin early next year, and the results will become available summer 2015.
Kiran Ahuja is the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.