Health Care Blog
- Posted byon January 17, 2014 at 1:00 PM EDT
We continue to see progress in improving the nation’s health care system, and a key tool to helping achieve that goal is the increased use of electronic health records by the nation’s doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers. These electronic tools serve as the infrastructure to implementing reforms that improve care – many of which are part of the Affordable Care Act.
Doctors and hospitals are using these tools to reduce mistakes and hospital readmissions, provide patients with more information that enable them to stay healthy, and allow for rewarding health care providers for delivering quality, not quantity, of care.
The adoption of those tools is reflected today in a release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics which provides a view of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program and indicates the program is healthy and growing steadily.
- Posted byon January 15, 2014 at 9:57 AM EDT
No one plans to get sick or hurt -- I certainly didn't -- but most people will need medical care at some point in their lives.
As an athlete, I understood the value of my health insurance. I knew that in my profession, injuries were common and could happen at any time.
It was important that I had the insurance needed to protect me in case I got hurt. It's been almost 20 years since my playing days and having health insurance is still important to me. All athletes know that a broken bone, or knee surgery can cost a lot, and medical bills can add up. But it doesn't just happen to professional athletes, it can happen to anybody. And, without health insurance, some medical treatments can cost thousands of dollars.
- Posted byon January 13, 2014 at 7:37 PM EDT
For the first time today, as part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ regular reporting on enrollment in private health care plans through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, the department released demographic information on the enrollees, including breakdowns by age.
It’s fascinating and important stuff. But we were also struck by the way in which local press stepped back and saw the even bigger story – that day after day, month after month, more and more of our friends and neighbors in every part of the country are getting the security and peace of mind of affordable coverage. Reading the headlines below, it was a bright, shining reminder of one of the big reasons the President fought so hard to pass the Affordable Care Act in the first place.
- Associated Press: “Health care enrollment spikes in Utah in December”
- Detroit Free Press: “Health insurance enrollment takes off in Michigan, nation for coverage under ACA”
- Detroit News: “Feds: Michigan experiences 11-fold increase in health care sign-ups”
- MLive: “Obamacare signups in Michigan spike in December; see demographic breakdown”
- Sun-Sentinel: “Obamacare enrollment gains traction in Florida”
- Stevens Point Journal: “Obamacare enrollment soars in Wisconsin”
- Palm Beach Post: “Florida’s Obamacare enrollment surges, as does the nation's”
- Posted byon January 10, 2014 at 7:00 PM EDT
Promise Zones: The President announced on Thursday the first five “Promise Zone” locations, an initiative to partners with local communities and businesses to create jobs, expand access to educational opportunities and spur economic mobility.
President Obama was joined in the East Room by students from Harlem Children’s Zone, an educational undertaking that inspired the Promise Zones, where he spoke about the importance of making sure a child’s path isn’t determined by their zip code, but rather by their hard work and determination. In his speech, the President mentioned how he wasn’t so different from one of the students who has benefitted from the Harlem Children’s Zone.
“If you want to know why I care about this stuff so much, it's because I'm not that different from Roger,” President Obama said.
There was a period of time in my life where I was goofing off. I was raised by a single mom. I didn’t know my dad. The only difference between me and Roger was my environment was more forgiving than his. That’s the only difference. If I screwed up, the consequences weren't quite as great. So if Roger can make it, and if I can make it, if Kiara can make it, every kid in this country can make it.
The Promise Zones, located in San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, are the first of 20 being launched over the next three years. You can read his full remarks here.
Extending Emergency Unemployment Insurance: On Tuesday, President Obama called on Congress to extend emergency unemployment insurance. Two weeks ago, Congress failed to renew the vital lifeline that temporarily extends insurance for 1.3 million Americans who are currently looking for work. “Now, I've heard the argument that says extending unemployment insurance will somehow hurt the unemployed because it zaps their motivation to get a new job,” the President said.
- Posted byon January 10, 2014 at 4:12 PM EDT
The very best people to describe what having new health insurance means -- what it feels like -- isn't me, or any White House policy staffer. It's not even the President.
It's people like you -- or your neighbor, coworker, sister, or partner.
It's anyone who woke up on the morning of January 1st with the peace of mind, security, and quiet dignity that comes with taking your health care into your own hands.
We've been hearing from a lot of you. Your stories are powerful, and they keep coming in.
Read what 10 different Americans had to say about what being covered now means to them. Then, join them and share a story of your own.
JoAnn S., Florida
"I haven't had insurance in years and my husband had a shared insurance junk-type policy. The day I signed up on Dec 10, I actually cried when the application went through. I got my first premium notice in the mail yesterday and was never so happy to see a bill before."
Gayla W., New Hampshire
"I lost my job last April. My partner and I both have pre-existing conditions so our only option was to COBRA my employer-provided plan -- at a cost of $1,676 a month. It was a good plan, but now we have a comparable plan through the ACA for $87 a month. I can't describe just how life changing this is for us. We can afford to live again."
- Posted byon January 9, 2014 at 12:31 PM EDT
January 1 marked a new day in health care for millions of families and individuals throughout the country. For the millions of Americans who signed up for health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplaces, they now have the security and peace of mind that comes with access to quality and affordable health coverage. From now on, insured Americans won't be forced to put off a check-up or worry about going broke if they get sick. And for those who already have insurance, additional protections and benefits kicked in thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
Now, it is against the law for insurance companies to deny you coverage or charge you more because of a pre-existing medical condition. And they will no longer be able to drop you from coverage just because you get sick or get into an accident. Most plans must cover preventive services like cholesterol and cancer screenings, at no out-of-pocket cost. Better access to prevention and wellness services is important for reducing health disparities among Latinos who suffer from high rates of chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure or cancer.
Andrew Santiago is one of the 10.2 million Latinos who stand to benefit from the new protections provided by the Affordable Care Act. Andrew is a comedy writer from Brooklyn who works freelance jobs in television production. Andrew signed up for coverage under the Health Insurance Marketplace and qualified for a tax credit that allows him to purchase medical and dental insurance for only $87 a month. Andrew received enrollment assistance from the Hispanic Federation, one of the organizations working to ensure that Latinos across New York, New Jersey and Florida have access to quality and affordable coverage.