Health Care Blog
- Posted byon January 23, 2014 at 2:15 PM EDT
Far too often before the Affordable Care Act came into effect, health insurance did not provide peace of mind – it provided anxiety, panic, and dread. Up to 129 million Americans – that’s nearly one in two people – could be discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition like heart disease, diabetes, or cancer, or for that matter pregnancy or even something as ridiculous as acne.
And for the rest of Americans, they knew that coming down with any illness could mark them with that scarlet letter, where they could be unable to get affordable coverage, be trapped in a job, or even be dropped from their coverage because they got sick and have nowhere to turn. As the Vice President said in a speech to this morning, every family was one job loss or one illness away from seeing the worst of the insurance system – “There but for the grace of God.” Just consider some of these headlines – from before the health care law’s provisions took effect:
- From The Washington Post in 2009: "Acne, Pregnancy Among Disqualifying Conditions"
- From USA Today in 2007: "People Left Holding Bag When Policies Revoked"
- From The New York Times in 2004: "Cost of Benefits Cited as Factor in Slump in Jobs”
- And in 2002: "Hard Decisions for Employers as Costs Soar in Health Care"
Those headlines weren’t flukes, they were emblematic of broad, systemic problems. That’s why we put together this presentation as a reminder of what we’ve left behind now that the Affordable Care Act has come into full effect. You can also find a lot of that same information in this shareable infographic.
- Posted byon January 23, 2014 at 12:25 PM EDT
Next Tuesday, President Obama will deliver his fifth State of the Union address to members of Congress and to the American people. Later that week, President Obama will take a virtual road trip across the country via Google+ Hangouts to discuss the issues and policies laid out in the speech with citizens joining from around the country.
Want to come along for the ride? Here’s how you can participate:
- Record your video question now. Record a 60-second video question for the opportunity to participate in the Hangout Road Trip with the President. Be sure to include your name, location, a bit about yourself and the question you’d like to ask. Then, post it on YouTube or Google+ with the hashtag #AskObama2014.
- Watch the enhanced State of Union. Tune in to Whitehouse.gov on January 28th at 9pm ET to watch President Obama's address live and enhanced with data, graphs and charts that explain the policies and issues he'll be discussing in the speech.
- Join the Hangout Road Trip. Everyone is invited to tune-in for the first-ever Presidential Hangout Road Trip on Friday, January 31st. You can watch it all live on the White House YouTube page, Google+ and on WhiteHouse.gov/SOTU.
- Posted byon January 23, 2014 at 12:07 PM EDT
Our Chinese in-language Hangout will take place today, Thursday, January 23, 2014 from 3:00 - 4:00 PM (EST). We hope you will join the conversation – in Chinese (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. Join our Google hangout here.
Maria Pastrana Lujan is an Outreach Advisor at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
汉语Google Hangout将于2014年1月23日星期四，3:00-4:00 PM 美国东岸时间举行。我们希望您可以参与这次重要的交流！我们的目的是将健康保险知识带到亚裔美国人和太平洋岛民的团体，以至所有人民可以活得健康。(在此加入Googlehangout.)
Maria Pastrana Lujan:白宫亚裔美国人和太平洋岛民事务处对外联络顾问。
漢語Google Hangout將於2014年1月23日星期四，3:00-4:00 PM 美國東岸時間舉行。我們希望您可以參與這次重要的交流！我們的目的是將健康保險知識帶到亞裔美國人和太平洋島民的團體，以至所有人民可以活得健康。(在此加入Googlehangout.)
Maria Pastrana Lujan: 白宫亞裔美國人和太平洋島民事務處对外聯繫顾问。
- 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”