Since the passage of the ACA over 20 million people have gained access to health insurance coverage through the Marketplace. A recent issue brief from the Commonwealth Fund reaffirms that substantially lowering uninsurance rates nationwide has also led to reductions in racial and ethnic disparities in health coverage. The health coverage gains have been most pronounced for minority groups and individuals with incomes below 139 percent of the federal poverty level.
Before the passage of the ACA, Latinx people had the highest initial uninsurance rate. Black people also had higher initial uninsurance rates than whites. Therefore, a reduction of.... Read More
During our recent visit to Montgomery, Alabama, we had the opportunity to confront our nation’s gruesome history of slavery, mass incarceration and racism, while also being able to witness descendants of that history participating in democracy, lifting up their voices to make sure their elected officials heard them – and elevating our faith in our democracy in the process.
As the nation begins unpacking the 2018 midterm election results, we will hear a lot from pundits framing Democratic gains in the House and gubernatorial races largely as a backlash against the bigotry, hypocrisy and lack of civility in the Trump administration. But if you take a moment and dig deeper, you’ll find another powerful motivator, something more personal and more relevant to voters’ lives that also drove the electorate in many red and purple states: Medicaid. In at least six states, voters went to the.... Read More
What’s At Stake In Trump Promise To Roll Back ACA Nondiscrimination Rule?
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes a groundbreaking nondiscrimination provision known as Section 1557, or the “Health Care Rights Law,” which serves as the first federal law to prohibit sex discrimination in health care. Section 1557 is critical to protecting women and LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in health care. Unfortunately, Section 1557 is not immune from ongoing efforts to sabotage the ACA: The Trump Administration indicated that it intends to roll back or repeal parts of the rule that the Obama administration issued in 2016 implementing Section 1557.
What is Section 1557 and how did the Obama rule interpret it?
If health care advocacy were a sport, there’d be no question about our defensive strategy. Much of our collective efforts over the last few years have centered around defeating threats to Medicaid and Medicare, and protecting the Affordable Care Act. Defense is crucial; defense is where games are lost. And defense is exciting. There’s a palpable urgency in the crunch to defend needed programs that piques the interest of otherwise passive spectators, and as our state partners have seen,.... Read More
New Video: Embracing Culturally Competent Care for LGBTQ Older Adults
October 11 is the 29th annual National Coming Out Day (NCOD) which celebrates people of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) identities feeling empowered to make their true selves known – to their families, friends and coworkers and in their broader communities. In 1994, October was designated as LGBTQ History Month with NCOD as its anchor date.
In the spirit of this month and Coming Out Day, the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation is pleased to share.... Read More
When Health Policy Advocacy Doesn’t See Color, It Doesn’t See Me
Our advocacy around race and health requires us to address racism as a cause of poor health, recognizing that without addressing this root cause, attempts at solving health inequities will continuously fall short. However, in order to bring full awareness to the consequences of racism on health outcomes, we must take a step even further back, and address the ways structural racism is embedded in health policy and health advocacy.
When the foundations for the health advocacy strategies that shape our policies are flawed, we build structures that benefit some people above others. We then spend.... Read More
On April 4, my 73-year-old mother had back surgery. It was a difficult and lengthy procedure and, unfortunately, she experienced a series of post-operative complications. She remained in the hospital for 12 days, and for several of those days things looked very serious. For the first time since I started doing health system transformation policy work, I had an opportunity to experience the acute care side of our health system not merely as a policy advocate, but as a worried family member.
There was a lot about my mom’s medical care that was good. Crucially, the complicated surgery itself appears to have been.... Read More
At the Intersection of Income Inequality and Geography: A Case for a Broad Approach to Health
For several decades, data has shown a trend toward the concentration of poverty and increasing income inequality in major cities across America. Take New York City for example, a metropolitan area often cited to demonstrate some of the highest gaps in income between wealthy and poor residents in the country. As the wealth gap has continued to grow over time, a distinct correlation between income level and life expectancy has emerged, with higher incomes found to be associated with longer life spans.
Even consumers who do their best to get care from providers in their networks may still be charged unexpectedly for out-of-network care – an issue otherwise known as surprise medical bills or balance billing.
Currently, no federal standards on surprise medical bills exist, but the recently updated NAIC network adequacy model act and CMS’ proposed Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters (NBPP) for 2017 can bolster both federal and state action to protect consumers. However, because both the model act and the NBPP set a minimum floor even if implemented, state-driven protections are still the most effective way to shield consumers from unexpected.... Read More
What Should We Hope To Achieve Through Health System Transformation?
This is the first in a blog series outlining Community Catalyst’s policy priorities for Health System Transformation. Each subsequent blog will take a deeper dive into one of the six areas we believe must be addressed to achieve better care, better value and better health.
Although much work remains to fully realize the coverage vision embodied in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), another aspect of the ACA—how we deliver and pay for health care—is receiving increasing attention. To date, the bulk of this attention has come from providers and public and private payers. But consumer advocates are coming to the table, increasingly recognizing that critical decisions about access, quality and affordability are being made.
I caught up with Birendra Dhakal of the BAG to learn more about the partnership, and how consumers responded to the various trainings to support them in enrolling in health insurance, either through the.... Read More