Health Care Reform Implementation Update April 24, 2012

Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee marked up a proposal that calls for those who receive tax subsidy overpayments due to the Affordable Care Act to repay them, and a new study by The Commonwealth Fund shows that 26 percent of American adults were uninsured at some point in 2011.

IN THE COURTS

The Maine Equal Justice Partners and the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine Foundation brought a lawsuit in Maine on behalf of a man who lost his health care benefits while battling cancer and seeks class status for an estimated 500 others who lost coverage due to waiting periods for benefits.

ON THE HILL

On Wednesday (4/18), the House Ways and Means Committee marked up a proposal that could affect how the government implements the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance purchase tax subsidy provision. If it is upheld in the Supreme Court, the law would create a new system of refundable income tax credits that people will be able to use to buy health insurance. Congressmen have noted that the mechanics of the law may end up giving some taxpayers bigger health insurance subsidies than they are entitled to receive. The new proposal calls for those who receive overpayments to repay them in full.

On Wednesday (4/18), the Judiciary Committee got close to adopting medical malpractice legislation capping non-economic damages at $250,000. The committee recessed before it took a final vote.

IN THIRD PARTIES

According to the latest Quinnipiac University poll, 49 percent want the court to strike down the Affordable Care Act, while 38 percent do not.

A new study by The Commonwealth Fund shows that 26 percent of American adults were uninsured at some point in 2011. The leading cause of lack of insurance was job loss or job switch. The report goes on to say that the Affordable Care Act will help close these gaps by making it easier for individuals to buy insurance when they do not have access to an employer-based policy.

IN THE STATES

On Friday (4/20), the Arkansas Legislative Council endorsed a plan for the state to use a $7.7 million federal grant to fund planning for the Affordable-Care-Act-required state insurance exchange.

THIS WEEK

On Tuesday (4/24) from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., AEI hosted  an event titled "The Future of Medicare: A Reality Check." The agenda can be found here http://www.aei.org/events/2012/04/24/the-future-of-medicare-a-reality-check/.

On Tuesday (4/24) at 10:00 a.m. in 215 Dirksen, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing titled "Anatomy of a Fraud Bust: From Investigation to Conviction," focusing on a recent Justice Department sting operation that resulted in charges against 91 people accused of defrauding Medicare for nearly $300 million in false billings.

On Wednesday (4/25) at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee will hold a hearing titled "VA Mental Health Care: Evaluating Access and Assessing Care."

To view our compilation of recent health care reform implementation news, click here.

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Posted in Articles, Health Care Reform Implementation Updates, Washington, D.C.

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