Health Care Reform Implementation Update May 8, 2012

Last week, the Obama administration announced that it would likely give Oregon $1.9 billion to get a new Medicaid initiative started and that it would provide $10.4 million to 70 grantees for rural health care and $728 million to more than 400 community health centers. Also last week, Massachusetts House leaders released their first version of legislation to reform the state’s health care financing system by setting a target for the rate at which health spending should rise.


On Friday (5/4), a federal appeals court ruled that Texas cannot ban Planned Parenthood from receiving state funds, at least until a lower court has a chance to hear formal arguments. As background, last year Texas legislators passed a law to effectively remove Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from the Texas Medicaid Women’s Health Program, and Planned Parenthood clinics sued the state to maintain funding.


On Thursday (5/3), the Obama administration announced that it has tentatively agreed to chip in $1.9 billion over five years to help Oregon get a new health care initiative off the ground. Through the new program, the roughly 600,000 Oregon Medicaid enrollees will gain access to "coordinated care organizations," which are designed to help patients maintain their health and stay on top of treatments for chronic medical conditions.

On Wednesday (5/2), HHS Secretary Sebelius announced that rural health care providers across the country will receive over $10.4 million to provide direct health care services to their communities. Each of 70 grantees will receive approximately $450,000 over a 3-year period.

On Tuesday (5/1), HHS announced plans to provide more than $728 million in funding for more than  400 community health centers nationwide. Through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, this funding will support 398 renovation and construction projects at community health centers.

On Wednesday (5/2), federal authorities charged 107 doctors, nurses and social workers with Medicare fraud as part of a nationwide crackdown on unrelated scams.


On Friday (5/4), Massachusetts House leaders released their first version of legislation to reform the state’s health care financing system in order to bring health care costs under control. The bill proposes setting a target for the rate at which health spending should rise.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said that if the Supreme Court upholds the health care law, he plans to issue an executive order establishing a Kentucky health benefit exchange, which would allow individuals and small businesses to shop for health plans online and compare coverage, provider networks and costs.

In Oregon, enough health care providers have signed up for Gov. Kitzhaber’s Coordinated Care Organization Medicaid plan that 90 percent of Medicaid recipients will be covered.


According to a new report from the Commonwealth Fund, the United States spends more than 12 other industrialized countries on health care, but does not provide superior care. The report’s authors said that the cause of the higher costs is unnecessary and inefficient medical services.


On Monday (5/7) at 2:00 p.m. in 210 Cannon, the House Budget Committee was scheduled to mark up pending legislation on an alternative to the budget sequester.

On Wednesday (5/9) at 8:30 a.m. in the Falk Auditorium at 1175 Massachusetts Ave. NW, The Brookings Institution will host an event titled "Bringing Health Care into the 21st Century."

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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