While business and government leaders awaited the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act, major Act implementation developments occurred around the country, including Rhode Island’s decision to proceed with health insurance standards, New Hampshire’s decision to block the implementation of a health insurance exchange, and CMS’s announcement that 14 million Americans have already been served by Affordable Care Act programs it manages, while the cost associated with those programs is likely to rise over the next decade.
AT THE AGENCIES
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services report that 14.3 million seniors have already taken advantage of preventative health care benefits furnished through the Affordable Care Act, which means they have received at least one free preventative benefit over the past year.
Regardless of how the Supreme Court rules on the Affordable Care Act, the annual growth rate for U.S. health care spending will likely remain near historic lows for 2013, and then rise at a modest pace for about the next 10 years, CMS said last week. Between 2011and 2013, health care spending is projected to grow around 4 percent, which is just over the historically low rate of 3.8 percent, but the growth in spending is likely to rise to 7.4 percent as coverage expands under the Affordable Care Act.
CMS also announced that from August 1 through September 19, the center will accept applications related to the Advanced Payment Accountable Care Organization Model, driven by the Affordable Care Act. The advanced payment ACO model enables organizations that voluntarily come together to give coordinated, high quality care to their Medicare patients, to receive an advance on their expected shared savings.
ON THE HILL
The Affordable Care Act received support this week from a subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which approved $1.5 billion of increased discretionary spending for HHS programs that will fall under the Affordable Care Act in 2013.
IN THE STATES
Rhode Island’s General Assembly approved legislation to establish health insurance standards consistent with those set forth in the Affordable Care. Gov. Lincoln Chafee requested enactment of the legislation.
Though he previously signaled support for creation of an exchange per the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch signed Republican legislation to block the implementation of a health insurance exchange in New Hampshire.
The Catholic Health Association retreated from its initial position in support of the Affordable Care Act. The association, which is the largest group of nonprofit health care providers in the United States, said it is “imperative” that the Obama administration expand its exemption for Catholic hospitals, schools, and other ministries of the church.
To view our compilation of recent health care reform implementation news, click here.