Obama Enacting Healthcare Reforms
Mobile Health or m Health becoming Important
In June 2012, the Supreme Court largely let stand the Affordable Care Act — President Obama’s sweeping health care overhaul, in a mixed ruling that Court observers were rushing to analyze. (To see how the Affordable Health Act specificallyt affects Healthcare Providers, go HERE) The law, passed by Congress in March 2010, put in motion the creation of a nationwide insurance system that would sharply reduce the number of Americans without coverage, a goal that Democratic presidents had unsuccessfully pursued for 75 years.
The high court’s 5 to 4 decision was a striking victory for the president and Congressional Democrats, with a majority, including the conservative chief justice, John G. Roberts Jr., affirming the central legislative pillar of Mr. Obama’s term.
MANDATORY HEALTH INSURANCE
The court case had centered on the so-called individual mandate, a requirement that all Americans obtain health insurance or pay a fine. Republicans challenged it as an unconstitutional expansion of federal power. The Obama administration argued that it was needed to fix basic flaws in the insurance market and that it was crucial to provisions like the requirement that insurers accept all comers without regard to pre-existing health conditions.
The court’s decision did significantly restrict one major portion of the law: the expansion of Medicaid, the government health-insurance program for low-income and sick people. The ruling gives states some flexibility not to expand their Medicaid programs, without paying the same financial penalties that the law called for.
Mobile Health, or mHealth will play a more prominent role due the the increasing prevalance of iPhones powered by broadband a and t wireless and verizon, on a large scale, throughout the USA, and which will play a larger role in Medicare programs, to help decrease health costs, by keeping chronically ill patients out of hospitals.
For more background on the Supreme Court decision and hearings, click here.
VIDEO: OBAMAS REACTION TO HEALTHCARE PASSING JUNE 2012
‘THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT”
(from NY Times, June 2012)
Uncertainty Over States and Medicaid Expansion
The court ruled that a huge expansion of Medicaid envisioned in the health care law was an option, not a mandate, for states. One of the most important questions created by the court’s decision is whether states will take the option.
The Medicaid expansion is a central part of the law, accounting for roughly half of all the uninsured people expected to gain coverage, according to the Congressional Budget Office. It estimates that 17 million uninsured people will gain coverage through Medicaid, at a cost to the federal government of $930 billion from 2014 to 2022.
While upholding the expansion of Medicaid, the Supreme Court limited the power of the federal government to secure compliance by penalizing states that refuse to go along.