Health Care Reform Implementation Update - August 1, 2012

Over the past week, analysts at the Congressional Budget Office said they expect that the Supreme Court’s decision, which struck down the requirement that states expand their Medicaid programs, will result in 3 million more uninsured and reduce costs by $84 billion; and the House Appropriations Committee released its fiscal 2013 budget for HHS, allocating $68.3 billion to the agency and defunding the Affordable Care Act.

AT THE AGENCIES

On Tuesday (7/17), the House Appropriations Committee released a draft of its fiscal 2013 budget for HHS. The draft includes $68.3 billion for HHS, defunds the Affordable Care Act and ends HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality as of October 1.

On Thursday (7/26), HHS announced a new plan to crack down on health care fraud. The Department of Health Human Services and The Department of Justice will be partnering with over a dozen health insurers and industry groups to prevent fraudulent health care schemes.

On Thursday (7/19), HHS Secretary Sebelius announced an opportunity to help states design and test improvements to their health care systems. Through the initiative, states will work with a broad coalition of employers, insurers, community leaders, service organizations and health care providers to design or test multi-payer payment and delivery system improvements to health care systems for Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries.

ON THE HILL

On Tuesday (7/24), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said that 3 million fewer Americans will gain health insurance through the health reform law because the Supreme Court loosened the law's requirement that states expand Medicaid coverage, and the CBO’s revised budget reflecting the change includes an $84 billion reduction from its March 2012 estimate. The CBO also said that the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act would increase the deficit by $109 billion between the years of 2013 and 2022.

IN THE STATES

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is pointing to language in the Affordable Care Act that suggests if a state does not set up a state-based insurance exchange, its citizens will not be able to be fined for not participating. The fines in the law, Cuccinelli argues, apply only to failure to participate in a state-based exchange, but not a federally established one.

Alaska Governor Sean Parnell announced on Tuesday (7/17) that Alaska will not set up an insurance exchange program because it is too expensive.

On Wednesday (7/18), Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe said he is still inclined to move forward with an expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, but the matter will be decided by a vote in the Legislature next year.

On Tuesday (7/17), Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear signed an executive order to create the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange, effective January 1, 2014.

THIS WEEK      

On Thursday (8/2) from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at 1333 H St. NW, the Center for American Progress will host a discussion titled, "Cutting Health Care Costs: Leading Experts to Propose Bold Solutions."

On Friday (8/3) from 12:15 to 2:00 p.m. in the Columbus Club at Union Station, the Alliance for Health Reform will hold a briefing titled, "Medicaid Managed Long-Term Services and Supports: Are More Caution and Oversight Needed?" RSVP by noon on August 2.


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

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