- “Republicans Had a Plan To Replace Obamacare. It Looked a lot Like Obamacare,” Washington Post‘s “WonkBlog”: Congressional Republicans four years ago proposed the Patients’ Choice Act, which shared many similarities with the ACA such as health insurance exchanges and essential benefits.
- “When the Patient is Racist,” New York Times‘ “Well”: A doctor discusses the sometimes detrimental ramifications of physicians’ instilled willingness to accommodate patients’ ethnic and racial treatment preferences.
- “Health Law Boosts Status of Alternative Medicine — at Least on Paper,” Kaiser Health News: A clause in the ACA that prohibits insurers from discriminating against any provider with a state license might help alternative medicines make headway into the mainstream market.
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- “City Life: Not Most Dangerous After All?” MedPage Today‘s “The Gupta Guide”: A new study finds that the likelihood of dying from an accidental or intentional injury is significantly higher in rural areas, dismissing the assumption that cities are more dangerous places to live.
- “Health Sec. Sebelius Speaks Women Bloggers,” AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution: HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius encouraged about 250 women bloggers to get the word out about the ACA.
During a recent Senate Finance Committee hearing, health care providers and IT vendors argued that lawmakers should delay the next phase of the meaningful use program by one year.
The program — created under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package — allows health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record systems to qualify for incentive payments from Medicaid and Medicare.
Detroit recently announced that it plans to transition its 19,389 city worker retirees into the health care exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act. The transition will shift the financial burden of the retirees’ health care to the federal government and save the bankrupt city between $27.5 million and $40 million annually. Read the rest of this entry »
- “New Jersey Hospitals Brace for Baby Boom From Superstorm Sandy,” Reuters: Area hospitals are preparing to deliver more babies than usual, such as Monmouth Medical Center’s estimated 500 babies scheduled to be delivered this month, up from 371 deliveries this time last year.
- “Can You Get Too Much Exercise?” New York Times‘ “Well”: A study based on a 56-mile ski marathon called Vasaloppet found that participants’ risk of being hospitalized for an abnormal heart beat in the next decade was correlated with the number of races they had completed and how quickly they finished.
- “Black-White Divide Persists in Breast Cancer,” New York Times‘ “Well”: Breast cancer survival among black women is about three years shorter than among white women, primarily because their cancer is usually more advanced by the time they seek treatment, new research finds.
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There has been much debate over the Obama administration’s goal to enroll 2.7 million young adults in insurance coverage next year through the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges.
With fewer than three months until the exchanges are scheduled to begin open enrollment, the Obama administration has launched several outreach strategies designed to encourage young adults to purchase coverage, such advertising campaigns, partnerships with national sports leagues and most recently celebrity endorsements.
In the Washington Post‘s “Wonkblog,” Ezra Klein and Sarah Kliff write that the Obama administration’s goal to enroll 2.7 million U.S. residents between ages 18 and 35 “is the crux of Obamacare’s challenge.” They cite polling data that shows “young adults overwhelming want health insurance” and “are the cheapest group to insure but the group most likely to go without insurance” because they are “likelier than any other group to be poor.” Given that information, Klein and Kliff note that the price difference between the $95 penalty for failing to purchase coverage and the higher cost of insurance “raises the possibility that some might choose to pay the penalty and then simply sign up for insurance at some later date when they get sick.”
In a guest post for the Incidental Economist, Adrianna McIntyre writes, “I’m optimistic that the White House will reach their 2.7 million target.” She explains that by looking at “just the predicted marketplace target population … we’re left with approximately 11 million adults between the ages of 18 and 35,” which is about a four times the White House’s goal. Therefore, McIntrye writes that the enrollment goal “strikes me as achievable, especially since [young adults’] incomes are predominantly below 300% FPL, meaning most will receive subsidies to offset the cost of premiums.” She concludes, “Even if I’m wrong, I think it’s an overreach to suggest that success of the entire health law hinges on this figure,” adding, “Marketplace premiums have risk-selection assumptions built in — what matters is that actual enrollment matches those assumptions, not the [a]dministration’s goal.”
OUR TAKE: Klein and Kliff state a commonly expressed concern that uninsured young adults will forgo the cost of insurance coverage and instead choose to pay the lower-cost penalty. However, as McIntrye points out the White House’s target goal is only one-quarter of the total target population, many of which will be eligible to receive subsidies to offset the cost of coverage. Therefore, it seems likely that the Obama administration will reach, or come pretty close, to its goal of enrolling 2.7 million young adults.
by Heather Drost, staff writer