The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is a federal health care law signed by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. It was a topic of intense debate over the past year, but in wake of President Obama's re-election, PPACA has stabilized — it is the law of the land and can no longer be repealed. Further discussions and modifications of the health care law are inevitable; however, some changes have already taken effect such as coverage for those with pre-existing conditions and for certain preventative services without incurring a deductible or co-pay. Implementation of other aspects of the health care law are starting to unfold. These may vary from state to state.
News and developments surrounding health care reform and related issues, during 2012:
- Massachusetts approves state-contracted agencies to oversee care of low-income, disabled adults (prepared by Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association) Massachusetts has become the first state to turn coordination of healthcare for its low-income and disabled adults over to state-contracted insurers/organizations. A new program, created under the federal Affordable Care Act, was approved by Governor Patrick on August 23, 2012, for individuals (ages 21 to 64) who currently qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid (also known as "dual eligibles"). Managed care for dual eligibles continues to gain momentum in twenty-four states and the District of Columbia despite concerns from consumer groups, patient advocates as well as many physicians.
- Medicare's Latest Cost Cutting Tactics (prepared by Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association) This article isn't just for CFS/CFIDS/ME & FM patients; it is for anyone on Medicare. MEDICARE WANTS YOU to pay. There appears to be what was a small loophole and now has become a very large one in the reimbursement side of Medicare—a cost saving measure Medicare is employing on the backs of patients.
- Barack Obama Wins: What It Means for Health Care (WebMD, Nov. 7, 2012) written by Lisa Zamosky, for WebMD Health News /reviewed by Louise Chang, MD. This report gives a cursory explanation, at a national level, regarding the next steps for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (also known as Patient Protection) in view of President Obama's re-election for a second term.
- Massachusetts selects care organizations for dual eligible demonstration (HEALTHCARE PAYER News, Nov. 6, 2012) An article that briefly reviews the steps taken by Massachusetts, as the first of 26 states that has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), as it moves towards dual-eligible care demonstration.
- Massachusetts changed how we provide health care. Now it wants to change how we pay for it. [WONKBLOG by Ezra Klein at the Washington Post]. This article reviews a payment-reform bill which will change how hospitals are paid in Massachusetts, to a flat-fee for care delivered for a specific individual, or group of individuals.
- Help for Primary Care [Doctors for America, March 2012]. A national movement of physicians and medical students who are advocating for affordable health care for everyone. In this item, physicians discuss the important role of and need to restore Primary Care.
- The Health Care Law & You (HealthCare.Gov) This government website offers information about the key features of the Affordable Care Act, what's changing and when (under Timeline), how the law will be implemented in each state (under Implementation Resources), and also provides access to the full text of the Affordable Care Act.