Yesterday the United States Department of Health and Human Services did something extraordinary. For the first time ever, the HHS secretary publicly overruled the Food and Drug Administration. After a careful, lengthy and scientific review, the FDA came to the conclusion that the emergency contraceptive, Plan B, should be available over the counter. In what [...]
|By: Jon Walker Thursday December 8, 2011 8:59 am|
|By: Jon Walker Monday August 29, 2011 10:32 am|
With less than three years until most aspects of the new health care law start, only 10 states have passed legislation creating new health insurance exchanges according to a report from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (PDF). The Affordable Care Act requires states to set up these exchanges; and if a state fails [...]
|By: Jon Walker Thursday August 25, 2011 8:37 am|
The recently appointed Connecticut state health care exchange board contains three former high ranking private insurance executives. From the CT Mirror: The members of the new panel include three former insurance executives, the head of a coalition of health plans for unionized workers, the head of a green energy business, and a health policy scholar [...]
|By: Jon Walker Thursday June 16, 2011 12:51 pm|
In classic veal pen fashion Families USA is working against Vermont’s attempts to get the waivers,as soon as possible, it would need to move the state towards a single payer health care system. Families USA does claim to support Vermont’s reform effort, but just happens to opposes the very law needed to help make it happen in a timely manner.
|By: Jon Walker Tuesday May 31, 2011 1:42 pm|
Administration of High Risk Pools
Administration of High Risk Pools
In a move that should provide some help to relatively few additional Americans the HHS is making changes to the high risk pools created by the Affordable Care Act. The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan will have its premiums reduced and eligibility restrictions loosened. From the Huffington Post:
To boost enrollment, Sebelius said monthly premiums, which vary by age and region, will drop in 17 of the states where HHS runs the program starting in July. In Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, and Virginia, premiums will plummet by 40 percent. Come July, people older than 55 who enroll in the Virginia PCIP’s standard plan will have to pay $297 a month, a steep drop from the current $498 monthly premium.
Sebelius also said PCIP applicants will no longer have to brandish rejection letters from insurance companies to prove they have pre-existing conditions. Instead, a doctor’s note will suffice.
Currently PCIP only provides insurance to roughly 18,000 people. This move should help modestly boast the number getting insurance through the program but the HHS will probably still need to maintain a difficult balancing act to prevent too many more people from signing up.
The ACA only provide $5 billion in funding for the high risk pools, which according to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services would be insufficient to keep the program going until 2014, if total national enrollment reaches even the low six figures (PDF). Given the both the current anti-spending and anti-Obamacare mood in the House of Representatives, it is safe to assume Congress is unlikely to appropriated any more money to the program if it ran out of funds early.
|By: Jane Hamsher Wednesday July 7, 2010 9:02 am|
To the surprise of — well, absolutely nobody I guess — Harry Reid is rolling in drug money. Tim Carney reports that “no incumbent is receiving as much air support from the drug industry as is Reid, who championed a health care bill that pads drug company profits”: Right after [PhRMA head Billy] Tauzin’s July [...]
|By: Jon Walker Monday May 17, 2010 2:06 pm|
The unfolding oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is a perfect example of how regulations are only as good as the dedication of the cops on the beat. Soon, we’ll be seeing this with healthcare, too. “The New York Times” has an article about how the health insurers are trying to game the new [...]
|By: Jon Walker Thursday April 22, 2010 10:35 am|
Reuters reports that WellPoint is under federal investigation for singling out breast cancer patients and dropping their coverage “based on either erroneous or flimsy information.” They also report that language in the House bill would have protected these women, but it was removed in the Senate version of the bill because “lobbyists for WellPoint and [...]
|By: Jane Hamsher Friday December 11, 2009 12:23 pm|
The Department of Health & Human Services seems to have been quietly promoting the “annual limit” on benefits that Harry Reid dropped into the Senate bill.