We have reams of data showing that people’s views of the Affordable Care Act largely align with their political view – Republicans hate it, Democrats like it (but by and large don’t love it.) That’s been a consistent finding in national polls and it’s particularly clear in the monthly Kaiser Family Foundation tracking polls.
What about doctors? Are their personal politics also coloring their view of the law passed six years ago? Apparently – yes, at least among primary care doctors and nurse practitioners. Continue reading
Many of us spend time fact-checking what political candidates say during the debates.
But sometimes we need to fact-check the moderators (or perhaps the TV producers who help create questions outside a moderator’s area of expertise).
Witness the last month’s debate among candidates for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. Most of it was focused on foreign policy, but there were a few health care questions. At one point, moderator Martha Raddatz noted that health insurance premiums had risen 27 percent in five years. She then asked Hillary Clinton how she would fix the Affordable Care Act: Continue reading
As the race toward the 2016 election gradually takes over more and more media coverage, Americans’ attention will be pulled toward the issues that dominate the election.
In some cases, unexpected issues will take center stage, if briefly, following a campaign trail speech or an organized debate. And sometimes, these issues will have a connection to medical research, so journalists need to be ready. Continue reading
Come January, the Republicans will have big majorities in the House and the Senate – majorities they have not had since President Obama took office or since the Affordable Care Act was passed along party lines in 2010.
Now what? Even the Republicans are figuring that out – but here’s some of what we know.
The Senate and the House will both have ACA repeal votes. Such a vote will win overwhelmingly in the House and, in the Senate, the Republican majority is also expected to vote against the ACA (or for a procedural motion related to a straight out repeal vote) but it will still fall short of the 60 needed to clear a filibuster.
The election is over. Obamacare survived.
So what’s the story in your state or community?
Implementation. Or lack thereof.
So here’s an overview of where things stand in D.C. – and what it means for the health beat.
(Soon we will post a short separate item on the new state insurance exchange deadlines. If your state wants to run its own exchange, the deadline is still Nov. 16. They have more time to fill in the details though.)
The Affordable Care Act will not be repealed. Maybe the House will still hold a few symbolic repeal votes, but it’s not going to be repealed. That does not mean that critics of the law won’t try to dismantle parts of it. Some likely targets include the Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board and some of the industry taxes, particularly the medical device tax. Watch your own legislators to see where they go on this—if you are in a state or district with a medical device industry, watch the Democrats as well as the Republicans (and the medical device businesses themselves). Ask them how they want to offset the funding; if they eliminate one of the taxes that paid for the coverage expansion, where do they want to get that money instead? Adding to the deficit isn’t going to go over as a solution.
The law’s funding is vulnerable. How vulnerable and which parts? Hard to say yet. But for what it’s worth, #DEFUND is the new Twitter rallying cry for opponents of the law (some of whom do not seem to realize that the Republican House can’t act unilaterally … but I digress). There will be ample opportunities for Republicans to try to take a whack at this, not just through the annual budget and appropriations process but through the lame duck session of Congress getting under way this week that will try to find a way of averting, at least temporarily, the fiscal cliff. Continue reading