Allison Levy: All Related Content

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Exploring Long-Term Care & the Affordable Care Act

November 19, 2010

Next year, the first wave of the baby boomer generation will turn 65, and over the coming two decades, 77 million Americans will enter their senior years. Almost 70 percent of those turning sixty-five will require some long-term care assistance before they pass, and 20 percent will need it for more than five years.

HEALTH REFORM: Regulating and (Hopefully) Reforming College Health Care

November 16, 2010
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Our colleagues at the Higher Ed Watch have followed developments in the college-sponsored student health insurance market and posted yesterday about regulations the Administration will soon issue to largely determine the future of these plans post-reform. We are cross-posting Maggie Severn's thoughtful post for our New Health Dialogue readers.

In the coming days, the Obama administration is expected to issue regulations that may determine the future of college-sponsored student health insurance plans. The stakes are high for students and parents, as these regulations are expected to clarify the types of changes that must be made to these college-sponsored plans to comply with the massive health-care reform legislation that Congress passed earlier this year.

HEALTH POLITICS: A Balancing Act

November 9, 2010
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We all know -- even the Republicans -- that despite sweeping GOP gains, there aren't the votes in the Senate to repeal the health care reform law. Not to mention the fact that President Obama wouldn't accept repeal. But that won't stop Republicans from, as House Republican whip Rep. Eric Cantor (VA) put it, “repealing it piece by piece, blocking funding for its implementation and blocking the issuance of the regulations necessary to implement it.” They vowed to use “every tool” to “achieve full repeal of Obamacare.”

Republicans won't stop health reform dead in its tracks. But a number of experts agree health reform may look different, even a year from now. We tweeted a great Harvard School of Public Health panel on this topic Friday, and we'll recap here. At the bottom of this post, we also have the latest findings from the Kaiser Family Foundation's post-election tracking poll.

HEALTH WONK REVIEW: All Hallows Eve Edition

October 27, 2010

It’s going to be a frightfully busy weekend here in the nation’s Capitol. The time for thrills, chills … and witches is right around the corner. And, no, we’re not talking about the mid-term elections next week -- but Halloween! So whether you’re out trick-or-treating, roaming the streets as a zombie (or faster as a marathon runner) or just keeping fear alive, we wouldn’t want you to be haunted by the ghosts of great posts gone by. So while you’re carving up your pumpkins, be sure to carve out some time to read this week’s ghoulish addition of Health Wonk Review. Boo!

Your neighborhood trick-or-treaters may think Skittles and Reeses Cups are a valid form of currency, but the Congressional Budget Office doesn’t score your Halloween haul.  Sadly after a certain age, a stash of M&Ms and Twizzlers just won't pay. So if candy won't pay for health reform, Maggie Mahar over at HealthBeat knows what will.

We know that the health care system can sometimes be harder to navigate than a corn maze under a full moon. As Jason Shafrin of the Healthcare Economist explains, misaligned incentives and complex payment policies can lead to double double toil and trouble for skilled nursing and general nursing facilities.

Writing over at the Colorado Health Insurance Insider, Louise Norris tells the wicked tale of a few Midwestern insurers that are being accused of casting spells again—this time, on consumers, hexing them with misinformation about private insurance policies.

HEALTH CARE: Stamping Out Soda?

October 12, 2010
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Should people be able to use food stamps to buy sodas and other sugary beverages? New York City thinks not.

As we’ve often noted, food policy will increasingly play a large role in health policy, as we institute programs and policies to curtail the obesity epidemic threatening the health of our nation. New York City, a city always at the top of fashion and food, has already begun a public education campaign about sugary beverages. It is now contemplating further action.

Nearly 57 percent of adults in New York City and 40 percent of children in New York City public schools are either overweight or obese. The potential health consequences are frightening, and obesity rates are particularly alarming in New York's low income neighborhoods (30 percent in the poorest neighborhoods versus 17 percent in the richest). Obesity-related health care conditions cost New Yorkers nearly $8 billion a year in tax dollars, or $770 per household. (That's one reason that the city was at the vanguard of the move to require menus to display calorie counts, now a part of the national health care law.)

HEALTH REFORM: Will Health Reform be Repealed?

September 24, 2010
Stethoscope

Health Policy Program Director Kavita Patel published an op-ed today in CNN, exploring the prospects of "repeal and replace" and the new health  insurance consumer protections :

When President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, it was clear he would face an uphill battle defending the law and communicating its benefits to the American public.

In the months leading to passage, we heard cries of rationing, death panels and blatant mischaracterization of what is in the bill.

Since passage, the cries have shifted from rationing to repeal. Efforts to repeal the law have been highlighted by the self-proclaimed "Young Guns" of the GOP...President Obama should not be fazed by this or any other calls for repeal. He should do the job he was elected to do and protect patients' interests, but he will need to face a confused public...

Read the full article here.

New Insurance Provisions & the Six Month Mark

  • By
  • Allison Levy,
  • New America Foundation
September 23, 2010

Sept. 23, 2010 marks the six-month anniversary of enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. A number of new insurance protections will be effective for all health insurance plans beginning on or after Sept. 23, 2010, marking the next phase of health care reform implementation.

Over time, all consumers will benefit from the provisions in the new health care reform law; however, depending on an individual’s specific employer, insurance plan, and existing state regulations, the benefits will be felt at different times and to a different extent.

PODCAST: Debuting the New Health Frequency

September 20, 2010
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September 23rd marks the six month anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. A number of new insurance protections will become effective for all plans beginning on or after September 23rd, marking the next phase of health care reform implementation. This includes extending dependent coverage for young adults, banning insurance rescissions, no cost sharing for certain preventive care, a new insurance claims and appeals process, the elimination of lifetime coverage limits and a prohibition on denying coverage of children under 19 with pre-existing conditions.

How do these new provisions affect grandfathered health plans? When will average American families feel the benefits of these new changes? Why are we still experiencing double digit premium rate increases? When and how do I put my 25 year old back on my insurance plan?

In the first New Health Frequency podcast, the New America Foundation’s Health Policy Program Director, Dr. Kavita Patel, explains the benefits and limitations of the next wave of health reform.

Download the mp3

The Next Wave of Health Reform

September 20, 2010

September 23rd marks the six month anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. A number of new insurance protections will become effective for all plans beginning on or after September 23rd, marking the next phase of health care reform implementation. This includes extending dependent coverage for young adults, banning insurance rescissions, no cost sharing for certain preventive care, a new insurance claims and appeals process, the elimination of lifetime coverage limits and a prohibition on denying coverage of children under 19 with pre-existing conditions.

COVERAGE: Recession Causes Drop in 2009 Health Coverage Continued

September 20, 2010
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According to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau's annual report on income, poverty and health insurance, the number of people without health insurance increased to 16.7 percent in 2009, up from 15.4 percent in 2008 -- the first time the number of people with health insurance dropped since record-keeping began in 1987.

“The numbers show us that one in six Americans don’t have health care, and that number is largely due to people losing their jobs,” explained the New America Foundation’s Health Policy Program Director, Kavita Patel, in an interview with WTOP. “What health reform will do, although it will take a couple of more years to see some of these changes, is give people some options to buy insurance that is affordable.”

“I know that talk of repeal is something that sounds very interesting as a campaign slogan or a sound bite,” Dr. Patel continued, “but that is not really going to solve the problem. The irony of all of this is that the same things that are distressing us with these numbers that came out today are the very things that we passed health reform to solve.”

Listen to the full interview here.

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