Health Reform

Further healthcare reform

China Daily, June 29, 2012 Hospitals making money by selling drugs has long been the root cause of expensive medical bills for patients and the increasingly poor healthcare service they provide. The experiment Beijing is to launch from July 1 at two hospitals will hopefully break this model and reduce the cost of healthcare services. Beijing Chaoyang Hospital and Beijing Friendship Hospital will prescribe medicines to patients at the same price the hospitals pay for them, scrapping the 15 percent they used to add to the purchase price. But at the same time, patients will be charged for seeing doctors on the principle of higher fees for senior doctors. ... Further

A Good Day

Office of US Senator Bernie Sanders, June 28, 2012 The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the Affordable Care Act. Senator Bernie Sanders welcomed the ruling. "Today is a good day for millions of Americans who have pre-existing conditions who can no longer be rejected by insurance companies. It is a good day for families with children under 26 who can keep their children on their health insurance policies. It is a good day for women who can no longer be charged far higher premiums than men. ... A

The scene: From protesters to belly dancers

Jessica Zigmond, Modern Healthcare, June 28, 2012 Protesters, cowbells, drums, megaphones and even belly dancers in support of a single-payer system surrounded the US Supreme Court on Thursday, the day the high court declared the controversial 2010 health reform law constitutional. Karen Higgins, co-president of National Nurses United and an intensive-care unit nurse at Boston Medical Center, left Boston at 5:30 AM to stand outside the court before the opinion was announced. She will return to Boston in time for a 7 AM shift on Friday. Representing more than 170,000 US nurses, National Nurses United advocates for Medicare to be expanded. ... The

Outside the Supreme Court building, a colorful political circus

Both supporters and opponents of the Affordable Care Act gathered anxiously outside the Supreme Court as they awaited the justices' ruling on the controversial law. Elizabeth Traynor, Houston Chronicle, June 28, 2012 “The Constitution won!” rang through the crowd, a single yell soon picked up by many surrounding the speaker. For a moment, the masses gathered outside the Supreme Court reacted to news that the individual mandate at the center of the Affordable Care Act had been struck down. But then, a murmur spread through the crowd. Instead, the mandate remained in place, supported by a 5-4 Supreme Court decision ... Outside

More Than a Victory, the Decision Today Was a Mandate for Us to Act

Michael Moore, Mike & Friends Blog, June 28, 2012 Even though it's been a few hours now, I'm guessing you're still pinching yourself to make sure you're not dreaming. But yes, it happened. At 10:07 this morning, the conservative Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, John Roberts, not only joined with the liberal justices to completely uphold almost every single part of the Obama health care law, he wrote the majority opinion himself! In fact, he went even further. When he realized that the government had poorly made its constitutional case to the court, he went searching for a clause in their argument and the constitution that would give him ... More

25 Healthcare Leaders React to the Supreme Court's Decision to Uphold the PPACA

Bob Spoerl, Becker’s Hospital Review, June 28, 2012 It finally happened. The Supreme Court has ruled on the healthcare reform, and has decided to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, with the distinction that the individual mandate can stay, so long as it is deemed a tax and that the federal government cannot withhold Medicaid funds if states do not follow PPACA expansion guidelines. Now that the waiting game has ended, here are reactions from healthcare leaders, executives, lawyers and consultants weighing in on the impact of the Supreme Court's historic decision. ... 25

Let’s get real about health care reform

Elizabeth R. Rosenthal, MD, Larchmont, NY, New York Times, June 28, 2012

Although the Affordable Care Act will bring health insurance to many, it will not bring health care to all or control costs. Millions will still be uninsured or underinsured: one job loss or illness away from bankruptcy. Billions of dollars will continue to be wasted by private, for-profit insurance companies through inflated administrative costs, profits to shareholders and huge salaries for chief executives. These dollars could all be going toward providing health care if we eliminated this unnecessary middleman.

The Real Winners

Paul Krugman, New York Times, June 28, 2012 So the Supreme Court - defying many expectations - upheld the Affordable Care Act, a k a Obamacare. There will, no doubt, be many headlines declaring this a big victory for President Obama, which it is. But the real winners are ordinary Americans - people like you. How many people are we talking about? You might say 30 million, the number of additional people the Congressional Budget Office says will have health insurance thanks to Obamacare. But that vastly understates the true number of winners because millions of other Americans - including many who oppose the act - would have been at risk of being one of those 30 million. ... The

US Health Care Costs More Than ‘Socialized’ European Medicine

Harvey Morris, International Herald Tribune, June 28, 2012 London - A sobering statistic emerged on Thursday as the United States Supreme Court prepared to deliver its judgment on Obamacare. It confirmed that the US spends more per capita on publicly funded health care than almost every other country in the developed world. And that includes countries that provide free health care to all their citizens. ... US

Ruling Underscores Hospitals' Strategy

Christopher Weaver, Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2012

The Supreme Court's decision upholding the federal health-care overhaul helps affirm a strategy that the hospital industry had been pursuing even before the legislation in 2010 and that had accelerated over the past two years.

Hospitals have been engaged in a spree of consolidation and strategic investment in outpatient clinics and information technology, aiming to curb costs and gain more heft to negotiate with payers, as well as to prepare for the law - which promises an influx of more than 30 million newly insured patients on the one hand, but deep cuts in government payments on the other.

Court Ruling Does Not End Healthcare Crisis Or the Need to Continue the Campaign for Reform

National Nurses United, June 28, 2012 The Supreme Court decision should not be seen as the end of the efforts by health care activists for a permanent fix of our broken healthcare system, said the nation’s largest union and professional association of registered nurses today. To achieve that end, the 175,000-member National Nurses United pledged to step up a campaign for a reform that is not based on extending the grip of a failed private insurance system, but “on a universal program based on patient need, not on profits or ability to pay. That’s Medicare for all,” said NNU Co-President Jean Ross, RN. ... Court

Health law upheld, but health needs still unmet: national doctors group

Physicians for a National Health Program, June 28, 2012 Although the Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the unfortunate reality is that the law, despite its modest benefits, is not a remedy to our health care crisis: it will not achieve universal coverage, as it leaves at least 26 million uninsured, it will not make health care affordable to Americans with insurance, because of high co-pays and gaps in coverage that leave patients vulnerable to financial ruin in the event of serious illness, and it will not control costs. ... Health

Supreme Court Upholds the Health Care Reform Law

AFL-CIO, June 28, 2012 AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released the following statement on the US Supreme Court's decision this morning upholding the Affordable Care Act. We are pleased and relieved that the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Today’s decision means that we can continue moving full speed ahead to implement and build upon the Affordable Care Act. We have no illusion that the destination has been reached, and we are more committed than ever to the hard work necessary to achieve our dream of quality health care for all. ... Supreme

Mass-Care Statement on Supreme Court Ruling

The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, including the individual mandate. Benjamin Day, Executive Director, Mass-Care, June 28, 2012 The Supreme Court has just ruled that the national Affordable Care Act, including the individual mandate, is constitutional. The ruling came down on a 5-to-4 vote, and the surprise swing voter was Chief Justice John Roberts, appointed under George W. Bush. While Roberts, and therefore a majority of the court, did not believe that the mandate was constitutional under the federal government's powers to regulate commerce between states ... Mass-Care

ACA Upheld: We Still Need Medicare for All

Healthcare-NOW!, June 28, 2012
 The Supreme Court just released their decision on Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), and their decision is that all (sic) components of the law – including the individual mandate requiring citizens buy private health insurance – are upheld and declared constitutional. This decision does not end the fight for expanded and improved Medicare-for-all. We know that our community members’ health needs will not be met by the ACA. We already have the infrastructure in place to create a national single-payer system by simply expanding Medicare to everyone, and excluding private health insurance companies. ... ACA

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