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UNPRECEDENTED ALLIANCE OF HEALTH CARE LEADERS ANNOUNCES HISTORIC AGREEMENT TO HELP REDUCE THE NUMBERS OF AMERICA'S UNINSURED
Proposal includes balanced approach to expand health care coverage, starting with children
Diverse organizations that have often opposed each other on federal health policies forge consensus, vow to work together for immediate congressional action
Washington, D.C. - Most of the nation's largest health care organizations today announced that they have agreed on a proposal that would significantly expand health coverage for America's almost 47 million uninsured, starting immediately with expanded coverage for children in 2007. Calling itself the Health Coverage Coalition for the Uninsured (HCCU), the group is made up of 16 influential, national organizations that have played leading roles in every federal health policy debate of the last 30 years, often on opposing sides. Despite their divergent political and ideological views, the groups today committed to immediately and jointly press lawmakers to act on their historic, two-phased consensus proposal.
The agreement includes a balance of private and public initiatives and is the culmination of lengthy meetings among the groups over approximately two years. It allows the new Congress to begin its work on health coverage from a proposal that already has the agreement of diverse advocates.
"This historic agreement transcends traditional political and ideological boundaries to break the gridlock about expanded health coverage for the uninsured," said Ron Pollack, executive director, Families USA. "Our unprecedented agreement and coalition should serve as a model for Congress and the President to see that health coverage is expanded to as many people as possible as quickly as possible - starting with America's children this year."
HCCU participating organizations include AARP, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, American Public Health Association, America's Health Insurance Plans, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Catholic Health Association, Families USA, Federation of American Hospitals, Healthcare Leadership Council, Johnson & Johnson, Kaiser Permanente, Pfizer Inc., United Health Foundation and U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
"Reaching consensus is a long and sometimes difficult process, but every participating group put the interests of America's uninsured first - even when doing so meant walking away from certain long-held positions," said Scott P. Serota, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association president and CEO. "With such divergent political ideologies, it is unprecedented for these groups to have a joint agreement. Helping the millions of Americans who do not have health insurance is an issue that needs to transcend politics and partisanship, and that is why we worked together to give Congress a starting point that we can all support."
With Congress scheduled to consider the reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) in the coming months, the proposal could have an immediate impact. Its first phase is a "Kids First Initiative" to allow parents to more easily enroll their children in public programs, like SCHIP and Medicaid. It calls for a "one-stop shopping" system whereby low-income families could enroll uninsured children in SCHIP or Medicaid at the same time as they apply for other public programs, like reduced-cost lunches or food stamps. The proposal would provide states with the additional funds needed to enroll eligible children. HCCU members believe this could help up to six million uninsured children who are eligible for, but not enrolled in, public insurance programs.
The proposal also calls for a new tax credit to help families cover some of the cost of providing private health insurance for their children. Eligible families could earn up to three times the federal poverty level (about $60,000 annually for a family of four). The tax credits would be refundable and advanceable.
The HCCU organizations also propose a competitive grant program to enable states to experiment with new, innovative approaches to expand health coverage.
The second phase of the coalition's proposal focuses on uninsured adults. It would give states the flexibility and funds to expand Medicaid eligibility to cover all adults with incomes below the federal poverty level, millions of whom are currently ineligible for public coverage. For those with higher incomes between 100 and 300 percent of the federal poverty level, a refundable, advanceable tax credit would be established to help individuals cover the costs of private insurance.
Census figures show more than one in seven Americans were uninsured in 2005. Studies show the uninsured are often unable to receive the primary and preventive care that they need. The Institute of Medicine estimates approximately 18,000 people die each year from diseases that would have been treatable or preventable if they had health coverage.
A number of other organizations worked closely with the coalition throughout its deliberation process, including the Heritage Foundation, National Association of Counties, National Conference of State Legislatures, National Governors Association and Project HOPE.
The HCCU Consensus-Building process was organized and conducted as a project of Search for Common Ground-U.S. Consensus Council, in partnership with the Meridian Institute. The organizations fashioned a unique approach for bringing diverse organizations together on public policy issues. The Economic and Social Research Institute and the Lewin Group provided research and analytical support.
Funding for the coalition's work was provided by the participating organizations, with additional support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Ascension Health, the Rapoport Foundation, The Colorado Health Foundation and The California Endowment.
The HCCU consensus agreement, as well as additional information about HCCU is available at www***alitionfortheuninsured****.
Cavuto Battles the Health Care Jihad
Romney: Conservative Principles in Health Care
*******live.pirillo**** - The gang joined me again for videos last night. Microsoft's announcement that they are going to have an online "vault" for health care records was definitely a hot topic.
Hillary Clinton wonders whether Barack Obama is going to leave cancer patients out of his universal health care plan.
Title: Hillary Clinton's Tasteless Attack on Barack Obama's Health Care Plan.
Keywords: Hillary Clinton, attack, health care, Barack Obama, negative, aggressive, cancer patient, mandate, universal, moral values.
*******www.globalchange**** Future of health care, latest research into cancer, stroke, heart disease, ageing. Longer more active lives and the end of formal retirement age. The new stages of life. Keeping in step with your biological clock. How your brain repairs itself every day. How your bone marrow cells can help heal your own heart. Why some animals don't age in the normal way. How adult stem cells could cure blindness from macular degeneration. The future of hospitals and clinics, pharmaceutical industry and wellbeing. How older people will dominate decisions about health care and government health planning. Contrasts between wealthy and poor, rationing and health financing. Keynote conference speaker Dr Patrick Dixon, addressing AARP national leaders. This video is in 3 parts on YouTube. Science of ageing. How to stop getting old. Medical research into physiology of ageing. How cells get old. Tissue regeneration of heart, muscle, retina, spine, brain and other organs. Repair of tissue damage. Organ regeneration. Cure for blood pressure? New facelift therapy? Humpback whales, Rockfish Project and slow ageing in turtles and parrots. Human impact of anti-aging therapy. Social impact of living longer. Impact on longevity forecasts for life insurance and pensions risk. Cure for deafness and cure for macular degeneration.
Update: Partial vindication from AP - the last five weeks, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York has featured in her campaign stump speeches the story of a health care horror: an uninsured pregnant woman who lost her baby and died herself after being denied care by an Ohio hospital because she could not come up with a $100 fee.
The woman, Trina Bachtel, did die last August, two weeks after her baby boy was stillborn at O'Bleness Memorial Hospital in Athens, Ohio. But hospital administrators said Friday that Ms. Bachtel was under the care of an obstetrics practice affiliated with the hospital, that she was never refused treatment and that she was, in fact, insured."
"Linda M. Weiss, a spokeswoman for the not-for-profit hospital, said the Clinton campaign had never contacted the hospital to check the accuracy of the story, which Mrs. Clinton had first heard from a Meigs County, Ohio, sheriff's deputy in late February."
This is video of Hillary Clinton telling the story in Wyoming on March 8, 2008.
Digg the story at jedreport****:
Senior Home Health Care Services in Dayton Ohio fits many profiles and has different needs. As an adult, the type of home health care needed for your aging or disabled loved one is on your mind. As a senior, home care is an option that will keep you independent. An Independent lifestyle fosters dignity and a sense of purpose. A helping hand may be all you need to maintain your independence in your own home. Senior Home Health Care Services in Dayton Ohio is a great alternative to assisted living and long term care facilities.
Reflecting the growing concern over health care costs and economic issues, American workers' confidence in being able to afford a comfortable retirement decreased over the past year by a rate unmatched in the 18 years of the Retirement Confidence Survey® (RCS), according to just-released survey results.
The percentage of workers who are very confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement decreased sharply, from 27 percent in 2007 to 18 percent in 2008, the biggest one-year drop in the 18-year history of the RCS. Retiree confidence in having a financially secure retirement also decreased, from 41 percent to 29 percent, a drop of 12 percentage points.
Decreases in confidence occurred across all age groups and income levels but was particularly acute among younger workers and those with lower income. The RCS was conducted by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), and full results are online at www.ebri****/surveys/rcs/2008.
American Psychiatric Association (APA) Releases Study that Reveals Stigma Still a Hurdle for Military Personnel and Families in Need of Mental Health Care
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The Shifting Landscape of Health Care Fraud and Regulatory Compliance
Regulators Increase Scrutiny As Health Care Costs Consume Higher Share of GDP.
As health care costs continue to accelerate and consume an ever-higher percentage of GDP, federal and state regulators are ratcheting up efforts to find fraud. According to the Deloitte Forensic Center, criminal investigations, civil investigations, civil penalties and criminal convictions are all on the rise. The threat of treble damages, higher rewards for whistleblowers and more sophisticated "data mining" techniques give regulators more weapons in their fraud-fighting arsenal.
Both for-profit and non-profit health care providers need to be alert to recent shifts in the regulatory environment that are making robust, top-to-bottom compliance with federal and state fraud laws and regulations more critical than ever.
To view Multimedia News Release, go to *******www.prnewswire****/mnr/deloitte/32650/