Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mid-week update

The FEHBlog ran across this survey of doctors conducted by HCPlexus and Thomson Reuters. According to the executive summary,

Sixty-five percent of respondents believe that the quality of health care in the country will deteriorate in the near term. Many cited political reasons, anger directed at insurance companies, and critiques of the reform act – some articulating the strong feelings they have regarding the negative effects they expect from the PPACA ["the Affordable Care Act"].
Wow.  This afternoon, according to an LA Times report, the House voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act with all Republicans and three Democrats supporting the measure. The Senate Majority Leader has promised that the House bill will not be considered by the Senate and of course if lightening were to strike and the Senate passed the bill, then the President would veto it. So this is the start of the political process leading up to the 2012 Presidential election.

Another outcome of the 2010 elections is that the number of states participating in the Florida lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Affordable Care Act has risen from 20 to 26 according to an AP report. The judge in that case heard oral arguments on December 17 and is expected to render a decision within the next month or so. Virginia has filed its own lawsuit. The government appealed the decision of the judge in that case holding the Act's individual mandate unconstitutional according to Reuters. The Washington Post is tracking all of the cases challenging the Act's constitutionality here.

The Affordable Care Act, as interpreted by the Act's regulators in a June 28 interim final rule, requires non-grandfathered health plans to cover certain preventive services without any enrollee cost sharing when the services are provided on an in-network basis. All FEHB plans, whether or not grandfathered, are adhering to this requirement for 2011. The adult preventive services within the ambit of this requirement are those services graded "A" or "B" by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. An article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal explains how a preventive service makes the grade. It's always interesting to peer behind the curtain.

No comments: