Health Care

Judging The Health Care Law
4:06 am
Wed March 21, 2012

White House Preps For Court's Health Care Ruling

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., center, joins other conservative lawmakers on Capitol Hill to criticize President Obama's health care law on Oct. 5, 2011. They said the boxes were packed with petitions asking Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 10:23 am

Most of the president's speeches these days focus on jobs or gas prices. But the health care law is his signature achievement, and it always gets a mention at political events.

"Change is health care reform that we passed after a century of trying," President Obama said to cheers and applause from the audience at a recent fundraiser in New York.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:27 am
Tue March 20, 2012

How Do Racial Attitudes Affect Opinions About The Health Care Overhaul?

President Obama signs the Affordable Care Act in the East Room of the White House on March 23, 2010. Data suggest that racial attitudes of ordinary Americans shape both how they feel about the health care overhaul and how intense those feelings are.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 8:31 am

As the Supreme Court gets ready to hear a case involving the constitutionality of President Obama's health care overhaul, social scientists are asking a disturbing — and controversial — question: Do the intense feelings about the health care overhaul among ordinary Americans stem from their philosophical views about the appropriate role of government, or from their racial attitudes about the signature policy of the country's first black president?

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Judging The Health Care Law
5:12 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Florida Challenges Medicaid Spending 'By Force'

Florida's Gov. Rick Scott, seen here speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington last month, says of Medicaid, "It is absolutely not sustainable. If we do nothing, this line will bankrupt our state."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 2:44 pm

When the Supreme Court hears arguments over President Obama's health care law next week, one item on the table will be a program that has been in place for nearly 50 years.

Medicaid, a joint federal-state program that provides health care for the poor, was signed into law by Lyndon Johnson. Under the Affordable Care Act, it will be greatly expanded and provide coverage for millions of uninsured, including low-income adults without children.

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Health
3:08 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

House Votes To Dismantle Certificate Of Need Board

The Certificate of Need Board approves new hospitals and expansions of existing medical centers in the state. Wednesday the house voted 166-140 to get rid of the board entirely. The House rejected an amendment which would have overhauled the existing board and phase it out over five years. The idea was to reconfigure the board with non-stakeholders, such as not allowing hospital representatives to serve.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Forget The Robots: Venture Capitalists Change Their Health Care Investments

Surgical robots like this one are wildly expensive. Before the economic troubles began, investment in such high-tech medical devices was plentiful. Now, hospitals are looking for comparatively simple solutions to cut costs: streamline medical billing and even investing in $1 catheters that can save upwards of $50,000.
Frank Perry AFP/Getty Images

It wasn't that long ago that money flowed steadily to entrepreneurs who dreamt up whiz-bang medical devices.

Hospitals souped up their surgical suites with robots or high-tech radiation machines for cancer treatment. Cost wasn't an issue: They just got passed along to insurance companies, who passed them on to employers and patients.

But after the Great Recession hit and the 2010 health law passed, the financiers behind the medical arms race started to rethink their investment calculus.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:27 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Health Centers At Schools Get A Funding Boost

April Casanova-Rios (second from right) visits the school health center at Abraham Lincoln High School in Los Angeles with her family. Her son, Isaiah Casanova (to her right), is a sophomore at the school.
Kelley Weiss NPR

Originally published on Tue March 6, 2012 7:19 pm

Under the federal health care law, money is going out around the country to help school campuses boost health services for their students.

At Abraham Lincoln High School in Los Angeles students often visit a modest trailer at the back of the sprawling campus. It's in a neighborhood near downtown L.A. where houses are missing windows and have peeling paint.

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Health
2:04 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Medicaid Grant Money To Help Home Based Services

New Hampshire will be the first state in the country to receive new Medicaid grant money to help seniors and people with disabilities remain in their homes.

The state will receive $26.5 million over three years through the Affordable Care Act.

The goal is to help states shift from institutional care to home and community-based services.

In 2009, 41 percent of New Hampshire’s Medicaid money was spent on community-based services.

That will increase to 47 percent in 2013 with the new grant money. 

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cancer
5:15 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Specialty Hospitals Get A Favorable Vote

The House Health and Human Services Committee has sent an amended bill allowing not just Cancer Specialty Hospitals but all specialty hospitals to bypass the Certificate of Need process. All other hospitals in the state must go in front of the CON board to gain approval for new or expanded services.

Rep. Lynn Blakenbeker, Republican of Concord, voted in favor of the bill.

"We as a state should be encouraging businesses all kinds to come into the state especially when it comes to specialty healthcare treatment we should be offering all options," she says.

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The Road Back To Work
4:01 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Even When Employed, Health Care A Challenge

Casaundra Bronner, of Hazelwood, Mo., worked in marketing before being laid off in March 2010. She found a job again in March 2011 but is still uninsured and having trouble getting the health care she needs.
Whitney Curtis for NPR

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 6:24 pm

Part of an ongoing series

Zumba is a fitness craze; a high-energy dance and exercise program. You can find it in high-end gyms and even the community center in Hazelwood, Mo., where Casaundra Bronner, 40, lives.

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Health
2:42 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

A Federal vs State Health Insurance Exchange-Does It Matter?

Health Care Costs
Photo:401Kcalculator.org Flickr

As part of the  Affordable Care Act, every state must have a health insurance exchange in place by January 2014. An exchange is a clearinghouse of sorts where people and small business can go to buy insurance and also find out which tax rebates they may use to help them buy coverage.

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StateImpact
1:49 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Why Home Care Workers Aren't Guaranteed Minimum Wage

Recently, the Obama Administration announced plans to change Labor Department rules so that home care workers–personal care aides and home health aides–are guaranteed federal minimum wage and overtime pay.

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StateImpact
12:51 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Seven Takeaways From The Carsey Institute's Report On Raising Wages For Home Care Workers

By far, our most popular post to date is a map we created using federal data on which states offer minimum wage and overtime guarantees to home health workers, and which don't.

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Health
4:10 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Certificate Of Need--Is It Still Needed?

Auntie P flickr

New Hampshire lawmakers are proposing a law that would do away with the Certificate of Need process. This is a state requirement for hospitals and other healthcare facilities that want to expand or establish new medical facilities. The aim of CON is to keep redundant healthcare out of the system.

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Health
6:12 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Does New Hampshire Need Specialty Cancer Centers?

Miss A Liss Flickr

Lawmakers are now considering whether to give exemptions to for-profit cancer centers so they can do business in the state. Under current regulations these cancer centers are likely  to be deemed redundant. But a new bill would allow them to avoid what is known as a Certificate of Need--to which all other hospitals must comply. These centers would also be exempt from Medicaid taxes.

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The Exchange
10:00 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Assessing the Affordable Care Act

It’s been almost two years since President Obama signed into  law sweeping health care reform called The Affordable Care Act".  Since its passing, its set off legal challenges but also set in motion changes that have taken hold, including requiring coverage for young adults.  We’ll take a look at this law, its progress, its problems, and its prospects, as well as how the political climate affects the debate, especially as President Obama prepares for his State of the Union address Tuesday evening.

Guests

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