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Monday, July 1, 2013

Affordable Care Act Update

Americans are more negative than positive about the healthcare law's future impact on their family and on the U.S. in general. Forty-two percent say that in the long run, the law will make their family's healthcare situation worse; 22% say it will make it better. And almost half believe the law will make the healthcare situation in the U.S. worse; 34% say it will make it better.
These data are from a June 20-24 Gallup poll, conducted as the Obama administration and its supporters are trying to raise awareness of the Affordable Care Act. A new nonprofit group, Enroll America, just launched a campaign, "Get Covered America," to help the uninsured in particular learn about the new law and how to sign up for health coverage, which everyone is required to carry starting in 2014.
Gallup also reports:
The vast majority of Americans, 81%, say they are aware of the 2010 Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) requirement that most Americans must carry health insurance or pay a fine. Americans who are currently uninsured -- those most directly affected by this requirement -- are much less likely to be aware of the provision, with 56% saying they know about it and 43% saying they are unaware.
With roughly six months to go before Americans are required to carry health insurance, slightly more than half of the uninsured population is aware of that requirement. Making sure the uninsured are aware of the health insurance requirement and getting them onto a health plan by the end of the year is an important goal for the Obama administration and crucial to the ACA's success. One of the hurdles these efforts must overcome will be the perception of the uninsured that they cannot afford health insurance, the main reason they give for not having it.
Loren Heal writes at The Heartland Institute:
The Los Angeles Unified School District will use a state grant to train teens to promote ObamaCare to family members. Covered California, the state's health insurance exchange, announced grants of $37 million on May 14 to promote the nationally unpopular law.

LAUSD will receive $990,000. The district listed as a primary outcome for its project, “Teens trained to be messengers to family members.”

Covered California spokeswoman Sarah Soto-Taylor said staff have not questioned this goal.

“We have confidence that the model LA Unified brought to the table will be successful in reaching our target population, which includes family members of students,” she said.

LAUSD will also use tax-paid staff to promote ObamaCare through phone calls to students’ homes, in-class presentations, and meetings with employees eligible for ObamaCare’s taxpayer-covered healthcare, the grant award says.

One in three Los Angeles students never graduates high school.
Paul Bond writes at The Hollywood Reporter about the law's impact on the entertainment industry:
One of the unintended consequences, say some industry insiders, is that it could lead to productions running to foreign countries, given that ACA doesn't apply to U.S. citizens working abroad. Some also say the number of production days in the U.S. are likely to be cut due to ACA because there's a 90-day waiting period before productions must either pay a penalty or offer health insurance to full-time workers. That rule provides big incentives for a production to wrap in less than three months. While big-budget movies and season-long TV shows might not have such a luxury, smaller films or TV pilots could easily rush their schedules to make sure they come in at under 90 days.
But like much about ACA, the 90-day rule is subject to interpretation, says Daniel Cox, controller of payroll-services company PES Payroll. "Historically, if an employer had a 90-day wait period," says Cox, "the benefits would kick in on the first day of the fourth full month of employment. Thus, that 90-day wait period was, in reality, as long as 119 days. The ACA is unclear on this. Does 90 days mean 90 days? If so, it really means 60 days."