Supreme Court Upholds Individual Insurance Mandate, Strikes Down Medicaid Expansion

Monday, July 2nd, 2012
This post was written by Cheryl Miller

On the eve of July 4th, as the country prepares to celebrate its independence, the Supreme Court issued its own fireworks when it finally released its ruling on the constitutionality of the healthcare reform law.

As most of you have heard by now, the court ruled that the ACA’s individual insurance mandate was constitutional, but struck down the ACA’s plan to penalize states that do not expand their Medicaid coverage via federal guidelines.

The rulings were controversial decisions that kept the public waiting for months, and have spawned their fair share of approval and criticism, discussions that will likely continue as the healthcare industry takes steps to implement the mandate and other uncontested facets of the ACA. To hear some of the conversations on the ruling, read our blog post on it.

Obesity remained on the forefront of the country’s consciousness with the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force weighing in with several final recommendations of its own, sparking its own set of reactions. In an attempt to prevent the complications that can arise from obesity, like CV disease and diabetes, the task force is recommending that doctors screen for it in adults, and refer those who are obese for weight loss and management counseling. But what type of weight loss program is optimal, and what’s the most effective diet to follow? We explore these questions in our blog post inside.

Speaking of weighty issues, that so-called donut hole that has plagued Medicare beneficiaries could potentially close up by 2020, according to the CMS. Data shows that over 5 million people with Medicare saved nearly $4 billion on prescription drugs since the ACA was first enacted in 2010, and 745,000 people with Medicare have saved almost $500 million on prescription drugs in “donut hole” coverage gaps, or an average of $651 per person in savings, in the first five months of this year.

And researchers from the University of Chicago Medicine weighed in on the benefits of the patient-centered medical home, revealing that while the healthcare model can decrease healthcare spending by reducing hospitalizations and inappropriate ED use, most physicians are not benefiting from these savings.

Don’t forget to weigh in with your own opinions on your asthma management programs in our online survey. All participants will receive a free e-summary of the results when compiled.

Happy Fourth!

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