Here’s a fun reminder on this day when we are lamenting our “get it first who cares if it’s right” media culture: just because you deleted your tweet doesn’t mean that SOMEONE hasn’t archived it already.
While everyone else is busy making fun– deservedly so– of CNN and Fox News for jumping the gun on the Affordable Care Act ruling by the Supreme Court, the very nice people at the Sunlight Foundation have been updating their Politwhoops blog with the deleted tweets of members of Congress. It seems like these CongressCritters are so eager to repeal SOMETHING today they’ve turned to Twitter and started pulling down Tweets that reflect the confusion of the day.
Look, I understand the need to have some kind of narrative consistency on your timeline. Kibo knows that I prune my Facebook feed like Mr. Miyagi on a Jolt bender (80’s references zing!), but when it comes to the public record of our public employees we need some accountability. Which is why this Politwhoops is a great public service by a private concern, and one I’m sure to find Hi-LAr-Ious for years to come!
H/T to Ross Pruden
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Robyn Gee on Tuesday, Mar. 27th
This week the Supreme Court began hearing arguments that affirm or deny the constitutionality of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA)—that started taking effect a little more than a year ago.
Turnstyle reached out to Young Invincibles (YI)—a group in support of health care reform representing the interests of 18-to-34-year-olds. They submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in support of the constitutionality of “Obamacare.”
YI recently released a report about how young people of color will benefit the most from certain aspects of the Affordable Care Act that will go into effect in 2014. When Medicaid expands to include young people, an additional nine million young adults will have access to coverage. On top of that, eight million more young adults will gain access to subsidies for health care.
Within that demographic, the report says that young people of color are the most likely to be uninsured—53.6 percent of Hispanics and 34 percent of Blacks between 18 and 29 years old were uninsured.
The question at Young Invincibles was how to reach this young uninsured population. The answer? Through their smartphones.
Young people and people of color are the most likely populations to use their smartphones for Internet access, according to the report, and these young adults are also most likely to access their health care through their mobile phones.
“You pull all these pieces of data together … and this web portal would be ideal,” said Rory O’Sullivan, policy director for Young Invincibles.
O’Sullivan explained that by making health insurance exchanges available via smartphone, many more young people will be likely to get coverage. Health exchanges are sites that will serve as intermediaries between the customer and the insurance company. They will allow people to compare plans side by side to figure out which option is best for them. They are another part of the Affordable Care Act, set to be implemented in 2014. These sites will also assist in determining whether a customer is eligible for subsidies.
O’Sullivan said that the Supreme Court could decide to just strike the mandatory minimum coverage provision from the ACA—in which case, the health insurance exchanges would still be put in place. But if they decide to strike the whole law, the 2.5 million young people who already gained coverage by going back on their parents’ health care plans would lose coverage, creating an even larger population of uninsured young people.
The report was done in conjunction with the Greenlining Institute, which is a research, policy and advocacy organization that focuses on communities of color.
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Robyn Gee on Wednesday, Sep. 28th
The New York Times reported today that the cost of health insurance has gone up sharply in the past year. We recently posted an infographic showing that President Obama’s Affordable Care Act is noticeably increasing the number of 18 – 25 year-olds with health insurance. But is it negatively affecting the cost of health insurance in general?
The Times reports:
Many businesses cite the high cost of coverage as a factor in their decision not to hire, and health insurance has become increasingly unaffordable for more Americans. Over all, the cost of family coverage has about doubled since 2001, when premiums averaged $7,061, compared with a 34 percent gain in wages over the same period.
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Robyn Gee on Thursday, Sep. 22nd
If anyone wondered whether the Affordable Care Act was making a difference, check out this new Gallup poll. Since the Act passed in September 2010, young people can stay on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26.
The number of uninsured 18 – 25 year-olds decreased from 28.4 percent to 24.2 percent since 2010. This is the lowest percentage since Gallup started measuring health insurance rates.
However, the chart shows that more 26 – 64 year-olds are uninsured as of 2011, hitting a high of 19.9 percent.
The Gallup report states:
Whether the overall percentage of all Americans who lack healthcare coverage declines will depend not just on uninsured rates for 18- to 25-year-olds, but also on what happens to 26- to 64-year-olds over the next several years.
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Robyn Gee on Friday, May. 13th
The new health care bill (Affordable Care Act) that recently turned one year old continues to spark debate about our federal spending habits for insurance. One of the biggest changes we’ll see in 2014 is that health insurance companies will no longer be able to deny people coverage who have pre-existing conditions.
The below infographic compares the health care spending in the U.S. to other countries between 2000 – 2007 – NOT taking into account the changes since the Affordable Care Act.
Here are some health care budget items that have changed since 2007:
– According to the Congressional Budget Office, the provisions of the laws related to health insurance coverage will have a net cost to the Treasury from changes in direct spending and revenues of $1.1 trillion between 2012 – 2021. [Compared to the$2.2 trillion the U.S. spent on health care in 2007.]
– The Institute for Women’s Policy Research reported on the state of maternity / paternity care as of 2011. [12 weeks unpaid leave is still the U.S. policy as seen in the infographic.]
Once mothers return to work, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care provides for nursing breaks and a private, sanitary place for most mothers basis to express breast milk until the child is one year old. Employers with employees can seek a hardship exemption to mandate. The employer has time to express milk but does not have to pay her during that time.
Per Capita Spending
– According to Standard and Poors analysis: The average per capita cost of health care services covered by commercial insurance and Medicare programs increased by 6.19% over the 12-months ending February 2011. But the per capita spending as of 2011, is $7,290. [Compared to $7,500 in 2007 as seen below.]
It will be interesting to see how the U.S. looks next to its global neighbors after 2014 – when the next big provisions in the Affordable Care Act roll out. For more specifics on the Affordable Care Act, check here
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