Health Reform Center
HLC’s Health Reform Center is meant to assist in keeping you up to date on all things health reform. This section contains helpful information and resources for your reference. For information on HLC’s involvement in health reform efforts, please see the various HLC Activity sections of our website, under Key Issues.
During 2011, Congress has conducted vigorous oversight of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) by holding hearings on multiple aspects of the law. Under a Republican-controlled House of Representatives, hearings have focused on how the health reform law affects jobs, consumers, the Medicare program and its beneficiaries, Medicaid, and states, among other things. In the Democratically-controlled Senate, hearings have focused on the lessons learned during the first year of PPACA.
On January 19, the U.S House of Representatives passed the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act” (H.R. 2), to repeal the ACA, by a vote of 245-189-1. In February, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) offered identical legislation as an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill, which failed by a vote of 47-51. The Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation estimated H.R. 2 would increase deficits by $119 billion by 2019.
March 23 marked the one-year anniversary of ACA being signed into law.
Health Reform Implementation
- On November 14, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
- On November 9, in a largely symbolic measure, voters in Ohio approved a ballot that would prohibit state officials from enforcing the ACA’s requirement that individuals carry insurance or pay a fee.
- On November 8, the federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled the ACA and its insurance mandate are constitutional.
- On October 14, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the agency was suspending Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS), a long-term care insurance program, to be established under ACA.
Budget and Deficit Reduction
- Throughout the fall, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction comprised of 12 House and Senate members held various hearings as it worked on a deficit reduction agreement. However, on November 21, the Joint Select Committee announced that agreement could not be reached, thereby triggering an automatic sequester of funds. The reductions would total $1.2 trillion over ten years, beginning in 2013, and be equally divided between defense and healthcare programs.
- On November 4, Representatives Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Tom Cole (R-OK) led a group of 160 bipartisan members in a letter to the Joint Select Committee (the “super committee”) urging it to oppose new taxes on employer-sponsored health benefits.
- On November 2, a bipartisan group of over 100 Congressmen sent a letter to the “super committee” expressing support for a broader, $4 trillion deficit reduction agreement.
- On September 29, the House Appropriations Committee released the draft FY 2012 Labor, Health and Human Services funding bill. The bill includes several provisions intended to stop implementation of the ACA, including a prohibition on funding to implement the law and several provisions rescinding funding previously provided for ACA programs.
- On September 21, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2012 Labor, Health and Human Services funding bill.
- On September 19, President Obama submitted to Congress his plan for economic growth and deficit reduction.
Tools and Helpful Links:
- The Affordable Care Act Key Provisions and Status
- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has launched a completely redesigned website for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). The website is available at http://innovations.cms.gov/ and includes an online tool for submitting ideas and proposals to the CMMI.
- Health Reform Graphic Implementation Timeline
- Senate Health Reform Bill (H.R. 3590) and House Reconciliation Bill (H.R. 4872)
- Boards and Commissions Established by PPACA
- Regulations or Rulemaking Summary Chart
- ACA Provisions Subject to Appropriations
- State-by-state fact sheets highlighting the immediate benefits of the Affordable Care Act
- A federal government website managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- The Commonwealth Fund’s comprehensive tool for exploring and understanding the provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
- Healthcare 411 is an online resource for healthcare consumers and providers. The site, offers videos, podcasts, and articles offering a wide range of health tips from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
- The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Health Reform Source provides news, research and analysis about health care reform in the U.S., including: history, side-by-side comparison of proposals, Congressional testimony, and more.
- The “Health Reform Connection,” Aetna’s health reform explainer website, has a slew of information for consumers and employers including explainers on lifetime caps, provider choice, preventive care and employer penalties.
- Health Reform Central: The Road to Implementation, Families USA’s health reform website, provides background and information on important new health insurance protections.
- Avalere conducted a comprehensive review of estimates of employer sponsored insurance post-2014 when several important ACA provisions take effect. The report, the Affordable Care Act’s Impact on Employer Sponsored Insurance: A Look at the Microsimulation Models and Other Analyses.