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CHRT Blog

Primary Contact: Main Office Line: (734) 998-7555 or CHRT-info@umich.edu

Welcome to 2013!

When the Affordable Care Act passed in March of 2010, 2014 (the year when the most fundamental coverage changes resulting from the ACA occur) seemed a long way off. Well, 2014 doesn’t feel so far away now, does it? In fact, for those who are most immediately affected—the uninsured, small businesses, and individuals who buy their own health insurance in …

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The Medicare Facts

Medicare is a sensitive political topic. Today’s seniors are understandably protective of their benefits, and future seniors are worried those benefits won’t be there when they become eligible (whether the eligibility age is increased or not). But for all the political sensitivity, there isn’t much understanding of the actual value of Medicare as a benefit to those who have it—or …

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A Balanced Approach to Wellness Benefits

On November 20, 2012, the U.S. Department of Human Services issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on incentives for non-discriminatory wellness programs in group health plans. These proposed rules take a fair approach to a complicated issue: how to encourage health promotion programs while at the same time protecting individuals from potential health insurance discrimination. Here’s the concern: incentives can …

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It Was Too Much to Hope For: The Fight Goes On

In an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal on November 18, James Capreta and Yuval Levin argue that states can effectively “repeal” the Affordable Care Act by refusing to go along with key provisions. They conclude: President Obama won re-election and Democrats maintained control of the Senate this month, but the states hold the future of ObamaCare in their …

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Forward!

One thing was certain in the 2012 Presidential election: the stakes were high for health care reform. Governor Romney started his campaign with standard rhetoric about repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but by the end of the campaign, most pundits had concluded that repeal was highly unlikely, regardless of the outcome of the election. Governor Romney himself had started …

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Contraception Coverage and the Constitution

In the midst of all the election coverage—the daily hoopla and scoring of who is up and who is down—it would be very possible to miss an extremely important court decision on the Affordable Care Act, regarding the contraceptive coverage mandate included in the law’s implementation rules. On September 28, 2012, in a case brought by a Missouri mining company, …

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It’s the Math: The Medicaid Expansion in Michigan

In many respects, the Affordable Care Act is a law about health care coverage. It is designed to expand coverage, mostly by using two tools: (1) the requirement for individuals to have/purchase health coverage or face tax penalties (known as the individual mandate), and (2) the expansion of Medicaid eligibility to all with incomes at or below 138 percent of …

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Asking the right question about “two-tiered” care

When we think of two-tiered care in America, we most often think of the “haves” and “have nots”: those who are covered by health insurance and those who are not. But there is a different way to look at this question, and it may take being outside the U.S. to see it that way. Going back through old issues of …

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Funding Priorities in the ACA

Much of the discussion and press coverage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been focused on provisions related to the expansion of coverage: the individual mandate, the Medicaid expansion, and to a lesser degree, health insurance exchanges. These provisions don’t go into effect until 2014. Other important parts of the ACA are already in place, and already making a …

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A Caveat on the Cheesecake Factory and Health Care

Atul Gawande’s latest article in the New Yorker magazine is a hot trending story in health care. It even spawned an editorial in the Wall Street Journal that seemed oddly confused about what Gawande was advocating. In his article, Gawande talks about lessons learned from quality and cost control processes at a restaurant chain called The Cheesecake Factory, and argues …

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