Phil Galewitz covers Medicaid, Medicare, long‐term care, hospitals and various state health issues. He has covered the health beat for nearly two decades. He is a board member of the Association of Health Care Journalists. In 2004‐05, he was a Kaiser Media Fellow and wrote about community solutions to the uninsured. Before coming to KHN, he was at The Palm Beach Post and was a national health industry writer for the Associated Press and The Patriot‐ News in Harrisburg, Pa. He has a BA in health planning and administration and a master's in public administration with an emphasis in health policy. | Contact: PGalewitz@kff.org
Under the health law, Medicaid will grow to cover every American with a household income below 133 percent of the federal poverty level. A ruling against the expansion -- or the entire law – could result in cutbacks and potentially threaten the entire program.
More privately insured Americans are delaying treatment, while safety net programs cannot meet demand by those people who are under- and uninsured.
The explosion of Web- and telephone-based medical services is transforming the delivery of primary health care, giving consumers access from home for inexpensive, round-the-clock care.
Trustees of the Medicare program today forecast increased financial troubles as a result of an aging population and rising health care costs, raising the visibility of an issue that is already proving divisive in the 2012 presidential and Congressional campaigns.
But some patients still struggle to find specialists.
Quality is uneven at federally funded clinics that treat millions of poor people.
Experts don't expect the Supreme Court's ruling to alter that course.
Proponents say the policy saves time and money, but critics fear people will be discouraged from seeking emergency room care when they need it.
Hospitals say they are promoting needed services, such as cancer screenings and cholesterol tests, but they often use the data to target patients with private health insurance, which typically pay higher rates than government coverage.
"Sales calls" on doctors' offices help to fill beds, but also elicit criticism.