Andrew Villegas is an associate editor at Kaiser Health News where he works on story production, photo illustrations, graphics and directs KHN's social media effort. His stories have appeared in The Washington Post, USA Today, McClatchy Newspapers, npr.org and MSNBC.com. Before joining KHN at its launch, Villegas spent two years as a political and government reporter at the Greeley (Colo.) Tribune after graduating from the University of Colorado in 2006, where he received degrees in Journalism and English. | Contact: AndrewV@kff.org | @ReporterAndrew
Provisions such as eliminating co-payments for some preventive services, reviewing premium increases and expanding Medicaid coverage to adults without children could have a lasting impact on the health system.
Democrats had hoped to extend health insurance subsidies for newly laid off workers, extend extra Medicaid payments to the states, and pass a long term Medicare 'doc fix' before the July 4 recess. But all they could accomplish was a short-term Medicare fix.
Doctors across the country find themselves – once again – putting their Medicare claims on hold while they wait for Congress to take action. For the fourth time in six months, physicians are facing a 21 percent cut in their Medicare reimbursements.
The proposal to extend COBRA subsidies to those laid off through the end of the year is languishing in Congress. So the unemployed may soon pay more to remain on COBRA, look for insurance on the individual market, go on Medicaid or lose coverage altogether. And that could further tax a health system already struggling to keep up with the number of uninsured.
Caught up in the congressional politics swirling around a pending tax bill are proposals that affect health care for newly laid-off workers as well as Medicare and Medicaid patients.
Obama administration officials, touting $2.5 billion recovered from Medicare overpayments and fraud, immediately turned to talk of how health reform could ensure bigger successes in the future.
Lou Saccoccio, of the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association, is on a mission: to stop - or at least cut down - the $65 billion stolen from the government every year.
Unless clarifications are made in the financial overhaul legislation currently pending in Congress, doctors and dentists -- as well as other health practitioners -- are concerned that they will face hefty costs and paperwork burdens.
Medical homes — where primary care doctors are held responsible for coordinating care for individual patients – are seen as a model for lowering costs without sacrificing quality.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says the tax credit offered to small business owners to cover their employees could be a burden; others say it will help them afford insurance for their workers.