GOP vote on measure to cut Prevention and Public Health Fund slated for later today; health insurers expected to give more than $1 billion in rebates this year because of medical-loss ratio provision in the Affordable Care Act; plus, Colorado expands its Medicaid program in advance of 2014. Those stories and more topping public health headlines today, Friday, April 27, 2012.
National Journal – Health Groups Rally for Public Health Fund
“For example, funding for rural health programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) decreased by more than $10 million from Fiscal Year 2008 to FY 2009, but then increased by nearly $10 million in FY2010. These types of fluctuations in funding streams make it difficult to maintain and enhance public health programs,” the American Public Health Association said in one plea sent to supporters.
CNN – 7 diseases that strike younger than you think
What you can do now to delay—or prevent—problems later. “When we’re young, we think we’re invincible,” says Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association. “But we’re not.” And increasingly, diseases we commonly associate with people in their 60s and 70s are hitting two, three, or even four decades earlier. Why? Better screening and early detection are part of the picture, but lifestyle factors such as poor diet and the fact that we’re living more sedentary lives are to blame as well. Here, 7 diseases you can do something about today—to make sure you feel better, longer.
Kaiser Health News via Colorado Public Radio – Poor, Sick And Expensive: Colorado’s Scaled-Down Medicaid Expansion
Dale Miller spends his days on the streets of downtown Denver selling a newspaper called The Homeless Voice. He’s been having some health problems, but he can’t afford to see a doctor on the $10 to $15 a day he makes selling papers.
Reuters – Republican report blasts Obama’s healthcare law
Thursday issued a politically charged report that quoted President Barack Obama’s corporate advisers as predicting his 2010 healthcare overhaul would raise – not lower – the cost of care. The report, released as the Supreme Court weighs the fate of Obama’s healthcare law, was compiled by the Republican staff of the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee with input from major corporations including General Electric, Southwest Airlines and American Express.
LATimes – Pelosi calls plan to gut public health fund another assault on women
As the battle intensifies over keeping student loan interest rates low, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the Republican plan to gut a public health fund to pay for it “another assault on women’s health.” Republicans want to eliminate what they call a “slush fund” established under the nation’s new healthcare law to pay for keeping student loan rates low, and House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) has proposed taking $6 billion from the fund to pay for the costs of avoiding a loan rate hike this summer.
Wall Street Journal – Health Insurers to Pay Rebates
Health insurers are expected to give rebates of more than $1 billion to consumers and employers this year, under a provision of the federal health overhaul that forces them to offer refunds if they don’t spend enough of the premium dollars they take in on health care. An early picture of the effects of the requirement, one of the aspects of the health law that drew the most concern from the insurance industry, is emerging from new analyses based on estimates that insurers filed with state regulators.