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HCR Update: Round Up of National and State Level Issues

Jun 04, 2010

Health Care Reform Update

Did you know health care fraud constitutes nearly 3% of all health care spending, according to the National Health Care Anti-fraud Association? This translates to $69 billion lost to fraud annually, or over $100 million per day. Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies' anti-fraud investigations resulted in overall savings and recoveries of more than $510 million in 2009, according to data released May 26, 2010, by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. This represents a significant increase compared with 2008 and contributed to a three-year average return of $7 for every $1 spent on anti-fraud efforts. 

This Week in Health Care Reform: June 4, 2010    

As lawmakers complete a weeklong recess in their home states, Obama administration officials move forward on implementing certain provisions of the health care reform legislation. Recent national polling shows a majority of Americans strongly favor repeal of the law.  

As health care reform legislation continues to take shape this year, we encourage you and others to engage members of Congress by visiting the Health Action Network.  

Health Care Reform 

Young Adults Might Not Be Covered Ahead of Schedule: WellPoint's affiliated health plans and other insurers began extending medical coverage for qualifying graduating students on June 1, well in advance of the September 23deadline. However, many employers plan to wait to provide the extended coverage until they are legally required to do so, with an effective date of January 2011 for most employers.  

Senate Fails to Extend Bill for Doctors: Before leaving for the Memorial Day recess, House Democratic leaders scaled back health care language from the jobs bill before passing the bill. In the package, doctors who treat Medicare patients would see a 2.2% payment increase for the remainder of this year and a 1% payment increase in 2011. Extensions of COBRA subsidies and additional Medicaid funding for states were removed from the bill. Lawmakers in the Senate will vote on the bill when they return from recess next week. 

Florida Judge Denies Government's Motion: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asked a federal judge in Florida for a one-month extension to respond to the joint lawsuit filed by 20 states' attorneys general who challenged the constitutionality of the new health care reform law. U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson denied the administration's request for an extension and instructed HHS officials to respond by the June 16 deadline.  

Public Opinion 

Americans Want Repeal of Health Care Reform: A recently released Rasmussen report suggests that Americans are strongly in favor of repealing President Barack Obama's health care reform law. Sixty percent of those polled favor repeal, while 62% believe the new legislation will increase the budget deficit.  

Majority of Americans Unhappy with Reform: According to a new Quinnipiac University poll, 51% of Americans are unhappy with the new health care reform legislation and 70% are "dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied" with the way things are going for the nation.  

Looking Ahead 

Lawmakers return to Washington on Monday ahead of a contentious primary runoff in Arkansas between Democrats Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, with health care reform at the center of the debate. The winner of Tuesday's Democratic nomination will face Republican Rep. John Boozman in the November elections.  

This content is provided solely for informational purposes: it is not intended as and does not constitute legal advice. The information contained herein should not be relied upon or used as a substitute for consultation with legal, accounting, tax and/or other professional advisors.

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