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Public Policy is social agreement written down as a universal guide for social action. We at The Policy ThinkShop share information so others can think and act in the best possible understanding of "The Public Interest."

Five million families and children will now sleep a little easier. How will the new Latino/Hispanic immigrant status impact healthcare policy?

Being “in the shadows” has long been a healthcare access issue.  The broken healthcare system has been aggravated by a broken immigration system. Immigration and healthcare are tied together in many ways, especially for the economically disadvantaged.

According to the New York Times:

What Is President Obama’s Immigration Plan?

President Obama announced on Thursday evening a series of executive actions to grant up to five million unauthorized immigrants protection from deportation. The president is also planning actions to direct law enforcement priorities toward criminals, allow high-skilled workers to move or change jobs more easily, and streamline visa and court procedures, among others. NOV. 20, 2014 RELATED ARTICLE

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Who could be affected?

The president’s plan is expected to affect up to five million of the nation’s unauthorized immigrant population, currently 11.4 million according to the Migration Policy Institute. It would create a new program of deferrals for approximately 3.7 undocumented parents of American citizens or legal permanent residents who have been in the country for at least five years. Deferrals would include authorization to work and would be granted for three years at a time.

It would also expand a program created by the administration in 2012 called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which allows young people who were brought into the country as children to apply for deportation deferrals and work permits. The plan would extend eligibility to people who entered the United States as children before January 2010 (the cutoff is currently June 15, 2007). It would also increase the deferral period to three years from two years and eliminate the requirement that applicants be under 31 years old. About 1.2 million young immigrants are currently eligible, and the new plan would expand eligibility to approximately 300,000 more.

It would not provide a path to full legal status or benefits under the Affordable Care Act. Officials have said that the president’s plan will not provide specific protection for farm workers or parents of DACA-eligible immigrants.

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Filed under: ACA and Medicaid, Blogosphere, Data Trends - American Demographics and Public Opinion, Family Policy, Feminization of Poverty, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, Immigration, Latinos, Maternal and Child Health, Medicaid, News, Public Health, Public Policy,

Is your doctor happy? With Poll from: Gallup.Com

When you visit your doctor does (s)he look happy?  At the end of the day healthcare is a one on one personal experience.  All the insurance coverage or fancy machines in the world won’t improve medical care if the doctor patient relationship is not optimal.

So what is our healthcare system doing to address physician happiness?  The Gallup organization took a closer look at hospitals, one place where physician practice is defined and sustained–for better or for worse…

“When doctors are frustrated, patient care and hospital revenues suffer. Heres how hospitals can engage their physicians — and make a positive impact on patients and the bottom line.”

via Gallup.Com – Daily News, Polls, Public Opinion on Politics, Economy, Wellbeing, and World.

Filed under: ACA and Medicaid, Behavioral Health Outcomes, Blogosphere, Cancer Treatment & Success, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, Maternal and Child Health, Medicaid, Medicaid Expansion, Medical Research, Medicare, New American Electorate, Polls and pollsters, Public Health

Getting into Gear for 2014: Insights from Three States Leading the Way in Preparing for Outreach and Enrollment in the Affordable Care Act | The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Policy ThinkShop Resources to help you stay on top of today’s leading policy issues:  Healthcare Reform implementation — The Affordable Care Act

http://kaiserfamilyfoundation.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/8480-getting-into-gear-insights-from-three-states.pdf

 

“Fall 2013 will begin to usher in the key health insurance coverage expansions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), with open enrollment in new health insurance Marketplaces beginning on October 1, 2013, and Medicaid expanding to adults in states moving forward with the ACA Medicaid expansion as of January 1, 2014. During summer 2013, with open enrollment rapidly approaching, many states were in high gear to finalize preparations for outreach and enrollment efforts to help translate these new coverage options into increased coverage for millions of currently uninsured individuals. This report provides insight into preparations in Maryland, Nevada, and Oregon -three states that have established a State-based Marketplace, are moving forward with the Medicaid expansion, and are among the states leading the way in preparing for outreach and enrollment. The findings provide an overview of where these three states are in establishing their Marketplaces; preparing for the Medicaid expansion; planning for marketing, outreach and enrollment; and establishing enrollment assistance resources. They also highlight the challenges that states have encountered and overcome, the successes they have achieved, and the key lessons that may help inform implementation efforts moving forward.”via Getting into Gear for 2014: Insights from Three States Leading the Way in Preparing for Outreach and Enrollment in the Affordable Care Act | The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Filed under: ACA and Medicaid, Blogosphere, Children and Poverty, consumers, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, Maternal and Child Health, Medicaid, Medicaid Expansion, News, Public Health, Public Policy

A simple list to keep you on top of the current healthcare battle: A Very Quick Guide To Health Insurance Exchanges – Kaiser Health News

You are a leader…   Whether it is for your family, your organization or your company, you need to have a handle on healthcare reform.

The following is a quick guide you can use and share with others in your efforts to stay “intelligent” on the often confusing and misinformed healthcare debate vs. what the law now being implemented really is…

The Kaiser Foundation has some of the most current and accurate information available on this important subject.

Here is a quick guide to what you need to know about them:

1.

The insurance marketplaces are open to nearly everyone, but If you have insurance through work, Medicare or Medicaid, it’s likely you won’t need to shop for coverage there. They are really for people who are uninsured or folks who buy individual policies now.

2.

Many people will qualify for subsidies to make coverage more affordable there. These subsidies – tax credits to help pay your premiums – will be available to people with incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level. That\’s about $46,000 for one person or $94,000 for a family of four. And there are cost-sharing subsidies to reduce deductibles and copayments, depending on your income.

3.

Immigrants who are in this country illegally are barred from buying on the exchanges.

4.

You can enroll until March 31, 2014, though you\’ll generally need to sign up by Dec. 15 of this year, to be covered as of Jan. 1. You can find your state’s marketplace at healthcare.gov.

5.

Through the marketplace, you can compare health plans in your area. The prices are based on where you live, your family size, the type of plan you select, your age and whether you smoke. All the plans have to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s requirement to have a basic benefits package, but the amount you have to pay in premiums, co-pays and deductibles will vary among plans.

6.

When you apply for coverage on the exchange, you will find out if you’re eligible for subsidies to help pay for premiums. Or, if you have a low income, you can also learn if you are eligible for Medicaid coverage.

7.

Your income — not your assets, such as your house, stocks or retirement accounts – will count toward determining whether you can get tax credits. When you buy your plan, you estimate your income for next year, and your tax credit is based on that estimate. The next year, your tax returns will be checked by the IRS and compared against your estimate.

8.

If you qualify for a tax credit to pay your premiums, you can choose to either have the credit sent directly to the insurer or pay the whole premium up front and claim the credit on your taxes. If you qualify for cost-sharing subsidies, that subsidy will be sent directly to the insurer, and you won’t have to pay as much out of pocket.

9.

If your income increases during the year, notify the exchange promptly so that you can avoid having to pay back the credits. On the other hand, if your income goes down, you could be eligible for a bigger subsidy. Either way it\’s important to notify the exchange if your income changes.

10.

Each plan covers 10 “essential health benefits,” which include prescription drugs, emergency and hospital care, doctor visits, maternity and mental health services, rehabilitation and lab services, among others. In addition, recommended preventive services, such as mammograms, must be covered without any out-of-pocket costs to you.

11.

You won’t have to pay more for insurance if you have a medical condition and that condition will be covered when your policy begins. But older people can be charged more than younger people and smokers could face a surcharge.

12.

The prices for the marketplace plans are likely to be similar to those sold privately. If your broker offers you a plan that is also available on the exchange, you may be eligible for subsidies.

13.

Your insurer generally can\’t drop you, as long as you keep up with your insurance premiums and don\’t lie on your application. Generally, people will be able to enroll in or change plans once a year during the annual open enrollment period. This first year, open enrollment on the exchanges will run for six months, from Oct. 1 through March of next year. But in subsequent years the time period will be shorter, running from October 15 to December 7.

14.

There are certain circumstances when you would be able to change plans or add or drop someone from coverage outside the regular annual enrollment period. This could happen if you lose your job, for example, or get married, divorced or have a child.

15.

The number of plans that you can choose from is likely to vary widely. In some states, only a couple of insurers have announced plans to offer policies though the marketplace, while in others there may be a dozen or more. Even within a state, there will be differences in the number of plans available in different areas. You can expect that insurers will offer a variety of types of plans, including familiar models like PPOs and HMOs.

via A Very Quick Guide To Health Insurance Exchanges – Kaiser Health News.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, Maternal and Child Health, Medicaid, Medicaid Expansion, News, Public Health, Public Policy

How to reduce health inequities? | LinkedIn

One of our Policy ThinkShop bloggers posting on other social media regarding poverty policy, or the lack there of, in our country ….

Thanks for the report updating the latest ideas on our ongoing discourse on poverty and for getting us to think about the important connections between education, poverty and health.

The report rehashes, mostly academic, arguments regarding race, statistics, the infamous 1969 poverty measure and the poverty measure’s successive fabrications. I was in graduate school at the University of Chicago in the mid 80s when William J. Wilson led a “one man band” against the Reagan Administration’s and Charles Murray’s assault on “the welfare state, the welfare mother, and so on…”

I sat in Prof. Gary Orfield’s office one day while he fielded a call from the then Ronald Reagan stacked Civil Rights Commission which Prof. Orfield was a member of. It was a turning point for me in how I would henceforth see the role that well-meaning advocates play in our government’s institutions. After nearly four decades experiencing health and human services policy and planning in our nation’s state and local systems, that lesson still holds—facts are not enough, we must do. The problem becomes who is the “we”?

MOre via How to reduce health inequities? | LinkedIn.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Children and Poverty, Culture Think, Education Policy, Family Policy, Feminization of Poverty, Health Policy, Maternal and Child Health, Medicaid, Medicaid Expansion, News, Philanthropy

In U.S., Less Than Half Look at Restaurant Nutrition Facts | Gallup Poll

The Policy ThinkShop is expanding its policy analysis and research resources in response to the current  healthcare reform challenges faced by the states and communities.  We will be posting periodic articles and resources addressing the numerous variables that define the nation’s current healthcare challenges which go well beyond putting a health insurance card in a person’s hand.

Visit our health policy and research blog at:

http://healththinkshop.com

for more health specific resources and to share with us which areas of health you want us to address for your daily health administration, policy and planning needs.

The restaurant industry can be seen as fitting into a continuum.  At one extreme are the restaurants that focus on providing easy to make menus, easy to store foods, easy to please customers.  By easy to please we might mean people who are looking for the basic satisfying elements producing the classic “addictive” flavors from sweets, salts and fatty foods.  At the other extreme, difficult to call it “extreme” since it is probably the more reasonable in terms of healthy lifestyle, there is the fresh vegetables, fish and light fowl, moderately portioned cuisine  served in prestigious and select culinary establishments for the educated palate.  Home cooking has historical and culturally embedded positive meaning in our culture but truth be told most home cooking is not very healthy either…  In this case, it probably goes outside our initial restaurant continuum because cooking at home requires skill, time and appropriate ingredients.  Of course, in the available ingredients we find the most difficult challenge.  Keeping fresh vegetables, fish and fowl on hand is to often cumbersome and expensive.  Although budget is often the decisive factor here, time, a more universally unavailable commodity, is often the thing that makes or breaks home cooking.

Aside from the mechanics, logistics and administrative aspects of culinary efficacy there is, perhaps equally decisive as time, health literacy.   That is, knowledge of the relationship between food and health.  That is not the only aspect of health literacy but it just as well aught to be.  According to the Gallop Poll, knowledge about what we eat is woefully missing in the American culinary mind.

The Policy ThinkShop is expanding its policy analysis and research resources in response to the current  healthcare reform challenges faced by the states and communities.  We will be posting periodic articles and resources addressing the numerous variables that define the nation’s current healthcare challenges which go well beyond putting a health insurance card in a person’s hand.

Visit our health policy and research blog at:

http://healththinkshop.com

for more health specific resources and to share with us which areas of health you want us to address for your daily health administration, policy and planning needs.

“Even as more U.S. restaurants list nutritional information on their menus, less than half of Americans, 43%, say they pay a “great deal” or a “fair amount” of attention to it. Americans are much more likely to take note of nutritional labels on food packages, with 68% saying they pay at least a fair amount of attention to this …”

via In U.S., Less Than Half Look at Restaurant Nutrition Facts.

Filed under: access to education, Aging, Behavioral Health Outcomes, Blogosphere, Health and Exercise, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, Medicaid, Medicaid Expansion, Medical Research, Medicare, News, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, Public Health, Public Policy, , , , ,

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