The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or “ObamaCare” has created a growing storm of confusion regarding its authorization and implementation. The health benefits exchange concept is one area that seems particularly convoluted and unclear. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has provided little guidance on key questions about what the exchanges […]
Nationally, more than 30 states have a limit or cap on damages in medical liability cases, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Senate Bill 33, Medical Liability Reforms Act, would allow North Carolina to join these states, limiting non-economic damages to an initial $500,000 raised annually for inflation. Non-economic damages include damages like […]
The newly elected conservative majority in the General Assembly is already working to make good on campaign promises to protect North Carolina citizens from federal health care regulation. House Bill 2, titled “Protect Health Care Freedom” sponsored by Representatives Stam (R-Wake), Barnhart (R-Cabarrus), Hollo (R-Alexander), and Murry (R-Wake), was the first item on the legislative agenda. The bill is progressing quickly in the House and will soon see debate on the floor.
The crushing weight of North Carolina's Medicaid costs continue to encumber state finances amidst an historic fiscal crisis, and sources say it is about to get much worse. With economic stagnation and expiring stimulus funds, North Carolina will have to grapple with a ballooning population of Medicaid recipients coupled with increased expenditures on those participants. Furthermore, a daunting leviathan looms on the horizon: Obamacare's new 500,000-700,0001 Medicaid recipients that will be enrolling as a direct consequence of federal healthcare legislation. The plight of Medicaid will prove to be the bane of many taxpaying North Carolinians for years to come.
At first blush, the Governor’s Health and Human Services (HHS) budget recommendations give the appearance of a net $386 million in reductions to the 2010-11 spending plan approved in last year’s biennial budget bill.
Last week, Congress enacted a nearly $1 trillion health care program – claiming it would reduce the cost of care and even lower the deficit by more than $100 billion over the next decade. But how exactly will such a costly government program cut costs?
This year health care reform emerged as a forefront national issue. Our nation’s health care spending continues to rise and is projected to reach $3.1 trillion in 2010, amounting to 17.7 percent of GDP. Congress is considering legislation that would effectively overhaul our nation’s health care system at a staggering cost to states already struggling in the midst of a prolonged economic recession.
Popular sentiment is that final passage of the Obamacare Frankenstein is inevitable. Reform in its near final form is far from that which was promised by the Obama administration, in that many will be forced out of their private insurance, costs will rise, care will be rationed, and millions will be left uninsured.
A communication strategy aimed to educate the populous on how to avoid spreading H1N1 influenza cost taxpayers over $500,000. The means: radio and television advertisements created by the state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) featuring Gov. Bev Perdue. The message: remember to cough into your sleeves.
North Carolina’s state budget is already at the breaking point. In order to “balance” the current year’s spending plan, lawmakers grasped at a patchwork list of revenue, including more than $1 billion in state tax hikes, $1.4 billion in federal “stimulus” funds and nearly $100 million from various state “trust funds.”
One major factor clearly contributing to higher health care costs is state-level mandates. These mandates, a requirement by the government, as well as laws and regulations that follow them, prevent people from purchasing health insurance across state lines – a restriction that greatly reduces choice and insurance alternatives.
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a nearly 2,000 page health reform bill. Looking past the clear party line divide, the bill passed by a two member margin – just barely scraping by with the minimum vote the majority needed for it to now go to the U.S. Senate.
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Health care reform ranks highly among the top policy issues this year. However, of all the reform options put forward in the debate none reflect the need for more consumer driven health care options. What we see at the state level is an increase in spending and the expansion of inefficient and ineffective government run programs.
The total budget appropriation of the Department of Health and Human Services in the 2009-10 budget is $5 billion, which includes $1.1 billion in federal support. The total is up from the $4.76 billion in estimated actual expenditures for last fiscal year. Legislative changes to the FY 2009-10 budget include recurring (permanent) reductions totaling $695 million and nonrecurring (one-time) reductions totaling $937 million. There was a net loss of 506 employment positions in DHHS, out of a department staff totaling more than 19,000.