4-5-12 Affordable Care Act Update

In the States


ACS CAN and Society Divisions used the two year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and the Supreme Court hearing to educate the public about the key provisions in the law that are helping cancer patients and their families access quality, affordable health care. Outreach activities included participating in coalition events, pitching cancer patients' stories to the media, and placing op-eds and letters to the editor. The attached spreadsheet highlights the coverage to date. If you secured local coverage and don't see it included on the list, please email links to the placements to Nicole Bender at nicole.bender@cancer.org.

ACS CAN and Division state staff also continue to garner media coverage around their exchange implementation work. One great example of creative outreach occurred in New York, where they created an "exchangopoly" game board that garnered great media attention.  Read about the tactic and see the board game art at State of Politics - Capital Tonight.

Finally, please remember to utilize the evergreen exchange- and Medicaid-focused template materials that Nicole Bender sent out in early February.


Report: MLR Provision Could Have Yielded $2 Billion in Rebates, Reduced Premiums in 2010


The Commonwealth Fund issued a report this week showing that consumers would have received an estimated $2 billion in been rebates or reduced premiums if the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) provision in the Affordable Care Act had been in effect in 2010. The MLR is the percentage insurers spend on benefits versus administrative costs. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurers must spend at least 80 percent of their premium revenue on health care claims and quality improvement costs. Starting in 2011, insurers who miss the target are required to rebate the difference to policy holders.


ACS CAN believes the MLR provision of the Affordable Care Act will help ensure that patients are accurately informed about the portion of their premiums that are spent on medical care instead of company profits, broker commissions or administrative costs. The MLR rule is part of a critical consumer education process that will help people with cancer or at risk for cancer to make informed decisions about the plans they purchase.


Poll: Public Remains Divided


Two years after passage, Americans' views of the Affordable Care Act remain divided according to the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll. Currently 41 percent of Americans think favorably of the law and 40 percent have an unfavorable view, figures little different from April 2010 taken weeks after the law was signed. The poll also measured opinions following last week's Supreme Court oral arguments and found that half of all Americans think the individual mandate should be ruled unconstitutional, while 62 percent believe other parts of the law should remain intact if the mandate is struck down.





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