As the first of what may be multiple new offices created to oversee implementation of health reform, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently established the Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (OCIIO) within HHS "to provide leadership for implementing the provisions of the health reform bill that address private insurance."
The enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Pub. L. 111-148) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (signed into law by President Obama on March 30, 2010) (collectively, PPACA or the Act) represents a significant legislative milestone that has proven elusive in American politics since the time of the Great Depression.
In anticipation of his White House Reform Summit, President Obama released an 11-page summary of the administration's $950 billion health reform plan that proposes to extend insurance coverage to more than 31 million Americans.
In an effort sure to impact providers with regard to the delivery of mental health services to patients, the U.S. Departments of HHS, Labor and the Treasury (collectively, departments) jointly released an interim final rule on February 2, 2010, that requires group health plans to treat medical and mental health benefits equally.
As Democratic leaders continue to negotiate and reconcile the remaining pieces of a compromise healthcare reform bill, the January 19 election of Republican Scott Brown for the Senate seat held by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) has thrown the Democrat's strategy for passing healthcare reform into disarray.
Late Saturday, November 7, 2009, the House passed The Affordable Health Care for America Act of 2009 (H.R. 3962) by a narrow margin of 220-215 votes.
Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other House leaders unveiled H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, in a ceremony on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee resumed and completed its markup of the Affordable Health Choices Act (H.R. 3200) last week after several days of intense negotiations with moderate "Blue Dog" Democrats that ended with the adoption of a compromise agreement by the Committee.
Five key committees are currently laboring on comprehensive reform in Congress.
Bullet-point presentations currently circulating among members of the Senate Finance Committee offer a snapshot of the options and alternatives being considered for the Committee's reform bill which is slated for markup in mid-July, although this timing may shift.