The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to simply as the ACA or Obamacare, was signed into law on March 23, 2010. The ACA is intended to expand access to health insurance coverage for millions of uninsured Americans by expanding eligibility for Medicaid and developing health insurance marketplaces where uninsured persons may be eligible for subsidies to make private health plans more affordable. While expanding access to health insurance is a big part of the ACA, there are many other purposes of the law, including provisions intended to reform the health care delivery system to produce better patient outcomes at lower cost.
AOTA was very active in the legislative process leading up to the passage and signing of the ACA, working to achieve victories such as inclusion of rehabilitation and habilitation in the essential health benefits package. AOTA has also been monitorting the regulatory process at the federal and state levels as the ACA has been implemented, and has been advocating for occupational therapy practitioners and consumers. The dynamic environment created by health care reform creates opportunities, but vigilant monitoring of implementation activities and carefully executed advocacy efforts are necessary to ensure occupational therapy is valued and protected in the future.
Please also see the Health Care Reform Implementation page on AOTA's website at: http://www.aota.org/Advocacy-Policy/Health-Care-Reform.aspx
The Federal Trade Commission is having a workshop later this month to review a wide range of issues related to heatlh care and competition. AOTA will attend the briefing and will be submitting comments.
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The Federal Trade Commission will host a two-day workshop on March 20-21, 2014, at its Conference Center at 601 New Jersey Ave., N.W., in Washington, DC, to examine competition issues related to certain current developments in the U.S. health care industry. Health care spending accounts for a large part of federal, state, and consumer budgets. The FTC focuses its resources to ensure that health care markets benefit from competition and innovation, both of which can reduce costs and increase the quality and accessibility of health care for consumers. The workshop is free and open to the public, and public comments are being accepted.
The workshop will explore current developments related to:
Federal Register notice (and attached) – FTC invites comments on a wide range of questionshttp://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/federal_register_notices/2014/02/140224healthcareworkshopfrn.pdf
Here is the agenda for the FTC workshop: www.ftc.gov/.../healthcare-agenda.pdf