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 Bipartisan Policy Center held a briefing on April 7 to launch a new Long Term Care Initiative.http://bipartisanpolicy.org/events/2014/04/long-term-care-initiative-launch?_cldee=Y3dpbGxtYXJ0aEBhb3RhLm9yZw%3d%3d
"An estimated 12 million Americans are currently in need of long-term services and supports (LTSS)—defined as institutional or home-based assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, or medication management—including both seniors and persons under age 65 living with physical or cognitive limitations. In the next two decades, the U.S. health care system will face a tidal wave of aging baby boomers. This, among many other factors, will create an unsustainable demand for LTSS in the coming years."
This page provides additional information:http://bipartisanpolicy.org/library/report/america%E2%80%99s-long-term-care-crisis
"The Long-Term Care Initiative will propose a series of bipartisan policy options in late 2014 to assist in the effort to build consensus on how to finance and deliver long-term care—referred to in this paper as longterm services and supports (LTSS)—at a time of political discord and fiscal constraints. The initiative seeks to raise awareness about the importance of the issue, bringing it to the attention of the public, as well as to policymakers, and making a strong case for action. This paper sets the stage for BPC’s recommendations by identifying the major challenges and key questions in the financing and delivery of LTSS for both seniors and individuals under age 65."
America’s Long-Term Care Crisis: Challenges in Financing and Delivery - Full Report http://bipartisanpolicy.org/sites/default/files/BPC%20Long-Term%20Care%20Initiative.pdf