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
Came across this interactive graphic tracking health care spending—who pays and how much it costs—from 1960 to 2011.
This graphic, published by the California HealthCare Foundation, is a companion to their Health Care Costs 101 report. As the report shows there have been major shifts in how we pay for hospital care, physician services, long term care, prescription drugs, and other services and products. The graphic provides a visual into how the landscape has changed from before Medicare and Medicaid existed in 1960 to 2012 where a large percentage of health care is paid for through public insurance—including nearly all spending on home health care.
Take a look at the report and play with the interactive graphic and see what conclusions you can draw. Short of analyzing the data, I think the graphic and the report are very interesting pieces of information presented in a great visual way. So go kill a few minutes and chart the evolution of health care spending over the past five decades.