Posted on October 7, 2011 by scjustice
By Phil Galewitz, Published: October 6
The applications poured in, spurred by millions of dollars in new funding included in the health law to expand primary care to the poor. A record 810 groups sought federal grants to staff and equip hundreds of new and existing community health centers.
But in August, most were rejected, leaving advocates frustrated that they would not be able to serve the growing numbers of uninsured and poor people or be ready for an influx of patients under the health law.
Rather than handing out $250 million to establish new patient-care sites to serve more than 2 million additional people, as originally expected, the Obama administration gave $29 million to 67 nonprofit organizations that will serve an additional 286,000 patients.
The funding cut was a result of a federal budget compromise in March to keep the government running. That agreement reduced federal spending by nearly $80 billion, including a $600 million trim in funding for ongoing operations at existing health centers.
To make sure existing centers did not have to reduce services, the Obama administration diverted some of the $11 billion set aside in the health overhaul law for health-center expansion initiatives and instead used it to keep the centers operating at current levels.
But a casualty of this strategy was that some of the health-center expansion plans were either eliminated or drastically cut back.
In addition, to free up money to help with existing operations, the administration scrapped plans to distribute $335 million to health centers to boost medical, dental, pharmacy and vision services. (more…)
Filed under: Affordable Care Act, Medicaid | Tagged: community health centers, Dan Hawkins, federal grant, FoundCare, funding, House Appropriations Committee, National Association of Community Health Centers, Obama, Ron Wyden | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 1, 2011 by scjustice
By Noam N. Levey
May 28, 2011
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney
has renounced it. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich
says he doesn’t believe in it anymore. Former Utah
Gov. Jon Huntsman has brushed off suggestions he even considered it.
As the three have discovered, there is hardly a bigger black mark against a Republican presidential candidate today than the hint of past support for requiring Americans to get health insurance — as President Obama‘s new healthcare law mandates.
But Republicans were not always so hostile. Until the healthcare law passed last year, requiring medical insurance had a long history as a mainstream GOP idea.
It was promoted by conservative policy experts at places like the Heritage Foundation more than 20 years ago. In the 1990s, the concept was championed by Republicans on Capitol Hill.
And it was ultimately implemented by Romney in Massachusetts; in 2006 he became the first elected official from either party to sign a mandate into law.
“I still don’t see what the objection is to the idea that people should not be allowed to run around without at least some basic health insurance,” said Mark Pauly, a conservative health economist at the University of Pennsylvania‘s Wharton School.
Emphasizing personal responsibility, Pauly and other conservatives have argued that the uninsured incur medical bills as other Americans do; the tab is just picked up by someone else. (more…)
Filed under: Health Care Law Implementation | Tagged: Alan Simpson, individual mandate, John Boehner, Jon Huntsman, Lamar Alexander, Mark Pauly, medicaid, Medicare, Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, President Obama, Ron Wyden | Leave a Comment »