Last week the Campaign to End Obesity, a Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) partner, released a study that indicates that the U.S. has underestimated the hefty impact that obesity-related health care costs have – and will continue to have – on the federal budget.
The Beltway is abuzz this week -- and not just due to the cherry blossoms. For starters, last Friday marked the 2nd anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the federal health care reform law enacted by President Obama in an effort to expand health insurance coverage for Americans nationwide. Meanwhile, earlier in the week, Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) unveiled part of his hotly-debated 2013 budget proposal that aims to reduce the federal deficit.
In light of rising health costs, a down economy and quickly changing insurance policies, providers and patients are not only increasingly faced with making difficult decisions that affect the physical care they either provide or receive, but the state of their financial health is in jeopardy as well. More details on this and other figures and insight released this week can be found below.
Several new reports were released this week that shed troublesome news on the financial state of our health care system as it pertains to insurers, providers and patients alike. Representing the three most significant population groups present in the health care “eco-system,” so to speak, it’s clear our need for sustainable health reform is more imminent than before.
The 2012 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report released today from the Alzheimer’s Association reveals the alarming health and economic toll of the disease – the cost of caring for the 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease today will total $200 billion in 2012. And with 5.2 million of that number age 65 and older, our already overburdened Medicare and Medicaid systems will carry about 70 percent of those costs.
In The Hill last week, along with Representative Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Representative Allyson Schwartz (D-PA),PFCD’s Ken Thorpe highlighted the Fundamental Shift Needed in Our Approach to Tackling Health Care Spending and the Deficit. This strong bi-partisan statement addresses some of the challenges plaguing our health care system and highlights priorities and solutions that can make a marked difference in health care cost reduction. By rallying our elected officials in the fight against chronic disease, PFCD aims to bring both sides of the aisle to the table in order to develop new and support existing programs and policies that are effective and sustainable.
In follow-up to last week’s approval of the Payroll Tax Bill by the House and Senate, at the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) we feel it’s important to keep you updated of the ongoing dialogue around this latest development. As you may know, Congress’ temporary SGR fix came with a hefty budget reduction of $5 billion for the Prevention and Public Health Fund, an extension of the Affordable Care Act that provides crucial financial support for the prevention programs our health care system so direly needs.
Earlier this afternoon, both the House and Senate approved and sent the President the Conference Report for the Payroll Tax bill. The legislation included a temporary patch to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule preventing for 10 months a pending 27% cut in payment rates to physicians under Medicare. Unfortunately, much of the “pay for” came at the sacrifice of the Prevention and Public Health Fund – to the tune of $5 billion.
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The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) is a coalition of hundreds of patient, provider, community, business and labor groups, and health policy experts, committed to raising awareness of the number one cause of death, disability and...