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Sunday, August 05, 2012

Pulse on the Road in Florida

Last weekend I was enjoying a wonderful annual meeting with the Florida Hemophilia Association in Boca Raton. On Saturday morning we presented our insurance symposium "Pulse on the Road." Pulse is our insurance magazine for the bleeding disorder community, which you can download free of charge from our website. 

Since our last symposium in Tennessee, of course, the Supreme Court weighed in on the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare reform bill that was initiated by the Obama Administration. Jim Romano, Director of Government Relations and Advocacy at Patient Services, Inc. and one of our guest speakers, told the audience that on June 28 the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 upholding most of the ACA. He pointed our four salient highlights for the community:

– The Individual Mandate is constitutional: it’s a tax and Congress has taxing authority
– Congress cannot coerce states to expand Medicaid
– 4 justices voted to overturn the entire law
– More lawsuits are moving forward

Using NHF's Insurance Toolkit
The key message for our community is clear: we need to keep vigilant (something we do well!) and monitor not only what goes on in Washington (it ain't over by a long shot), in our own states, and in our own policies! A lot can happen between now and November, and then even after the presidential elections.

To help consumers stay vigilant, Michelle Rice, public policy director, National Hemophilia Foundation, introduced a fabulous insurance toolkit that allows families to compare different health insurance plans in an apple-to-apple way. The Florida audience was sharp; they dug right in and while it's not easy to do math at 10 am on a Saturday morning (in Boca Raton, of all places) they crunched numbers and many were able to see which faux plan would be the best for the hypothetical family portrayed. Everyone commented on how useful the kit is.
Pulse on the Road: (L to R) Michelle Rice (NHF), Laurie Kelley,
Marvin Poole (Baxter), Jim Romano (PSI)

Remember, the individual mandate of the ACA requires that every American have some form of insurance. This will mean that many citizens, even who already have insurance, will need to select between multiple options.

So sharpen your pencils! Pulse on the Road's next stops are in Maryland October 6 and Massachusetts November 3. 

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