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The ACO is a Child of the ACA

By Gregg A. Masters, MPH

Only another battle has been won, (tho’ an effing big one at that), yet the war to re-engineer America’s healthcare borg remains intact and the Act is at risk to the outcome of November’s elections. In a perfect world 100% of our resources are committed to implementation of the vision, yet in a perfect world we do not dwell.

The SCOTUS decision notwithstanding the opposition has seemingly only upped the ‘repeal and replace‘ ante if nothing other than symbolically, see: ‘House Gears Up to Repeal Obamacare (Again).’

Yet on the replace front the vocal opposition has precious little to offer in terms of substance, see: ‘Republicans Plan To Replace Obamacare With Obamacare‘.

Want to test your knowledge of what’s in the Act, take the quiz below courtesy of the good folk at The Kaiser Health Foundation:

So today we start a new series to educate the grossly misinformed American public with a campaign and the associated hashtag of #ACA101, where ACA = the Affordable Care Act and 101 = a primer or ‘just the facts’ ma’am.

The intention is to convey the essence of the Affordable Care Act, ‘one tweet at a time.’ While the attention span of the average American is somewhere south of 8 seconds, we hold the possibility that a 2,471 page document set might be digestible via 140 characters at a time.

Join us, tag your tweets with #ACA101 if your intention is to educate, not confuse.

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The Affordable Care Act: What’s Changed Post SCOTUS Ruling?

By Gregg A. Masters, MPH

Found over at the Healthcare Blog, a post SCOTUS Affordable Care Act conversation hosted by Eliza Corp and led by noted healthcare futurist and consultant Jeff Goldsmith. This is well worth a view and even note taking. Among Goldsmith’s many insights is the following:

A stunning lack of understanding of what’s in the law [Affordable Care Act] – Jeff Goldsmith

From fictional ‘death panels’ to the none existent ‘public option’ the the American people are completely mis-informed on the nature and value proposition of the Affordable Care Act.

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Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

By Gregg A. Masters, MPH

Watching the ensuing theater unleashed by SCOTUS’ ruling on the Affordable Care Act, I came across some similar sound bytes from a ‘by gone era’ – or so we thought.

Since we are not likely to see these disingenuous, ‘don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up’ foes fold their tents and go home defeated, we can expect a re-grouping of the troops around a yet to be crafted all out ‘Citizens United‘ fueled offensive to pick away at and then ultimately attempt it’s repeal.

Inside this earlier media enabled public discourse we find the usual suspects [or their predecessor organizations], but then again some rather unsuspecting foes of what was then an emerging and rather compelling societal and public health concern. Perhaps best framed by an actor turned politician, forecasting the threats to freedom from a Government takeover of medicine:

The doctor begins to lose freedoms; it’s like telling a lie, and one leads to another. First you decide that the doctor can have so many patients. They are equally divided among the various doctors by the government. But then the doctors aren’t equally divided geographically, so a doctor decides he wants to practice in one town and the government has to say to him you can’t live in that town, they already have enough doctors. You have to go someplace else. And from here it is only a short step to dictating where he will go. – Ronald Reagan, 1961.

One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism has been by way of medicine….If you don’t do this, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was like in American when men were free. – From Ronald Reagan’s 1961 taped anti-Medicare message, “Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine” paid for by AMA and AMPAC.

Not unlike today, there was a rather determined campaign to inject the fear of tyranny associated with an alleged Government take over of Medicine into the hearts and minds of the American public. We see many if not all of the same ‘talking points’ in the political diatribes before our very eyes and ears.  Yet, the surprises [back then] were from several usual allies of progressive thought leadership in the organization and financing of US healthcare, including:

[The Medicare bill would] set up a health care program which served little or no necessary social purpose and which would be a direct, unwarranted and completely unfair intrusion in private enterprise. – Dr. Clifford H. Keene, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan.

For a walk down memory lane, and there are some gems from the likes of American Medical Association, and the International Association of Health Underwriters, as well as context if not a score card of the sound bytes yet to come, click here.

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The Affordable Care Act in Historical Context: Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way

By Gregg A. Masters, MPH

As I have penned over at XanateMedia in The Triple Aim Sets the Agenda for Healthcare Social Media Community,’ while the aftermath of the SCOTUS ruling is predictably lining up along straight partisan lines, the net takeaway for healthcare social media peeps is to get behind the ‘triple aim’.

Yet we seem to be in an unending loop of ‘Kubler-Ross moments‘ at least inside the conservative media bubble machine and their media partners including select voices in the blog-o-sphere. For those unfamiliar with the psycho-emotional journey Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and the ‘DABDA’ acronym (aka denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance) she codified the predictable stages of ‘death and dying’ which can be generalized to all forms of loss – including those of the financial, legislative and even judicial variety.

This clip places the legislative accomplishment in context and should serve as a reminder that ‘the Act’ is law, call it a ‘tax’, ‘penalty’ or whatever, the reality is it has been and remains law. Let’s get on with it. There is much to do!

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Summary of SCOTUS Affordable Care Act Rulings

By Gregg A. Masters, MPH

This provided courtesy of Deloitte’s ‘Special Edition Health Care Reform Memo: June 29, 2012’ where long term healthcare industry advisor and wonk Paul Keckly opines:

The decision was a bit of a surprise: I expected the law to be upheld; I did not suspect the mandate would be upheld, nor its legal standing as a “tax” the foundational justification for the ruling.

On the questions before the court:

To read complete Deloitte letter, click here.

Meanwhile, in the Day +1 of the post SCOTUS ACA ruling, I opined somewhat on ‘This Week in Accountable Care‘ discussing my take as well as the near term plans for the radio show. Suffice it to say there is an impressive line-up of some top talent who are slated to make guest appearances on the show. From health plans to medical groups, ACOs and even the consulting domain we have some informative sessions in store for you!

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Maggie Mahar, Robert Reich, Michael Cannon and Grace Marie Turner on SCOTUS ACA Ruling

By Gregg A. Masters, MPH

Courtesy of a tweet via Gary Levin aka @glevin1 we note the following  @Google+ Hangout post SCOTUS ruling discussion. NOTE: there is a slight delay in the clip.

The chat is facilitated by David Firestone aka @fstonenyt and includes an eclectic mix of the academic, think tank and ideological spectrum including Maggie Mahar, aka @Maggie Mahar, @UCBerkeley Professor Robert Reich, aka @RBReich, Michael F. Cannon, aka @MFcannon of @CatoInstitute, and Grace Marie Turner of @GalenInstitute aka @GraceMarieTweet!

Considering all the noise from peeps who know little to nothing about healthcare, it’s oh so ‘tender underbelly’ and fundamentally flawed if not schizophrenic financial incentives and resulting business models, but are none-the-less convinced that anything Obama puts his name to must be bad, this is a breath of fresh air in the thoughtful exchange about the realities of the Act and it’s challenge to be more broadly embraced by a confused American public.

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SCOTUS and the ACA: Livestreaming via @TakeActionNews

By Gregg A. Masters, MPH

It’s here! Watch as we get the historic decision of SCOTUS on the Affordable Care Act. David Shuster aka @DavidShuster, and Mark Levine aka @MarkLevineTalk report from the plaza of the Supreme Court of the United States. Watch as social media delivers the decision, first and accurately via a historic live streamed video feed from two veteran legal observers, reporters and social media aficiandos David and Mark. That’s more than can be said for CNN and Fox News.


Live feed is courtesy of Take Action News.