September 2015 Issue
What’s on Tap for Congress and the Campaign Trail this Fall
With the Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell behind us, it’s back to reading the political tea leaves as Congress heads into what will likely be a contentious budget debate. The 2016 presidential election is lurking in the background and new and unexpected issues are drawing bipartisan cooperation. Fortunately, Michael Miller, Community Catalyst’s Director of Strategic Policy, is here to provide a guide to the federal landscape and what to expect in the weeks and months ahead.
Focus on Pediatric Vision: Children’s Health Team Supports Win on Expanded Massachusetts Benefits
Thousands of Massachusetts children may soon have eyeglasses covered by their insurance thanks to the work of children’s advocates in the state, aided by policy analysis and testimony support from Community Catalyst’s Children’s Health Team. The win came in early September when the federal Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) issued its state-by-state list of proposed Essential Health Benefits (EHB) benchmark plans slated to become effective in 2017.
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Breaking the Cycle of Substance Use Disorder, Hardship and Incarceration
Across the United States, millions of people with substance use disorders and mental illness are unable to access needed health and social services and have become trapped in a cycle of illness, hardship and incarceration. This is particularly true for people who are homeless, living in poverty and/or from communities of color. Thanks to a $250,000 grant from Open Society Foundation, Community Catalyst will launch an initiative to identify and promote new models of comprehensive care for people at risk of being incarcerated, particularly those with drug and alcohol problems.
Value Advocacy Project Turns Lens from Coverage to Care
There is little doubt since the passage of the ACA we have seen a tremendous decrease in the number of uninsured Americans. While many state advocates are still fighting (and winning!) battles to expand Medicaid and close the coverage gap, Community Catalyst, and the health advocacy network as a whole, has begun to place a greater emphasis on “health system transformation,” addressing the problems consumers face when they utilize their health insurance and interact with the health system.