Where's My Health Insurance?

 

Like you, I have been aware of the recent news that the federal health care cost-sharing subsidies for individuals at or below the poverty line will endIndividuals earning below $30,000 and families earning below $60,000 will lose necessary subsidies to offset the cost of coverage. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation brief, "While the federal government would save money by not making CSR payments, it would face increased costs for tax credits that subsidize premiums for marketplace enrollees with incomes 100-400% of the poverty level."
How might we respond? As the only Research Center dedicated to healthcare, as nearly 130 scholar-practitioners, how can we work together to educate our community regarding these and other pressing issues?

 

Call for Engagement
 
CHER's new mission "invites faculty, students, and alumni to develop innovative health research expanding current paradigms of health, wellness, and healthcare system functioning". In line with this mission, I am calling for CHER Affiliate scholarly articles that address the current state of healthcare in one or more of the following areas:
  • Practice

  • Education

  • Systems

  • Innovation

300-500 words describing the landscape of current healthcare and what may lie in the future, will serve to educate our fellow scholars at the Research Hub, our students,  and our University community.  We must fight to not only keep our voice alive as a Center for Research but to increase the understanding of our vital place in the community of scholars.
 
Submit by October 20 to WalkerLadd@e mail.phoenix.edu

 

Walker Ladd's picture Walker Ladd | October 21, 2017 6:52 am MST

Dr. Stephanie Holden shared the following insights. 

On Monday October 16, I had the opportunity to attend the public webinar of the Secretary's Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for Healthy People 2030. The first Healthy People 2000 agenda was released in September 1990.  Although the U.S. healthcare industry has experienced significant and revolutionary technological advances, still 27 years later, the U.S. struggles with persistent health disparities and epidemics from obesity to opioids. Provisions and funding inclusive from the Affordable Care Act and complementary mandates from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid were designed and thought to convergently tackle a spectrum of tough health issues; from access to care to prevention measures.  Somewhere along the political debate, the focus has become less about improving health and more about political prowess.
 
As health educators, researchers and scholars, advocacy is becoming equally important to our subject matter expertise. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have publicly voiced concern about decrease funding for critical research.  Along with ACA rollbacks, the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) seems to be in jeopardy as well.  According to the Society of Public Health Education (SOPHE), the proposed CHAMPION Act will reauthorize funding for some health programs, yet cut funding from the Prevention and Public Health Fund. This could compromise efforts to combat chronic and infectious diseases, and tobacco and opioid usage. In August 2017, Trust for America’s Health reported nearly $900 million PPHF grants were provided to various organizations for preventive programs.  Trust for America’s Health estimated that an investment of $10 per person per year in prevention programs or services could save nearly $16 billion annually within five years.  To eliminate all ACA provisions and funding merely to erase the term “Obamacare” could result in dire reversal of health gains and cripple ongoing health improvement efforts.
Walker Ladd's picture Walker Ladd | October 21, 2017 7:04 am MST

How can we continue the application of scholarship and practice, education and advocacy, with less and less support? With increasing confusion, decreasing access, and an expanding workforce to be educated, I see leadership as critical. Leadership within our own communities, families, workplaces, and universities must become of the utmost importance. Through collaborative, engaged communication among all stakeholders, maybe we can prepare sustainable and flexible practices that will endure the constant threats of drastic change or catastrophe. We are the agents of change in the world of health and wellness. We just need to remember our potential and collaborate with the potential in others. 

As someone who has been fighting the good fight in mental health for 17 years, I know first-hand the uphill battle. Like democracy, I suppose, reform is supposed to be slow, messy, and did I say slow??? 

I hope as Affiliates we continue to support one another. 

Stephanie Holden's picture Stephanie Holden | October 23, 2017 2:37 pm MST

Walker,

Excellent point on collaboration. I believe community-based participatory research (CBPR) and participatory action research are great research designs to engage stakeholders who will mostly benefit from research. Intermediary steps from focus groups to build effective program curricula, and gatekeepers input on recruitment, could help with sustainability of uptake.

Stephanie

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