Seattle, WA (PRWEB) September 21, 2012
There is a lot of noise about the similarities and differences between the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA, or “Obamacare”) and the Massachusetts health care reform act of 2006 (MHCRA, or “Romneycare”). Unfortunately, there is a definite partisan slant to some of these conversations, and by virtue of the fact that these are both “laws” one state and one federal—the language is not that easy to sort out.
As a health care marketing agency and practitioner, we try to keep on top of the changes in the health care landscape. Given the Supreme Court decision to support the ACA, we have made every attempt to stay on top of how this act is going to affect the average consumer of health care services and our clients, the service providers.
First, here are a few similarities between these two laws:
1. Under the ACA, Americans with incomes up to four times the federal poverty level would earn tax credits. The MHCRA provides subsidies for state residents with incomes up to three times the poverty level.
2. The ACA extends Medicaid eligibility to all low-income Americans; the MHCRA extends coverage to low-income Massachusetts residents through federal and state Medicaid. What is not clearly articulated or widely known to consumers is that the state pays for Medicare premiums for many low-income seniors. So while the state is “on the hook” for the premium, the actual cost of providing the care is on Medicare.
3. The ACA eliminates lifetime and annual coverage caps and limits the annual maximum coverage paid by consumers annually; the MHCRA also eliminates annual caps on coverage and limits the maximum amount consumers pay annually. Both laws forbid the retroactive rescinding of coverage. Read more.
Now a few differences:
1. The ACA’s two main goals are to ensure coverage for everyone in the country and to control the costs of providing health care; the MHCRA is designed to provide coverage for everyone in the state.
2. The ACA reduces the annual Medicare budget by creating incentives for providers to reduce health care costs. Using patient satisfaction scores, performance metrics, and accountability, the burden of providing effective healthcare is shifted onto the provider. The MHCRA does not provide direct incentives nor pay for performance metrics—and, since Medicare is a federal program, the state has little direct control of the program.
3. The ACA expands the number of uninsured people who would be covered by Medicaid; the MHCRA does not have much of an impact on Medicaid.
Visit the White Space HCM website to read the entire “Obamacare vs. Romneycare” report.
About White Space HCM:
White Space Healthcare Marketing is a full-service, strategic marketing firm focused exclusively on healthcare clients.