With the 113th Congress up and running and the president’s policy schedule filling up by the day, the Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard School of Public Health polled Americans last week on what they would like the government to set as top health care priorities for the year.
1. State exchanges: 55% of respondents say state-based health insurance exchanges are a top priority for their lawmakers. With only 18 states and Washington, D.C., declaring they will create these state exchanges, more information is needed on how federally run exchanges will operate in the remaining states. “This is the year of the health insurance exchange,” said David Colby of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation at a luncheon held Thursday at the Kaiser Family Foundation. The panelists, including Drew Altman, CEO of KFF, noted that governors are still split along partisan lines about the creation of exchanges.
2. PPACA opposition: 52%, including 78% of Republicans, say Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act opponents in Congress should continue trying to overturn the law. When asked why, a majority of respondents cited overturning the law for “less impact on taxpayers, employers and health care providers.”
3. PPACA complacency: 40% think that opponents of PPACA in Congress should “accept that it is now the law of the land,” and move on to focus on implementation.
4. Premiums: 37% believe increasing state regulation of health insurance premiums should also be a priority for lawmakers.
5. Women’s health care: Only 20% of respondents believe lawmakers should limit women’s family planning, reproductive health and other services. A timely topic as PPACA’s birth control mandate seems poised to head to the Supreme Court later this year, according to the Associated Press.
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