Obamacare & addiction

Obamacare’s treatment of alcoholism and other drug addiction as chronic diseases that must be covered by insurance plans could lead to as many as 40 million Americans entering rehabilitation programs, according to California Health Report, as discussed today in Think Progress.

“Government data shows that about 24 million Americans aged 12 and olderrequire treatment for a substance abuse issue — but only 11 percent of them received it at a specialty facility. These facilities charge an average of $4,000 for admission, and even outpatient facilities cost an average of $1,500 per course of treatment.

“Obamacare could help eliminate those cost barriers for people seeking treatment. “I don’t think there’s another illness that will be more affected by the Affordable Care Act,” said Dr. Thomas McLellan, former deputy director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, in an interview with California Health Report.

“Substance abuse and drug addiction haven’t always been perceived as chronic illnesses. But since opiate abuse (which has steadily been on the rise in America), alcoholism, and other addictions cost about $120 billion per year in health care spending, the health law puts special emphasis on both treatment and prevention by forcing insurers to cover rehab and encouraging doctors to screen for potential addictions. Continue reading “Obamacare & addiction”

Obamacare means jobs

A new survey of chief financial officers finds that American companies expect to increasethe number of full-time employees by 1.8 percent over the next 12 months as key parts of the Affordable Care Act go into effect,


reports ThinkProgress today, “undermining conservative critics who’ve argued that the health care law would hamper business growth and expansion.

“The expected two percent growth in employment is solid, given the context of long-run shifts away from full-time employees largely because of concerns about health care reform and economic uncertainty,” John Graham, Duke Fuqua School of Business finance professor and director of the survey, said. The poll, conducted by Duke University/CFO Magazine, surveyed CFOs at 530 U.S. companies.

“The results echo broader indicators showing that companies are hiring more workers.

“Payroll figures released last month, for instance, found that job creation at small companies has almost doubled in the last six months, “reaching 82,000 jobs at firms with 49 or fewer employees in July, according to payroll processor ADP.” Small businesses are borrowing more, displaying greater confidence, and are seeing higher “sales of new franchises.”

“Though some businesses are claiming that they are hiring more part-time workers to avoid the Affordable Care Act’s employer responsibility requirements, which apply to companies with more than 50 full-time employees, that incentive is limited and research from Moody’s economist Marisa DiNatale indicates that most industries “are actually using fewer part-timers than last year.” The growth in part-time employment, which has been taking place long before the health care law, is rooted in “industries such as restaurants and hospitality that use as much as twice as many part-timers as other companies,” DiNatale concluded.

“Some employers in the Duke University survey did cite the health care law as a impediment to growth, though concerns about economic uncertainty, the belief that the stock market is overvalued and will “experience a downward correction,” and rising interest rates were also mentioned.


See: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/09/11/2607221/employers-obamacare-wont-stop-hiring/