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Monday, July 2, 2012

PPACA IS CONSTITUTIONAL; NOW WHAT?

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) constitutional, we’ll focus our Washington lobby attention on finding what’s missing (like a replacement for Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate physician payment formula) and fixing what’s wrong (like eliminating the Independent Payment Advisory Board.) We also will continue to work to protect the good parts of the law, like the insurance consumer protections. Here at home, Gov. Rick Perry and legislative leaders have two important decisions to make: how, if at all, will they implement the health insurance exchange; and will they opt to expand Medicaid to low-income single adults? The Supreme Court ruled that PPACA cannot force a state to give up its current federal Medicaid funding if it does not want to expand its Medicaid program. We know physicians and patients have many unanswered questions about the law and how it will affect them. I’ve directed the TMA staff to begin work immediately on updating our Health Reform School educational materials for physicians and to develop some easy-to-understand brochures you can share with your patients. I welcome your suggestions on what would be most helpful. Email me at lou.goodman@texmed.org.

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