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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: August, 2013

POSTED: Monday, August 26, 2013, 6:00 AM
Filed Under: Robert I. Field

Two major organizations announced significant changes in their health insurance benefits last week. They will no longer cover the spouses of employees who are eligible for benefits from their own employer.

United Parcel Service will implement the change for white-collar workers. The University of Virginia will implement it for everyone.

The reason given for the moves? Obamacare, of course.

POSTED: Sunday, August 18, 2013, 12:00 AM
Filed Under: Katheryne Lawrence

One of the biggest challenges facing disabled people is how to enter the workforce and still maintain the health care coverage they need.

According to the 2000 Census, there are 33.1 million working age people with disabilities between the ages 16 and 64 in the United States. For those individuals, the current framework of health care coverage provides a disincentive to work.

Public health insurance for the disabled is usually contingent on not working. In Pennsylvania, a disabled person seeking coverage under Medicaid must be receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. An individual only qualifies for those benefits if they maintain no more than insubstantial work activity. In other words, because of the link to SSI, individuals with disabilities who need Medicaid coverage often have to choose between working and having insurance.

POSTED: Friday, August 9, 2013, 6:00 AM
Filed Under: Katheryne Lawrence

The Obama Administration announced another delay in implementing a part of the Affordable Care Act. And as if on cue, the criticisms came flying in. This time the concern is one of widespread fraud and abuse.

The problem lies in the delay of verification provisions for subsidies for policies purchased on the insurance exchanges. For the first year, the IRS will not verify incomes to ensure that applicants are in fact eligible for the subsidies they claim.

Exchanges are marketplaces designed to offer insurance to individuals who don’t have it and aren’t eligible for an affordable employer plan. If an individual has an offer of affordable health insurance from their employer, they do not qualify for a subsidy in the form of a federal tax credit to help them buy it on an exchange.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 6, 2013, 6:00 AM
Filed Under: Katheryne Lawrence

Cancer screening isn’t working. That’s what a study panel from the National Cancer Institute concluded in a new article published recently in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Cancer kills thousands of people in the United States each year. A total of 580,350 cancer deaths are projected to occur in the United States in 2013.  That comes to about 1,600 people per day.       

Early detection resulting from some cancer screening tests (like mammography) has dramatically increased public awareness of the disease. However, screening has also increased findings of “incidentalomas”. That is the name given to incidental findings of cancer-like conditions detected during screening that are unlikely to cause harm.

About this blog

The Field Clinic reports and analyzes health care laws, government policies, and political trends that are transforming the care we receive and the way we pay for it. Read more about our panel of bloggers here.

This blog is produced in partnership with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health-policy research and communication organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Portions of this blog may also be found on and in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section.

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Robert I. Field, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H. Professor, School of Law & Drexel School of Public Health
Jeffrey Brenner, MD Founder of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, Medical Director of the Urban Health Institute at Cooper University Healthcare
Andy Carter President & CEO, The Hospital & Healthsystem Assoc. of Pa.
Robert B. Doherty Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs & Public Policy American College of Physicians
Neil I. Goldfarb President & CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health
David Grande, MD, MPA Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Tine Hansen-Turton Chief Strategy Officer of Public Health Management Corporation
Drew A. Harris, DPM, MPH Director of Health Policy Program at the Jefferson School of Population Health
Antoinette Kraus Director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network
Laval Miller-Wilson Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Health Law Project
David B. Nash, MD, MBA Founding Dean of the Jefferson School of Population Health
Howard J. Peterson, MHA Managing Partner of TRG Healthcare, a national healthcare consulting firm
Donald Schwarz, MD, MPH Deputy Mayor for Health & Opportunity and Health Commissioner for the City of Philadelphia
Paula L. Stillman, MD, MBA Healthcare consultant with special expertise in population health and disease management
Elizabeth A. W. Williams Senior Vice President & Chief Communications Officer for Independence Blue Cross
Krystyna Dereszowska A third-year law student concentrating in health at Drexel
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