Updates

Communications from SPW

January 17, 2018

It’s 2018 – and the ACA is Still Popular

Illinios New 1 license plate for January 2018Last year we had what we hope will be the last significant legislative effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The culmination came just a few days before Christmas with the signing of a bill undoing a major element of the ACA. It didn’t have any words like “healthcare” or “personal responsibility” in the title, but the Tax and Jobs Act, signed by President Trump on December 22, effectively eliminated the individual mandate as a spur for people to obtain coverage. The bill’s passage gave the majority their first legislative victory after nine years of efforts to kill the ACA. For those scoring at home, that puts the anti-ACA camp’s win-loss record at 1-70. Continue reading “It’s 2018 – and the ACA is Still Popular”

November 14, 2017

Small Businesses Want Good Employee Insurance

Health coverage factors that matter most important to small business owners for recruiting and retaining employeesIn a survey of 127 women-owned businesses in the Midwest, the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) and Smart Policy Works learned that affordable and accessible healthcare is a key consideration to starting and growing a small business.

We conducted the survey in late 2016 with the WBDC’s network of certified women business owners from the organization’s nine-state region, was intended to give a voice to these employers and gauge their perspectives on the ongoing healthcare debate. Continue reading “Small Businesses Want Good Employee Insurance”

October 25, 2017

What’s in a Name?

Barabara Otto speaking at Smart Policy Works launchI’m really excited to share our news – on October 26th we are launching our new name and identity, Smart Policy Works.

The name Smart Policy Works signifies our commitment to making policy work smarter, not harder. It is the culmination of 25 years of working with communities, social services and health providers, and government to break down barriers to health and well-being.

Continue reading “What’s in a Name?”

October 14, 2017

HDA Condemns Latest Attacks on the Affordable Care Act

Screenshot of image search results of President Trump signing executive order to weaken the ACA>Health & Disability Advocates stands in strong opposition to the steps President Trump has taken to undermine the vital consumer protections found in the Affordable Care Act. As a result of pushing federal agencies to expand the growth of association and short term insurance plans, coupled with his late night decision to end critical subsidy payments to insurers, people with complex conditions are now at greater risk than ever for higher premiums, lifetime caps, and losing coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

Continue reading “HDA Condemns Latest Attacks on the Affordable Care Act”

May 24, 2017

Say Hi to Bystander Intervention

Stick figure saying HiJust introduce yourself and say, “Hi.” That’s all it takes and all I’m asking. Don’t fall prey to thinking that someone else is going to intervene. They aren’t. (See Why People Don’t Intervene and this famous New York Times article from 1964 describing how 37 people saw the murder of Catherine Genovese and did nothing.)

Bystander intervention has been a staple of sexual assault prevention. Colleges are increasingly adapting the philosophy and encouraging incoming students to learn about the concept. Continue reading “Say Hi to Bystander Intervention”

May 4, 2017

A Sad Day for Health Care in America

AHCA final vote, 217 Yea 213 NayHealth & Disability Advocates was disappointed that the House of Representatives passed HR 1628 – The American Health Care Act (AHCA). Despite assurances that the AHCA will ensure better coverage at less cost, the AHCA will instead:

  • Cause an estimated 24 million people to lose coverage
  • Give states the option to remove cost and coverage protections for people with pre-existing conditions
  • Reduce Medicaid funding to all states by $880 billion over the next ten years
  • Increase out-of-pocket costs for seniors

Continue reading “A Sad Day for Health Care in America”

April 12, 2017

How Much Medicaid Flexibility Do States Already Have?

Putline map of the statesCongressional proposals have argued that states deserve more flexibility in their Medicaid programs.

But states already have great flexibility in their Medicaid programs.

Every state has its own Medicaid plan, which can be permanently altered. This series of informational briefs seeks to show in clear and simple ways how states can change the payments rates, services covered, benefits and benefit limits, and their cost-sharing in partnership with the federal government. We hope you find them helpful.

Continue reading “How Much Medicaid Flexibility Do States Already Have?”

March 15, 2017

ACA Congressional Outreach

Congressman Peter Roskam with a map of his district
Rep. Peter Roskam, Illinois’ member of Ways & Means

Right now, Congress is weighing the merits of the “American Health Care Act” – the ACA repeal-and-replace bill. The Congressional Budget Office estimates 24 million would lose coverage. These are regular, middle-class people who would be left behind: older adults, people with disabilities, people with complex health needs. People like you and your neighbors. Read our statement

Continue reading “ACA Congressional Outreach”

March 1, 2017

Understanding Moral Injury

Cartoon explaining moral injurySometimes, the most difficult injury from which to recover is living with one’s memories.

A moral injury is defined as an injury to a person’s moral conscience based upon the act of perceived moral transgression which creates deep emotional pain. The catalyst is often acts of omission or commission, and the resulting trauma impacts one’s psyche due to personal cultural and spiritual values placed on those acts. In the most basic terms, the veteran feels crippling guilt. Continue reading “Understanding Moral Injury”