This week, the federal Affordable Care Act turns one. Groups all over the country will be marking the anniversary with events that celebrate people who already have been helped by the law, and the benefits to come. Stay tuned for details on a Massachusetts event.
To mark the occasion, a few interesting links for you all:
1. Massachusetts has already garnered over $159 million from federal health reform grant programs. This isn’t chump change, but some needed assistance to the state in implementing health reform, The full list is on the grants page of the state site, mass.gov/nationalheatlhreform
2. A focus for today is small business. Small business groups have been very active is supporting health reform. In Massachusetts, some 70,000-80,000 businesses will be able take advantage of the federal tax credits provided to assist them with coverage. Small businesses that want to plug into national advocacy should look at the group Small Business Majority, that has a number of events planned for this week.
3. Take a quiz: The Kaiser Family Foundation has put together a 10-question quiz on the ACA. Have you bought into the misinformation on the law? Take the quiz and find out.
4. Debate: The Pioneer Institute hosted a serious, substantive debate on the Affordable Care Act, between two economists: McCain health adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin, and Connector Board member Jonathan Gruber, who consulted on both the Massachusetts and national reform efforts. Given the Pioneer’s right-wing take on things, the issue was not how the ACA will provide health coverage to the uninsured, or even whether the ACA will improve health care for Americans. Rather, the debate was framed on the narrow, rather peculiar issue of the budgetary impact of health reform. The debate video is over an hour and 20 minutes, but is worth the investment if you want to hear the back-and-forth on budget issues, like the reliability of CBO. The Pioneer Institute cut a 2:20 -minute highlight reel that captures the flavor, below: