Thousands of health care activists rallied across the country last week highlighting the enormous achievements of 50 years of Medicare and Medicaid.

Now that the Supreme Court decision in King v Burwell is well behind us, attention is turning to the many other health care battles.  There are continuing fights over different pieces of the ACA, but the battle over the larger health care system is waging even hotter.  These include the impact of the rapidly escalating costs of specialty drugs as evidenced by the new Hepatitis C drugs, the proposed cuts to be debated in the forthcoming federal budget fight, the rapid consolidation in the health insurance and prescription drug industries, hospital mergers and closures … the list is long.

There is also the beginning of a discussion about how to build on the ACA to further the fight for universal health care, as we heard from advocates in Wisconsin on our last conference call. There is also a new bill in Congress to facilitate state innovations under the ACA waiver available in 2017.

So, here are some links to summer reading suggestions that UHCAN hopes will help advocates for health care justice get ready for a very busy fall!

MEDICARE
July posts by Wendell Potter: Latest Swing of Revolving Door Puts Former Medicare Czar In Charge of Health Insurance Lobby
Johnson-care turns 50! But Medicare supporters need to wake up.

SOCIAL SECURITY
Support a United Social Security System – Don’t pit retirees against people with disabilitiesa joint campaign of the Alliance for Retired Americans and Social Security Works

Social Security & Medicare: The GOP Congress New Pay-For for Everything Under the Sunfrom National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
Will specialty drug pricing be the straw?from Benefit News

And, from the industry perspective ….
Specialty drug pricing to jump 67% by 2015
Improved Adherence Highlights Specialty Pharmacy’s Potential

WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH
Take Action: Stand with Planned Parenthood from National Women’s Law Center

NEXT STAGES OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ACA
Obviously the Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell did not end debate over the ACA.  Secondly, the law has been around long enough that we are seeing more evaluations of its impact. Since UHCAN thinks it’s important to be aware of a broad range of viewpoints, we include links to two articles (below) from two different vantage points.  And, Rep. McDermott has introduced his bill to support state single payer efforts under the federal waivers the ACA makes available in 2017.

JAMA study (7/28/15): ACA reduces uninsured rates, improves access to care and health

Wrong prescription? The failed promise of the Affordable Care Act,
Trudy Lieberman, Harper Magazine, July 2015
State-Based Universal Health Care Act of 2015, HR. 3241, introduced on 7/28/15 by Rep. Jim McDermott (WA).

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