Watch video here:
or read the speech here:.
12:15 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. Earlier today, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act — the name of the health care reform we passed two years ago. In doing so, they’ve reaffirmed a fundamental principle that here in America — in the wealthiest nation on Earth – no illness or accident should lead to any family’s financial ruin.
I know there will be a lot of discussion today about the politics of all this, about who won and who lost. That’s how these things tend to be viewed here in Washington. But that discussion completely misses the point. Whatever the politics, today’s decision was a victory for people all over this country whose lives will be more secure because of this law and the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold it.
And because this law has a direct impact on so many Americans, I want to take this opportunity to talk about exactly what it means for you.
First, if you’re one of the more than 250 million Americans who already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance — this law will only make it more secure and more affordable. Insurance companies can no longer impose lifetime limits on the amount of care you receive. They can no longer discriminate against children with preexisting conditions. They can no longer drop your coverage if you get sick. They can no longer jack up your premiums without reason. They are required to provide free preventive care like check-ups and mammograms — a provision that’s already helped 54 million Americans with private insurance. And by this August, nearly 13 million of you will receive a rebate from your insurance company because it spent too much on things like administrative costs and CEO bonuses, and not enough on your health care.
There’s more. Because of the Affordable Care Act, young adults under the age of 26 are able to stay on their parent’s health care plans — a provision that’s already helped 6 million young Americans. And because of the Affordable Care Act, seniors receive a discount on their prescription drugs — a discount that’s already saved more than 5 million seniors on Medicare about $600 each.
All of this is happening because of the Affordable Care Act. These provisions provide common-sense protections for middle class families, and they enjoy broad popular support. And thanks to today’s decision, all of these benefits and protections will continue for Americans who already have health insurance.
Now, if you’re one of the 30 million Americans who don’t yet have health insurance, starting in 2014 this law will offer you an array of quality, affordable, private health insurance plans to choose from. Each state will take the lead in designing their own menu of options, and if states can come up with even better ways of covering more people at the same quality and cost, this law allows them to do that, too. And I’ve asked Congress to help speed up that process, and give states this flexibility in year one.
Once states set up these health insurance marketplaces, known as exchanges, insurance companies will no longer be able to discriminate against any American with a preexisting health condition. They won’t be able to charge you more just because you’re a woman. They won’t be able to bill you into bankruptcy. If you’re sick, you’ll finally have the same chance to get quality, affordable health care as everyone else. And if you can’t afford the premiums, you’ll receive a credit that helps pay for it.
Today, the Supreme Court also upheld the principle that people who can afford health insurance should take the responsibility to buy health insurance. This is important for two reasons.
First, when uninsured people who can afford coverage get sick, and show up at the emergency room for care, the rest of us end up paying for their care in the form of higher premiums.
And second, if you ask insurance companies to cover people with preexisting conditions, but don’t require people who can afford it to buy their own insurance, some folks might wait until they’re sick to buy the care they need — which would also drive up everybody else’s premiums.
That’s why, even though I knew it wouldn’t be politically popular, and resisted the idea when I ran for this office, we ultimately included a provision in the Affordable Care Act that people who can afford to buy health insurance should take the responsibility to do so. In fact, this idea has enjoyed support from members of both parties, including the current Republican nominee for President.
Still, I know the debate over this law has been divisive. I respect the very real concerns that millions of Americans have shared. And I know a lot of coverage through this health care debate has focused on what it means politically.
Well, it should be pretty clear by now that I didn’t do this because it was good politics. I did it because I believed it was good for the country. I did it because I believed it was good for the American people.
There’s a framed letter that hangs in my office right now. It was sent to me during the health care debate by a woman named Natoma Canfield. For years and years, Natoma did everything right. She bought health insurance. She paid her premiums on time. But 18 years ago, Natoma was diagnosed with cancer. And even though she’d been cancer-free for more than a decade, her insurance company kept jacking up her rates, year after year. And despite her desire to keep her coverage — despite her fears that she would get sick again — she had to surrender her health insurance, and was forced to hang her fortunes on chance.
I carried Natoma’s story with me every day of the fight to pass this law. It reminded me of all the Americans, all across the country, who have had to worry not only about getting sick, but about the cost of getting well.
Natoma is well today. And because of this law, there are other Americans — other sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers — who will not have to hang their fortunes on chance. These are the Americans for whom we passed this law.
The highest Court in the land has now spoken. We will continue to implement this law. And we’ll work together to improve on it where we can. But what we won’t do — what the country can’t afford to do — is refight the political battles of two years ago, or go back to the way things were.
With today’s announcement, it’s time for us to move forward — to implement and, where necessary, improve on this law. And now is the time to keep our focus on the most urgent challenge of our time: putting people back to work, paying down our debt, and building an economy where people can have confidence that if they work hard, they can get ahead.
But today, I’m as confident as ever that when we look back five years from now, or 10 years from now, or 20 years from now, we’ll be better off because we had the courage to pass this law and keep moving forward.
Thank you. God bless you, and God bless America.
12:23 P.M. EDT
Source: The White House
Photo credit to: The White House Office of the President
Video footage courtesy of The White House
On January 23, 2012 Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), the fifth largest health system in the nation, announced that it has changed its name to Dignity Health as part of a governance restructure that will position the organization to succeed in a changing health care environment.
This name and structure reflect who we are and what we stand for,” said Sr. Judy Carle, vice chair of the Dignity Health Board of Directors and a Sister of Mercy. “The value of dignity is embedded in our culture. Our mission, vision and values were all formed out of the recognition of the inherent dignity of each person. We are confident that our vision for the organization will be achieved.”
Under the new governance structure, Dignity Health is a not-for-profit organization, rooted in the Catholic tradition, but is not an official ministry of the Catholic Church. The new structure and name enable the organization to grow nationally, while preserving the identity and integrity of both its Catholic and non-Catholic hospitals. One of the key rationales for the change is to preserve and sustain the identity and integrity of the Catholic hospitals and their sponsoring congregations. The organization’s Catholic hospitals will continue to be Catholic, directly sponsored by their founding congregations, subject to the moral authority of the local bishop, and adhering to theEthical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. Dignity Health’s non-Catholic hospitals will continue to be non-Catholic, adhering to the Statement of Common Values.
The changes follow several years of discussions between the organization’s sponsoring congregations, board of directors, and management team about the future of health care and how to best extend its healing mission. Dignity Health’s long term strategic plan is focused on integrated care and enhanced quality that reduces costs. Growth plans anticipate expanded partnerships, which will include both Catholic and non-Catholic care centers. The system currently owns or operates 25 Catholic hospitals and 15 non-Catholic hospitals.
Lloyd H. Dean, the organization’s president/chief executive officer said that the changes would enhance the organization’s ability to work across the spectrum of health care and expand partnerships to deliver high-quality care more efficiently.
“Changing our name to Dignity Health reflects our commitment to excellent care for all in need and to being a national leader in quality care,” Dean said. “The new structure supports our long-term plan to grow and coordinate care, while reinforcing our mission of service to the communities we are so privileged to serve.”
While the name of the organization has changed, Dignity Health will continue to deliver excellent care to all in need and maintain its commitment to being a national leader in quality care. It is investing approximately $1.8 billion in electronic medical records, which are being deployed over the next five years. Dignity Health has also been designated as one of the nation’s first Hospital Engagement Centers by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. The organization is also among those leading the nation in implementing innovative care models that improve care and reduce costs.
Dignity Health has also adopted a new logo, which represents the coming together of many caregivers, services and care centers to create a continuum of care. The three curved sections represent the three parts of the organization’s mission – quality care, advocacy, and partnering. The logo surrounds and embraces a central space, symbolic of how an integrated health system embraces and serves the individual.
Members of the Board of Directors for Dignity Health are as follows:
|Andrew C. Agwunobi, MD, MBADirector, Berkeley Research Group
Hospital Performance Improvement Practice
Judy Carle, RSM (Vice Chairperson)
Caretha Coleman (Chairperson)
Lloyd H. Dean
Owner, Urban Realty Partners
Tessie Guillermo (Secretary)
Peter G. Hanelt
Rodney F. Hochman, MD
Chief Executive Officer, Swedish Medical Center
Julie Hyer, OP
Dignity Health Hospital and Care Centers locations:
About Dignity Health (formerly Catholic Healthcare West):
Dignity Health, headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., provides integrated, patient and family centered care. It is the fifth largest health system in the country with 10,000 physicians and 55,000 employees across Arizona, California, and Nevada. Through its network of more than 150 ancillary care sites and 40 acute care hospitals, Dignity Health is committed to delivering compassionate, high-quality, affordable health care services with special attention to the poor and underserved. In 2011, Dignity Health provided $1.4 billion in charity care, community benefit and unreimbursed patient care. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.dignityhealth.org.
Editor’s Note: Congratulations to Dignity Health on their new name. Our Executive Editor-In-Chief Esteban Escobar AKA Steven Escobar former employee at Catholic Healthcare West Glendale CBO is very happy and proud of the organization services to the community.
On Thursday, December 22, 2011 Southern California Public Radio is reporting that The UCLA Medical Center faces a class-action lawsuit in connection with the recent data breach that compromised the privacy of more than 16,000 patients.
Attorneys with the Los Angeles law firm Kabateck, Brown, Kellner filed the class action suit in Superior Court. The suit claims the UCLA Health System (Regents of the University of California) breached the California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act when a hard drive containing personal patient information was stolen from a doctor’s home on Sept. 6.
The records involved more than 16,000 patients treated from July 2007 to July 2011. The stolen information on the hard drive was encrypted, but the password was on a scrap of paper that also was taken. The information included first and last names of patients, some birthdates addresses, health information and record numbers.
Attorneys are seeking $1,000 in damages for each member of the class action lawsuit. UCLA is not commenting on the matter at this time.
READ THE PUBLIC NOTICE POSTED ON NOVEMBER 4, 2011 BY UCLA HEALTH SYSTEM ON THEIR WEBSITE AT http://www.uclahealth.org/body.cfm?id=465
PERSONAL INFORMATION ON HARD DRIVE STOLEN FROM HOME
The UCLA Health System is notifying thousands of patients by mail that on Sept. 6, 2011, an external computer hard drive that contained some personal information on 16,288 patients was among a number of items stolen during a home invasion. Although this information was encrypted, the password necessary to unscramble the information was written on a piece of paper near the hard drive and cannot be located. There is no evidence suggesting that the information has been accessed or misused. The individual whose hard drive was stolen, left employment at UCLA in July 2011.
The documents containing information did not include Social Security numbers or any financial information. They did include first and last names and may have included birth dates, medical record numbers, addresses and medical record information. The police were immediately contacted, but so far, the stolen items have not been recovered.
UCLA has engaged Kroll, a global leader in data security, to provide assistance to individuals affected by this incident. Individuals can call 1-855-366-0145 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Pacific Time) for information on this matter.
UCLA is reviewing its policies and procedures and will make any necessary revisions to help reduce the likelihood of such an incident occurring again. The UCLA Health System considers patient confidentiality a critical part of its mission of providing the highest level of teaching, research and patient care. UCLA’s concern for its patients is absolute, and we deeply regret any breach of patient confidentiality and the stress and concern it might cause our patients.
About UCLA Health System (Regents of the University of California):
Comprised of Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital, Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA, Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA, and the UCLA Medical Group with its wide-reaching system of primary-care and specialty-care offices throughout the region. For more information visit http://www.uclahealth.org
Sources: Southern California Public Radio, UCLA
Photo credit to: UCLA Health System