The House of Representatives Rules Committee issued a rule today on the FY 2021 continuing resolution (H.R. 8913) by a 7-3 vote. The House is expected to vote on the bill soon. Nothing is certain in this world but the FEHBlog considers this CR to be on track to become law.
Katie Keith writes in the Health Affairs Blog on the impact of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death on the California v. Texas case (No. 19-840) raising the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) That case is scheduled for oral argument on November 10 one week after the national election. The FEHBlog expects the Supreme Court to preserve the ACA no matter who wins the Presidential election because the Texas case challenging the law is weak. The proof is in the pudding as the preexisting condition free ACA marketplace has kept running without the individual mandate, just like the FEHBP.
The Centers for Disease Control last week issued its 2019 U.S. maps of adult obesity prevalence. Here are the CDC’s obesity tidbits which should be useful for FEHB plans which cover the nation in particular:
- 6 states had an obesity prevalence of 35 percent or higher among non-Hispanic White adults.
- 15 states had an obesity prevalence of 35 percent or higher among Hispanic adults.
- 34 states and the District of Columbia had an obesity prevalence of 35 percent or higher among non-Hispanic Black adults.
- Obesity decreased by level of education. Adults without a high school degree or equivalent had the highest self-reported obesity (36.2%), followed by high school graduates (34.3%), adults with some college (32.8%) and college graduates (25.0%).
- Young adults were half as likely to have obesity as middle-aged adults. Adults aged 18-24 years had the lowest self-reported obesity (18.9%) compared to adults aged 45-54 years who had the highest prevalence (37.6%).
- All states and territories had more than 20% of adults with obesity.
- 20% to less than 25% of adults had obesity in 1 state (Colorado) and the District of Columbia.
- 25% to less than 30% of adults had obesity in 13 states.
- 30% to less than 35% of adults had obesity in 23 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico.
- 35% or more adults had obesity in 12 states (Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia).
- The Midwest (33.9%) and South (33.3%) had the highest prevalence of obesity, followed by the Northeast (29.0%), and the West (27.4%).
The Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights announced today that the “Athens [Georgia] Orthopedic Clinic PA (“Athens Orthopedic”) has agreed to pay $1,500,000 to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and to adopt a corrective action plan to settle potential violations of the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules.” Athens Orthopedic which serves 138,000 patients annually settled allegations of widespread system violations of those rules.