For the sports fan and/or policy nerd in all of us

Just in time for the home strech of the impending Supreme Court  decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there’s a new toy for us to play with! Mike Leavitt of Leavitt Partners (yes, the same former Governor of Utah, HHS secretary, and recent addition to Mitt Romney’s transition team) has put together a nifty interactive tool called “Health Reform Bracketology” on the potential court decisions and potential election outcomes and what they would mean for the future of health reform.

Call it what you will (June Madness?), it actually does a pretty great job of laying out the scenarios and gives some interesting predictions on outcomes.  Of course, these are just predictions.  Nobody can really be 100% sure how policymakers will react to any of these scenarios, but this does provide some good insights into the “what if?”s that are floating around in everyone’s head.

It’s worthwhile to look at anyways, if you get a free moment.

Click here to play Health Reform Bracketology.

Has anyone been following all of this about how the House, and now Senate, Republicans are now considering reinstating many of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) provisions if the Supreme Court does happen to strike down the law?

Media sources have been a-buzz for the past few weeks with rumors that Republicans are now considering preserving some of the law’s most popular provisions, like coverage for pre-existing conditions, allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26, and closing the Medicare donut hole.

Speaker Boehner last week reiterated his committment to repealing the entire law, but that hasn’t seemed to stop the conversation at all.

It’s not clear yet what the Supreme Court will come back with, but the fact of the matter is that millions of Americans – including many who were initially opposed to the law – have already started to feel the benefits of the law firsthand.  Taking these benefits away if the law is struck down will result in huge backlash against the party that has been fighting tooth and nail to repeal it – and it’s an election year.

In New York alone, over 150,000 young adults have already gained insurance through their parents’s plans as a result of the ACA, and another 3,400 who were previously unable to get coverage because of a pre-existing condition are now covered.  Thanks to the ACA, 280,000 small businesses in New York now have access to tax credits to help them with the cost of providing health insurance to their employees.  New York’s seniors on Medicare have saved nearly $160 million on prescription drug costs due to the new law, and over 3 million folks with private insurance now get free preventive care.

Backlash? You betcha there will be a backlash! Guess we will just have to wait and see what happens.  In the meantime, here are some articles on the issue from around the web:

With the idea that all people deserve quality, affordable health care now such a partisan issue in the presidential race, it’s no wonder the media has been flooded with articles, editorials, polls and research on the topic.

You could easily read one thing telling you Americans love health reform and then turn around and see another saying Americans hate health reform, with both somehow having the numbers to back them up.

So, who is right?

Well, that’s a tricky issue.  See, people can use numbers to show whatever they want them to show, but they don’t often show you the fine print.  This is a topic covered today in a guest piece written in The New Republic by Harold Pollack, a professor at the University of Chicago, and Vivek Murthy, a physician and co-founder of Doctors for America.

The article spotlights a piece that came out in Forbes recently that said that doctors are against “Obamacare.”  It cited a poll to prove this.

But, it turns out the Forbes article wasn’t telling the whole story.  Pollack and Murthy explain this by going through to point out the polling information that the Forbes article actually left out.  They also point out many other facts that are left out.  The result? Well, it turns out that all doctors everywhere can’t be defined by a single poll.  And, all things considered, it looks like most doctors probably do like health reform.

Anyways, it’s definitely a good read.  If anything, it serves as a good reminder that much of what you read on contentious issues like health reform should be taken with a grain of salt.  Especially during an election year!

Click here to read the New Republic article, appropriately titled “No, Doctors Don’t Hate Obamacare.”