Health Care and the State of the Union

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February 07, 2014
In this issue
» President Reminds Public of Health Law's Wide-Ranging Benefits

» Health Agencies Regain Some Financial Footing With New Spending Bill

» Oregon Study Finds More ER Visits by New Medicaid Recipients

About this newsletter

The ACP Advocate is an e-newsletter, edited by the College's Washington, DC governmental affairs division, created to provide you, our members, with succinct news about public policy issues affecting internal medicine and patient care. To learn more about ACP's Advocacy and to access the ACP Advocate archives, go to

Welcome to the ACP Advocate

Today we open our issue by re-capping President Obama's discussion of the Affordable Care Act in his State of the Union address last week. I'm glad that the President was able to use the opportunity to remind the public of some of the benefits of the law that we've already seen and some that are coming into play now. Also of note, in the speech he addressed the need to reverse the cuts to medical research that were the result of the sequestration cuts to the federal budget last year year. I'm pleased that he addressed this issue that we've been talking about since before the cuts took effect.

Our second story today is an update for you on the spending bill that Congress passed to cover the rest of the fiscal year. The bill restores some of the funding that had been scheduled to be cut for health care-related agencies this year. Additionally, it marks the first time in a while that the two houses of Congress have been able to come to any agreement on spending issues. Take a look at the article for more details about how funding is being distributed.

Finally, our last story takes a look at a new study on the impact of Medicaid on ER visits.  The study from Science magazine shows that increased Medicaid eligibility can cause increased ER visits. I encourage you to read the article for more information about the study and how it may not relate to the Medicaid expansion taking place because of the Affordable Care Act.

Until our next issue, for more coverage of what's happening in Washington take a look at my award-winning blog, The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty.  You can also follow me on Twitter @BobDohertyACP.

As always, please send your feedback and suggestions on this newsletter to:

Yours truly,

Bob Doherty
Senior Vice President
Governmental Affairs and Public Policy
American College of Physicians

In the news
» President Reminds Public of Health Law's Wide-Ranging Benefits
  Speech precedes release of poll showing large numbers still in the dark about the law

President Barack Obama used his State of the Union address this year to forcefully argue the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.

"Already, because of the Affordable Care Act, more than 3 million ... » Click to read the full article

» Health Agencies Regain Some Financial Footing With New Spending Bill
  Congressional passage restores some earlier cuts, which ACP applauds

Congress has passed an omnibus spending bill that partially rolls back sequestration cuts, restoring funding to key public health agencies.

The $1 trillion bill includes all 12 of the annual spend... » Click to read the full article

» Oregon Study Finds More ER Visits by New Medicaid Recipients
  Researcher notes, though, that use of health care across the board increased

A small study about health care changes in Oregon has gotten big-time media exposure, thanks in part to claims that it bolsters negative beliefs about health reform.

Use of emergency rooms grew as... » Click to read the full article

In focus
ACP Issues Support for Surgeon General Candidate
Ahead of Tuesday’s confirmation hearing for Surgeon General Candidate, Vivek Hallegere Murthy, M.D., M.B.A., the College issued a letter of support for the physicians. Dr. Murthy is an internist and College member. He has also extensive experience working on public health issues.

Become an Advocate for Internal Medicine
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