Although we do hate to be trite, we suspect that at least part of you is looking forward to someone summarizing health care news of 2013 and, perhaps, a peak forward to at least one really cool health care advancement we see coming down the pike in the coming year.
Ok, first the recap. Let’s blend two articles we saw that document the development of health care and “Obamacare” over the past year.
The first article , shared by Medcity News, is entitled “Healthcare’s most memorable TV moments in 2013.” How many of these do you remember without having to click the link to read the details?
- “President Barack Obama’s apology and individual mandate “fix” speech“
- “Dick Cheney validates Homeland plot twist“
- “Dr. Eric Topol gives Stephen Colbert an ear exam using his smartphone“
- “Wendy Davis’ filibuster“
- “The moment the spectrum of Obamacare ads got too weird to handle: Enter creepy Uncle Sam“
- “Kathleen Sebelius throws herself under the bus on CNN“
- “Aug. 5: 23andMe launches its TV health ads“
- “Tom Hanks announces he has diabetes on Late Night“
- “Dr. Sanjay Gupta changes his mind on weed on national television“
The second article, also published by MedCity News, is entitled “Hits and misses for the ACA in 2013: A year of Obamacare news.” This artcle provides a chronological review of the past 12 months:
- starting with December 19, 2012 when “President Barack Obama met with Kathleen Sebelius and other top aides and impressed upon them that the implementation of the Affordable Care Act would be the most important thing in his presidency.”
- “March 11: Sebelius joins the Twittersphere to promote Obamacare and activity updates.”
- “July 2: Obama delays implementation of employer mandate for one year for companies with more than 50 employees.”
- “Sept.10: Sebelius says health insurance exchanges are on track for Oct 1 launch.”
- “Sept 19: Medicaid expansion gets support in Pennsylvania as well as Arkansas and Iowa where the governors push to use federal funds to boost their state programs.”
- “Oct 1: Federal exchange Healthcare.gov opens for business just in time for start of open enrollment, cue crashes. State exchanges also open in several areas with a decidedly mixed performance.”
- “Oct 8: One week in, Kentucky emerges with a surprisingly successful state health insurance exchange, enrolling 7,000 in the first seven days.”
- “Oct 21: Reports of people receiving cancellation notices from insurers start to pour in.”
- “Oct 23: Obama names Jeffrey Zients, the former acting director of the Office of Management and Budget to oversee Healthcare.gov fixes.”
- “Oct 24: Three weeks into open enrollment, Congressional subcommittees begin hearing testimony to get details about causes of Healthcare.gov glitches….”
- “Oct 25: The move to use QSSI, a contractor used for the Healthcare.gov that was assigned to help clean up the errors on the federal exchange, came in for some criticism considering its owner is part of parent company UnitedHealthcare — one of the largest health insurers in the country.”
- “Oct 30: Sebelius throws herself under the bus and tells Congressional Committee to hold her accountable for Healthcare.gov problems.”
- “Nov 8: Obama apologizes for saying (repeatedly) that if people liked their health plans they could keep them several weeks after insurers issue flood of cancellation letters because plans no longer fit Affordable Care Act standards.”
- “Nov 11: A deep dive on enrollment numbers….”
- “Nov 14: Obama backtracks and says people who were notified that their plans would be canceled can keep their plan or re-enroll for 2014. If their health insurer or state goes for it, that is.”
- “Nov 27: Small businesses can’t use the Small Business Healthcare Options marketplace to enroll employees online for one year.”
- “Dec 12: PolitiFact declares Obama’s promise of “If you like your health plan you can keep it,” the lie of the year.”
- “Dec 17: Microsoft executive Kurt DelBene chosen to lead Healthcare.gov, ensuring the federal exchange will have a manager once Zients takes on his new post as director of the National Economic Council.”
- “Dec 20: The individual mandate is delayed for the millions who have had their insurance policies canceled because they no longer comply under the ACA. It’s a move that calls into question the effect of these significant changes and alterations.”
- “Dec 23: The administration pushes the deadline to sign up for coverage that starts January 1 to Dec. 24 at midnight.”
Whew…well, as much fun as that walk down memory lane was, let’s have even more fun looking ahead. We found one interesting article that we wanted to highlight for you (yes, there are many articles that prognosticate about what the new year will bring, but since this is already quite a long post, we chose the one we thought you, our readers, might benefit from the most). The article was published by University of Wollongong in Australiaearlier this month, entitled “BioPen to rewrite orthopaedic implants surgery.” It’s a bit long so we’ll just summarize here for you. The gist of the report is that there is now a BioPen that:
will give surgeons greater control over where the materials are deposited while also reducing the time the patient is in surgery by delivering live cells and growth factors directly to the site of injury, accelerating the regeneration of functional bone and cartilage. The BioPen works similar to 3D printing methods by delivering cell material inside a biopolymer such as alginate, a seaweed extract, protected by a second, outer layer of gel material. The two layers of gel are combined in the pen head as it is extruded onto the bone surface and the surgeon ‘draws’ with the ink to fill in the damaged bone section.
How cool is that?!? But wait, check this out:
Once the cells are ‘drawn’ onto the surgery site they will multiply, become differentiated into nerve cells, muscle cells or bone cells and will eventually turn from individual cells into a thriving community of cells in the form of a functioning a tissue, such as nerves, or a muscle. The device can also be seeded with growth factors or other drugs to assist regrowth and recovery, while the hand-held design allows for precision in theatre and ease of transportation.
Ok, that gives you the basics. If you’re intrigued to read more details, please check out that link as it will take you directly to the article where you can read more.
Well, that closes out our year and begins our look ahead.
What of the above caught your attention the most?
Please share in the comments section below, or on our facebook page.
Of course, if you are still uninsured (or under insured) and are in need of some guidance, please complete the confidential form below and one of our experts will be in touch with you right away!