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expert-perspectives

The AHCA won’t change dental care – under MN legislation, the poor already struggle to get care

Earlier this month, House Republicans publicly released their Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement: the American Health Care Act (AHCA). While the plan is currently just a proposal, it has many wondering how it could change the shape of our health care landscape. Sheila Riggs, D.D.S., M.S., D.M.Sc., associate professor in the School of Dentistry, explains how it could impact dental care.

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expert-perspectives

UMN expert: Expanding access to health care coverage critical to reducing a state’s uninsurance rate

According to a recent New York Times article, the majority of people who remain uninsured after the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was implemented in the United States live in the South and Southwest and they tend to be poor.

But why is this the case?

Health Talk spoke with Brett Fried, a senior research fellow at the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC), to learn more about why there are such glaring differences in uninsurance rates across the United States.

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u-of-m-voices

What are the implications of King vs. Burwell?

Note: This post was written by Jean Abraham, Ph.D., and Lynn Blewett, Ph.D.

On March 4, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of King vs. Burwell. The Supreme Court’s decision on this case will have significant implications for the capacity of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to reduce the number of uninsured persons in the United States. In this brief we provide an overview of the potential impact of this case on the implementation of the ACA.

Background: The ACA’s Coverage Expansion Mechanisms

The ACA expanded access to health insurance coverage through two primary mechanisms. The first mechanism is an expansion of the Medicaid program through the extension of eligibility to individuals with modified adjusted gross income up to 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) (approximately $33,465 for a family of four). The primary beneficiaries of this expansion are low-income childless adults, as Medicaid eligibility for adults historically has been tied to parental status except at the lowest income levels. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could choose whether or not to expand Medicaid, and 30 states, including the District of Columbia, have done so to date.

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research-and-clinical-trials

University of Minnesota study: More effective alcohol policies ignored while less effective passed into law

What works to prevent alcohol-related deaths and binge drinking isn’t always what makes it into law. A new study finds that policymakers are significantly more likely to adopt ineffective alcohol policies than they are to adopt effective ones. Researchers at the University of Minnesota and Boston University tracked 29 different state alcohol control policies from 1999 through 2011 and found that that none of the policies rated to be the most effective for reducing excessive drinking were either adopted or strengthened during the study period. During that same period they noted an increase in adoption of policies that were comparatively less effective, or that targeted only youth drinking or impaired driving.

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u-of-m-voices

U of M Voices: Exploring the nuances and complexities of global health

I had only one certainty when I decided to sign-up for the University of Minnesota’s Global Health Case Competition, and that was knowing I would be tackling a global health issue.

Little did I realize that a proposed strategy for how China should invest in sanitation, would lead to a national competition and the challenge of restructuring the World Health Organization (WHO). Even though I put in countless hours debating strategy and presentation late into the night with my team, I can definitively say I have gotten far more out of the experience than I put in.

As you may have already assumed, I did not become a global health expert over the course of two case competitions, but I did gain a stronger appreciation for the nuances and complexity of global health.

When solving global health challenges there are many factors to consider, but during the course of the competitions I found the following to be key: identify and consider all the stakeholders involved and the perspectives they bring to the situation; scalability and feasibility are vital – great ideas cannot become actionable without these; and maybe most importantly, the fact that there is no right solution, only the best one right now. The latter point is the reason it is vital for students at the University of Minnesota to pursue global health today and into the future.

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