CA Access NEWS
Published by California Partnership for Access to Treatment Facebook Twitter Join CPAT

June 2013

In this Issue: California Report | Federal Report | Advocate Advantage | Calendar | New Partners | In the News | Interesting Information | Contact Us

California Report

Lawmakers expand Medicaid in final budget voting

By Laura Olson and Judy Lin
SF Gate, June 15, 2013

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The Legislature passed a major piece of the federal Affordable Care Act on Saturday, opting to expand Medicaid to 1.4 million low-income Californians, as it rushed to meet its deadline to complete a state budget.

The action came a day after lawmakers passed the main budget bill outlining a $96.3 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that starts in July.

Saturday's votes were on a handful of targeted bills. They included ones that would provide college scholarships for middle class families, increase grants for those in the welfare-to-work program, restore dental care for low-income adults, distribute money for school energy projects and strengthen oversight of the California Public Utilities Commission.

Read More

California and Obamacare: The rest of the story

By Editorial Board
The San Diego Union-Tribune, June 5, 2013

Covered California is the new state agency that will oversee the health-insurance exchange through which uninsured residents and employers can buy coverage as Obamacare takes full effect on Jan. 1. Given the enduring unpopularity of the Affordable Care Act, it is vital that Covered California do all it can to create a strong first impression of competence and trustworthiness.

That's why the new state agency's recent news conference was so disappointing. "The big news today," declared Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, "is that because of the Affordable Care Act, we've hit a home run for consumers." The agency said rates that Californians would have to pay were significantly less than expected and "ranged from 2 percent above to 29 percent below the 2013 average premium for small-employer plans in California's most populous regions."

Read More

Federal Report

Savings without changes

By John J. Castellani
The Hill, June 14, 2013

In a health care system struggling with controlling costs and a fiscal situation focused on cutting and changing government programs, the Medicare prescription drug benefit, known as Part D, stands alone by saving money.

Not only on track to cost nearly $350 billion, or 45 percent, less than initially projected over the first 10 years of the program, it is also reducing other health care costs within Medicare. Even the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has credited Part D as responsible for much of the slowdown in overall Medicare spending. The nonpartisan office has also reduced its 10-year forecast for Part D by over $100 billion in each of the last three years.

Read More

US businesses write to Obama against Indian economic policies

By an Unknown Author
Times of India, June 6, 2013

Ahead of the India-US Strategic Dialogue in Delhi later this month, as many as 16 major US business associations on Thursday sought personal intervention of President Barack Obama against what they alleged as the discriminatory Indian policies against foreign businesses.

"Over the last year, the courts and policymakers in India have engaged in a persistent pattern of discrimination designed to benefit India's business community at the expense of American jobs ... Administrative and court rulings have repeatedly ignored internationally recognized rights -- imposing arbitrary marketing restrictions on medical devices and denying, breaking, or revoking patents for nearly a dozen lifesaving medications," said the letter to Obama.

Read More

The Advocate Advantage

Information is the heart of the matter in reducing causes of death

By John Kehoe

The theme for this month's Advocate Advantage is Heart Disease and Stroke Issues. As I write this piece, I cannot help but think how fortunate we are in 2013 to have so many pathways to improved health benefits to overcome the challenges of cardiovascular disease and stroke-related matters. My father passed away with a heart attack in 1944 and during this time, physicians had only one prescription drug available to treat his disease. If he were alive today he could have benefited from the many available approved medications and the prolonged longevity made possible by them.

Six years ago, I joined a study sponsored by the University of Alabama (Birmingham) to research the risks and trends for heart disease and stroke related risks in the current aging population. The American Heart Association reports that advances in medicine have helped cut deaths from heart disease by one third between 200l and 2011. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that the ongoing decline in the number of heart and stroke-related deaths is greatly due to a program that focuses on responsible prevention and treatment of the disease symptoms. In a report released June 12, 2013 America's Pharmaceutical Association states that there are 215 medicines under development; 30 of which are for heart failure and could possibly benefit more than; 29 are for lipid disorders, such as high cholesterol, which affects nearly 100 million adults in the U.S.; 19 are for stroke and 17 for hypertension which impacts 78 million Americans. These possible new medicines are all under clinical trials or under review by the Food and Drug Administration.

While we can celebrate what medical science is doing to bring creative solutions on line, the green eye shade experts can bring an analysis to the cost benefits possible with the creative medicines being developed. Cardiovascular diseases cost society more than $312 billion a year. The American Heart Association projects that the future annual costs of stroke-related care to increase by 129% to $240.6 billion by 2030. Yet 80% of strokes are preventable. Additionally, the cost of congestive heart failure could more than double to $70 billion by 2030, with an estimated 46% increase in incidence.

Findings of the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and a recent article from the American Journal of Managed Care found that improved adherence to medication following the expansion of drug coverage under Medicare Part D led to 2.6 billion dollars in savings. There are projections that could lead to savings of $1.9 billion annually over the next ten years. This coupling of good health practices and cost savings are added reasons for taking time this June to celebrate the bright future for healthcare in America.

Calendar

Upcoming CPAT Events - Mark Your Calendar!

September 2013
Seminar on Obesity
Northern California Location TBD

Having a conversation about your weight can be intimidating. However, it is essential in order to effectively manage overall health. Join CPAT in its next seminar about obesity, diabetes, health and wellness. Stay tuned for details.

October 22, 2013
Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease Forum (PFCD) on Obesity and Diabetes
Southern California Location TBD

The obesity epidemic in the United States impacts scores of people regardless of age, gender or race. Recently released statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that minority groups experience obesity rates at greater levels than their white counterparts and also have higher rates of diabetes and multiple chronic conditions. Join PFCD in one of their largest events of the year!

December 2013
Seminar on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Northern and Southern California Locations TBD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the third leading cause of death in the United States. It is a progressive lung disease that slowly stops a person's ability to breathe. Although there are treatments, there is no cure for the disease. Join CPAT for its last two seminars of the year as it hosts an event focused on COPD.

Past Events

Mental Health and the Affordable Care Act

Our Northern and Southern California seminars on Mental Health and the Affordable Care Act were a great success thanks to our partners and supporters. See our photos below.



Kevin Hamilton, Deputy Chief of Programs for Clinica Sierra Vista,
answers questions from the audience in Fresno.



Scott Suckow, Vice President of Community Partnerships for Mental Health Systems speaks about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and what parity, mental health and substance abuse treatments will be included.

Special thanks to our elected officials whose representatives attended the seminar!

  • Office of Congressman Jim Costa
  • Office of State Senator Bill Emmerson
  • Office of State Senator Richard Roth
  • Office of State Senator Tom Berryhill
  • Office of Assemblymember Eric Linder
  • Office of Assemblymember Frank Bigelow
  • Office of Assemblymember Henry T. Perea
  • Office of Assemblymember Jim Patterson
  • Office of Assemblymember Melissa Melendez
  • Office of County Supervisor Phil Larson
  • Office of County Supervisor Henry Perea
  • Office of Riverside County Supervisor Kevin Jeffries
  • Office of Riverside City Councilmember Nancy Hart
  • Office of Riverside City Councilmember Steve Adams

Were you unable to attend a CPAT event? All program materials are housed on our website.

CPAT Partner Events

Check out our CPAT partner events occurring this month!

Covered California Town Hall

Orange County
Friday, June 21, 2013

2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (Doors open at 1:30)
Orange County UFCW Auditorium
8530 Stanton Ave.
Buena Park, California 90620
More information here

National Tele-Town Hall -- Countdown to the Debt Ceiling Debate: Implications for Medicare

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
2:00 p.m. (ET)
Conference call with:

  • Representative Ron Kind (D-WI)
  • Representative Renee Ellmers (R-NC)
  • Representative James Lankford (R-OK)

Participant Dial-In: 1-888-790-5918
Password: MEDICARE
Feel free to submit questions in advance to Debbie Witchey at dwitchey@hlc.org.
To follow the conversation on twitter, follow hashtag - #MedicareToday

Outreach & Enrollment to Small Business Employees & Their Families: Challenges for ACA

Sacramento
Thursday, June 27, 2013

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
California State Capital (Room 126)
1315 10th St
Sacramento, CA 95814
More information here

A Community Series: Health Care Reform & You
Hosted by Congresswoman Linda Sanchez and Assemblymember Cristina Garcia Montebello


Saturday, June 29
9:00 - 1:00 p.m. (PST)
Schurr High School
820 North Wilcox Ave.
Montebello, CA 90640
Complimentary parking is available. Spanish translation will be available. For questions, please contact Ernesto Morales (562) 463-4553.
More information here

Would you like to see your organization's event listed? Contact Yadira Beas at yadira@perrycom.com to help advertise your upcoming event.

New Partners

Welcome New CPAT Partners!

Join Now

Do you know a group who would be interested in joining CPAT? Please send your referrals to:

Northern California - Contact Yadira Beas at yadira@perrycom.com

Southern California - Contact Lauren Lewow at lauren@cerrell.com

In the News

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: California must reconsider its insurance standard benefit design

By Bryan Cohen
Vaccine News Daily, June 10, 2013

California must reconsider its current insurance standard benefit design because of the potential negative impact on specialty medication users like cancer patients, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society said on Monday.

Mark Velleca, LLS's chief policy and advocacy officer, said California should consider the impact its standard benefit design has on patients prescribed specialty drugs. Specialty medications are used to treat complex, life-threatening conditions like cancer. The medications are typically expensive and may need special storage and handling.

Read More

Scientists find new clues to early onset Alzheimer's

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay News, June 12, 2013

People with genetic mutations that lead to inherited, early onset Alzheimer's disease overproduce a longer, stickier form of amyloid beta, the protein fragment that clumps into plaques in the brains of Alzheimer's patients, a small new study has found.

Researchers found that these people make about 20 percent more of a type of amyloid beta -- amyloid beta 42 -- than family members who do not carry the Alzheimer's mutation, according to research published in the June 12 edition of Science Translational Medicine.

Read More

Interesting Information

More than 200 innovative medicines in development for heart disease and stroke

America's biopharmaceutical research companies are developing 215 medicines for two of the leading causes of death of Americans -- heart disease and stroke, according to a new report and overview released today by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

Every 39 seconds an American dies from cardiovascular disease, and more than 83 million Americans have at least one type of the disease, the American Heart Association (AHA) reports.

Read More
View the full report

Prescription Process - www.prescriptionprocess.com

Prescription Process is an initiative to educate patients and caregivers about the barriers they may encounter when filling prescriptions. The website encourages visitors to share their personal experiences and provides a tool to help them reach out directly to their legislators to advocate for prescription access and transparency. Visit the website at www.prescriptionprocess.com.

 

Want to receive late breaking CPAT and health care related news?

Make sure to Like our Facebook Page and Follow us on Twitter.

Facebook facebook.com/CaAccess

Twitter twitter.com/caaccess

980 9th Street, Suite 410
Sacramento, CA 95814
www.caaccess.org

Supported by America's Pharmaceutical Research Companies

If you do not wish to receive future issues of CA Access News, please send an e-mail to info@caaccess.org requesting to be deleted from the mailing list. Please be sure to include the e-mail address where you are receiving newsletters.