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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Affordable Care Act and Small Business: Economic Issues
This report explains how employer-sponsored insurance can be used to address concerns about health insurance coverage and cost. Then, it summarizes the three ACA provisions most relevant to small businesses. Also, it analyzes these provisions for their potential effects on small businesses. Last, this report presents several approaches that could address some concerns associated with these provisions (particularly the employer penalty). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227906/
Private Health Plans Under the ACA: In Brief
This report provides short descriptions of health plans that may be offered inside and outside of exchanges, and includes information about interaction with other selected ACA provisions. The descriptions are displayed in a side-by-side format to facilitate comparison of exchange and nonexchange plans. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227936/
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Other Mental Health Problems in the Military: Oversight Issues for Congress
This report discusses the prevalence of different psychological health concerns within the Armed Forces, current mental health screening and treatments, and DOD responses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227900/
Military Medical Care: Questions and Answers
This report answers several frequently asked questions about military health care, including: how the system is structured, a TRICARE summary, TRICARE eligibility and plan options, cost of military health care to beneficiaries, relationship of TRICARE to MEDICARE, how the Affordable Care Act affects TRICARE, long-term trends of defense health care costs, and a summary of the fund which funds TRICARE. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228038/
Public Health, Workforce, Quality, and Related Provisions in ACA: Summary and Timeline
Report containing reference material regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual provisions at the time of enactment. This report -- one in a series of CRS products summarizing ACA that were issued after the law's enactment -- describes the law's workforce, public health, quality, and related provisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227673/
Medicare Financing
This report provides an overview of how the Medicare program is financed, including a description of the Medicare trust funds and a summary of key findings and estimates from the 2013 Report of the Medicare Board of Trustees regarding 2012 program operations and future financial soundness. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227685/
Individual Mandate and Related Information Requirements under ACA
Report that describes the individual mandate under Section 1501 and Section 10106 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA, P.L. 111-148, as amended). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227674/
Federal Employees Health Benefits Program: Available Health Insurance Options
Report that discusses the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), which provides health insurance coverage to about 8 million government workers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228131/
Military Medical Care: Questions and Answers
Report that answers several frequently asked questions about military health care, including: how the system is structured, a TRICARE summary, TRICARE eligibility and plan options, cost of military health care to beneficiaries, relationship of TRICARE to MEDICARE, how the Affordable Care Act affects TRICARE, long-term trends of defense health care costs, and a summary of the fund which funds TRICARE. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228039/
Military Medical Care: Questions and Answers
This report answers several frequently asked questions about military health care, including: how the system is structured, a TRICARE summary, TRICARE eligibility and plan options, cost of military health care to beneficiaries, relationship of TRICARE to MEDICARE, how the Affordable Care Act affects TRICARE, long-term trends of defense health care costs, and a summary of the fund which funds TRICARE - the Medicare Eligible Retiree Health Care fund. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122306/
Health Insurance Exchanges Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)
This report outlines the required minimum functions of state health insurance exchanges and explains how exchanges are expected to be established and administered under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The coverage offered through exchanges is discussed, and the report concludes with a discussion of how exchanges will interact with selected other ACA provisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122235/
Title X (Public Health Service Act) Family Planning Program
This report looks at several bills addressing the Family Planning Program (Title X of the Public Health Service Act) which have been introduced in the 112th Congress, including: funding for abortion-providing entities, elimination of the program, and prohibitions on government spending for the program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122309/
U.S. Response to the Global Threat of Malaria: Basic Facts
This report outlines basic facts related to global malaria, including characteristics of the epidemic and U.S. legislation, programs, funding, and partnerships related to the global response to malaria. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103130/
Public Health and Medical Emergency Management: Issues in the 112th Congress
This report summarizes key issues in domestic public health and medical preparedness and response, and discusses selected federal programs by citing other CRS reports and sources of additional information. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103132/
Public Health and Emergency Preparedness: CRS Experts
This table provides access to names and contact information for CRS experts on policy concerns relating to public health and emergency preparedness. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103069/
U.S. Response to the Global Threat of Tuberculosis: Basic Facts
This report outlines basic facts related to global tuberculosis (TB), including characteristics of the epidemic and U.S. legislation, programs, funding, and partnerships related to the global response to TB. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103129/
TRICARE and VA Health Care: Impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)
This report addresses key questions concerning how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) affects TRICARE and VA health care. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103091/
Medicaid Financing and Expenditures
This report provides an overview of Medicaid’s financing structure, including both federal and state financing issues. The Medicaid expenditures section of the report discusses economic factors affecting Medicaid, state variability in spending, and projected program spending. Other issues that are examined include congressional proposals to turn Medicaid into a block grant program, federal deficit reduction proposals affecting Medicaid, and state fiscal conditions affecting Medicaid financing and services. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99074/
Public Health Service (PHS) Agencies: Overview and Funding, FY2010-FY2012
This report discusses the eleven agencies that consist of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including their purposes and funding. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99043/
Health Care: Constitutional Rights and Legislative Powers
This report analyzes constitutional and legal issues pertaining to a right to health care, as well as the power of Congress to enact and fund health care programs. The report also discusses legal issues that have been raised regarding the power of Congress to mandate that individuals purchase health insurance, and the ability of states to "nullify" or "opt out" of such a requirement, following the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96670/
U.S. Response to the Global Threat of Malaria: Basic Facts
This report outlines basic facts related to global malaria, including characteristics of the epidemic and U.S. legislation, programs, funding, and partnerships related to the global response to malaria. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93862/
U.S. Response to the Global Threat of Tuberculosis: Basic Facts
This report outlines basic facts related to global tuberculosis (TB), including characteristics of the epidemic and U.S. legislation, programs, funding, and partnerships related to the global response to TB. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93861/
Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts
Health care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are benefit plans established by employers to reimburse employees for health care expenses such as deductibles and copayments. The contributions to and withdrawals from FSAs are tax-exempt. On June 7, 2012, the House passed H.R. 436, the Health Care Cost Reduction Act of 2012, which would allow up to $500 of unused balances in health FSAs to be distributed back to the account holder after the plan year ends and to allow over-the-counter prescriptions to be a qualified medical expense. The bill has been sent to the Senate for its consideration. Similar bills in the Senate have been referred to the Senate Finance Committee (S. 1368 and S. 1404). This report discusses these bills in greater detail. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87291/
Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts
Health care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are benefit plans established by employers to reimburse employees for health care expenses such as deductibles and copayments. FSAs are usually funded by employees through salary reduction agreements, although employers are permitted to contribute as well. The contributions to and withdrawals from FSAs are tax-exempt. This report discusses two recent bills, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Health Care Cost Reduction Act of 2012, both of which limits contributions to FSAs and redefines over the counter (OTC) drugs, digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87290/
Health Care: Constitutional Rights and Legislative Powers
The health care reform debate raises many complex issues including those of coverage, accessibility, cost, accountability, and quality of health care. Underlying these policy considerations are issues regarding the status of health care as a constitutional or legal right. This report analyzes constitutional and legal issues pertaining to a right to health care, as well as the power of Congress to enact and fund health care programs. Following the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, P.L. 111-148, legal issues have been raised regarding the power of Congress to mandate that individuals purchase health insurance, and the ability of states to "nullify" or "opt out" of such a requirement. These issues are also discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86551/
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria: Issues for Congress and U.S. Contributions from FY2001 to FY2013
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (Global Fund, or the Fund) was established in 2002 as a public-private partnership that could provide significant financial support for global responses to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria. In November 2011, the Global Fund Board announced that due to inadequate resources from donors, it would cancel its 11th round of funding, but would maintain support for existing activities to avoid disruptions in ongoing services. Global health advocates urge Congress to meet the President's FY2013 request for the Fund in order to support the sustainability of its activities and to encourage continued contributions from other donors. Although Congress has traditionally been a strong supporter of the Fund, several issues may affect congressional views about the Fund in the future, which are discussed in this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86567/
The Independent Payment Advisory Board
In response, in part, to overall growth in Medicare program expenditures and growth in expenditures per Medicare beneficiary, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act created the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB, or the Board) and charged the Board with developing proposals to "reduce the per capita rate of growth in Medicare spending." This report discusses the responsibilities and duties. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86569/
U.S. Response to the Global Threat of Tuberculosis: Basic Facts
Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the most widespread infectious diseases in the world, infecting an average of 9 million people annually. Although TB is curable, more than 1 million TB-related deaths occur each year. Due in part to a growing global response to TB, progress has been made in combating the disease. Globally, new TB infection rates have begun to slowly decline and TB mortality rates have decreased significantly since 1990. At the same time, absolute numbers of people infected with TB, particularly in Asia and Africa, continue to rise. Congress has recognized TB as an important humanitarian issue and increasingly as a potential threat to global security. In its second session, the 112th Congress will likely debate the appropriate funding levels and optimum strategy for addressing the continued challenge of global TB. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83953/
TRICARE and VA Health Care: Impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)
The 111th Congress passed, and the President signed into law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, and hereafter referred to as PPACA. This report addresses key questions concerning how PPACA affects the Department of Defense (DOD) TRICARE program and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31357/
Food Safety in the 111th Congress
This report discusses whether the current food safety system has the resources, authority, and structural organization to safeguard the health of American consumers, who spend more than $1 trillion on food each year. Also at issue is whether federal food safety laws, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31334/
Food Safety in the 111th Congress: H.R. 2749 and S. 510
This report discusses whether the current food safety system has the resources, authority, and structural organization to safeguard the health of American consumers, who spend more than $1 trillion on food each year. Also at issue is whether federal food safety laws, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31333/
Food Safety in the 111th Congress: H.R. 2749 and S. 510
This report discusses whether the current food safety system has the resources, authority, and structural organization to safeguard the health of American consumers, who spend more than $1 trillion on food each year. Also at issue is whether federal food safety laws, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31332/
Neglected Tropical Diseases: Background, Responses, and Issues for Congress
Over the past decade, global health has become a priority in U.S. foreign policy, more than tripling U.S. funding for such efforts. This report discusses neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), a group of 17 diseases that are found primarily among the poorest people in 149 countries and territories. NTDs are an important focus of U.S. global health assistance and may come under scrutiny as the 112th Congress debates spending levels for ongoing global health programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31476/
Comparison of the Current World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program and the World Trade Center Health Program Proposed by Title I of H.R. 847
This report compares the current federally supported medical screening and treatment program offered to various persons affected by the terrorist attack on New York City on September 11, 2001, with the federal program proposed to be established by Title I of H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, as amended and passed by the House of Representatives. The World Trade Center (WTC) Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program (MMTP) and the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) are the specific programs compared in this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29594/
Food Safety in the 111th Congress: H.R. 2749 and S. 510
This report discusses whether the current food safety system has the resources, authority, and structural organization to safeguard the health of American consumers, who spend more than $1 trillion on food each year. Also at issue is whether federal food safety laws, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29562/
Food Safety in the 111th Congress: H.R. 2749 and S. 510
This report discusses whether the current food safety system has the resources, authority, and structural organization to safeguard the health of American consumers, who spend more than $1 trillion on food each year. Also at issue is whether federal food safety laws, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29563/
The 2009 Influenza Pandemic: An Overview
This report first provides a synopsis of key events, actions taken, and authorities invoked by WHO, the U.S. federal government, and state and local governments. It then discusses the WHO process to determine the phase of a flu pandemic, and selected actions taken by the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, and by state and local authorities. Next, it lists congressional hearings held to date, and provides information about appropriations and funding for pandemic flu activities. Finally, it summarizes U.S. government pandemic flu planning documents and lists sources for additional information about the situation as it unfolds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26151/
The Tax Exclusion for Employer-Provided Health Insurance: Policy Issues Regarding the Repeal Debate
Employer-provided health insurance is excluded from the determination of employees' federal income taxes, resulting in significant tax savings for many workers. The federal income tax exclusion -- the focus of this report -- is criticized for several reasons. These arguments about the exclusion merit careful consideration as Congress is starting to debate broad health care reform for the first time in 15 years. This report discusses this issue at length, including advantages and disadvantages to keeping the income tax inclusion as Congress undergoes the health policy reform process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26302/
Medicaid Regulatory Issues
This report provides a summary of seven proposed and final rules affecting the Medicaid program that were issued by the Bush Administration during 2007 and 2008. Six of the seven rules are currently under a congressional moratorium on further administrative action until April 1, 2009. A description of possible administrative and legislative actions to modify these rules, which could be taken by the next administration or the 111th Congress, is also provided. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26301/
Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America: An Overview and Selected Issues
The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) is a trilateral initiative that was launched in March 2005 for the purpose of increasing and enhancing security and prosperity in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. This initiative promoted communication and cooperation across several key policy areas of mutual interest, such as improving certain sectors of the economy, developing higher health and safety standards, and addressing environmental concerns. This report describes this initiative in brief detail, including summaries of several SPP-related meetings between the three countries' leaders. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26336/
Employment-Based Health Coverage and Health Reform: Selected Legal Considerations
It is estimated that nearly 170 million individuals have employer-based health coverage. As part of a comprehensive health care reform effort, there has been support (including from the Obama Administration) in enacting comprehensive health insurance reform that retains the employer-based system. This report presents selected legal considerations inherent in amending two of the primary federal laws governing employer-sponsored health care: the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26164/
Brief Facts and Statistics
This report provides facts and statistics about Social Security that are frequently requested by Members of Congress and their staffs. It includes information about Social Security taxes and benefits, the program's impact on its recipients' incomes, federal tax receipts, federal spending and the economy, administrative information, and selected facts about Medicare. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26041/
Cigarette Taxes to Fund Health Care Reform: An Economic Analysis
A cigarette excise tax increase of 75 cents per pack has been proposed to finance part of the President's universal health care program. The tax enjoys considerable public support, would raise about $11 billion per year, and would be relatively simple to administer because it would increase an existing manufacturer's excise tax. This report discusses these rationales, as well as other effects of and concerns about the tax, organized into topics of market failure as a justification for the tax (i.e., economic efficiency); potential for revenue; equity; and the job loss the tax might cause in tobacco growing regions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26039/
World Health Organization: A Fact Sheet
The World Health organization (WHO), established in 1948, is the United Nations system's authority on international public health issues. It assists governments in improving national health services and in establishing worldwide standards for foods, chemicals, and biological and pharmaceutical products. WHO concentrates on preventive rather than curative programs, including efforts to eradicate endemic and other widespread diseases, stabilize population growth, improve nutrition, sanitation, and maternal and child care. WHO is not an operational agency. It works through contracts with other agencies and private voluntary organizations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26072/
Social Security and Medicare Taxes and Premiums: Fact Sheet
Financing for social security -- Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance -- and the Hospital Insurance part of Medicare is provided primarily by taxes levied on wages and net self-employment income. Financing for the Supplementary Medical Insurance portion of Medicare is provided by premiums from enrollees and payments from the government. This report describes these taxes and premiums. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26042/
The False Claims Act, the Allison Engine Decision, and Possible Effects on Health Care Fraud Enforcement
The False Claims Act (FCA), an important tool for combating fraud against the U.S. government, generally provides that a person who knowingly submits, or causes to be submitted, a false or fraudulent claim for payment to the U.S. government may be subject to civil penalties and damages. This report provides an overview of the FCA and the Allison Engine decision, analyzes how this decision could affect certain FCA health care claims, and discusses the proposed False Claims Correction Acts (S. 2041 and H.R. 4854), which, if enacted, could limit the application of the Allison Engine decision. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10818/
Global Health: Appropriations to USAID Programs from FY2001 through FY2008
This report details the funds Congress appropriated from FY2001 through FY2008 to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for global health programs. The report includes which key programs said appropriations supported and also discusses the role of other U.S. agencies and departments in this context, including the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10767/
Government Spending on Health Care Benefits and Programs: A Data Brief
In a country where health spending accounts for more than 16% of gross domestic product (GDP), health care costs and spending are often described as a problem for consumers and their families; for employers that provide (or seek to provide) health benefits; and for government, which finances a mix of health care services, health research and training, and health safety programs. To describe government spending on health care benefits and programs, this report presents data from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10758/
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects
Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to produce certain types of plastic. Containers made of these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. Some animal experiments have found that fetal and infant development may be harmed by small amounts of BPA, but scientists disagree about the value of the animal studies for predicting harmful effects in people. This report discusses this issue and relevant legislation, as well as inquiries into studies currently underway to determine the true harm inherent in BPA and the degree to which people are regularly exposed to BPA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10734/
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects
Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to produce certain types of plastic. Containers made of these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. Some animal experiments have found that fetal and infant development may be harmed by small amounts of BPA, but scientists disagree about the value of the animal studies for predicting harmful effects in people. This report discusses this issue and relevant legislation, as well as inquiries into studies currently underway to determine the true harm inherent in BPA and the degree to which people are regularly exposed to BPA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10735/