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American People

Health Care Reform

Since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the National Health Council (NHC) has identified the following priority areas on which to focus 


Health care reform implementation

Comparative effectiveness research

Delivery system reform


Health Care Reform Implementation


In response to the Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed rule on redetermining the eligibility of participants in the health insurance exchanges, the National Health Council submitted comments to Secretary Sylvia Burwell.


“We believe it is vital that HHS ensure that transparency is paramount when working with exchange enrollees during the redetermination and eligibility process,” the letter reads. “It is critical that patients have a clear understanding of any and all changes affecting their health coverage, and that these changes are stated in a clear, concise, and transparent manner. People with chronic conditions, as potentially high users of health care services, are the patient population most at risk of adverse outcomes resulting from poor enrollment choices.”


The letter presents two specific recommendations and the reasoning behind them:


  • For individuals subject to enrollment in a new plan or product in 2015 due to their 2014 plan or product being unavailable, assignment to a plan with similar premium and metal level should take priority over assignment to a plan under the same carrier.
  • The federal government should streamline the redetermination and notification processes for individuals and families with limited income who are eligible for assistance with premiums and/or cost sharing in the exchange.



To view the letter, please click here



On January 23, 2014 the National Health Council (NHC) launched, a new website with an interactive set of tools designed to help people learn about their health insurance options. The site includes resources on health insurance and marketplaces, a health care cost estimator, and a place for visitors to share their health care experiences. Visit to learn more.


The NHC also hosted a series of webinars for patient advocate organizations to help them prepare people with chronic diseases and disabilities for the opening of the health care exchanges. 


Other ACA Resources:





Comparative Effectiveness


Comparative effectiveness research (CER) is the concept of evaluating evidence on the relative medical benefits and costs of various treatments to identify the most effective one for any given diagnosis. The NHC has advocated for conducting CER in a way that is transparent and involves input from the patient community during every step of the process. CER has the potential to improve health outcomes by helping people make better-informed decisions. The National Health Council and Avalere Health prepared a white paper that outlines the research and discussion to create a framework to guide the development of CER, evaluate its results, and assist in communicating the findings to the right audiences. 





Health Care Delivery System 


Each year, 7 out of 10 deaths in the U.S. are due to chronic diseases. Heart disease, cancer, and stroke account for more than half of all deaths each year. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, people with chronic conditions receive 56% of recommended preventive health services. Improving the quality and delivery of health just care will improve the quality of life for the more than 133 million people with chronic diseases and disabilities in this country.


To provide true value in health care, there must be a confluence of health research and personal circumstances, which include the patient's genetic, ethnic, religious, and social-economic status at the point of care. The marriage of health research with real-world application leads to improved health outcomes and helps us to curb costs responsibly. The NHC has developed a diagram that addresses the elements for getting the Right Care, at the Right Time, for the Right Patient, at the Right Price and has sent the comments to Congress and the Administration: 


  • National Health Council commented on a proposed rule by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services concerning the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs (March 7, 2014)

  • National Health Council CEO Myrl Weinberg spoke at a 2013 Capitol Hill briefing in Washington, DC on how to create a value-based health care delivery system that meets the needs of people with chronic diseases and disabilities.


To learn more about the NHC’s priority policy areas, please select one of the following issue areas:



Federal Appropriations

FDA Issues

Policy Issues


Click here to read archived NHC letters of support and position statements.