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Archive for November, 2008




Latest Health Wonk Reviews


November 21st, 2008

Time to catch up on health policy blogging highlights? The latest Health Wonk Review offers a post-election round-up hosted by Louise Norris of The Colorado Health Insurance Insider blog. Earlier, David Harlow of HealthBlawg took a turn at hosting the HWR and highlighted some terrific posts on health spending and the economy.

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Health Affairs Medicare Advantage Briefing


November 21st, 2008

Are Medicare enrollees—and U.S. taxpayers—getting their money’s worth from the private health plans that serve beneficiaries through the Medicare Advantage program? Just what is it Medicare Advantage plans are providing—and what’s this part of Medicare really supposed to accomplish? These questions have been hotly debated as long as Medicare Advantage and its precursor programs have […]

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The Obama-Romney-McCain Health Plan


November 21st, 2008

What are the prospects for health reform? That depends on how flexible the new president turns out to be. Although Barack Obama was highly critical of John McCain’s health plan during the election, he actually needs key elements of the McCain plan. He also needs key elements of Mitt Romney’s health reform enacted in Massachusetts, […]

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Language, Culture, And Medical Tragedy: The Case Of Willie Ramirez


November 19th, 2008

Editor’s Note: The November-December issue of Health Affairs contains essays by a physician and a medical interpreter on the challenges and perils of navigating language gaps between medical providers and patients in the absence of a trained medical interpreter. The essays appear in the journal’s “Narrative Matters” section, which is supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The post […]

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Primary Care: Divergent Paths In U.S. And Abroad


November 14th, 2008

The contrast could hardly have been more sharp. In a week when The New England Journal of Medicine published a series of perspectives exhorting the United States to reinvent primary care before it collapses, speakers at the annual international symposium of The Commonwealth Fund emphasized how primary care physicians formed the critical core of health-care […]

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New Health Affairs Issue Examines “The Price Of Medical Technology”


November 11th, 2008

Economist Uwe Reinhardt once likened the payment system for U.S. health care to a fictional employer-sponsored “clothes benefit program.” Companies would reimburse workers for 80 percent of the “reasonable cost” of attire that was “necessary and appropriate” for the job. The catch: although employees could choose whatever they wanted from the racks of any department […]

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Obama And Health Policy: Campaign Successes And Governing Plans


November 7th, 2008

In the closing weeks of his successful race to the White House, the campaign of President-Elect Barack Obama made a strategic decision to blanket the air waves and his stump speeches with health care messages closely tied into the fears of voters that they could lose their health insurance as the economy sunk deeper into […]

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Obama, McCain Advisers Lead Top 10 On Health Affairs Blog


November 5th, 2008

Health reform plan critiques from Obama and McCain advisors topped the list of most-read posts on Health Affairs Blog for October. Additional commenting is welcome. To stay on top of new postings, sign up for email or RSS feed alerts. Health Plan Scoring That Runs Out Of Bounds by Thomas Miller The McCain Critique: Out […]

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Obama’s Health Policy Options: 3 Scenarios


November 5th, 2008

Barack Obama won the presidency campaigning on a promise substantially to expand health coverage. His ability to achieve this promise rested on the capacity to raise and spend about $1.6 trillion over ten years to subsidize private coverage for individuals and small businesses that could not otherwise afford to buy it themselves, as well as […]

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AmeriCarePlans: A McCain-Obama Hybrid Proposal


November 3rd, 2008

As a thirty-five year veteran of the debates and initiatives to reform the U.S. health insurance system, I am delighted that so much of the presidential campaign rhetoric, advertising, and general press coverage this month has included this subject. However, most of the rhetoric has focused on the “refundable tax credits” of Sen. John McCain […]

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