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Archive for January, 2009




Dental Coverage In SCHIP: The Legacy Of Deamonte Driver


January 30th, 2009

The tragic death of a 12-year-old Maryland boy, whose untreated tooth infection had spread to his brain, has spurred Congress to mandate that all states provide dental services as a benefit in their State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The death of Deamonte Driver on February 25, 2007, shone a spotlight on the difficulties poor […]

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Rebuilding Primary Care: A Call For Federal Action (Part 2)


January 27th, 2009

Editor’s Note: There is widespread agreement that the nation’s primary care infrastructure is woefully inadequate. For example, at the Senate hearing on his nomination to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, Sen. Tom Daschle spoke of health care as a pyramid, with primary care at the bottom and specialized care at the top. He […]

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Obama’s Economic Stimulus And Health Priorities


January 27th, 2009

In President Barack Obama’s first weekly video address to the nation this Saturday, he outlined his proposed stimulus package, including efforts on the health care front: “To lower health care cost, cut medical errors, and improve care, we’ll computerize the nation’s health record in five years, saving billions of dollars in health care costs and […]

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Health Wonk Review: SCHIP and Prevention


January 27th, 2009

The current edition of the Health Wonk Review, the biweekly round-up of health policy blogging, is hosted by Jaan Sidorov of the Disease Management Care Blog. His post-inaugural HWR highlights many interesting posts on the SCHIP votes and more. And today, Sidorov highlights the newly published perspective by Louise Russell on the cost of prevention from the current […]

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Children’s Health Care And The Future Of Health Reform


January 25th, 2009

On Thursday, 15 January 2009, the House of Representatives passed a reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, CHIPRA, by a vote of 289 to 139. On the same day the Senate Finance Committee approved a similar version of the bill by a vote of 12 to 7 and placed it on the Senate’s calendar. […]

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Rebuilding Primary Care: A Call For Federal Action (Part 1)


January 23rd, 2009

Editor’s Note: There is widespread agreement that the nation’s primary care infrastructure is woefully inadequate. For example, at the Senate hearing on his nomination to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, Sen. Tom Daschle spoke of health care as a pyramid, with primary care at the bottom and specialized care at the top. He […]

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Tom Daschle And Health Affairs


January 22nd, 2009

The current issue of BusinessWeek includes this about incoming “health czar” Tom Daschle: “On his daily runs, he listens to audio biographies of Harry Truman and John Adams. Says a friend: ‘He really does unwind by reading [policy journal] Health Affairs.’” We at Health Affairs are pleased to be included on Sen. Daschle’s reading list. […]

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The National Center For Health Care Technology: Lessons Learned


January 22nd, 2009

A recent book, CRITICAL – What We Can Do About The Health-Care Crisis, authored by incoming “Health Czar” Tom Daschle, calls for the creation of a Federal Health Board (FHB). Among other proposed board functions, the FHB would “promote ‘high value’ medical care by recommending coverage of those drugs and procedures backed by solid evidence.” This role sounds reminiscent […]

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Federal Aid To Medical Education: An Ongoing Battle


January 21st, 2009

Michelle Obama has made it clear that, unlike Hillary Rodham Clinton, she will not be a first lady who regularly mixes it up with public policy issues that vex her husband’s administration. But, invaribly, she will be drawn into issues on subjects of personal interest or that derive from her varied professional career as a […]

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Inauguration 2009: Perspectives On Health Reform


January 17th, 2009

The imminent inauguration of America’s first African American president, Barack Obama. The sharpest economic contraction since the Great Depression. In nominal terms, the biggest federal budget deficits and highest debt in history. To this short list of improbabilities, welcome and not, dare we add another — the prospect of health reform? As President Obama prepares […]

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Complete The Work On Health Information Technology


January 14th, 2009

President-elect Barack Obama and President George W. Bush may disagree on many topics, but they clearly agree on one thing: information technology (IT) is essential to reforming our health care system. They see the evidence that IT prevents errors that kill tens of thousands of Americans each year, reduces waste and duplication that cost up […]

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Top 20 Health Affairs Journal Articles For 2008


January 14th, 2009

We are pleased to announce the “most-read” Health Affairs journal articles published in 2008. The number 1 article has topped 61,000 pageviews to date. The next two articles, which were published in September, analyzed the presidential candidates’ health plans. All articles below are open to all readers for the next 2 weeks—through January 28, 2009. […]

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The Latest Health Wonk Review On The Health Care Blog


January 9th, 2009

The Health Wonk Review brings you the best of health policy blogging on a biweekly basis. Introducing the Review’s latest edition on The Health Care Blog, Brian Klepper suggests that America’s big-spending health care infrastructure, which is even now “defying the relentlessly corrosive gravitational pull of waste, corruption, and a tanking economy,” could ultimately prove […]

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Out-Of-Pocket Payments Up; Chronic Illness Key Driver


January 7th, 2009

A rise in chronic disease, particularly among baby boomers and older adults, was a key driver of the fact that consumers spent about 40 percent more out of pocket for health care in 2005 than in 1996, researchers report in the January/February 2009 issue of Health Affairs, a thematic volume on chronic illness. The study shows that […]

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Health Spending Slows, But Still Outpaces Economy Slowdown


January 6th, 2009

National health care spending grew at its lowest rate in nearly a decade in 2007, largely as a result of slower spending on prescription drugs, according to a report by government analysts published today in the new January/February 2009 issue of Health Affairs. The analysts from the National Health Statistics Group in the CMS Office […]

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Health IT On Obama Agenda


January 5th, 2009

On Saturday, President-elect Barack Obama highlighted health information technology as part of his plan to improve the economy and health system. In his weekly address, Obama said: “To save not only jobs, but money and lives, we will update and computerize our health care system to cut red tape, prevent medical mistakes, and help reduce […]

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