Blog Home

Archive for February, 2009




In Obama Reform Push, Medicare Leads The Way


February 27th, 2009
by Len Nichols

President Barack Obama opened his speech to Congress on February 24 calling for our nation to take responsibility for its future once again and finally face our long-term challenges, including our structural fiscal imbalances. He was clear that we will no longer ignore the challenge to reform our struggling health care system, nor will we […]

Read the rest of this entry »

President Obama’s Budget & Health Reform


February 27th, 2009
by Jane Hiebert-White

President Barack Obama’s budget, presented at a joint session of Congress on February 25, sets aside a reserve fund of $634 billion for financing health system reforms. President Obama explained his goal:  “Because of crushing health care costs and the fact that they drag down our economy, bankrupt our families, and represent the fastest-growing part […]

Read the rest of this entry »

When Kids Fall Through The Cracks


February 26th, 2009
by Ellen Ficklen

How does a health care system learn about neglected and abused children—the ones who’ve fallen through the cracks—so they can be helped? That was the story and exploration in a Narrative Matters essay by Janette Kurie titled “Where’s David?” Kurie recently read an excerpt from her essay on NPR’s “Morning Edition.” In it she tells […]

Read the rest of this entry »

The New Spending Numbers: What They Tell Us, And What They Don’t


February 24th, 2009
by Eugene Steuerle

Editor’s Note: *** Today, Health Affairs released the newest 10-year national health spending projections by researchers from the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Separately, Health Affairs also released a second paper providing annual estimates by health spending by medical condition. In the post below, Gene Steuerle of the Peter G. […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Health Spending Projections Reinforce Need For Change


February 24th, 2009
by Rudolph Penner

Editor’s Note: *** Today, Health Affairs released the newest 10-year national health spending projections by researchers from the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Separately, Health Affairs also released a second paper providing annual estimates by health spending by medical condition. In the post below, Rudy Penner of the Urban Institute […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Health Affairs Briefing: Stimulating Health Information Technology


February 22nd, 2009
by Chris Fleming

There is widespread agreement that greater investment in information technology (IT) is critical to reforming U.S. health care. The use of such technologies as electronic health record systems, personal health records, e-prescribing, and computerized physician order entry holds the potential for vastly improving care at a reasonable cost. The recently enacted economic stimulus legislation included […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Kathleen Sebelius: One Colleague’s Take


February 22nd, 2009
by Chris Fleming

Kansas Democratic Governor Kathleen Sebelius is said to be President Obama’s top choice to be the new Secretary of Health and Human Services. What will Gov. Sebelius bring to the table if she is indeed nominated and confirmed? A former close colleague of Sebelius, Terri Vaughan, highlights the value of the Governor’s experience as her […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Nurse Wages In California


February 20th, 2009
by Chris Fleming

Wages for registered nurses (RNs) increased faster in California than elsewhere after California began implementing landmark legislation mandating minimum nurse-to-patient staffing ratios in acute care hospitals, according to a study published last week in Health Affairs (and free online through February 24). In 1999, Gov. Gray Davis (D) signed legislation making California the first state […]

Read the rest of this entry »

January Blog Top 10


February 18th, 2009
by Jane Hiebert-White

The most-read posts on Health Affairs Blog this January included much health reform advice to the Obama Administration and calls to action on health IT and rebuilding primary care. Additional commenting is always welcome. Top 20 Health Affairs Journal Articles For 2008 by Jane Hiebert-White Complete The Work On Health Information Technology by David Brailer […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Patient Power For Chronic Illness


February 12th, 2009
by John Goodman

For a long time, I have believed the greatest potential for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) is in the treatment of chronic illness. I even wrote some fictional vignettes in a “vision” chapter in the National Center for Policy Analysis’ Handbook On State Health Care Reform, describing how HSAs might work for diabetics and other patients. […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Peter Orszag: A Powerful New Health Policy Voice At OMB


February 9th, 2009
by Jeff Goldsmith

When President Obama announced Peter Orszag as his choice for director of the Office of Management and Budget, many in the health care community ran for Google. Orszag, an intense and studious 40-year-old economist, who headed the Congressional Budget Office during 2007 and 2008, has emerged as a forceful advocate of controlling entitlement spending and […]

Read the rest of this entry »

The Public Plan Option: Bipartisanship, Or Fear And Loathing?


February 5th, 2009
by Rob Cunningham

The tea leaves say President Barack Obama will do more than pay lip service to bipartisanship, but they don’t say whether others will follow his example. Health reformers typically genuflect at this altar, and have placed rich offerings on it in anticipation of impending deliberations. Comparative effectiveness research, health information technology (IT), and value-based purchasing […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Daschle Departure Dims Prospects For Jump-Start On Health Reform


February 3rd, 2009
by Rob Cunningham

We’ll never know what would have happened if Tom Daschle had kept his books in order and become Health and Human Services secretary. He was widely regarded as a promising choice for the secretary’s job and a role as point man on health reform for the Obama administration. What is clearer is the likelihood that […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Jump-Starting Health IT: An Open Letter To President Obama And Congress


February 3rd, 2009
by Mark Leavitt

Editor’s Note. Below, Mark Leavitt, chair of the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology, addresses an open letter on health information technology to President Obama and the new Congress. Health IT is also the topic of Health Affairs‘ upcoming March-April issue, which will be released on March 10.  President Obama and members of Congress:  Please accept my heartfelt congratulations […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Seeking Value In Health Care


February 2nd, 2009
by Jane Hiebert-White

With the U.S. tab for health care approaching one dollar out of every five, a key question on the health reform agenda is how to achieve value in health care. Jeanne Lambrew, the new deputy director of the White House Office on Health Reform, spoke this morning to nearly 800 health policy wonks at the […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Click here to email us a new post.