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Archive for May, 2009




Health Wonk Review On Health Reform, Public Plan


May 29th, 2009

This week’s Health Wonk Review, the roving digest of the best of health policy blogging, features new posts on health reform, including the public plan option, health care costs, health IT, and more. This week’s host is Tinker Ready of Boston Health News.

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The Industry’s Cost-Control Initiative: Signaling Momentum For Reform


May 22nd, 2009

The recent confusion surrounding the health care industry’s statement about reducing the growth in health care costs by 1.5 percentage points annually — it is a goal, the industry clarified, not a year-by-year target — underscores the need to put mechanisms in place to ensure that the industry’s spending growth target is met. Nonetheless, I […]

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Beyond The Public Plan Debate: A Pathway To Transform The Delivery System


May 20th, 2009

Editor’s Note: The post below by Harold Luft is an abridged version of a longer White Paper. The full White Paper and additional information about Dr. Luft’s work are also available. The Current Options Under Discussion There is substantial debate among Democrats about whether a public-plan option is a critical component of health reform; Republicans seem unified in opposing the idea. The “public […]

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The Health Care Industry And Costs: An Interview With David Cutler


May 19th, 2009

There has been a great deal of debate over how much significance to attach to last week’s promise by health care industry leaders to “do our part” in achieving the Obama administration’s goal of cutting health care cost grown by 1.5 percentage points annually. President Barack Obama called the occasion “a historic day, a watershed […]

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The Public Plan: Not Worth The Risks


May 15th, 2009

One of the most controversial parts of the Obama health reform campaign platform was its pledge to create a new Medicare-like public health insurance offering that would “compete” with existing private insurance plans, and put pressure on them and on providers to hold down costs. It would do this mainly by using Medicare-like pricing leverage […]

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Lessons Of Medicare For The New Public Health Insurance Plan


May 12th, 2009

Editor’s Note: The post below by E. Richard Brown, Gerald F. Kominski, and Steven P. Wallace discusses the lessons of Medicare for the new public health insurance that Congress is considering creating as part of comprehensive health reform. It complements a study published today in Health Affairs by Commonwealth Fund researchers discussing how consumers rate […]

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Mental Health Is Focus Of New Health Affairs Issue


May 7th, 2009

Many more people are using mental health services and U.S. mental health spending rose 65 percent in the past decade, but there is still a disturbingly large gap between access to care and quality of mental health care received. These are some of the findings discussed in the May/June issue of Health Affairs — Mental […]

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New Health Policy Brief On Medicare Advantage


May 7th, 2009

Health Affairs and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) are pleased to announce a new series of Health Policy Briefs aimed at providing clear, accessible overviews of timely and important health policy topics. The first brief explores the current debate over cutting payments to “Medicare Advantage” plans – the privately run health plans that now […]

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Health Affairs Blog Top 10 Posts For April


May 4th, 2009

Health reform tops the most-read list for April on the Health Affairs Blog. A series of posts on health IT looked at building the new technology into the delivery system, effect on patient-physician relationships, and more. Additional commenting is always welcome. No Direction Home: A Primary Care Physician Questions The Medical Home Model by Caroline […]

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New Health Wonk Review Posted


May 4th, 2009

The newest edition of the biweekly Health Wonk Review is up at Bob Laszewski’s substantive blog, Health Care Marketplace and Policy Review. This round-up of the best of health policy blogging includes posts on Medicare payment, health IT, health care in India, and more.

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The Swine Flu Response


May 1st, 2009

As the first H1N1 or so-called swine flu cases were diagnosed in Mexico, health officials all over the United States leapt into action. This is the test that they have been preparing for. As the disease spread, public health professionals have been actively tracking the cases, working around the clock to analyze lab specimens, offering treatment […]

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