Blog Home

Archive for September, 2009




A Tax That Targets Health Insurance Innovation


September 30th, 2009
by Alain Enthoven

The Senate Finance Committee is now considering a proposal that would impose an aggregate tax of $6.7 billion dollars per year on “any U.S. health insurance provider,” in proportion to market share, whether for profit or not for profit, but not on employers who “self fund” their employees’ coverage. About 160 million Americans have private […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Individual Mandate Is Focus Of New Health Policy Brief


September 29th, 2009
by Chris Fleming

The complex health care overhaul underway in Congress would require nearly all Americans to have health insurance – a provision known as “individual responsibility” or an “individual mandate.” Supporters warn other reforms are not possible without this requirement.  But many opponents say such a mandate is unaffordable, and unacceptable in a free society.  A new […]

Read the rest of this entry »

The Grandparents Corps: A New Primary Care Model


September 28th, 2009
by Arthur Garson

Editor’s Note: In addition to Arthur Garson (photo and bio available above), coauthors of this post include Margaret Whitehead, Tracy Buni, Catherine Sommers, and Karen Rheuban. Given current trends, access to health care will worsen considerably in the next 15 years. The first wave of baby boomers is now turning 65, and health care utilization for […]

Read the rest of this entry »

American Values And Health Reform


September 25th, 2009
by Chris Fleming

During the current health reform debate, both Democrats and Republicans have often made their case in terms of values such as liberty, justice, and equality. One example has been the Republican opposition to the “individual mandate” – requiring everyone to purchase health insurance if “affordable” coverage is available – which Senator John Kyl of Arizona […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Bending The Cost Curve: From Demos To Pilots


September 24th, 2009
by Chris Fleming

There has been much debate about whether the various health reform bills being debated in Congress contain enough measures to reform the health care delivery system and slow the rate of growth in health care spending. Speaking at the Sept. 9 briefing held to release Health Affairs’ Sept-Oct issue, a thematic volume titled “Bending The […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Underneath The Democratic Health Bills Are Republican Roots


September 23rd, 2009
by Karl Kronebusch

In recent days, Republican leaders on Capitol Hill have taken up the argument that the Democratic health reform bills represent a “government takeover” of the health care system.  These claims misrepresent the substantive content of the bills, since the approach of the main committee bills is to extend employer-sponsored, private insurance.  But this rhetorical exaggeration […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Cortese On Reform: The Hard Part Is The Delivery System


September 22nd, 2009
by Chris Fleming

As anyone who has been observing recent goings-on in the Senate Finance Committee knows, moving toward universal coverage is no easy matter. No sooner did Finance Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) release his long-awaited Chairman’s mark of health reform legislation than he was pushed to increase the subsidies available to low- and middle-income Americans to purchase […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Does Lack Of Insurance Cause Premature Death?


September 21st, 2009
by John Goodman

Truth is not only the first casualty of war, it is also the first casualty of serious public policy debate. Last year, a report by Families USA made the astounding claim that 6 people die every day in Florida because they are uninsured. Seven die every day in Texas, 8 in California, and 25 in […]

Read the rest of this entry »

The Public Option, Hospital Finances, And Private Premiums


September 17th, 2009
by Chris Fleming

One of the main points of dispute in the health reform debate has been whether to include a new public health insurance option. Legislation approved by three House committees and the Senate, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee includes such a public option, but the proposal unveiled yesterday by Senate Finance Committe Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) does not. Earlier this week, […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Why A Public Health Insurance Option Is Essential


September 17th, 2009
by David Balto

The biggest flashpoint in the ongoing debate over the future of the U.S. health system is whether Congress should change the balance of power that now favors the private health insurance industry. Opponents of the idea argue that a public health insurance plan competing with private insurers would lead to inferior health care, harm providers, […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Reactions to Obama’s Speech on Health Wonk Review


September 17th, 2009
by Jane Hiebert-White

A new edition of the Health Wonk Review today rounds up health policy blogposts on health reform, reactions to President Obama’s speech, and more. Rich Elmore of Healthcare Technology News serves as host.

Read the rest of this entry »

High-Quality, Low-Cost Care: An Interview With Gundersen-Lutheran CEO Jeff Thompson


September 16th, 2009
 
by John Iglehart and Chris Fleming

Editor’s Note: In terms of “bending the cost curve,” health-care providers in La Crosse, WI., have clearly demonstrated the ability to deliver high-qualty care for comparatively low costs. La Crosse was one of ten communities featured at a July 21 conference in Washington, D.C. titled “How Do They Do That?  Low-Cost, High-Quality Health Care in […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Grading The President’s Health Care Speech


September 14th, 2009
by Uwe E. Reinhardt

After decades of teaching, I view everything around me as a final exam and assign it letter grades. Naturally, I graded President Barack Obama’s speech as well. The overall grade is A–, a highly respectable grade at Princeton, although there is variation around this overall average for the different themes in the speech. The elegance […]

Read the rest of this entry »

The Census Bureau’s Coverage Estimates: What They Tell Us


September 11th, 2009
by Lisa Dubay

On the heels of the President’s speech on health care reform, the Census Bureau released to little fanfare new estimates of health insurance coverage from the Current Population Survey (CPS).   Between 2007 and 2008, the number of individuals without health insurance rose from 45.7 million to 46.3 million, increasing the ranks of the uninsured by […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Census Survey May Understate Medicaid Enrollment, Overstate Uninsured Ranks


September 11th, 2009
by Chris Fleming

Widely cited estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau likely overstate the number of uninsured people and understate the number of people with Medicaid coverage because of an inability of people to recall their insurance status accurately from the previous year, according to a study published yesterday on the Health Affairs Web site. The CPS, administered in […]

Read the rest of this entry »

The Day After: Obama’s Speech And The Politics Of Health Reform


September 10th, 2009
by Jonathan Oberlander

On September 22, 1993, President Bill Clinton spoke to a joint session of Congress about the imperative of enacting health reform. It was a powerful speech. Clinton emphasized the need to fix a “badly broken” system that cost too much and left too many Americans without insurance. He eloquently cited stories of how ordinary Americans […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Bringing Health Care Reform Back Into A Health Insurance Reform Bill


September 10th, 2009
by Harold Luft

The president’s speech to Congress struck important political notes.  It also included three tantalizing opportunities for adding some aspects of health care reform to what was becoming simply health insurance reform.  Delaying Implementation of the Exchange The most obvious new, and possibly controversial, point in the speech was the four-year delay in implementing the Insurance […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Obama’s Speech: Reviving Health Reform


September 10th, 2009
by Henry Aaron

After the August congressional recess, health care reform was on life support.  In a speech of remarkable force and eloquence on Wednesday night to a congressional joint session, President Obama made clear that he would use every resource available to him to assure that health reform survives to become law. The August recess had left […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Regional Payment And Delivery Reforms: Critical To Obama Plan’s Success


September 10th, 2009
by Harold Miller

Early in President Barack Obama’s speech to Congress about health care reform, he mentioned health care costs as one of the causes of the problem of lack of insurance coverage. But most of the speech focused on what to do about health insurance costs, not health care costs. Changing the rules about how insurance companies operate […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Bending The Cost Curve: Do We Have The Will?


September 9th, 2009
by Chris Fleming

The need to “bend the curve” of rising health care costs is certain. Less certain is the nation’s political will to take on that difficult task. That conundrum emerged today at a Washington, D.C. briefing sponsored by Health Affairs. The briefing, held to launch the journal’s Sept-Oct issue, a thematic volume titled “Bending The Cost […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Click here to email us a new post.