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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling It Together: Rising Health Costs Are Not Just a Federal Budget Problem

Premiums for employer-provided health insurance, where 150 million Americans get their coverage, jumped 9% in 2011 while workers’ wages grew just 2%, according to our annual employer survey.  The average family policy now costs more than $15,000 per year, more than the cost of a Chevy Aveo or a Ford…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Small Area Variations and the ACA’s Coverage Expansions

A new Kaiser analysis sheds light on how the country might react to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) when it is implemented.  It looks at how the benefits of the ACA’s coverage expansions will vary around the country by census areas (technically, Public Use Microdata Areas, or PUMAs).  PUMAs are…

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Pulling it Together: Duals: The National Health Reform Experiment We Should Be talking More About

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and 26 states are moving to launch a large scale managed care demonstration project potentially involving millions of the poorest, sickest, most expensive Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, the so-called dual eligibles. The experiment is getting more and more attention from policy experts,…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling It Together: Jobs, A Reason to Fast Track Coverage

The two big topics in Washington right now are the economy and health care.  I’ve written before about how the two are linked, and in particular about how among the everyday economic problems people are having, paying for health care is a big one. But the latest numbers out from…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling it Together: Small $ for HIV Prevention

It’s no secret that the response to the HIV epidemic domestically has not kept pace with the response to the global epidemic. And in an earlier column called America Has Gone Quiet on HIV/AIDS I wrote about the growing complacency towards the domestic epidemic revealed in our recent survey of…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling it Together: The “Third School” for Controlling Health Care Costs?

For as long as I have been in the field, there have been two dominant schools of thought about how to control health care costs. One school, The Regulators, believed that the best way to slow increasing costs was to control the total resources going into the health care system:…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling it Together: Forget Math and Science, Teach Civics (Or Why We Need to Bring Back Schoolhouse Rock)

I am seldom surprised by our poll findings, but this month’s tracking poll produced a doozy.  Twenty-two percent of the American people think the Affordable Care Act has been repealed, and another 26 percent aren’t sure.  Those are surprisingly large numbers even with the 52 percent who still know it…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling It Together: Bono, Jon Stewart and the HIV/AIDS Message

One of the most interesting conversations on a health topic happened recently on The Daily Show between Bono and Jon Stewart. Bono told Stewart that we were “at the beginning of the end of the AIDS epidemic,” promising an announcement the next day that would explain how a combination of…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling It Together: The Falloff in Utilization: “There’s Something Happening, Here, What It Is Ain’t Exactly Clear”

For as long as I have been in the field, we have seen cycles in health care costs. Per capita health spending would rise, then moderate, then rise gain. My colleague Larry Levitt and I documented this in The Sad History of Health Care Costs and my friend Dr. Jim Mongan…

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Pulling it Together: Reflections on This Year’s Four Percent Premium Increase

Our 2012 Employer Health Benefits Survey found a 4% increase in premiums this year, continuing the recent trend of moderation in health costs and spending reported in several studies. Double digit increases in premiums were once a common occurrence, but we have not seen any since a 10% increase in…

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