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June Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Americans Still Divided on Health Reform Law

In the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, the public remains divided in their overall assessments of the ACA, with 42 percent holding a favorable view of the law and 46 percent an unfavorable one. This month’s poll finds Americans are somewhat more likely to think their own families, seniors as…

Pulling It Together: Changing the HIV Testing Message

In 2006 the CDC began recommending routine HIV testing in health care settings for everyone between the ages of 13 and 64. Annual  testing is recommended for people at highest risk. Our 2011 survey of Americans and HIV released last week — our eighth comprehensive survey of its kind — …

An Employer Health Benefits Balance Sheet

There seems to be growing interest in the question of how many employers will keep offering coverage to their full-time employees once the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is fully implemented in 2014, or instead will choose to stop offering coverage and pay a penalty. While there is some good analysis…

Pulling It Together: Medicare, Medicaid, and The Multiplier Effect

We are witnessing a battle in Washington right now about the future of health care’s two big public programs, Medicare and Medicaid. It’s a budget battle, it’s an ideological battle, it’s a partisan political battle, and while it might not always be obvious following the debate, it’s a high stakes…

Health Reform and the Art of Federalism

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced significant changes to the premiums charged in the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP), aka the “high risk pool” created by the Affordable Care Act. Premiums will now be up to 40% lower depending on the state (in some states…

Peering Into the Black Box of Insurance Rating

Recently, the New York Times reported that private health insurers continue to seek large premium increases despite seeing lower than expected use of medical care and booking record profits. The story highlights a significant problem for health policy: the lack of good, public information about how health insurers manage health…

Who Will be the H&R Block and TurboTax for Health Insurance?

There’s been quite a bit of focus lately insofar as these issues go, anyway on health insurance agents and brokers (sometimes known in the industry as “producers”). They are pushing legislation that has been introduced in Congress and is now being studied by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners that…

CBO’s Estimate of Repealing Exchange Grants: The Importance of Being Effective

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently released an analysis of a bill that would repeal grants to states under the health reform law to help them establish health insurance purchasing exchanges. Not surprisingly, CBO finds that the bill would reduce federal spending due to the fact that expected grants won’t…

May Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Views of Health Reform Law Remain Unchanged

This month’s Kaiser Health Tracking Poll reveals little change in public opinion about the health reform law. Americans remain divided overall, with 42 percent having a favorable opinion of the law and 44 percent viewing it unfavorably. Three in ten continue to want to see the law expanded, while roughly…

Pulling It Together: Predictions

I usually don’t make predictions, unless they are backed up by the kind of statistical modeling we often produce.  But here are three predictions I am confident about that form the basis of this latest column. GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS WILL CONTINUE TO RISE AT HISTORICALLY MODERATE LEVELS, AT LEAST…