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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling it Together: Simple Arithmetic

This week we put out our annual benchmark survey of employer health coverage and costs. Two numbers jumped off the pages. The first number was the average cost of a family health insurance policy in 2009: $13,375. To put that number in context, if you are an employer, you can…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling It Together: The Message from Massachusetts

The Massachusetts special election has roiled the political world and profoundly affected the prospects for health reform just when it looked like passage was a lock.  Efforts are underway to put health reform legislation back together again on Capitol Hill, but not since powerful Ways and Means Chair Wilbur Mills fell into…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling it Together: Anticipating the Polls about Health

Tuesday, February 2nd marked a milestone of sorts in the health reform debate: there was no story on health reform in the New York Times (national edition).  I haven’t done a study, but as a professional New York Times (NYT) reader, I am virtually certain that this is the first…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling It Together: Implementation Is Forever

Now that historic health reform legislation is law, everyone is rightfully focused on implementation. There are two very different ways to look at implementation. One is the more legalistic worm’s eye view, which sees implementation largely as the process of putting into effect what was written in the law. In…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling it Together: Seniors and Health Reform

It is widely believed that seniors are antsy about the new health reform law. And there is heightened interest in how seniors feel about the law in the political world because they are more likely to vote in midterm elections.  About 48% of the electorate said they voted in the…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling it Together: Health Reform’s Six-Month Checkup

Six months after its enactment, there are two totally different stories to tell about the health-reform law. The public remains split on the law largely along traditional partisan lines. Confusion and misperception are rampant, with more than a third of seniors still thinking the law contains “death panels” (it does…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling It Together: Uninsured But Not Yet Informed

If there is one thing there is general agreement on when it comes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) it’s that it will help the uninsured.  The estimates are that 32 million people will gain coverage under the law through an expansion of Medicaid and tax credits, which will help…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling It Together: What Do We Want Health Insurance To Be?

Trends in the health insurance marketplace show substantial growth in high deductible health plans, especially among smaller firms, where 35% of workers are now covered by plans with a deductible of $1,000 or more. That’s according to our recently released employer health benefits survey, which we have been conducting now…

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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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