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Pulling it Together: This Could Be the Next Big Issue in Health Reform

No, this is not about “death panels.” The town hall meetings.  The media coverage of the town hall meetings.  Media polls about how the American people feel about the town hall meetings.  And even the media myth busting and fact checking about the most extreme claims made at the town…

Pulling it Together: When Premiums Go Up 39%

Our group that works on health care cost issues just updated an analysis that sheds light on what’s really happening to people in the individual health insurance market, the issue Secretary Sebelius, a former Kansas insurance commissioner, and others have put in the spotlight by calling on Anthem and other…

Pulling it Together: The People Behind The Entitlement Debate

Well before we have any clarity on the impact of the election on health reform, the pundits are handicapping the prospects of efforts to make a serious dent in the national debt and deficit.  Three national commissions are hammering out recommendations for reducing the debt and reining in entitlement spending,…

Pulling It Together: What Conservatives Won In Health Reform (And Don’t Seem to Know It)

Conservatives obviously don’t like what they call “Obamacare” because they think it expands the role of government too much and spends too much money.  But ironically, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) actually promotes — though not explicitly — something that has been a fundamental objective of conservatives in health care…

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…

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 — …

Pulling It Together: Writing Regulations

Not since Geraldo Rivera revealed the secret contents of Al Capone’s vault on national TV in the mid-80s, or more recently, sports fans awaited the LeBron James “decision” about where he would play next, have we so anxiously awaited anything as much as the draft health exchange regulations just published…

The Flip Side of Higher Premiums: Better Coverage

Time Magazine’s recent cover story on health care – “Bitter Pill” by Steven Brill – has focused attention on hospital prices, especially for people paying out of their own pockets. This is not a new issue, but certainly one that deserves attention. However, what has been lost in the ensuing…

Questions for 2014

Today’s discussion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is focused on immediate implementation milestones leading up to 2014 when the law’s major provisions are set to kick in.  This is a critical period when the foundation for the ACA is being established and key building blocks such as the state…