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Pulling It Together: A Public Opinion Surprise

Medicaid is the nation’s primary health insurance program for low-income people and people with disabilities, covering more than 60 million people this year.  And it’s about to get a lot of attention: it’s likely to be a prime target for spending reductions by “deficit hawks” in debate over the budget;…

Pulling It Together: Are We Headed for a Government Takeover of Health Care?

Remember the “government takeover of the health care system” argument that critics of the health reform law have used?  Well, last week the Office of the Actuary in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published the latest projections of health spending in the journal Health Affairs.  Attention focused mainly…

Pulling it Together: Business and Health Care Costs

Hidden away on page 218 of our annual Employer Health Benefits Survey is a table that shows what employers think of the main strategies they have to control health care costs.  More specifically, the table shows what the person in the firm responsible for its health benefits thinks, which is…

Pulling it Together: 2012: The ACA, and More

What is remarkable about 2012 (and the current era in health policy) is how many big health policy issues and marketplace changes will be in play at the same time: HEALTH REFORM: There is the implementation of a historic but fragile health reform law, with a Supreme Court decision pending…

Pulling it Together: Implementation

When I was a graduate student at MIT my adviser Jeffrey Pressman was a great political scientist who had just written the seminal book on program implementation.  It was called, simply enough, Implementation, with a subhead that read: “how great expectations in Washington are dashed” (OK, we political scientists study…

Pulling It Together: New Orleans Five Years After the Levees Broke

President Obama’s visit to New Orleans on August 29, five years after Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures nearly destroyed the city, presented an opportunity for him to deliver a message on behalf of us all: The country still cares. It was a timely message. Seven-in-ten residents of New Orleans…

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…

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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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.