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Pulling It Together: The Repeal Trap?

Almost a year into an often acrimonious health reform debate, we stand poised for near certain passage of historic health reform legislation. Yet, somewhat perplexingly, there’s now talk about whether a law that has not even been enacted might actually be repealed and reporters have been calling asking what the…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Pulling it Together: The Most Popular Provision in the ACA?

In our most recent monthly tracking poll, we asked the American people what elements of the health reform law they like and dislike. Surprisingly, the runaway favorite was a relatively obscure requirement that health plans provide consumers with a short, easy to understand description of their benefits and coverage. Sixty…

Pulling it Together: Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks

Way back in the eighties when I was Human Services Commissioner in New Jersey, I established something called the Garden State Health Plan (GSHP).  It was the first — and I think the only — federally qualified state-run HMO for Medicaid beneficiaries.  One goal of the GSHP was to reallocate…