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Pulling it Together: 19.7

Several years ago Joanne Silberner from NPR offered some advice I liked. Joanne said that the secret to effective communication was to “have a killer anecdote and a killer number.” Here is a killer number: 19.7. That’s the average number of years between major attempts at health reform since Harry…

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: Repeal

The House will soon vote to repeal the health reform law, the Senate won’t, and the President would veto it if they did.  So what does a House vote for repeal mean? It is, of course, a campaign promise kept to the political right.  It is also a signal from…

Pulling It Together: Critical Path To Health Reform

In this new section of our Web site, I pull together ideas and data from across the Foundation’s work to try to paint a bigger picture that hopefully helps to illuminate critical health policy issues. This is not a blog or a personal position statement. This second installment of the…

Pulling It Together: Health IN the Economy

I am writing this Pulling It Together column about this one chart and its potential interpretations and implications. Source: Key Findings: Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Election 2008 — April 2008, Kaiser Family Foundation, April 2008. This chart from our most recent tracking poll shows the economy rising as a political issue…

Grandfathering Explained

The Republican leadership in the House of Representatives recently indicated that it will be seeking to repeal regulations under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that govern the “grandfathered” status of health plans. As this aspect of the health reform law gets more scrutiny, it may be useful to review some of…

September Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Pre-Existing Conditions

With several elements of the ACA targeted toward individuals with pre-existing conditions, this month’s Kaiser Health Tracking Poll takes a closer look at this group. Fifty-two percent of Americans say that they or someone else in their household has what would be considered a “pre-existing condition,” and among this group, one…