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pit-0314_3

The ACA and Fluoridation: The Power of Political Symbols

In the 1950s, water fluoridation became a public health controversy that morphed into a symbolic issue of larger proportions. For its opponents, fluoridation came to symbolize big government and even for some, a communist threat. The controversy became so odd that it was parodied in Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 film “Dr.…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Holiday Reminder

Like you, the holidays always make me think about those who are less fortunate.  Last year around this time, I wrote a”Holiday Reminder” column about the health reform debate and people’s economic difficulties.  The drive to pass the health reform law was struggling, and it would struggle even more in the…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

The News Media and “Entitlement Reform”

In the coming debate about the deficit, policymakers will struggle to craft a package of spending reductions and new revenues that both Democrats and Republicans can agree on, totaling as much as four trillion dollars over ten years.  Medicare, Medicaid and potentially the Affordable Care Act will have their turn…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

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…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling it Together: A Note on Presidential Leadership Strategy

In inside circles of the health reform debate there has been criticism of the President for not weighing in earlier and publicly on the details of health reform legislation. Does he want the Senate’s approach to employer obligations, or the approach taken in the House? What form of public option…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling it Together: A Holiday Reminder on the Economy and Health Care

With so much of the focus on the political dynamics of the health reform debate and a few hot button issues, I wonder if we have lost track of what propelled health care to the top domestic issue in the first place—people’s concerns about paying for health care in the…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling It Together: Predicting the Future

A fair amount of attention was given recently to projections made by the Chief Actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) about the new health reform law, and how they compare to previous estimates by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). No doubt the various projections will be…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling it Together: What Conservatives Are Winning

Conservatives are out of sorts these days about the direction in which health care is headed. They think the new health reform law expands the role of government too much and spends too much at a time when they believe deficit reduction should be a higher priority. The claims about…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling It Together: Keeping the Health Reform Coalition Together

We could be headed for a new schism in the debate about health reform. Not the familiar gulf between advocates of the market and government, or the predictable one between deficit hawks and spenders, but a new one that crosses traditional partisan and ideological lines between advocates of long-term reform of the health care delivery…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling it Together: What Will Health Reform Do For Me?

There is one poll number that may be more important to watch than any other if we have a big debate about health reform: The percentage of Americans who think that they or their families would be better off if the president and the Congress enacted major health reform legislation.…

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