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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling it Together: The “Third School” for Controlling Health Care Costs?

For as long as I have been in the field, there have been two dominant schools of thought about how to control health care costs. One school, The Regulators, believed that the best way to slow increasing costs was to control the total resources going into the health care system:…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

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…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling It Together: The Falloff in Utilization: “There’s Something Happening, Here, What It Is Ain’t Exactly Clear”

For as long as I have been in the field, we have seen cycles in health care costs. Per capita health spending would rise, then moderate, then rise gain. My colleague Larry Levitt and I documented this in The Sad History of Health Care Costs and my friend Dr. Jim Mongan…

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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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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

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…

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Pulling it Together: How the ACA Can Help The Homeless

Estimates are that there are approximately 630,000 people who are homeless on any given night in the U.S. — about two-thirds in shelters and one-third on the street or without real shelter. Several million people are estimated to experience homelessness over the course of a year. About two-thirds are individuals and the…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling It Together: Critical Path To Health Reform: Stage One

Will there be a big debate about health reform in the general election? If there is it will elevate the issue further, engage the public, and create momentum and a mandate for action by a new President and Congress. If, however, the debate about health is tepid or health is…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling It Together: Critical Path To Health Reform: Stage Two

Will the new president make health a top early priority and exercise real leadership on the issue? One of the big lessons of the health reform debate of the early nineties is that the Congress needs to be fully engaged in the process early on. Nevertheless, for health reform legislation…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling it Together from Drew Altman: Multiple Agendas for Controlling Health Care Costs

In what would be a domestic policy trifecta, we may be headed for interconnected big debates about economic recovery, entitlement programs and health reform. A core issue in the entitlement and health reform debates is the problem of rising health care costs. President Obama, now apparently fully briefed on the…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling it Together: The Health Care Industry’s Second Voluntary Effort

The announcement that health care industry groups plan to put on the table voluntarily a package of proposals to shave $2 trillion off the rate of increase in health spending over the next ten years immediately conjures up the image of the Voluntary Effort or VE launched with similar fanfare…

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