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Window of Opportunity?

Beginning this Spring, between expected approval of an economic stimulus package and the start of campaigning for the midterm election, there will be a rare window of opportunity for passage of major health reform legislation. History suggests that momentum can be lost if policymakers do not move quickly to seize…

Pulling It Together: The “R” Word Is Back

Longer ago than I care to admit, I got my start in health policy at M.I.T. when I wrote a book about health care regulation. The book was about a long forgotten attempt to rationalize the health care system through an elaborate health planning program set up in the seventies under the National…

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…

Pulling It Together: What Do We Want Health Insurance To Be?

Trends in the health insurance marketplace show substantial growth in high deductible health plans, especially among smaller firms, where 35% of workers are now covered by plans with a deductible of $1,000 or more. That’s according to our recently released employer health benefits survey, which we have been conducting now…

Pulling It Together: A Recovery Raises Expectations Too

New Orleans is a city still struggling with the aftermath of Katrina and the levee breaks. The people of New Orleans feel that the nation and the federal government have largely forgotten them. Those are the results of our 2008 survey of the people of New Orleans, the second in a…

Pulling It Together: Perspectives on State Health Reform

This Pulling It Together column is the fourth in my new series. All four so far have dealt with different dimensions of health reform. This time I write about one of my favorite topics, the states. As a former head of an umbrella health and social services agency in a…

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…

Pulling It Together: Critical Path To Health Reform: Conclusion

Finally, it bears mentioning for organizations like Kaiser that do research and analysis and are committed to public education on complex health policy issues, that the kinds of activities that will be most useful will vary depending on what stage we are at on the “critical path.” At this early…

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

If there is a debate in the new Congress in 2009 about comprehensive health reform legislation, a major question is: Will there be an appetite for a bipartisan, centrist deal? No matter who is in the White House or what the margins are in the Senate, it is very unlikely…