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Pulling it Together: Simple Arithmetic

This week we put out our annual benchmark survey of employer health coverage and costs. Two numbers jumped off the pages. The first number was the average cost of a family health insurance policy in 2009: $13,375. To put that number in context, if you are an employer, you can…

Pulling It Together: The Message from Massachusetts

The Massachusetts special election has roiled the political world and profoundly affected the prospects for health reform just when it looked like passage was a lock.  Efforts are underway to put health reform legislation back together again on Capitol Hill, but not since powerful Ways and Means Chair Wilbur Mills fell into…

Pulling it Together: Anticipating the Polls about Health

Tuesday, February 2nd marked a milestone of sorts in the health reform debate: there was no story on health reform in the New York Times (national edition).  I haven’t done a study, but as a professional New York Times (NYT) reader, I am virtually certain that this is the first…

Pulling It Together: Implementation Is Forever

Now that historic health reform legislation is law, everyone is rightfully focused on implementation. There are two very different ways to look at implementation. One is the more legalistic worm’s eye view, which sees implementation largely as the process of putting into effect what was written in the law. In…

Pulling it Together: Seniors and Health Reform

It is widely believed that seniors are antsy about the new health reform law. And there is heightened interest in how seniors feel about the law in the political world because they are more likely to vote in midterm elections.  About 48% of the electorate said they voted in the…

Pulling it Together: Health Reform’s Six-Month Checkup

Six months after its enactment, there are two totally different stories to tell about the health-reform law. The public remains split on the law largely along traditional partisan lines. Confusion and misperception are rampant, with more than a third of seniors still thinking the law contains “death panels” (it does…

Pulling It Together: Uninsured But Not Yet Informed

If there is one thing there is general agreement on when it comes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) it’s that it will help the uninsured.  The estimates are that 32 million people will gain coverage under the law through an expansion of Medicaid and tax credits, which will help…

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…

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…

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…