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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: Implementation

When I was a graduate student at MIT my adviser Jeffrey Pressman was a great political scientist who had just written the seminal book on program implementation.  It was called, simply enough, Implementation, with a subhead that read: “how great expectations in Washington are dashed” (OK, we political scientists study…

Pulling It Together: New Orleans Five Years After the Levees Broke

President Obama’s visit to New Orleans on August 29, five years after Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures nearly destroyed the city, presented an opportunity for him to deliver a message on behalf of us all: The country still cares. It was a timely message. Seven-in-ten residents of New Orleans…

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…

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…

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: 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: 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…