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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

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…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

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…

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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 Experts vs. The Public on Health Reform

In repeated Kaiser polls, we see a divide between what experts believe and what the public believes about some of the key issues in health reform. They don’t disagree on everything; far from it. But there is a wide gulf on basic beliefs about what is behind the problems in…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

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…

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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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premiumchange_02_1

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: On Health Reform, Will All Roads Meet in the Middle?

A few weeks ago a small group of upset single-payer advocates followed Senator Baucus into the parking garage of our D.C. building as he was arriving to do one of our health reform newsmaker breakfasts, cosponsored by Families USA and the National Federation of Independent Business. They were angry because…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling it Together: Last Week’s Health Reform “Shocker”

Last week we learned that health reform could cost the federal government at least a trillion dollars over ten years, and that it will be really difficult to forge bipartisan agreement on legislation and keep major interest groups on board. This obviously brought more angst to the deliberations, several Republicans…

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