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How Small Business Owners Get Health Insurance

As with any economic policy issue, there has been much discussion of how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will affect small businesses. But, there’s been very little focus on how the health reform law will affect the owners of those businesses as people. As our recently released Employer Health Benefits…

The ACA and Fluoridation: The Power of Political Symbols

In the 1950s, water fluoridation became a public health controversy that morphed into a symbolic issue of larger proportions. For its opponents, fluoridation came to symbolize big government and even for some, a communist threat. The controversy became so odd that it was parodied in Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 film “Dr.…

Holiday Reminder

Like you, the holidays always make me think about those who are less fortunate.  Last year around this time, I wrote a”Holiday Reminder” column about the health reform debate and people’s economic difficulties.  The drive to pass the health reform law was struggling, and it would struggle even more in the…

The News Media and “Entitlement Reform”

In the coming debate about the deficit, policymakers will struggle to craft a package of spending reductions and new revenues that both Democrats and Republicans can agree on, totaling as much as four trillion dollars over ten years.  Medicare, Medicaid and potentially the Affordable Care Act will have their turn…

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…

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…

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…

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: 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: 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…