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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…

Pulling It Together: Predicting the Future

A fair amount of attention was given recently to projections made by the Chief Actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) about the new health reform law, and how they compare to previous estimates by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). No doubt the various projections will be…

Pulling it Together: What Conservatives Are Winning

Conservatives are out of sorts these days about the direction in which health care is headed. They think the new health reform law expands the role of government too much and spends too much at a time when they believe deficit reduction should be a higher priority. The claims about…

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: 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: About Kaiser Health News

There is lots of apocalyptic talk these days about the collapse of the newspaper industry and the challenges facing news organizations.  There is even talk of the unimaginable, my hometown paper The Boston Globe shutting down. Surely they know that Red Sox Nation cannot exist without the Globe Sports pages.…

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…