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Health Reform and the Art of Federalism

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced significant changes to the premiums charged in the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP), aka the “high risk pool” created by the Affordable Care Act. Premiums will now be up to 40% lower depending on the state (in some states…

An Employer Health Benefits Balance Sheet

There seems to be growing interest in the question of how many employers will keep offering coverage to their full-time employees once the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is fully implemented in 2014, or instead will choose to stop offering coverage and pay a penalty. While there is some good analysis…

CBO’s Estimate of Repealing Exchange Grants: The Importance of Being Effective

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently released an analysis of a bill that would repeal grants to states under the health reform law to help them establish health insurance purchasing exchanges. Not surprisingly, CBO finds that the bill would reduce federal spending due to the fact that expected grants won’t…

June Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Americans Still Divided on Health Reform Law

In the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, the public remains divided in their overall assessments of the ACA, with 42 percent holding a favorable view of the law and 46 percent an unfavorable one. This month’s poll finds Americans are somewhat more likely to think their own families, seniors as…

The Numbers Behind “Young Invincibles” and the Affordable Care Act

As enrollment statistics in the new health insurance marketplaces start to become available, there is a growing focus on whether the enrollment of so-called “young invincibles” will be sufficient to keep insurance markets stable. Enrollment of young adults is important, but not as important as conventional wisdom suggests since premiums…

Obamacare Vital Signs Not Just Numbers

In his latest column, Kaiser President and CEO Drew Altman discusses the focus on first year metrics, especially enrollment projections, in the ACA debate.

The Flip Side of Higher Premiums: Better Coverage

Time Magazine’s recent cover story on health care – “Bitter Pill” by Steven Brill – has focused attention on hospital prices, especially for people paying out of their own pockets. This is not a new issue, but certainly one that deserves attention. However, what has been lost in the ensuing…

Questions for 2014

Today’s discussion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is focused on immediate implementation milestones leading up to 2014 when the law’s major provisions are set to kick in.  This is a critical period when the foundation for the ACA is being established and key building blocks such as the state…

Covering The ACA May Be Almost As Hard As Implementing It

This Pulling It Together was adapted from a column I published earlier this week in Politico, with a new introduction added. You can read the original Politico column here. The implementation of the ACA is news and the public will demand information about it. Journalists and news organizations have an obligation…