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Pulling It Together: Medicare, Medicaid, and The Multiplier Effect

We are witnessing a battle in Washington right now about the future of health care’s two big public programs, Medicare and Medicaid. It’s a budget battle, it’s an ideological battle, it’s a partisan political battle, and while it might not always be obvious following the debate, it’s a high stakes…

Pulling It Together: Changing the HIV Testing Message

In 2006 the CDC began recommending routine HIV testing in health care settings for everyone between the ages of 13 and 64. Annual  testing is recommended for people at highest risk. Our 2011 survey of Americans and HIV released last week — our eighth comprehensive survey of its kind — …

Pulling It Together: Writing Regulations

Not since Geraldo Rivera revealed the secret contents of Al Capone’s vault on national TV in the mid-80s, or more recently, sports fans awaited the LeBron James “decision” about where he would play next, have we so anxiously awaited anything as much as the draft health exchange regulations just published…

Pulling it Together: Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks

Way back in the eighties when I was Human Services Commissioner in New Jersey, I established something called the Garden State Health Plan (GSHP).  It was the first — and I think the only — federally qualified state-run HMO for Medicaid beneficiaries.  One goal of the GSHP was to reallocate…

Pulling it Together: A Note on Presidential Leadership Strategy

In inside circles of the health reform debate there has been criticism of the President for not weighing in earlier and publicly on the details of health reform legislation. Does he want the Senate’s approach to employer obligations, or the approach taken in the House? What form of public option…

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: Are We Headed for a Government Takeover of Health Care?

Remember the “government takeover of the health care system” argument that critics of the health reform law have used?  Well, last week the Office of the Actuary in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published the latest projections of health spending in the journal Health Affairs.  Attention focused mainly…

Pulling It Together: A Public Opinion Surprise

Medicaid is the nation’s primary health insurance program for low-income people and people with disabilities, covering more than 60 million people this year.  And it’s about to get a lot of attention: it’s likely to be a prime target for spending reductions by “deficit hawks” in debate over the budget;…

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.