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Explaining Health Care Reform: How Do Health Care Costs Vary By Region?

Although regional variations in health spending have been studied for decades, there is renewed focus on this issue because of the role of health care costs in health care reform and the potential source of funds if addressing cost variations can yield savings. This explainer examines what is known about…

Alternatives for Financing Medicaid Expansions in Health Reform

Expanding Medicaid to cover low-income populations has been a fundamental component of leading health reform proposals. The House Leadership Bill would expand Medicaid to 150 percent of the federal poverty level and the Senate Leadership Bill would expand Medicaid to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. In both scenarios…

Medicare Savings in Perspective: A Comparison of 2009 Health Reform Legislation and Other Laws in the Last 15 Years

Although Medicare is not the main focus of current health reform legislation, the bill recently passed by the House—H.R. 3962, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009—and the bill before the Senate—H.R. 3590, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—include a number of provisions that would affect Medicare program expenditures. This…

The U.S. Global Health Initiative: Overview & Budget Analysis

In April 2010, the Foundation issued a policy brief examining key issues affecting the U.S. Global Health Initiative (GHI). This policy brief and chartpack provide a detailed breakdown of the U.S. budget for the global health programs in President Obama’s GHI, announced in May 2009. In addition, the regularly updated Budget…

Medicare Advantage 2010 Data Spotlight: Plan Availability and Premiums

This data spotlight examines changes in the availability and premiums of private Medicare Advantage options for Medicare beneficiaries in 2010 as the annual open enrollment period begins. While the number of plans available in 2010 declined somewhat from 2009, the analysis finds that Medicare beneficiaries on average have 33 Medicare…

Medicare Part D 2010 Data Spotlight: The Coverage Gap

This data spotlight examines the coverage gap, or “doughnut hole,” in Medicare stand-alone drug plans available in 2010. While in the gap in coverage, Part D enrollees (other than those receiving low-income subsidies) are required to pay 100 percent of total drug costs until they reach the catastrophic coverage level.…

The Sleeper in Health Reform: Long-Term Care and the CLASS Act

The Kaiser Family Foundation briefing examines a little-noticed but major provision in two leading health reform bills that would change the way that the U.S. pays for long-term care. The provision, known as the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act, would establish a national voluntary insurance program that…

Explaining Health Care Reform: What is Comparative Effectiveness Research?

The brief examines current funding for comparative effectiveness research, the provisions included in the current health reform legislation, and issues related to which treatments that might be studied, whether and how to weigh costs of care, and how such findings will be used and shared with health-care practitioners and the…

Ask the Experts About Reform: Where Are We Now and Where Are We Headed?

The Alliance for Health Reform and Eli Lilly co-sponsored this briefing to have an expanded panel of prominent experts answer questions about the current health reform efforts. Questions addressed include: What is the status of major reform bills? How do they differ from each other, and from the plan that…

Health Coverage and Expenses: Impact on Older Women’s Economic Well-Being

In this article in the Journal of Women, Politics & Policy, researchers from the Kaiser Family Foundation examine how health issues that women face over the course of their lives, as well as policies that shape Medicare, Medicaid and other supplemental coverage, can affect retired women’s economic well-being. They found that…