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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…

We Still Have a Health-Care Spending Problem

Drew Altman, President and CEO of the Foundation, and Larry Levitt, Senior Vice President, co-authored a Washington Post op-ed that examined how the economy affects the nation’s health spending.  It concludes that the record slow growth rate of recent years stems largely from economic factors beyond the health system, with the…

Assessing the Effects of the Economy on the Recent Slowdown in Health Spending

Introduction Health spending has been growing at historically low levels in recent years. The Office of the Actuary (OACT) in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reports that national health spending grew by 3.9% each year from 2009 to 2011, the lowest rate of growth since the federal government began keeping…

Peering Into the Black Box of Insurance Rating

Recently, the New York Times reported that private health insurers continue to seek large premium increases despite seeing lower than expected use of medical care and booking record profits. The story highlights a significant problem for health policy: the lack of good, public information about how health insurers manage health…

Measuring the Affordability of Employer Health Coverage

A recent draft regulation issued by the Treasury Department describes who is eligible for premium tax credits to help them afford coverage offered through health insurance exchanges beginning in 2014. Tax credits will be available to people with incomes between 100 and 400 percent of the poverty level who are…

Uninsured Are Less Satisfied

Given that people without health insurance have no protection from health care costs, it is not surprising that they are much less likely to say they are satisfied with costs than those with insurance (31 percent vs. 68 percent Majorities of both the uninsured and insured report being satisfied with…

The Economy and Medical Care

Various market watchers have reported that the use of health care services has not been growing recently as it had in the past, resulting in lower than expected health care claims for people with private insurance and higher than expected earnings for insurers. A look at physician office visits by…

Dissatisfaction with Health Insurance Despite Positive Ratings

Personal experiences with the health care system are a key factor in Americans’ opinions on how the health care system should function and their expectations of how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will change the system when fully implemented. In order to take a closer look at these personal experiences,…

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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.