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The Health-Cost Problem Is Coming Back

Drew Altman, in The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, discusses how the conversation will soon shift back to health-care costs from health coverage, because they are rising more sharply again. And as the discussion turns back, he says that because there is no national agreement on a strategy to address increasing costs, current efforts in the public and private sector, however fragmented and uncoordinated, will need to step up their game.

The Next Big Health-Care Issue

Drew Altman, in The Wall Street Journal‘s Think Tank, writes that the next big concern for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be how much premiums increase in exchanges for 2015. He discusses the factors to focus on to put this issue in perspective when states report premium increases.

Paying for Prescribed Drugs in Medicaid: Current Policy and Upcoming Changes

The federal government has proposed new rules that aim to make Medicaid outpatient drug reimbursement policies more closely match the cost of obtaining and filling prescriptions. However, the change in policy may have varying effects on reimbursement, depending on the state’s current approach and the type of drug in question. This paper explains current Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement methodology and examines the potential effect of the proposed rule changes.

Health Care Costs: A Primer

This primer on health care spending in the United States reviews the growth in health care spending since 1970 and the impact of health care costs on families and employers.

Medicaid Spending Growth in the Great Recession and Its Aftermath, FY 2007-2012

This report presents data on changes in Medicaid’s enrollment and spending between federal fiscal year 2007 and federal fiscal year 2012, a period which includes the worst economic downturn in the United States since the Great Depression. The paper also examines what factors drove Medicaid spending over the period, and concludes that overall spending growth from 2007 to 2012 was driven largely by the enrollment growth that resulted from many people losing jobs and income during the recession. However, on a per enrollee basis, Medicaid spending has grown more slowly than other sectors of the health system.

Health Cost Growth Is Down, Or Not. It Depends Who You Ask.

In this Policy Insight, Kaiser President and CEO Drew Altman explores the disconnect between experts, national studies and the public about whether health care costs are slowing or accelerating—it’s a matter of perspective.

Kaiser Health Policy News Index: January 2014

The Kaiser Health Policy News Index is designed to help journalists and policymakers understand which health policy-related news stories Americans are paying attention to, and what the public understands about health policy issues covered in the news. This month’s index looks at the public’s attention to the ongoing rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as well as other news stories including the release of a major government study on health care costs.