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At CMS, the Mission Is Broader Than Medicare and Medicaid

In his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman discusses whether the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ broad new responsibilities implementing the Affordable Care Act and a more proactive approach to Medicare payment signals that it’s time for (another) name change. All previous columns by Drew Altman are…

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: August 2015

With renewed discussion of the high cost of prescription drugs recently, the August Kaiser Health Tracking poll finds that most Americans feel that drug costs are unreasonable and that drug companies put profits before people. At the same time, the public largely values the role prescription drug companies play, with most saying that prescription drugs developed in the past two decades have made the lives of people in the U.S. better, including about 4 in 10 who say a lot better. When it comes to their views of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) this month, the American public remains divided in their opinion of the law. Those who favor repeal are divided on whether the law should be replaced with a Republican-sponsored alternative or if it should be repealed and not replaced

A Look at the Private Option in Arkansas

Based on stakeholder interviews and early data on coverage, reduced uncompensated care costs, and other topics, this issue brief provides an initial look at implementation of Arkansas’ Section 1115 Medicaid expansion demonstration waiver to require most adults newly eligible for Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion to enroll in Marketplace plans.

How Many Employers Could be Affected by the Cadillac Plan Tax?

As fall approaches, we can expect to hear more about how employers are adapting their health plans for 2016 open enrollments. One topic likely to garner a good deal of attention is how the Affordable Care Act’s high cost plan tax (HCPT), sometimes called the “Cadillac plan” tax or “Cadillac tax,” is affecting employer decisions about their health benefits. The tax takes effect in 2018.

The potential of facing an HCPT assessment as soon as 2018 is encouraging employers to assess their current health benefits and consider cost reductions to avoid triggering the tax. Some employers announced that they made changes in 2014 in anticipation of the HCPT, and more are likely to do so as the implementation date gets closer.

The California Health Care Landscape

This fact sheet provides an overview of population health, health coverage, and the health care delivery system in California in the era of health reform.

Will GOP Candidates’ Positions on Obamacare Matter in Crowded Field?

In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman analyzes the politics of Republican Affordable Care Act replacement plans and the challenges all Republican candidates will face distinguishing themselves from others on the ACA in a crowded primary field.

The ‘Private Option’ Medicaid Expansion in Arkansas Has Helped Reduce the Uninsured Rate and Uncompensated Care Costs While Boosting the State’s ACA Marketplace

A new issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that Arkansas’ “private option” Medicaid expansion has helped reduce the number of uninsured and bring down uncompensated care costs while strengthening the state’s ACA marketplace. A Look at the Private Option in Arkansas draws upon early data as well as…