Posted 5/10/12 on the Health Affairs Blog
On May 9, 2012, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services released proposed regulations to implement section 1202 of the Health Care and Education Reform Act of 2010. Section 1202 increases Medicaid payments made to primary care physicians for primary care services during the years 2013 and 2014 to Medicare payment rates, with the additional cost covered by the federal government.
Continue reading “Implementing Health Reform: Increasing Medicaid Payments for Primary Care Physicians”
Posted 4/25/12 on the Huffington Post
While it’s comforting to just blame the GOP for the unhappiness with health reform threatening the president’s re-election, the truth is that Barack Obama repeatedly botched, bungled and bobbled the health reform message. There were three big mistakes:
The Passionless Play While Candidate Obama proclaimed a passionate moral commitment to fix American health care, President Obama delved into legislative details.
Continue reading “How Obama Botched and Bungled the Health Reform Message”
Posted 3/15/11 on Managed Care Matter
There’s a seemingly intractable conflict facing the Obama Administration – how can they argue – simultaneously – that the mandate is crucial to the Affordable Care Act, while also arguing that the rest of the Act should and can survive if the Supreme Court rules the mandate is unconstitutional?
That’s the Hobson’s choice facing lawyers arguing for the Administration, and while the two positions seem irreconcilable, they may not be.
Merrill Goozner is convinced the two positions can comprise a reasonable and legally logical argument. He cites a recent article in the NEJM, to wit:
Continue reading “The Legal Strategy To Defend Health Reform”
Posted 1/13/12 on Health Populi
The Big Headline under the banner of Health Economics this week is the statistic that growth in U.S. national health spending slowed to an anemic 3.9% in 2010 — the slowest rate of growth in the 51-year history of keeping the National Health Expenditure Accounts.
Before American policymakers, providers, plans and suppliers pat themselves on their collective back on a job well-done, the heavy-lifting behind this story was largely undertaken by health consumers themselves in the form of facing greater co-pays, premiums and prices for health services — and as a result, self-rationing off health care services and utilization, which negatively impacts providers and suppliers alike.
Continue reading “Health Spending in America – Self-Rationing Slows Cost Increases”
First published 5/11/11 on Health Populi
Health care costs have doubled in less than nine years for the typical American family of four covered by a preferred provider health plan (PPO). In 2011, that health cost is nearly $20,000; in 2002, it was $9,235, as measured by the 2011 Milliman Medical Index (MMI). To put this in context,
- The 2011 poverty level for a family of 4 in the 48 contiguous U.S. states is $22,350
- The car buyer could purchase a Mini-Cooper with $20,000
- The investor could invest $20K to yield $265,353 at a 9% return-on-investment.
Continue reading “Average Annual Health Costs for a US Family of Four Approach $20,000, With Employees Bearing 40%”
First published 3/3/11 on HealthBlawg
Medicaid has been front and center this week as President Obama addressed the National Governors Association, and several governors testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Obama told the governors that he supports the Wyden-Brown bill, which would accelerate the availability of waivers under the Affordable Care Act (from 2017 to 2014), so that states would not have to first create health insurance exchanges under the law, and then only later have the right to dismantle them and replace them with other mechanisms to achieve coverage goals of the law without additional cost to the federales. (See Wyden-Brown fact sheet) The law as it stands hurts the early adopters. Without the change, the sponsors’ home states, Oregon and Massachusetts would have to dismantle parts of their own health reform efforts in order to align with the federal mandates, only to potentially change things up agian three years down the road. (Wyden has been a longer-term proponent of experimentation and innovation in health reform than Brown, and the opportunity to innovate three years down the road is in the ACA because of him.)
Continue reading “Medicaid: Busting the Budget Buster with Real Innovation or Re-Arranging the Deck Chairs on the Titanic?”
First published 3/3/11 on Health Policy and Marketplace Review
If the past week is any indication, the Republicans will have real trouble come 2012 trying to convince voters they have a plan to fix the American health care system.
Last weekend, President Obama endorsed the Wyden-Brown bill that would give the states the opportunity, in 2014, to take their share of the almost $1 trillion the new health law collects and use it to craft an alternative health care plan to their liking.
Continue reading “Republicans Had Better Get Organized On Health Care”
Originally published 1/31/11 on Kaiser Health News
When the House of Representatives roll was called Jan. 19, only three Democrats joined with House Republicans in voting to repeal the new health law. This development was notable in that it meant most of Democrats who voted against the overhaul the first time around, and were reelected to Congress in November, voted not to repeal it this time — evidence that they may be sensing that support for the health overhaul hardening. A quick examination of public opinions offers evidence as to why this idea might be taking hold.
Continue reading “It Will Be Democratic Senators Leading The Charge To Fix Or Improve The New Health Law”
Originally published 1/10/11 on Health Policy and Marketplace Review
Readers of this blog have often heard me say that a bipartisan agreement on a health care bill was possible in 2009–driven from the Senate Finance Committee. I have continually made the point that the two sides were much closer than is commonly believed–or partisans are willing to concede.
Every time I post this, the overwhelming reaction is that I am wrong–with one side inevitably blaming the other for a lack of good faith in the discussions.
Continue reading “Strong Evidence A Bi-Partisan Health Care Agreement Was Possible in 2009”