The Defense for IPAB

Merrill Goozner

First published April 17, 2011 on GoozNews

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) squared off on Fox News Sunday over the best way to hold down medical costs in the years ahead. Coburn, a physician, focused exclusively on public programs like Medicare and Medicaid, and hewed to the new Republican extremist position that favors privatization and higher individual payments. “Until we reconnect payment with purchase, you can’t fix it,” he said. “There’s no way the government is going to drive down costs without rationing.”

Continue reading “The Defense for IPAB”

The Budget Fight: It Will Be A Long Hot Summer, And Fall, And Winter

Bob Laszewski

First published 3/14/11 on Health Policy and Marketplace Review

The good news is that Democrats and Republicans are finally seriously engaged over the country’s fiscal crisis.

And, each side is presenting a starkly different course for the voters to choose from.

When it comes to the health care entitlements, Republicans want to cut the health care entitlement benefits and therefore ease the pressure on federal spending.

Obama wants to largely leave the programs in place and raise taxes–about $1 in tax increases for every dollar in cuts.

Neither touches Social Security. Obama wants to make cuts to the Pentagon’s budget—the Republicans don’t.

Continue reading “The Budget Fight: It Will Be A Long Hot Summer, And Fall, And Winter”

Strong Evidence A Bi-Partisan Health Care Agreement Was Possible in 2009


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”

The Zadroga Health Care Bill


Senate Republicans are blocking a vote on a bill to provide medical coverage for first responders to the 9/11 World Trade Center site. I was not aware of this until I saw the full story on The Daily Show Thursday night.  Along with editorial comment, four first responders were guests, who explained that their healthcare benefits had been discontinued and they were fighting with Workers’ Comp carriers for every dime of health care they received.  You can see the show here:

Vodpod videos no longer available.
The bill has passed the house, and is languishing due to Republican stalling tactics.  They refuse to consider it on the floor because the week between Christmas and New Years is “sacred to them and their families”.

Vodpod videos no longer available.
SHAME on the Republican Senators for withholding action on this bill.  This is NOT and should not be a political matter.  It’s A human matter for Americans who sacrificed. You can find contact information at:

Al Weigand is a health care analyst based in Jacksonville, FL.