It’s not universal coverage – Health – AEI

May 29, 2013

Ron Suskind’s book on the first two years of the Obama presidency details the transformation. In early 2009, the White House staff prepared a memo for the president that suggested that a reform plan without the mandate would reduce the ranks of the uninsured only to 28 million people (from a projected 50 million). A plan with the mandate would reduce the number of uninsured residents in the United States far more, to under 10 million.

So a health plan with the individual mandate could more plausibly be described as “universal coverage” than could a health plan without it.

It’s clear now that, notwithstanding the position he took during the campaign, Obama was always aiming for the history books. If nothing else, he has always been a man of great ambition. And once elected, he felt free to abandon his previous position on the mandate to pursue his goal of becoming the liberal leader who delivered the next great entitlement benefit. Of course, that Democrats held once-in-a-generation supermajorities in the House and Senate only further encouraged him to “go big” in early 2009.

via It’s not universal coverage – Health – AEI.

Maryland already sets hospitals’ prices. Now it wants to cap their spending.

May 28, 2013

In a world of constantly rising health-care costs, Maryland has long stood alone. Through a novel system that gave regulators unusual leverage to set prices, the state delivered care at a price that grew more slowly than elsewhere in the country — even at some of the nation’s most renowned hospitals.But after saving an estimated $45 billion for consumers over four decades, the system is in danger of running aground. Hospital expenses have risen so relentlessly in recent years that the original price controls now appear unsustainable.

via Maryland already sets hospitals’ prices. Now it wants to cap their spending..

Some could have gaps in medical coverage under new law –

May 20, 2013

Nationwide, income fluctuations are estimated to interrupt coverage for as many as 28 million people expected to bounce between Medicaid and the federally subsidized health insurance exchanges that states are working to create, according to an article in the journal Health Affairs. Among those most at risk are seasonal and hourly workers and young adults who lack coverage through their parents or jobs, experts said.

Patients who can’t see their doctors or get their medication will either avoid care or end up in publicly subsidized emergency rooms, pushing healthcare costs even higher, experts said. And insurance premiums will rise if young, healthy people get fed up with the transitions and opt out of health coverage altogether.

via Some could have gaps in medical coverage under new law –

Two Obamacare Mandates That Dramatically Expand The Internal Revenue Services Power – Forbes

May 18, 2013

it’s worth noting that Obamacare dramatically expands the authority and the scope of the Internal Revenue Service. Two provisions in particular will require thousands of new IRS agents, and billions in funding, to enforce: the law’s individual mandate, forcing most Americans to buy government-approved health insurance; and its employer mandate, forcing most employers to take money out of workers’ paychecks to purchase costly health insurance on their behalf. Here’s why these two provisions are so intrusive, and why the only solution to the problems they create is to repeal them.

via Two Obamacare Mandates That Dramatically Expand The Internal Revenue Services Power – Forbes.

Book | Caring for America: Home Health Workers in the Shadow of the Welfare State

May 16, 2013

Eileen Boris and Jennifer Klein. Caring for America: Home Health Workers in the Shadow of the Welfare State. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. 295 pp. $35.00 cloth.

Eileen Boris and Jennifer Klein state, simply, that Caring for America “gives home care a history” (5). The book covers nearly a hundred years and deftly “links together some of our most challenging social issues: an aging society and an inadequate national long-term care policy, the rise of a vast medical-industrial complex, the neoliberal restructuring of public services, the need for disability rights, the crisis of domestic labor and the decline of family income, new immigration and systemic racial inequality, the expansion of the service economy, and the precariousness of the American labor movement” (5). Boris and Klein base their history on extensive archival research along with interviews, analysis of popular and official publications, and engagement with an array of secondary materials.

More at JHPPL

Book | Foreign Remedies: What the Experience of Other Nations Can Tell Us about Next Steps in Reforming U.S. Health Care

May 16, 2013

David A. Rochefort and Kevin P. Donnelly. Foreign Remedies: What the Experience of Other Nations Can Tell Us about Next Steps in Reforming U.S. Health Care. New York: Routledge, 2012. 106 pp. $9.95 paper.

David Rochefort and Kevin Donnelly have produced a concise guide to the policy process for health reform using the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act of 2012 (PPACA) as their entrée into that sometimes enigmatic and often frustrating world of health policy and politics. The book is part of a series dedicated to framing disparate social issues and presenting them in accessible, debatable, and ultimately teachable formats. The series is targeted at undergraduates and, in this case, novices in health policy. But Rochefort and Donnelly contend that Foreign Remedies will be of interest to anyone new to health policy issues. They substantiate this contention in three ways. First, their writing is clear, direct, and well organized. Second, they provide a largely nonbiased presentation of health policy, politics, and health care reform. Third, they offer realistic and usable end-of-chapter questions for discussion and debate. Foreign Remedies provides a solid foundation for understanding health policy and politics.

More at JHPPL

Behind the Scenes of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: The Making of a Health Care Co-op

May 16, 2013

A primary goal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is to reduce the number of uninsured by making health insurance more affordable for small businesses and individuals. Toward that end, the PPACA encourages the creation of nonprofit, member-owned health insurance cooperatives to operate inside each state exchange. Co-ops face significant challenges in entering mature insurance markets, but they also possess unique characteristics that may help them survive and thrive. Using Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative in Wisconsin as a case study, this article traces the origins of co-ops in health care reform at national and state levels and analyzes the political and technical challenges and opportunities facing these organizations.

via Behind the Scenes of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: The Making of a Health Care Co-op.