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Health Care Politics

"How 'Bout the USA?" Romney Is Asked In Emotional Exchange on Health Care

Tip of the hat to Lew Finfer for the tip off on this 8/3 WaPo campaign trail story ... Confession: I'm on vacation with my wife in Utah, so all matters Romney have a special poignancy for me now: MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Mitt Romney was about a minute into an answer about his commitment to fighting the global spread of AIDS and health care diplomacy on Wednesday when a waitress behind the counter yelled out a question. Read more »

Giuliani Drinks the Kool-Aid

So the good news, we guess, is that the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, Rudy Giuliani, has felt the need to put forward a national health reform plan. Click here for the sum and substance. The bad news -- it adds up to a lot of nothing, and is a preview of what we can expect from the Right if a new national health reform debate kicks off under a new president in January 2009. Jonathan Cohn offers a useful assessment in his New Republic's blog. Just for starters: Read more »

Mitt on Health Reform -- Ha Ha Ha!

Romney mentions health care in New Hampshire -- click here -- count the ironies: Romney did speak against what he calls "Hilarycare" or "socialized medicine" and told the crowd a private, market-based solution to health care can work. "Do we want everybody insured? Yeah. But we don't want to have the government do it," Romney said. He said moving toward a European system is not the way to go, arguing that Europe has not seen anywhere near the economic success the United States has since World War II. Of the 155,000 persons enrolled in health insurance since Gov. Mitt Romney signed Chapter... Read more »

Legislature Hears Health Reform Bills

Yesterday the Legislature's Joint Committee on Health Care Financing held a hearing on several important bills, including S. 661/H. 1166: An Act Strengthening Health Reform sponsored by the ACT!! Coalition. ACT!! organized three panels: employer responsibility, affordability, and benefits. The written testimony can be found here. HCFA's John McDonough pointed out that the employer responsibility leg of health reform is much shorter than that of individuals and government. While original legislative estimates anticipated employers contributing $171 million for the first two years, latest... Read more »

...In Which We Wonder About DOI's Sense of Priorities

Can't help wondering about the sense of priorities over at the State's Division of Insurance. New Commissioner Nonnie Burnes comes out this week with a sort-of deregulation initiative aimed at the auto insurance market. Click here for today's Globe story and click here for today's smartly written Globe editorial. Read more »

Osama Supports National Health Care

It's hard to comment on this one. A bunch of us went to see SiCKO tonight (really makes me appreciate the Massachusetts insurance reforms and Pool protections), and then tonight I see this. From Fox News today, an expert claiming national health insurance is good for the terrorists. Really. Courtesy of Joshua Marshall's Talking Points Memo blog. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"229","attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","height":"344","width":"425","style":""}}]] Read more »

Republican Presidential Candidates Are Getting on the Health Reform Bandwagon

Check out today's New York Times piece, Health Care Looms as Top Campaign Issue (click here). And ignore all the discussion about the Democratic candidates -- just pay attention to the Republicans. Yes, even the Republicans are increasingly feeling the need to articulate ambitious reform plans to cover the uninsured. Yes -- they don't make much sense. Doesn't matter -- the third leg to building momentum for a major national health reform push in 2009 is growing and strengthening. This is a key and essential development. Read more »

Shocker: 51% of REPUBLICAN Voters Support Universal Healthcare

This is delicious! A new poll by GOP consultant Tony Fabrizio shows that 51% of Republican voters agree with the statement: "Universal healthcare should be a guaranteed right of every American." Click here for the Rollcall report on the poll. And click here for the powerpoint details on the entire poll -- a fascinating voter study. Slide #51 is the health care money slide. Will any Republican candidate for President dig into this latent support? Thus far, no. Here's a bet -- the silence won't last. Read more »

New Channel 7/Suffolk Poll on MA Health Reform

Suffolk University Channel 7 have new polling data out with a specific emphasis on public opinion on the health reform law and the health system more generally. Click here for full results. First 33 tables are healthcare related. What caught our attention ... Here's a sample: 1. Are you aware that Massachusetts has a law requiring all state residents to have health insurance? Yes -- 92% No -- 8% 2. Do you believe people should be compelled to buy health insurance even if they don't want it? Yes -- 42% No -- 49% (18-35 year olds are most supportive at 50%; 56 and older are least... Read more »

BIDMC #1: 1199 Takes a Shot

Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union, which is working to organize workers at Greater Boston teaching hospitals, and which has received its only public criticism from Paul Levy, President and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), released a report last week raising issues about BIDMC's billing practices related to the state's Uncompensated Care Pool -- The Uncompensated Care Pool Report: Exposing Vulnerabilities as Exemplified by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. You can access the full report by clicking here. Jeff Krasner covered the release of the... Read more »


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