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Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

US health policy

Governors Turn Up the Heat on Children's Health Coverage

Reauthorization of the State Children' s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is going to be health issue number one in Congress this year. It's not just members of Congress who understand this. Governors are beginning to turn up the heat bigtime as this New York Times article makes clear. Read more »

Why Are US Health Costs So High II

Thanks to Nancy Turnbull for providing the link to the McKinsey & Company report on which the WaPo article was based. Click here for the short version of the report. Click here for access to all related documents, long and short. This report is a keeper. Here's the conclusion: Read more »

Why Are US Health Care Costs So High? The Answer...

Wanna know why health care is so much more expensive in the US than anywhere else on the planet? One article, a Steven Perlstein piece in the 2/14 Washington Post, says it all. Click here, read it and understand. Tell us where you think he's wrong. We can't find it. Best darn analysis we've seen. Read more »

Congress Gets to Work on SCHIP Reauthorization

From today's Kaiser Health Policy Report. Good news. Congressional leaders are already working hard on how to pay for a robust reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), ignoring the miserly number included in Pres. Bush's FY08 budget proposal. SCHIP faces the "pay-go" challenge -- money to pay for reauthorization must be found in savings or new revenues: Read more »

Another Log on the US Health Reform Fire

Yesterday, a bipartisan group of senators wrote to President Bush asking him to work with them on a proposal to expand health insurance to all U.S. residents -- click here for San Francisco Chronicle article. None of the senators -- Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), Ken Salazar (D-Colo.), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Robert Bennett (R-Utah), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) -- have been health reform leaders in the past, with the recent exception of Wyden. Read more »

Hey, Check Out John Edwards' Health Proposal

Dem. Presidential Candidate John Edwards yesterday became the first candidate to outline a detailed proposal for universal coverage. If you see any resemblence to MA health reform, you're not alone. "Shared responsibility" for starters. He sets a high bar for the other candidates. Let's see how they respond. Click here to read the plan. Summary below edited from today's Kaiser Health Policy Report: Read more »

David Broder on the New Health Reform Wave

David Broder is catching on. Read his Sunday column on the growing health reform wave moving across the nation. Four stages: Stage 1: state action Stage 2: Congressional action this year on kids' coverage and SCHIP Stage 3: the presidential campaign conversation Stage 4: the main event starting in January 2009 with a new President and larger Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, with health reform an electoral mandate issue. Read more »

Options for Controlling Rising Health Costs -- from Commonwealth Fund

Click here for access to a new Commonwealth Fund report on options for controlling rising health care costs. Lots of good directions and ideas -- good fodder for the Quality and Cost Council, we hope. Here's the exec. summary: Read more »

Report from Families USA Conference -- the "U" Word Is Back

WASHINGTON DC -- FAMILIES USA CONFERENCE: The big health reform wave of this era will take place beginning in 2009 with the inauguration of a new President and a new Congress, for whom national health reform to cover all uninsured is an electoral mandate issue. Three smaller waves need to fully form to ensure the creation and sustainment of that larger wave: The first one is state-initiated health reform. Massachusetts and Vermont kicked this off in spring 2006 with passage of their respective health reform laws. Expanding coverage for the uninsured is now a front burner issue in at least... Read more »

New National Campaign to Cover the Uninsured

Today in Washington DC, a new coalition of physician, hospital, business, insurance, pharmaceutical, and consumer organizations announced an agreement (click here) to work together to expand health coverage for the uninsured. The goal is “to cover as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.” The agreement has two phases. The first phase, designed for enactment in 2007, involves expanding children’s health coverage, including additional federal money to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and to automatically enroll low-income children in SCHIP and Medicaid... Read more »

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