The Dividing Line Between the Presidential Candidates on Social Insurance Really Falls on Medicaid

By: Monday October 15, 2012 1:43 pm

Throughout the election campaign, when the two competitors talk about social insurance programs, they usually confine it to Social Security and Medicare, and really just Medicare. And it’s true that the Romney-Ryan plan for a voucher program instead of traditional Medicare would lead to higher premiums for most seniors. But the planned growth rates for [...]

Romney’s Pre-Existing Condition “Plan” Involves Encouraging the States to Come Up With a Plan

By: Thursday October 4, 2012 7:10 am

The importance of what was not discussed in last night’s debate cannot be overstated. But the post-debate analysis will be tempered by whether the Romney campaign can hold on through the newfound tradition of fact-checking that will follow in the next couple days. Already one issue has been brought up. There was a lengthy but [...]

Health Care Visits Down, Health Care Spending Up

By: Tuesday October 2, 2012 12:59 pm

A new report offers a puncture to the myth that American health spending springs from overtreatment. This theory goes that doctors prescribe too much medical care for various ailments, with the most expensive instrument in the doctor’s office being a pen. As a result, the cost of care rises to unsustainable levels. If we change [...]

Free Health Care Clinics Focus on Moving Patients Into Continuing Coverage

By: Friday September 28, 2012 9:18 am

Last year, I went to the Los Angeles Sports Arena to witness a massive free medical clinic for thousands of low-income residents. I was impressed by the focus on enrolling patients for continuing care, either through coverage programs within the city or community health centers. The health clinic has returned to LA this week, and [...]

Red-State Governors Offer Partial Expansion of Medicaid

By: Tuesday September 18, 2012 12:20 pm

The Wall Street Journal reports today on the biggest non-Washington policy fight of the next few years, the bid to get states to accept the expansion of Medicaid. The Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare gave states an opt-out for the Medicaid expansion, designed to provide 1/2 of the total coverage expansion in the law. So [...]

Maine Challenges Maintenance of Effort Requirements for Medicaid

By: Thursday September 6, 2012 12:19 pm

Add Maine to the list of states vowing to block the Medicaid expansion from the Affordable Care Act. Of those states who have vowed to opt out, Maine is a little further down the scale in terms of impact. According to a Kaiser study, 43,468 low-income Mainers would get coverage under the expansion (for context, [...]

Seniors Would Owe Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars More Over Their Lifetimes Under Ryan Medicare Plan

By: Wednesday September 5, 2012 2:01 pm

Liberal analysts have called out their own side on a misleading claim about the cost to seniors of the Ryan-envisioned premium support plan for Medicare. The real answer is that nobody knows how much this will cost seniors. The initial Ryan budget, which would have ended traditional Medicare entirely and given a voucher to seniors [...]

Thoughts on Day 1 at the DNC – The Rise of the Social Liberals

By: Wednesday September 5, 2012 6:26 am

You can read the big prime-time speeches from San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and First Lady Michelle Obama. They tell a coherent story of success borne out of struggle, the importance of government investment in education and opportunity as a bridge from the bottom, and the need to give everyone those same chances. They were [...]

Medicaid a Starker Choice in Election Than Other Health Care Programs

By: Monday September 3, 2012 8:06 am

It’s worth pointing out where the differences do lie in this Presidential campaign. And actually, it’s not necessarily on Medicare, at least as a function of spending on the program. The two campaigns have radically different views in what the program ultimately looks like, with Romney-Ryan opting for VoucherCare while Obama-Biden seek the same traditional [...]

Medicaid Cutbacks Rely on Trims to Dental Coverage

By: Thursday August 30, 2012 8:14 am

We’re told that we’re on the precipice of coming to a great reckoning with our major health care programs. Medicare and Medicaid are bloated and must be brought to heel. The truth is we’re already going through that reckoning. We’re already cutting back on these programs. The federal government just leaves it to the states [...]

Medicare Advantage Example Yields Lessons for Both Parties

By: Monday August 27, 2012 8:21 am

The substance of the Medicare debate in the 2012 election is completely at odds with the realities. The Romney campaign hammers away at the $716 billion in “Medicare cuts” imposed by the Affordable Care Act, designed to blunt a traditional Democratic advantage on the topic, as it did in 2010. So far this has worked; [...]

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