Health Care Law Faces Sprint After Election

By: Wednesday November 7, 2012 2:39 pm

One signature consequence, perhaps the leading consequence, of last night’s electoral victory for Democrats is that the implementation of Obamacare will now proceed unfettered. At least at the federal level. But as we’ve noted for many months, the law’s facility will rise or fall on the willingness of the states to carry it out. After [...]

Medicaid Cut Costs in 2012 by Making Its Insurance Less Effective

By: Friday October 26, 2012 3:15 pm

Medicaid spending slowed down in 2012 and similar slowing is expected for 2013. However, it’s being accomplished through precisely the same program that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan endorse for the program – by effectively taking beneficiaries off the rolls. The data comes from the respected Kaiser Family Foundation, and their annual survey of all [...]

The Neglected Issue of the Invisible Poor

By: Wednesday October 17, 2012 8:25 am

Poor people don’t vote. At least, they don’t vote in proportion with their share of the population. And they certainly don’t “vote” in the sense that politicians would notice, by attending thousand-dollar-a-plate dinners and contributing to their campaigns.

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 [...]

Census Statistics Show Continued Decline in Median Income

By: Wednesday September 12, 2012 7:44 am

The US Census Bureau released median income, poverty and insurance stats today, all of which have a 90% confidence interval, meaning that there’s a fairly high margin for error. Still, the trends in median income are not encouraging, although the insurance stats bucked that trend. Here are the really bad median income statistics: Median family [...]

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 [...]

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