California Health Reform Effort Fails--What Does It Mean?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008
With news that a California State Senate committee rejected Governor Schwarzenegger's plan by a vote of 7-1, efforts to achieve health care reform this year have all but ended in our biggest state.Governor Schwarzenegger and Assembly Speaker Nunez almost accomplished the impossible with a complexly balanced compromise that would have gone a long way toward solving that state's uninsured

What President Bush Said in His 2008 State Of The Union Address About Health Care

Tuesday, January 29, 2008
See the prior post reviewing his 2007 speech. You won't be able to tell the difference between this year and last.President Bush's 2008 health care record will match his 2007 results--nothing was or will be accomplished.It is not surprising that a President in his last year would not launch any new health care initiatives. He also barely mentioned the need to deal with our giant entitlement

What President Bush Said in His 2007 State Of The Union Address About Health Care

Here is what President Bush had to say about health care in his January 2007 State of the Union Address:A future of hope and opportunity requires that all our citizens have affordable and available health care. When it comes to health care, government has an obligation to care for the elderly, the disabled, and poor children. We will meet those responsibilities. For all other Americans, private

A Detailed Analysis of the Romney Health Care Reform Plan

Monday, January 28, 2008
A Detailed Analysis of the 2007 Romney Health Care Reform Plan

See an analysis of the 2012 Romney Health plan Here: A Detailed Analysis of Mitt Romney’s Health Care Reform Plan

This following is a repost from October 22, 2007.Mitt Romney puts his faith in a reinvigorated health care market—not unlike his Republican rivals. But Romney puts a bit of a different spin on that by focusing on

The Lifetime Benefits Cap on Health Insurance Policies Often Needs Updating

Saturday, January 26, 2008
In today's Washington Post, Chris Lee has a story about lifetime maximums in health insurance policies. Sometimes, these caps are as little as $1 million--particularly for individual health insurance polices.As health care policy goes, this is not a widespread issue. The number of people who incur medical costs over $1 million or $2 million is quite small and most health insurance coverage is at

"Strategies To Overcome and Prevent Obesity"--Important Policy Proposals

Friday, January 25, 2008
Taking the point in the effort to deal with obesity in America is the, "Strategies to Overcome and Prevent Obesity Alliannce." It is a broad-based coalition doing good works on this front.They recently sent me the following update on their activities and links to their work:As you know, America’s struggle with its weight is affecting much more than just the shape of the union…it’s actually

The 15% Medicare Doc Cut and Medicare Advantage Payments--The Battle Has Begun Again

Friday, January 18, 2008
Key players in the Congress are voicing some optimism that they can fix the 10% reduction in Medicare physician fees that will occur on July 1 and the further 5% reduction that is on track to follow on January 1, 2009.It is not surprising that Democrats would be sounding optimistic this early in the new session, but what is interesting is that we are hearing some willingness to compromise on the

Four Big Trends Toward Better Health Care Cost and Quality

Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Brian Klepper joins us again today and calls attention to four key trends in the marketplace, all targeted on improving both the cost and quality of care.Four Big Trendsby Brian KlepperSeveral events and trends emerged over the last year that will reverberate throughout the health care marketplace in 2008 and going forward. While none of these dominated the trade press like some other issues--

An Analysis of Senator Hillary Clinton's Health Plan Proposal

Tuesday, January 15, 2008
A Detailed Point by Point Analysis of Senator Clinton's Health Reform PlanThis is a repost of my October analysis of Senator Clinton's health care reform plan.This is nothing like the Clinton Health Plan from 1993.Senator Clinton has so far been running a smart campaign for President and her health care reform strategy is no exception.She waited until after all of the leading Democratic, and most

"Health Wonk Review" Here At Health Policy and Marketplace Review

Thursday, January 10, 2008
This week it's my turn to host Health Wonk Review. HWR is designed to highlight some of the best posts in the health blog world.What I found remarkable this time was the sheer number of thoughtful submissions. The number and quality of health care blogs continues to grow.It's a long, but terrific, list so I'll try to make it easy reading:Brian Kleppper, posting over at "Health Commentary" gives

Can You Really Mandate People To Buy Health Insurance?

Monday, January 7, 2008
That's not so much a policy question as a practical question and it is what Hillary Clinton seems to be saying is the big difference between her health care reform plan and the health reform plan of Barack Obama.That's why a news story this week out of Massachusetts caught my eye.It seems that the Mass Department of Revenue is in the process of drafting new regulations to up the penalty for

Medicare Advantage Cuts?

Friday, January 4, 2008
The highly profitable Medicare Advantage business is vulnerable to payment cuts to HMOs.Any of you that read this blog know that I have been predicting big changes for the Medicare Advantage business ever since the Democrats took control of the Congress--particularly for the controversial Private Fee-For-Service (PFFS) part of the program.But I have often felt alone in that opinion so a recent

The Budget Outcome--Everything Was Decided and Nothing Was Decided

Wednesday, January 2, 2008
The Budget agreement, SCHIP, the Medicare Physician Fee Cut, and Medicare Advantage HMO payments.For months, I have been telling you four things:The federal budget impasse would be resolved because Democrats and Republicans weren't going to go home without their earmarks. In predicting the budget outcome you might recall my telling you to follow the "pork."SCHIP would not be allowed to expire and