Friday, May 30, 2008

"Healthcare Guaranteed"--A Health Care "Solution" Offered Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel

I just received a copy of Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel's new book "Health Care Guaranteed."I am anxious to get into it as Dr. Emmanuel's health plan has received considerable attention.In the meantime, Maggie Mahar over at "Health Beat" has put together two posts on the plan, "A Fresh Look at Health Care Reform" you might find useful.Dr. Emmanuel creates a voucher system enabling everyone to buy a private

Thursday, May 29, 2008

AHP Announces a Health Care Reform Initiative and Tells All of the Other Stakeholders What They Ought to Do

I'd like to propose a new health care reform rule.You can't announce health care reform proposals unless Part 1 of your plan first tells us just what it is your side is going to sacrifice for the effort.I don't know about you, but I am getting tired of one vested interest after another in the health care system telling the others what it is they have to do to fix the system. Everyone has to

Childhood Obesity--The Washington Post's Five Part Series on an Important Issue

Last week, the Washington Post gave us a five part series on childhood obesity.It made the point, which has been made here a number of times, that for the first time in our history American children are on their way to a shorter life span than their parents.This comes on the heels of a report last month that 20% of American women have already seen a decline in their life expectancy largely

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

First Year Results in Massachusetts' Health Care Reform Undercut Barack Obama's Health Care Reform Strategy

The Massachusetts health care reform plan is coming up on its first anniversary.Its costs are now officially out of control.Those of you who regularly read this blog know that I have been particularly critical lately of what I see as a lack of sophistication in McCain's market-based health insurance proposals.But with this news, Obama will have some big health care policy questions of his own to

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The CMS Website Comparing Hospital Performance Is a Good Step Forward

With much fanfare, Medicare (CMS) has stepped up the publicity for its website enabling consumers to compare their local hospitals' quality of care and cost data.So, I went to it and put in the necessary info for my neighborhood. While a number of hospitals came up, I was able to create a side-by-side analysis for three choices. (I suggest you simply ask for all hospitals within a certain

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Administrative Costs and the Individual Health Insurance Platform for Health Care Reform

A new study by the "Center for American Progress Action Fund" says that Senator McCain's health reform plan based upon individually owned and controlled health insurance would increase administrative expenses by $20 billion.The Center is an organization headed by former Clinton chief of staff, John Podesta. So, they clearly have an agenda.But they also have a point.As I have said many times

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

McCain's Lost Opportunity

Joe Paduda has a great post today over at "Managed Care Matters" on the McCain health plan.Barack Obama is vulnerable over health care because his plan will cost a lot more than the $50 to $65 billion a year he has estimated--maybe twice as much.McCain rightly points that out regularly on the campaign trail.But what McCain and his advisers are missing is that his plan scares people in its own

Senator Kennedy's Illness

News that Ted Kennedy is seriously ill sent shock waves through the capital and the country yesterday.Many think of him as the "liberal lion"--and that is true.Less well known outside the beltway are his incredible instincts and skills for "cutting a deal."I know the notion of liberals and conservatives finding a way to come together drives some people on the far right and left nuts but it is in

Thursday, May 15, 2008

"Blendon, Laszewski, And Rovner On Health Care Reform In The Election"

Earlier this week I was part of conference call organized by the new Health Affairs editor-in-chief, Susan Dentzer, on the topic of health reform in the presidential election.The call, and subsequent posting of the transcript by Chris Fleming on the Health Affairs blog, was in connection with the thematic issue of health reform in the May/June Health Affairs.First, congratulations to Susan on

Against Obama, McCain Has a Lot of Ground To Make Up on Health Care

The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll on health care should give John McCain reason to be concerned.The early May poll asked voters, "Regardless of whom you may support, whom do you trust more to handle health care?"The answer was Obama by 55% and McCain by 31%.And this poll was done a few days after his much-publicized week long health care tour.McCain also did poorly on the other economic

Monday, May 5, 2008

Watch the Wyden-Bennett "Healthy Americans Act"--It Could Be the Place Health Care Reform Compromise Takes Place in 2009

Health care reform will be hard to do after the November election. I've even called it a long-shot.Polls clearly show the voters split evenly between the Democratic and Republican approach to health care reform. I can't tell you who will win the presidency but I am willing to make the bold statement that it will be a close election and neither very different approach to health care reform will

Thursday, May 1, 2008

There Won't Be Any Health Care Reform Without Physician Payment Reform and There Won't Be Any Physician Payment Reform Unless the Docs Lead The Way

Physicians are facing a 10% Medicare fee cut on July 1st, a total of 15% in cuts on January 1, 2009, a cumulative total of 20% on January 1, 2010, and more each year thereafter.This spring the Senate Finance Committee is trying to solve the problem. In the short term, the idea is to reach out to future years, when they are betting the Congress would finally fundamentally reform the Medicare