Thursday, September 17, 2009

Getting a Health Bill Done—Special Interest Politics Versus Public Support

It is becoming more and more clear to me that the White House health care strategy this fall is based upon a belief they have been very successful in neutralizing the health care special interests and have therefore prepared the way to a legislative victory.Each of the key stakeholders—doctors, hospitals, drug companies, device makers, and insurers are in a terrific place should any of the health

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Health Care Outlook Not Improving

The next big test for a health care bill in 2009 (notice that I did not call it health care reform) will come in Senate Finance.The final vote in that committee will tell us a lot about whether the Democrats have any chance for 60 votes in the full Senate. So far, it does not look good.I have the greatest respect for Senators Baucus and Grassley and their good faith efforts to find a bipartisan

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Proposed Health Insurance Company Taxes To Pay for Health Care––You Really Need to Know What “Loadings Available” Means

The Congress has investigated about every conceivable way to tax people to pay for the health care proposals—a millionaire’s tax, bigger taxes on home mortgages and charitable contributions, and a couple of dozen more ideas.Now Congress looks to be the most interested in taxing insurance companies to pay for a big chunk of their health care proposals. The new taxes would come in two parts––a 35%

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What Voters Really Think About Evidence-Based Health Care

I want to call you attention to an important survey done by the California-based Campaign for Effective Care. They surveyed California voters on their understanding of evidence-based medicine.The bad news is that patients think their health care treatment is generally evidence-based even though that assumption is highly questionable. The good news is that patients want it to be evidence-based.At

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"Please Don't Call It Health Reform"

Readers of this blog already know of my disappointment in what the White House and many in Congress are calling "health care reform."So, I was happy to see Alain Enthoven's recent KHN op-ed.Here is a small portion of it:"Once again the President did not put forth serious proposals to reduce the growth rate in health expenditures in his speech last night. Obama likes to talk about the iconic

Friday, September 11, 2009

Curb Your Enthusiasm! Health Care Will Still Be Very Hard to Do

I guess all of us in the health care debate are a bit bipolar. From lots of folks thinking health care reform was in critical condition a couple weeks ago we’ve now gone to lots of reports extolling a newfound optimism in the wake of the President’s impressive speech this week.Don’t interpret this post as my thinking health care reform is something we should be putting off—it’s already 20 years

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Obama Administration––What Will They Do Next?

How’d you like to be a fly on the wall in those White House health care meetings this week?It looks to me like they have two choices—neither attractive to them:1. Full Speed Ahead, Damn the Torpedoes – This might also be called the Pelosi Option for the Speaker’s intransigence for compromise. Just keep driving the existing Democratic bills through. This has the advantage of keeping the liberal

Will Republicans Be Spoilers Or Problem Solvers on Health Care Reform?

by BRIAN KLEPPER and DAVID C. KIBBEIn theory Congress' return next week from recess could offer a new beginning to the health care reform process, giving everyone a chance to take a deep breath and recalibrate the components of change.Nine months into the wrangling around a new Administration, the talk-show right has seemingly hijacked the discussion on health care, Democrats' signature issue,