In some parts of the country, health care-related posturing for the 2012 election is already in full swing. Over at CJR.org, AHCJ Immediate Past President Trudy Lieberman applauds a forceful bit of health care reform fact-checking by Minnesota Public Radio reporter Lorna Benson. In her piece, Benson carefully picks apart claims made by former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty as he touts his health reform record as a key piece of his 2012 presidential campaign.
Pawlenty’s two big health talking points are his “baskets of care,” or bundled payments for certain procedures, and his pay-for-performance plan. While both sound promising on paper, Benson found that some gaping holes had opened up as soon as the rubber met the road. See Benson’s full piece for the details of how any real change has been difficult to track or, indeed, even to detect at all.
HealthReformGPS, the George Washington University and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation project aimed at making health reform implementation easier to understand, has come out with a glossary of more than 200 key reform terms.
It keeps each entry brief while still covering general ideas, such as “Patient Protections,” as well as more specific ones, such as “Urban Indian” and “Culturally and linguistically appropriate and competent services.” All of this makes it perfect for bookmarking, or for a quick refresher. Take a minute to scan the list and I’m sure you’ll stumble across at least a couple entries that make you say, “Oh, so that’s what that really means.” Chances are, you’ll also come away with a story idea or two to boot.
A special report just released by The American Prospect looks at the implementation of health care reform. For the wide-angle view, read Paul Starr’s road map of where the battle lines will be drawn in the implementation effort.
AHCJ members Joanne Kenen, Jonathan Cohn and Rebecca Ruiz contributed to the 12-part report. Cohn discussed the construction and implementation of insurance rules, Kenen looked at Connecticut’s push for a local public option and piecemeal reform implementation in individual states.
Other elements include:
- Keith Wailoo’s evaluation of the pain management reform components of the bill, which amount to the promise that “we’ll look into it and maybe throw a little grant money in that direction.”
- Maria Abascal examines how reform will impact immigrants, legal and illegal alike. Legal immigrants, which make up a substantial portion of the nation’s uninsured, stand to benefit — as long as they can prove citizenship. Illegal immigrants don’t.
- Harold Pollack looks at health reform’s massive blind spot, the period between now and January 2014. Stopgap measures won’t be adequate for the majority of the uninsured, and Pollack pushes for an accelerated timetable.
A briefing from the Alliance for Health Reform, cosponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, looks at “50 Ways to Implement Health Reform: State Challenges and Federal Assistance.”