In my last post, I addressed President-elect Joe Biden’s proposals for expanding the Affordable Care Act and the slim likelihood that programs like a public option could get through a closely divided Senate ― particularly if Republicans end up with a narrow one- or two-seat majority after the Georgia run-offs.
But Biden and the leaders he picks to run HHS and CMS will have broad executive power to shape health care, just as President Donald Trump and his appointees did. Continue reading
One question Julie Appleby posed to a panel she moderated on the high cost of prescription drugs was simple enough: Do drug pricing reform efforts promise consumer relief?
The answer from three experts Appleby assembled for a panel discussion at Health Journalism 2019 this month in Baltimore was that, yes, efforts in Congress could provide some relief and those efforts have bipartisan support. But, as with any pending legislation, the details in the final bills will matter. Also, of course, any bill needs to pass both houses and then President Trump would need to sign it. Continue reading
“Medicare-for-all,” “single-payer” and “universal coverage” are going to be in the news a lot over the next few years – and confuse many people. While these terms often are used interchangeably, they all mean slightly different things. Continue reading
Image: The Commonwealth Fund
The rate of working-age Americans who lack health insurance rose to 15.5 percent, up from 12.7 percent in 2016, according to a report the Commonwealth Fund published today. The latest Commonwealth Fund ACA Tracking Survey shows an estimated 4 million Americans lost health insurance coverage since 2016.
The report is based on a telephone survey of working-age Americans that was done from Feb. 6 to March 30. The analysis to track the uninsured rate is the first one of 2018, the report says. Continue reading
Bernie Sanders gave renewed life to the single-payer movement, and it’s likely to play in the 2018 and 2020 elections.
But how will we talk about it? What does “single-payer” mean? Can the United States ever achieve it? Should it? Those were some of the questions raised at the Health Journalism 2018 session in Phoenix, “Is single-payer on the table?” moderated by Julie Appleby, an AHCJ board member and Kaiser Health News correspondent. Continue reading
When the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, one of its clear intents was to create a lot more consistency in health coverage across the country. Coverage wouldn’t be completely uniform and 100 percent Washington-imposed. States would still have a lot of regulatory powers over insurers if they chose to exercise it, and some freedom to experiment and modify their own programs, particularly Medicaid. But the state-to-state disparity in uninsurance rates and access to coverage was supposed to have been ironed out.
That’s not what happened – and under the Trump administration states have even more choices – including new options to undermine the ACA. On April 13 at Health Journalism 2018 in Phoenix, we’ll have a panel called “States and health care in the age of Trump: Wishes and waivers” to look at what will probably be the most pivotal period of state health care activity yet. Continue reading