The Alan Katz Health Care Reform Magazine

By Alan Katz | The policies and politics surrounding health care reform in a Donald Trump world.

Backlash throws last-ditch Obamacare repeal effort into doubt

Opponents of the proposal seized on its plan to overhaul Obamacare’s subsidized insurance and Medicaid expansion and replace those with block grants.<p>Republicans hoping to jam a last-minute Obamacare repeal plan through the Senate are confronting a rising tide of opposition as health care groups, …

Health Care

The Best Health Care System in the World: Which One Would You Pick?

Assessing the systems in eight countries can inform the debate in the U.S. over universal coverage.

Health Care

Two junior doctors left to care for 436 patients amid dangerous staff shortages, NHS report warns

Just two junior doctors have been left to look after 436 patients amid a staffing crisis in the NHS, a report warns.<p>Medics said patients had been left at risk during a “very unsafe shift” at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth.<p>A safety report given to the trust’s board says one of the two doctors was …

Health Care

Democrats Follow Bernie Sanders Off a Cliff

The bad math and foolish politics of single-payer health care<p>How rudderless is the Democratic party? Its membership is so bereft of leadership and …

Bernie Sanders

Trump wanted to hurt the Obamacare markets. The CBO says he's a success.

<b>(CNN) —</b> Having failed to repeal Obamacare, President Donald Trump has said his strategy would be to let the health law "implode."<p>The Congressional Budget Office released a report Thursday that predicts Trump administration policies on Obamacare could help it on its way by leading to rising premiums …

Health Care

Buried Inside Bernie Sanders’s Bill: A Fallback Plan

The Bernie Sanders “Medicare for All” plan promises rapid, sweeping change to the American health care system, with the elimination of all private insurance and the creation of a costly new government insurance program that will cover everyone and nearly every medical service.<p>But deep in its back …

Bernie Sanders

Hearings Done, Senate Health Panel Now Seeks Common Ground On Stabilizing Marketplaces

The committee's chairman, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), says he hopes to have a bipartisan bill by early next week that would give insurers more …

Health Care

Bipartisan effort to stabilize health insurance markets is coming down to the wire

Despite broad support from consumer advocates, state officials and healthcare leaders across the country, a bipartisan effort in Congress to stabilize health insurance markets and control rising premiums is being threatened by resurgent political fighting over the Affordable Care Act.<p>With time …

Health Care

Bernie Sanders's new Medicare-for-all plan, explained

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will release a proposal Wednesday afternoon to transition the United States to a single-payer health care system, one where a single government-run plan provides insurance coverage to all Americans.<p>The Sanders plan envisions a future in which all Americans have health …

Health Care

The Single-Payer Insanity

The Democrats’ presidential contenders are rushing to embrace Bernie Sanders’ ‘Medicare for All’ plan. Have they learned nothing?<p>On Wednesday, Senator Bernie Sanders will introduce a new version of his long-standing proposal to provide “Medicare for All,” creating single-payer health insurance …

Health Care

NHS waiting times 'driving people to turn to private treatment'

Report says private providers have seen 15 to 25% annual rise in ‘self-payers’ as patients resort to using savings or loans<p>Growing numbers of patients are paying for private treatment to beat rationing and delays for treatment imposed by the cash-strapped NHS.<p>People who do not have health insurance …

Health Care

Chris Murphy’s stealthy single-payer pitch

The rising Democratic star wants to build his party a bridge to Bernie Sanders’ health care plan.<p>While Bernie Sanders readies a single-payer health care bill that the GOP is itching to attack, one of his Democratic colleagues is proposing a step toward that goal that could give cover to the party’s …

Bernie Sanders

The stakes for Obamacare stabilization just got a whole lot higher

If lawmakers thought they could skate by this month without doing anything on Obamacare, the last 24 hours have provided a brutal wake-up call.<p>After Senate Republicans failed to pass a full repeal of the health care law in July, attention on the Hill has turned to tweaking the Affordable Care Act …

Health Care

Work Toward Bipartisan Fix for Health Markets Begins in Senate

WASHINGTON — The chairman of the Senate health committee said Wednesday that he hoped the panel would reach a consensus by the end of next week on a small, bipartisan bill to stabilize health insurance markets and prevent prices from skyrocketing next year under the Affordable Care Act.<p>“The blame …

Affordable Care Act

NHS negligence bill set to more than double as waiting lists lengthen

Spiralling NHS negligence bills are set to double in less than five years, and could get even worse amid lengthening hospital waiting times, watchdogs have warned.<p>The National Audit Office (NAO) said soaring numbers of claims, especially the most costly ones caused by maternity blunders, are …

Health Care

California, other states to extend Obamacare sign-up beyond federal limit

California and several other states will exempt themselves this year from a new Trump administration rule that cuts in half the amount of time …

Health Care

Sen. Patty Murray lays out proposal for Obamacare stabilization package

High-ranking Democratic Sen. Patty Murray has laid out proposals for helping to stabilize Obamacare's exchanges that would involve injecting billions …

Health Care

Health care, business groups want Congress to pay insurers

WASHINGTON (AP) — A coalition of powerful health industry and business groups is asking senators to finance federal subsidies to insurers for at least two years.<p>The letter the organizations sent Tuesday is a direct challenge to President Donald Trump.<p>As part of his effort to erase the Obama health …

Health Care

Senate panel begins bipartisan hearings to try to improve Affordable Care Act

After years of high-wattage partisan feuding over the Affordable Care Act, a Senate committee on Wednesday is holding the first in a series of hearings to try to build momentum for lawmakers to agree on some ways to strengthen the law’s insurance marketplaces.<p>Four hearings being held by the …

Health Care

Frustration mounts over premiums for individual health plans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of people who buy individual health insurance policies and get no financial help from the Affordable Care Act are bracing for another year of double-digit premium increases, and their frustration is boiling over.<p>Some are expecting premiums for 2018 to rival a mortgage …

Health Care

The NHS needs more money now or the country will face another winter of discontent

Staff shortages and serious pressures placed on A&E mean that hospitals run the risk of being overwhelmed again<p>Last winter was widely regarded as the toughest for the NHS in recent times. There’s always concern at winter time about extra pressure, longer waits for patients and staff run ragged. But …

Health Care

Parliamentarian Deals Trumpcare a Final Death Blow

Obamacare repeal has been in a vegetative state for more than a month now. Some say that, for all practical purposes, the GOP’s quest to abolish the …

Health Care

Trump Administration Sharply Cuts Spending on Health Law Enrollment

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is slashing spending on advertising and promotion for enrollment under the Affordable Care Act, a move some critics charged was a blatant attempt to sabotage the law.<p>Officials with the Department of Health and Human Services, who insisted on not being …

Health Care

A group of Democratic and Republican governors just released a plan to fix Obamacare

Eight US governors on Thursday unveiled a plan to fix the Affordable Care Act, the law also known as Obamacare.<p>A letter from two Republican governors — John Kasich of Ohio and Brian Sandoval of Nevada — five Democrats, and one independent urged congressional leaders to do everything in their power …

Health Care

APNewsBreak: Governors' health care plan retains mandate

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A bipartisan governor duo is urging Congress to retain the federal health care law's unpopular individual mandate while legislators continue work on a long-term replacement law.<p>The recommendation is part of a plan for stabilizing individual insurance markets that Ohio Gov. …

Health Care

Northern Ireland waiting list numbers soar as Health Service misses all its targets

A leading cancer charity has described the growing number of people languishing on waiting lists in Northern Ireland as a "symptom of a Health …

Health Care

The NHS is bad value for money: Automation, not bureaucracy, will put its broken house in order

Earlier this month the NHS National Director of Quality and Efficiency said that the system should have no more money until it puts its “house in …

Health Care

The Senate Tests a New Approach on Obamacare: Bipartisanship

Health-care hearings next month will mark the first effort at collaboration between the two parties, even as the Republican repeal push sees one last gasp.<p>Next month the Senate will try a novel approach to break away from seven years of polarization on health care: actual committee hearings, with …

ObamaCare

Gov't report: 28.1M in US lack health coverage

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government says about 500,000 fewer Americans had no health insurance the first three months of this year, but that slight dip was not statistically significant from the same period in 2016.<p>Progress reducing the number of uninsured appears to have stalled in the last couple of …

Insurance