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By Keith Fitzgerald | News related to health care policy issues

Expanding Medicaid Trims Hospitals' Costs Of Caring For Uninsured

When patients show up in the hospital without health insurance, they often receive charity care — the hospital treats the person and then swallows some or all of the costs.

It's central to the mission of many nonprofit hospitals, particularly those serving low-income areas.

"That's why we're here, …


Brand-Name Medicines Dominate Medicare's $103 Billion Drug Bill

Brand-name drugs to treat heartburn, diabetes, depression and other common afflictions of the elderly were among the most expensive drains on the federal government's Medicare prescription benefit, costing more than $1 billion each in 2013, newly released data show.

The federal government popped the …


Ohio Republican Gov. Kasich On Expanding Medicaid: 'It's My Money'

No Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio. That's exactly the argument Ohio Gov. John Kasich is making for why Republicans should choose him as their nominee in 2016.

"I will tell you that you can't be president if you don't win Ohio. That's not even a question," Kasich said …


Nobody Said That

Imagine yourself as a regular commentator on public affairs — maybe a paid pundit, maybe an supposed expert in some area, maybe just an opinionated billionaire. You weigh in on a major policy initiative that’s about to happen, making strong predictions of disaster. The Obama stimulus, you declare, …


Jeb Bush Wants to Revive Obamacare's "Death Panels." Good for Him.

The myth of the death panel is so interwoven with the history of the Affordable Care Act that it has come to seem like a primordial element of the …

Jeb Bush

Do These Poll Ratings Mark A Turning Point For Obamacare?

Favorable impressions of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act have increased slightly in recent months, showing the highest positive rating in a key tracking poll since the autumn of 2012.

While the change is small, the reasons behind it hint at shifts in the political environment that may …


Meet the Arizona doctor House Republicans like to quote

TALLAHASSEE — Dr. Jason Fodeman may not be a household name in Florida.

But he's a big deal in the Florida House, where Republicans are opposing the …

Obamacare Is More Popular Than It Seems—If You Discount These People's Opinions

Republicans have known for a long time now that the right’s absolutist position on the Affordable Care Act—that it should be repealed outright—is a …

Repeal Campaigns

Has Obamacare Turned Voters Against Sharing the Wealth?

With the advent of the Affordable Care Act, the share of Americans convinced that health care is a right shrank from a majority to a minority.

This shift in public opinion is a major victory for the Republican Party. It is part of a larger trend: a steady decline in support for redistributive …

Social Justice

Obama just approved a $214 billion plan to fix Medicare. That's a big deal.

President Obama signed a $214 billion Medicare reform package late Thursday that will overhaul the entitlement program funding — and has strong …


Leaders push Medicare bill toward final congressional OK

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate leaders drove legislation permanently overhauling how Medicare pays physicians toward final congressional approval Tuesday in a rare bipartisan push to erase an irritant that has dogged lawmakers for years.

Adding urgency to legislators' work, the measure would block a 21 …


Rand Paul’s astonishing omission: 2016′s newest candidate didn’t have a single word to say about health care

The GOPer's speech declaring his 2016 candidacy didn't mention healthcare reform at all, which is pretty strange

As I watched Rand Paul deliver his speech yesterday announcing his candidacy for the presidency, one thought kept occurring to me: this guy’s got some ideas. Granted, many of the ideas …

Health Care

The State-Level Future of Healthcare Reform

While the national debate over the Affordable Care Act remains deadlocked in dispute, local-level reform trends towards bipartisan convergence.

The Supreme Court’s ruling in King v. Burwell, whatever it may be, won’t mark the end of Obamacare. On the other hand, Obamacare itself was never intended to …

Health Care

Turning to Big, Big Data to See What Ails the World

Like many fields, public health is in the midst of a data revolution: randomized control trials, pay-for-performance and value calculations, all based on data, are changing our ideas about what works and how to finance it.

The impact of these new methods to gather and evaluate data pales, however, …


Ted Cruz Still Says Obamacare Killed Jobs. Has He Seen This Chart?

On Thursday, CNBC published an interview with Senator Ted Cruz, who last month became the first big-name Republican to officially declare for the

Ted Cruz

The Next Cybersecurity Target: Medical Data

The health industry is not immune to cyberattacks.

Hackers often carry out massive cyberattacks to gain access to financial data through banks and retail companies, but this week's cybercrime hit a seemingly new target: medical data, taken from the health insurance company Premera Blue Cross. The …

Health Care

Why Hospitals Are Wrong About Shifting Costs to Private Insurers

To hear some hospital executives tell it, they have to make up payment shortfalls from Medicaid and Medicare by charging higher prices to privately insured patients. How else could a hospital stay afloat if it didn’t?

But this logic is flawed.

Study after study in recent years has cast doubt on the …

The Freakout From An Obamacare Ruling Could Be Unlike Anything We've Seen

WASHINGTON -- Experts have a pretty good sense of what will happen if the Supreme Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell, cutting off Obamacare’s tax credits in roughly two-thirds of the states. Without that financial assistance, most of the people now buying insurance through …


Conservatives Know the Latest Obamacare Challenge Is Weak—That's Why They're Trying to Spin John Roberts

Because the stakes are so enormous, the pending conservative Supreme Court challenge to Affordable Care Act subsidies in three dozen states generates …

Supreme Court

Harvard Ideas on Health Care Hit Home, Hard

WASHINGTON — For years, Harvard’s experts on health economics and policy have advised presidents and Congress on how to provide health benefits to the nation at a reasonable cost. But those remedies will now be applied to the Harvard faculty, and the professors are in an uproar.

Members of the …

Health Care

GOP searches for elusive Obamacare fix

Republicans are looking for a way to roll back the ACA.

Updated 1/4/15 8:17 PM EDT

Republicans have been vowing to repeal Obamacare for nearly five years. But 2015 could be the year that Republicans finally define how they would replace it.

In March, the Supreme Court will hear another case that …

Republican Party

Every Patient a Subject

Personalized medicine, the hoped-for use of the information in our genes to inform our medical care, may end up helping people live longer, healthier …

Life Sciences

New evidence that Medicare Advantage is an insurance industry scam

A big part of the argument made by enemies of the Affordable Care Act that the Act is hurting Medicare applies to a category of health plan known as Medicare Advantage. New evidence has just come in showing that Medicare Advantage is a ripoff that fattens the health insurance industry while …

Poverty, Homelessness, and the Social Determinants of Health

If much of health and health care spending is determined by social conditions, what can and should we do about that?

Adrianna wrote in a recent TIE …


Regrets on Obamacare? Sebelius has very few

'I think it was not only well worth it, but a battle worth fighting.'

During the worst days of the Obamacare rollout last year, Kathleen Sebelius kept her spirits up by thinking about … Medicare.

As the Obamacare website was crashing and conservative interest groups were shining the spotlight on …

Kathleen Sebelius

Obamacare on track to exceed HHS coverage goal

Updated 12/31/14 7:48 AM EDT

Obamacare enrollment may already have topped 9 million, data released Tuesday by the Department of Health and Human Services suggest, putting the administration on pace to surpass its coverage goal for 2015.

According to the new report, about 6.5 million people were …

Liberal News

Jonathan Gruber tops list of influential economists

MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, an influential player in the making of the Affordable Care Act, was named The Economist’s “most influential economist” of 2014.

The ranking, which will be included in the magazine’s Jan. 3 edition, measures economists’ influence by their publication count and the level …

Liberal News

No health insurance? Penalties to rise in 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — The cost of being uninsured in America is going up significantly next year for millions of people.

It's the first year all taxpayers have to report to the Internal Revenue Service whether they had health insurance for the previous year, as required under President Barack Obama's …