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More Health Insurance Regs Without an Individual Mandate Would Raise Health Costs
Les Masterson, Senior Editor-Managed Care

The individual mandate is in every major reform proposal, but that doesn't mean it's going to happen. And with the president not making the idea a major part of his healthcare speeches, you have to wonder if Democrats will ultimately look to strip out that critical piece of reform, while adding new regulations, such as guaranteed issue. [Read More]
  July 29, 2009

 
Editor's Picks
Health co-ops pushed as an alternative to federal insurance
Centrist Democrats involved in healthcare reform discussions are pushing for health cooperatives as an alternative to a public insurance plan. Cooperatives are usually owned by their members and are structured as nonprofits that either offer a system of healthcare providers or contract out for their members' medical services. Bipartisan Senate leaders say cooperatives are a way to get Republican support for a large health reform plan. [Read More]
Better Integrated Care for Medicare/Medicaid Dual Eligibles Could Lower Costs
Dual eligibles are some of the costliest patients and have more chronic diseases than the larger patient population. Though they are more in need, dual eligibles—who are usually elderly and poor—often face a fragmented, uncoordinated, and high-cost healthcare system, according to a new policy brief. Coordinated care could actually help dual eligibles' health status and lower health costs in the long run. That kind of care coordination is featured in many Medicare Advantage and Special Needs Plans, which are slated for payment cuts. This policy brief should serve as ammunition for supporters of those programs as they fight to restore funding. [Read More]
Who Will be the Winners and Losers in Health Reform?
My colleague, Cheryl Clark, looks at the possible winners and losers in health reform. Some of the predicted winners are primary care physicians, health information technology, and comparative effectiveness. The expected losers are imaging, biologics, and physician-owned specialty hospitals. Where do health plans land on the list? Health plans are listed under "possible losers" because of a possible public option and added regulations. [Read More]
Idea to tax insurers is gaining traction
Health insurance companies may have to pay a tax on their most-expensive policies. The idea appears to have broad appeal on Capitol Hill and is more popular than taxing individuals on their employer-based health plans or the wealthiest Americans. Supporters of taxing health insurers say it could help fund a portion of the healthcare reform plan that is estimated to cost $1 trillion over 10 years. [Read More]
Managed Care Headlines
Five Reasons Why Healthcare Reform Is Being Delayed
Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media - July 24, 2009
Healthcare Thought Leaders React to Obama's News Conference
Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media - July 23, 2009
CBO Predicts No Major Shift in Employer Coverage Under House Pay-or-Play Provisions
Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media - July 27, 2009
Liberals fear losing public-plan option
Wall Street Journal - July 29, 2009
Democrats push healthcare plan while issuing assurances on Medicare
New York Times - July 29, 2009
Healthcare reform and the unpopular t-word
New York Times - July 29, 2009
Medical leaders wary of healthcare overhaul's cost
Boston Globe - July 28, 2009
Aetna quarterly profit slides on commercial medical costs
Associated Press/Atlanta Journal-Constitution - July 27, 2009
Employers sound off on healthcare reform
Miami Herald - July 27, 2009

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Listen Up
Planning for a Public Health Plan

Georganne Chapin, of Hudson Health Plan, fears a health insurance exchange will create bureaucracy at an enormous cost. [Sponsored by Emdeon] [Listen Now]
From HealthLeaders Media
Insurers and Employers: Bend Your Own Cost Curve

Employers and insurers should plan on exploring every possibility, rather than planning on the government to bend the cost curve. [Read More]
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Are Social Media's Rewards Worth the Risks?

Although social media is simple and usually free to sign up, it takes time and effort to participate—and it's even harder to do so successfully. [Read More]
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