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Pulling It Together: Repeal

The House will soon vote to repeal the health reform law, the Senate won’t, and the President would veto it if they did.  So what does a House vote for repeal mean? It is, of course, a campaign promise kept to the political right.  It is also a signal from…

Pulling it Together: Anticipating the Polls about Health

Tuesday, February 2nd marked a milestone of sorts in the health reform debate: there was no story on health reform in the New York Times (national edition).  I haven’t done a study, but as a professional New York Times (NYT) reader, I am virtually certain that this is the first…

Pulling it Together: The Media’s Challenge In Health Reform

For many years now the news media has served as the public’s number one source of information on important issues like health reform. People rely on the news media to help them wade through claims and counter claims, understand how policy options will affect them and come to judgment on…

Pulling it Together: Simple Arithmetic

This week we put out our annual benchmark survey of employer health coverage and costs. Two numbers jumped off the pages. The first number was the average cost of a family health insurance policy in 2009: $13,375. To put that number in context, if you are an employer, you can…

Beyond Rebates: How Much Are Consumers Saving from the ACA’s Medical Loss Ratio Provision?

The Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) saved consumers an estimated $2.1 billion last year, in the form of lower premiums and rebates, according to a new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Under health reform, insurers must issue consumer rebates if they fail to spend a certain portion of premium income on health care claims and quality improvement expenses, thereby limiting what they may spend on administrative expenses or keep as profits.

Pulling It Together: The Message from Massachusetts

The Massachusetts special election has roiled the political world and profoundly affected the prospects for health reform just when it looked like passage was a lock.  Efforts are underway to put health reform legislation back together again on Capitol Hill, but not since powerful Ways and Means Chair Wilbur Mills fell into…

Pulling It Together: Medicare, Medicaid, and The Multiplier Effect

We are witnessing a battle in Washington right now about the future of health care’s two big public programs, Medicare and Medicaid. It’s a budget battle, it’s an ideological battle, it’s a partisan political battle, and while it might not always be obvious following the debate, it’s a high stakes…

Pulling it Together: When Premiums Go Up 39%

Our group that works on health care cost issues just updated an analysis that sheds light on what’s really happening to people in the individual health insurance market, the issue Secretary Sebelius, a former Kansas insurance commissioner, and others have put in the spotlight by calling on Anthem and other…

Pulling It Together: Changing the HIV Testing Message

In 2006 the CDC began recommending routine HIV testing in health care settings for everyone between the ages of 13 and 64. Annual  testing is recommended for people at highest risk. Our 2011 survey of Americans and HIV released last week — our eighth comprehensive survey of its kind — …

Pulling It Together: Writing Regulations

Not since Geraldo Rivera revealed the secret contents of Al Capone’s vault on national TV in the mid-80s, or more recently, sports fans awaited the LeBron James “decision” about where he would play next, have we so anxiously awaited anything as much as the draft health exchange regulations just published…

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.