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Pulling It Together: Rising Health Costs Are Not Just a Federal Budget Problem

Premiums for employer-provided health insurance, where 150 million Americans get their coverage, jumped 9% in 2011 while workers’ wages grew just 2%, according to our annual employer survey.  The average family policy now costs more than $15,000 per year, more than the cost of a Chevy Aveo or a Ford…

Small Area Variations and the ACA’s Coverage Expansions

A new Kaiser analysis sheds light on how the country might react to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) when it is implemented.  It looks at how the benefits of the ACA’s coverage expansions will vary around the country by census areas (technically, Public Use Microdata Areas, or PUMAs).  PUMAs are…

Pulling It Together: Jobs, A Reason to Fast Track Coverage

The two big topics in Washington right now are the economy and health care.  I’ve written before about how the two are linked, and in particular about how among the everyday economic problems people are having, paying for health care is a big one. But the latest numbers out from…

Pulling it Together: Small $ for HIV Prevention

It’s no secret that the response to the HIV epidemic domestically has not kept pace with the response to the global epidemic. And in an earlier column called America Has Gone Quiet on HIV/AIDS I wrote about the growing complacency towards the domestic epidemic revealed in our recent survey of…

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…

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: Reflections on This Year’s Four Percent Premium Increase

Our 2012 Employer Health Benefits Survey found a 4% increase in premiums this year, continuing the recent trend of moderation in health costs and spending reported in several studies. Double digit increases in premiums were once a common occurrence, but we have not seen any since a 10% increase in…

Pulling it Together: 19.7

Several years ago Joanne Silberner from NPR offered some advice I liked. Joanne said that the secret to effective communication was to “have a killer anecdote and a killer number.” Here is a killer number: 19.7. That’s the average number of years between major attempts at health reform since Harry…

Pulling It Together: Are We Headed for a Government Takeover of Health Care?

Remember the “government takeover of the health care system” argument that critics of the health reform law have used?  Well, last week the Office of the Actuary in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published the latest projections of health spending in the journal Health Affairs.  Attention focused mainly…

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