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Questions About Essential Health Benefits

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently issued its long-awaited report on defining the essential health benefits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As expected, the committee preparing the IOM report did not recommend which specific services should be covered, but rather discussed what the process should be for defining the essential benefits,…

The Budget Trigger and Health Reform

No doubt it will take some time to sort out how elements of the debt deal (formally “The Budget Control Act of 2011”) will all work. Delving into the details of how it affects subsidies in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to make insurance more affordable helps to illustrate how…

The Public, Health Care Reform, and Views on Repeal

With the U.S. House of Representatives scheduled to vote on repeal of the health reform law next week, the latest Kaiser Family Foundation data note revisits some recent public opinion findings on the topic. Kaiser’s December Health Tracking Poll found the public divided on the question of repeal: one in…

What Do They Mean When They Talk About Pre-Existing Health Conditions?

One health care issue about which the presidential candidates acknowledge they have differences is how the health care system should treat people with pre-existing health conditions. People who have a health condition (such as an illness or pregnancy) or who are at higher than average risk of needing health care…

KFF Data Note: A Snapshot of Public Opinion on the Individual Mandate

This week, the Supreme Court hears arguments on several challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), including the provision that requires individuals to purchase health insurance as of 2014, known as the individual mandate. For the two years since the law’s passage, and during the debate leading…

Is a Death Spiral Inevitable If There is No Mandate?

If the Supreme Court acts within the next couple of weeks to overturn the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) while leaving the rest of the law intact, expect to hear a lot about how the individual insurance market will be destined for a “death spiral.” When compared…

Kaiser Survey Probes Health Insurance Brokers’ Views on Insurance Trends, ACA

A new nationally representative survey of 500 health insurance agents and brokers working in the individual and small group markets by the Kaiser Family Foundation explores their outlook on market trends and views on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The survey finds that many agents are seeing steep increases in premiums…

The News Media and “Entitlement Reform”

In the coming debate about the deficit, policymakers will struggle to craft a package of spending reductions and new revenues that both Democrats and Republicans can agree on, totaling as much as four trillion dollars over ten years.  Medicare, Medicaid and potentially the Affordable Care Act will have their turn…