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Health Reform

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Uniform Coverage Summaries for Consumers

This brief explains the proposed federal rule that requires private health plans to provide a short, easy-to-read uniform summary of benefits and coverage to all health insurance applicants and enrollees. The rule, which implements a provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is intended to make it simpler for consumers…

Vermont Health Care Reform Plan

On May 25, 2006, Vermont Governor Jim Douglas signed into law comprehensive health care reform legislation. The plan is designed to increase access to affordable health care while reducing cost through quality improvement measures. The plan requires employers to provide or help finance coverage for their workers. For individuals, participation…

Data Note: Footing the Bill

This brief data note looks at the raft of polls recently released on the public’s willingness to pay for an expansion of coverage to their fellow citizens. It compares and contrasts findings on Americans’ general inclinations on the topic, and also revisits recent findings on specific revenue raising proposals. Data…

Explaining Health Care Reform: How Might a Reform Plan Be Financed?

One of the key challenges in enacting a health care reform plan is how to finance it among government, employers, and individuals. Of particular concern to policymakers is what effect a health reform plan would have on government spending and the federal budget. President Obama and Congressional leaders have said…

Oral Histories: Report From a Dental Fair for Uninsured Adults

This report profiles patients attending a dental fair in rural Virginia to highlight the impact of lack of coverage for oral health services on adults. Uninsured adults have vast oral care needs, and untreated dental problems can have serious health, employment and social consequences, highlighting the relationship between inadequate benefits…

Rural Health: Laying the Foundation for Health Reform

The Alliance for Health Reform and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation co-sponsored this briefing to have a panel of experts answer questions about how some aspects of pending health reform proposals may have a substantial impact on rural care. What provisions in the various reform proposals affect rural health care?…

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…

To Hospitalize or Not to Hospitalize? Medical Care for Long-Term Care Facility Residents

To Hospitalize or Not to Hospitalize? Medical Care for Long-Term Care Facility Residents This report explores factors that appear to drive relatively high rates of hospitalizations, based on interviews with doctors, nursing home staff and families in four cities. Key factors include liability concerns, limited onsite staff capabilities, difficulty reaching…

What the Actuarial Values in the Affordable Care Act Mean

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) establishes four levels of coverage based on the concept of “actuarial value,” which represents the share of health care expenses the plan covers for a typical group of enrollees. As plans increase in actuarial value – bronze, silver, gold, and platinum –…