Education

Obama Starts A Grown-up Discussion Of Health Care
April 29, 2009

The New York Times just posted David Leonhardt's latest interview with President Obama. It's full of fascinating material and well worth reading in full. But, naturally, it was the discussion on health policy that caught my attention. The discussion--and it's really more a discussion than an interview, which is one of the reason's it's so revealing--doesn't dwell on expanding insurance coverage and access to care. Instead, it focuses on why health care is getting so expensive and what can be done about it. Along the way, Obama makes two crucial points.

Universal Coverage Makes You Healthier. Here's Proof.
April 26, 2009

Harold Pollack is a public health policy researcher at the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration, where he is faculty chair of the Center for Health Administration Studies. He is a regular contributor to The Treatment. The term “health reform” means so many things to so many people: Controlling health care costs, improving quality and cost-effectiveness, stabilizing local, state, and federal public budgets, protecting patients against catastrophic financial loss, covering the uninsured, and more. Oh yeah, one more thing: Will it actually make us healthier?

Game On: Senate Committees To Mark Up In June
April 20, 2009

Senators Max Baucus and Ted Kennedy just sent the White House a letter, affirming their commitment to marking up health care legislation in June. It's not news per se. Staff and outside experts have been talking about such a timeline for a while. But this makes it public and official in a way it wasn't before.

Business Guru Embraces Reform. Should We Nitpick Why?
April 13, 2009

You may not have heard of Regina Herzlinger. But corporate America has. And it thinks she has something important to say. I'm not sure I agree. But I'm even less sure I should point that out. Confused? Let me explain. Herzlinger is a professor at Harvard Business School, author of countless works on health care, and a fixture on the corporate lecture circuit.

Pete Wehner Has Me Confused
April 08, 2009

I don't entirely understand this point from former Bush strategist Pete Wehner in his critique of Obamaism: On top of this almost $5 trillion figure we need to add the $250 billion the Obama administration has already signaled is likely to be needed for the second installment of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). More is sure to follow. Obama has also established a 10-year fund for health care which will cost more than $630 billion.

This Is Not Britain. For Better And For Worse.
April 07, 2009

Tony Blankley takes to the opinion pages of the Washington Times today, trotting out a familiar but frequently effective line of argument. We can't have universal health insurance, Blankley says, because then our system will end up looking like Britain's, where the government makes everybody wait for services and frequently denies potentially useful treatments. First the federal government would get regulatory power over insurance.

Medical Miracle: Doctors Embracing Reform
April 02, 2009

Harold Pollack is a public health policy researcher at the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration, where he is faculty chair of the Center for Health Administration Studies. He is a regular contributor to The Treatment. For years, the medical profession has lagged only the insurers as a designated bogeyman for many who favor health reform.

Health Wonk In Chief
March 24, 2009

This will surprise no regular Treatment reader, I know, but President Obama is currently conducting a superb seminar on the economics of health care--and why getting health care costs under control is the key to our fiscal future.  I don't always agree with Obama on health policy. (See "Individual mandates, 2008 campaign debate.") But it's very reassuring to hear the president speak so confidently, and astutely, about the problems of our health care system.  --Jonathan Cohn 

Response: In Massachusetts, We Got Reform Right
March 22, 2009

Jonathan Gruber is a professor of economics at the Massachsuetts Institute of Technology, an adviser to the nation's top policy-makers on health care, and--as readers of this space know--a frequent source for expertise on The Treatment. He was an architect of the Massachusetts health reforms and now serves on the board of the Massachusetts Connector, which oversees that program.

Response: Massachusetts Reform Is Not A Model.
March 19, 2009

Diane Archer is co-president of the Health Care for All Project, which is run by the Institute for America's Future. She's also the author of a report, about the results of health reforms in Massachusetts, that I criticized a few days ago. We asked her to respond and she has. Diane is also the founder and past president of the Center for Medicare Rights, where she got a close-up look at how American health insurance works. So it's worth taking her arguments seriously.

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