Health Care

Who Deserves More Help? Reid Will Decide.
November 13, 2009

The big news this week is that, in order to pay for health care reform, Harry Reid is considering a Medicare payroll tax increase  that would hit high-wage earners. In theory, Reid could use that money to bolster the Senate bill, so that it could offer more financial assistance to people who need it.

Guns Don't Kill People...Er, Actually...
November 13, 2009

People continue to debate what motivated Nidal Malik Hasan to kill so many people at Fort Hood.

PhRMA, IMS Respond
November 12, 2009

Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Researchers of America have responded to my item from Tuesday, in which I discussed a new report projecting higher-than-expected growth for the drug industry. So has IMS Health, the global consulting firm that produced the report. In my item, I suggested that the IMS report attributed the higher growth--in part--to health care reform. An article in the Huffington Post, based on the same information, made a similar argument based on the same information. PhRMA and IMS say that both articles are misleading.

Massachusetts Miracle or Massachusetts Mess?
November 12, 2009

If health care reform becomes law, the system it creates nationally will probably look a lot like the system now up and running in Massachusetts. In an article that appears in the current print edition of TNR, I suggest that's largely a good thing. The Massachusetts experiment is hardly perfect. But it's put health care within reach of more people and laid the groundwork for more sweeping changes that might improve the efficiency (and control the costs) of medical care overall. Many knowledgeable people disagree.

Mass Appeal
November 12, 2009

Polls show that Americans are confused about what health care reform means. And, if you listen to members of Congress on television, you get the impression that some of them aren’t certain, either. But figuring out what health care reform entails isn’t hard. All you have to do is look at Massachusetts. Almost three years ago, the state introduced an ambitious initiative designed to make sure nearly all residents have health insurance. Under this scheme, the state requires employers to contribute toward the cost of covering workers, while requiring individuals to get insurance.

Health Care Reform: Will It Work?
November 11, 2009

Health Care Reform: Will It Work? Part 1   Health Care Reform: Will It Work? Part 2   Health Care Reform: Will It Work? Part 3   Health Care Reform: Will It Work? Part 4   Health Care Reform: Will It Work? Part 5   Health Care Reform: Will It Work? Part 6   Health Care Reform: Will It Work? Part 7   Health Care Reform: Will It Work? Part 8   Health Care Reform: Will It Work? Part 9   Health Care Reform: Will It Work? Part 10   Health Care Reform: Will It Work? Part 11   Health Care Reform: Will It Work?

Mike Capuano's Profile in Courage
November 11, 2009

A day after blasting Martha Coakley, the frontrunner for Ted Kennedy's Senate seat, for saying she would have voted against the health care bill because of the abortion amendment, Mike Capuano, who voted for the bill, now says he did so only "to keep the health care debate alive"--and that he'll vote against a final bill that includes the abortion funding provision. The interesting question here, I suppose, is how would Kennedy have voted? Did he want health care reform badly enough to swallow the restrictions on abortion funding?

Republicans Would Never Exaggerate A Bill's Cost, Would They?
November 11, 2009

Ezra Klein persuasively argues that the Democrats erred by wandering into a $900 billion ceiling on the cost of health care legislation.

Opposing the Stupak Amendment, Respectfully
November 11, 2009

Harold Pollack is a professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and Special Correspondent for The Treatment. Some weeks ago, I was standing out front of a traditional Italian grocery wearing a Knights of Columbus smock raising money for programs that serve the mentally disabled. I wish university fund raising were this easy. I waved my giant Tootsie Rolls, and watched cash flow into my tin can. At one point, a silver-haired man emerged from a Camero to hand me a dollar.

New Evidence of Pharma's Sweetheart Deal
November 10, 2009

Critics have complained that a drug industry got a sweetheart deal when it struck a bargain with the White House and Senate Finance Committee over health care reform. There’s new reason to think those critics were right. It comes from an October forecast by IMS Health, a respected global research and consulting firm. The report, which IMS distributed to clients and which a source provided, projects that the drug industry will see average annual growth of 3.5 percent between 2008 and 2013. Back in March, IMS had projected no growth at all during that same five-year stretch.