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  • Backgrounder posted January 19, 1999 by Stuart M. Butler, Ph.D., Carrie J. Gavora How Tax Reforms Would Help Improve Patient Confidentiality

    Congress faces many challenges in the area of health care reform, including the need to combat renewed and ill-conceived attempts to regulate managed care through "patient's bill of rights" proposals. But a deadline is approaching on another health care issue that is of equal concern: how to protect the privacy of a patient's medical…

  • Backgrounder posted September 1, 1998 by Carrie J. Gavora Medicare Minus Choice

    Last year's Medicare reform, which included the first steps toward consumer choice and competition, is being undermined by bureaucratic red tape. The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), the federal bureaucracy that runs the Medicare program, announced on August 24, 1998, that it had received only three applications from health care insurers seeking to…

  • Backgrounder posted July 21, 1998 by Carrie J. Gavora Congress's Wrong Prescription For the HMO Headache

    "To me, [the] basic health care debate is, `Why is it that most Americans have to get their health care through their employers in the first place?'" Representative Bill Thomas Chairman, Subcommittee on Health, House Committee on Ways and Means1 The leadership of both parties in Congress has unveiled proposals that are said to address public concerns about…

  • Backgrounder posted June 24, 1998 by Carrie J. Gavora How To Deal With Public Concerns About Health Insurance

    In recent months, the pressure on Congress to "do something" to deal with public concern over the supposed shortcomings of managed care and other features of the American health care system has been growing. The result has been a number of bills that would impose additional mandates requiring health plans to provide certain services, specify a set of…

  • Executive Summary posted June 24, 1998 by Carrie J. Gavora BG1196es: How To Deal With Public Concerns About Health Insurance

    In recent months, the pressure on Congress to "do something" to deal with public concern over the supposed shortcomings of managed care and other features of the American health care system has been growing. The result has been a number of bills that would impose additional mandates requiring health plans to provide certain services, specify a set of…

  • Backgrounder posted June 8, 1998 by Carrie J. Gavora Back to the Drawing Board: Why Tax Reform is the Key to Health CareReform

    What do legislators like Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Representative Bill Archer (R-TX) have in common? They are among the growing number in Congress who recognize, though to varying degrees, that tax reform is key to achieving significant health care reform. Both Senator Boxer and Representative Archer have offered proposals to provide tax deductions to…

  • Executive Summary posted June 8, 1998 by Carrie J. Gavora BG1189es:Why Tax Reform is the Key to Health Care Reform

    After the passage of a spate of new federal benefit and regulatory requirements on health plans and the expansion of Medicaid through the new State Child Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP), House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) recently challenged Members of Congress to go back to the drawing board. In a conversation with the members of the health care task force…

  • Executive Summary posted February 25, 1998 by Carrie J. Gavora Executive Summary: A Progress Report on the Clinton Health Plan

    "Now, what I tried before [enactment of the Clinton health plan] won't work. Maybe we can do it in another way. That's what we've tried to do, a step at a time, until we finish this." -President Bill Clinton, speech to the Service Employees International Union, Washington, D.C., September 15, 1997 Four years ago, Congress soundly rejected the Clinton…

  • Backgrounder posted May 12, 1997 by Carrie J. Gavora The Budget Deal's Medicare Benefit Inflation

    The Medicare provisions in the recent budget deal, although still lacking in detail, indicate clearly that the congressional and Administration leadership prefers damaging short-term program "fixes" to reforms aimed at improving Medicare and assuring its viability for future generations. As the recent Medicare Trustees' report shows, the Medicare program is…

  • Backgrounder posted April 10, 1997 by Carrie J. Gavora How Health Insurance Mandates Misdiagnose the Disease

    Two recent developments in Washington underscore just how badly many policymakers misunderstand the root cause of the public's frustration with the health care system. At first glance, both developments seem sensible, as well as overdue. But both completely miss the point, and may even make things worse. The first is President Clinton's decision to appoint an…

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