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New Report on National Health Expenditures Underscores Need for Comprehensive Health Care Reform

February 4, 2010 - Today researchers from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported that U.S. health spending reached $2.5 trillion in 2009, and that health care's share of the economy grew 1.1 percentage points to 17. 3 percent—the largest one-year increase since the federal government began keeping track in 1960. These findings underscore the need for comprehensive health care reform that will help rein in the unsustainable spending growth that is placing an increasing burden on American families, businesses, and state and local governments

New Report: Post-Katrina Safety-Net Clinic Patients in New Orleans Report More Efficient and Affordable Health Care and Less Medical Debt Than Most U.S. Adults; Pilot Could Serve as National Model

January 15, 2010 - A new Commonwealth Fund survey of safety-net clinic patients in New Orleans finds that, despite being disproportionately low-income and uninsured, these patients had fewer problems affording care and fewer instances of medical debt and inefficient care than most U.S. adults.

How Do They Compare? New and Updated Resources on the Senate and House Health Reform Bills

January 8, 2010 - As key details of the health system overhaul are negotiated in Congress, The Commonwealth Fund is pleased to offer a new report comparing the health insurance provisions of the separate bills passed by the Senate and House of Representatives, as well as new updates of two earlier Fund reports examining the proposals and their potential impact.

Gap Exists Between Vision for Electronic Medical Records to Improve Care Coordination and Clinicians' Experiences

December 29, 2009 - A gap exists between policy makers' expectations that current commercial electronic medical records can improve coordination of patient care and clinicians' real-world experiences with EMRs, according to a study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) published online in The Journal of General Internal Medicine.

New Commonwealth Fund Survey of Young Adults Finds Wide Majority Support Health Reform

December 18, 2009 - An overwhelming majority—88 percent—of young adults across the political spectrum think it is important for Congress and the President to pass health reform legislation that would assure affordable health insurance for all and improve health care, according to a Commonwealth Fund survey released today.

International Survey of Primary Care Physicians in 11 Countries Reveals U.S. Lagging In Access, Quality, and Use of Health Information Technology; Underscores Urgent Need For National Health Reform

November 5, 2009 - A new Commonwealth Fund survey of primary care physicians in 11 countries reveals that the United States lags far behind its peers in key measures of access, quality, and use of health IT—undermining doctors' efforts to provide timely, high-quality care.

Experts Favor Broad Medicare Reforms to Control Costs and Foster Health Care Innovations, Survey Says

November 2, 2009 - A vast majority of leaders in health care and health policy believe Medicare has been successful in providing access to care and stable coverage to the elderly and disabled individuals; however only a small percentage think the program has realized its potential to achieve other important goals, like using its leverage as the country's largest purchaser of services to control costs and promote a high performance health system.

Commonwealth Fund Analysis of Congressional Health Reform Bills Highlights Key Similarities, Differences, Impacts, and Costs

October 23, 2009 - A new Commonwealth Fund report analyzes the similarities, differences, potential impacts, and costs of current bills passed by the five committees of jurisdiction in the United States Congress: Finance Committee and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committees in the Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives’ Ways and Means, Education and Labor, and Energy and Commerce committees.

New State Health Care Scorecard Finds Wide Differences in Access, Quality, Avoidable Hospitalization and Cost Across States; Persistent, Growing Disparities Underscore Need for National Reform

October 8, 2009 - The cost and quality of health care, as well as access to care and health outcomes, continue to vary widely among states, according to the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System's second state scorecard report released today.

Costs of Expanding Healthcare Coverage Partly Offset by Future Medicare Savings

October 5, 2009 - The costs of universal coverage are partly offset by later savings in Medicare. New Commonwealth Fund-supported research found that individuals who lacked health insurance at some point between the ages of 51 and 64 cost Medicare more than those who had continuous coverage in the years prior to Medicare eligibility.

Health Care Reform in Massachusetts: The Employer Response

October 1, 2009 - As Congress and the Administration debate health care reform, it is instructive to look at the Massachusetts model, now in its third year. A study of workers in the Bay State who were interviewed in fall 2008 about their employer-sponsored health care coverage, following up on similar surveys in 2006 and 2007. Despite predictions that employers could reduce coverage or benefits under health reform, the results suggest the opposite, although premiums and out-of-pocket costs have increased for some employees in smaller companies. The study was cosponsored by The Commonwealth Fund and published in Health Affairs.

Statement from Karen Davis: New Census Data on Uninsured Americans

September 10, 2009 - Today, the Census Bureau released the latest data on the number of Americans without health insurance. The number of uninsured individuals rose from 45.7 million in 2007 to 46.3 million in 2008. This increase of 0.6 million would have been much worse without a growth in government-provided insurance of 4.4 million, including a 3.0 million increase in coverage under Medicaid.

Small Business Owners and Employees Would See Lower Costs, More Comprehensive Health Coverage from Health Reform Proposals

September 9, 2009 - Small business owners and employees are among those who stand to benefit the most from provisions in some of the current health reform proposals under consideration by Congress, according to a Commonwealth Fund report.

New Report: Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Premiums Increase 119 Percent from 1999-2008; Projected to Double Again by 2020

August 20, 2009 - Nationally, family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance increased 119 percent between 1999 and 2008, and could increase another 94 percent to an average $23,842 per family by 2020 if cost growth continues on its current course, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report.

New Report: Health Reform Proposals Have Potential to Help More Than 13 Million Uninsured Young Adults Gain Coverage

August 6, 2009 - Comprehensive health reform proposals now before Congress could help the more than 13 million uninsured young adults ages 19-29 gain coverage, and such reforms would also help ensure that those who now have coverage would not lose it, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report.