Blog Entries: December 2011 and Earlier

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New Guidelines Mean Women with Insurance Will Get More Preventive Services Free

August 08, 2011 - The Fund's Ruth Robertson says the HHS guidelines on women's preventive services go a long way toward ensuring more women receive needed preventive care.

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Providing Health Care to Vulnerable Populations Without Breaking the Bank

August 08, 2011 - Serious, though disparate, efforts are already under way to "reform" Medicaid, says David N. Sundwall in the blog post on serving vulnerable populations at a time when the roles of state and federal government are being redefined.

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Will We Need the Safety Net After Reform?

August 08, 2011 - Patricia Gabow looks at why the safety net will still be critically important in 2014.

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Health Spending Continues to Moderate, Cost of Reform Overestimated

July 29, 2011 - A recent report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shows that national health spending grew at a historically low rate of 3.9 percent in 2010. Karen Davis says this is somewhat reassuring news for the millions of American families and businesses. It’s also good news for the federal government as the slowdown indicates that the cost of health reform has been overestimated.

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State Flexibility in Risk Adjustment Under the Affordable Care Act

July 26, 2011 - In a new blog post, Mark Hall of Wake Forest University looks at risk adjustment, a necessity for ensuring a level playing field in individual and small-group markets both within and outside the exchanges.

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HHS's Proposed Regulation for Health Insurance Exchanges: An Emphasis on State Flexibility, Part II

July 21, 2011 - Last week HHS issued its proposed regulation for the new health insurance exchanges that states are to establish under the Affordable Care Act. In this blog post, the Fund's Sara Collins looks at what the rule says about governance, plan standards, and networks.

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The Sweet Spot Between 'Rigor' and 'Rigor Mortis': Balancing the Need for Evidence-Based Innovations and Rapid-Cycle Change

July 19, 2011 - The Fund's Rachel Nuzum and Stuart Guterman discuss a recent policy briefing on the key issues facing the the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

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HHS’s Proposed Regulation for Health Insurance Exchanges: An Emphasis on State Flexibility, Part I

July 19, 2011 - Last week, HHS issued its proposed regulation for the new health insurance exchanges that states are to establish under the Affordable Care Act. In general, says the Fund's Sara Collins, the rule provides states maximum flexibility to tailor the exchanges within the boundaries established by the health reform law.

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Achieving Medicare and Medicaid Savings: Cutting Eligibility and Benefits, Trimming Payments, or Ensuring the Right Care?

July 13, 2011 - Given persistent budgetary pressures, it's not surprising that the Administration and Congress are weighing options for achieving savings in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, say the Fund's Karen Davis and Stu Guterman. It's important, however, to bear three points in mind.

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Leveraging the Medicaid Provider Rate Increase to Improve Primary Care

June 28, 2011 - This blog post highlights a Commonwealth Fund-initiative that will provide practical guidance to Medicaid agencies and health plans on incorporating the Medicaid rate increase for primary care into a broader strategy that not only expands access to care but fosters greater accountability.

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How the Affordable Care Act Is Helping Young Adults Stay Covered

May 26, 2011 - Young adults are among the groups most likely to be uninsured in the United States. According to the latest census data, nearly 15 million people ages 19 to 29—one-third of those in this age group—lacked health coverage in 2009. But new health plan enrollment numbers suggest the Affordable Care Act is already turning the tide for many young adults, providing new protections to the 2011 graduating class.

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How State Leaders Can Guide Health Reform

May 23, 2011 - Former Republican Governor of Vermont James H. Douglas discusses the need to find ways to bring health care costs down, and suggests five key areas for state-based reform.

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Demystifying the Role of Mandates in Health Care

May 23, 2011 - Michael T. McRaith, director of the Illinois Department of Insurance, discusses the importance of benefit mandates, and the individual mandate to purchase coverage, to the functioning of the health insurance market.

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Update: New Review Process for "Unreasonable" Premium Hikes

May 19, 2011 - Today the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its final regulations on an important Affordable Care Act provision aimed at stemming the tide of health insurance premium increases.

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How Health Reform Will Help Women Get the Coverage and Care They Need

May 11, 2011 - Sara Collins and Ruth Robertson review a new report showing that women are in need of health reform now more than ever.

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