Posts for The Takeaway

The Takeaway: Can You Do A Post Mortem On Something That Isn’t Dead?

Now that the clock has run out on the 2017 budget resolution, the Republican drive to repeal the Affordable Care Act and undermine the Medicaid program has hit a pause.

The Takeaway: What Happened and Why

No one who was awake in the middle of the night watching the Senate debate on ACA repeal will soon forget the rising tension as it became more and more apparent that the repeal effort was foundering – culminating in...

The Takeaway: Oh, What a Tangled Web They Weave

Despite his best efforts, Senate Majority Leader McConnell couldn't coax a ‘yes’ vote out of 50 of his 52-member caucus before the July Fourth recess. The path forward for McConnell and the Senate Republicans seems to revolve around trying to...

The Takeaway: What to Watch For As the Senate Stampedes Toward a Health Care Vote

Numerous news outlets have confirmed that the Senate is planning to hold its floor vote on ACA repeal and Medicaid restructuring next week, before adjourning for the July 4 recess week, without the benefit of any public process. Although many...

The Takeaway: Masters of Misdirection

In the wake of both developments last week, we were treated to so many breathtaking whoppers that it is hard to know where to begin. If there were an award for double-speak, there would be a rich candidate pool from which to draw.

The Takeaway: Health Care and the Crisis in Democracy

Last week’s abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey has pushed health care out of the headlines, at least to some extent. However, the progress of the health care bill through Congress raises its own questions about the health of our democracy.

The Takeaway: Don’t Put All Your Eggs in the Senate Basket

There is no need to take up too much space here reviewing the ugly particulars of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) or the devastating consequences if something like it eventually becomes law.

The Takeaway: Repeal and Replace Sequel: Health Care Zombie Apocalypse

Movie sequels often fail to live up to the original, and Republicans' effort to repeal the ACA falls into this familiar pattern. As bad as the original was (and it was really bad), the sequel was even worse. Not content...

The Takeaway: Why Trumpcare Collapsed and What Comes Next

After reflecting on last week’s collapse of the drive to repeal the Affordable Care Act, we can reach some good conclusions about what went down and draw some lessons for the future.

The Takeaway: An Act of Malice

  I would venture to guess that congressmen Paul Ryan and Joe Kennedy don't agree on too much, but one thing they do appear to agree on is that the ineptly named American Health Care Act (aka Trumpcare) is first...

The Takeaway: Why is the GOP health care plan so terrible?

Reviews are in on the House GOP health care plan, which has been enthusiastically embraced by President Trump, and they are pretty terrible.

The Takeaway: A Secret They Should Have Kept: House GOP Plan Would Benefit the Wealthy, Harm Most Others

Although it will undoubtedly undergo further revisions, we now have a pretty clear idea of what the House Republican health plan entails - and it's not good.

The Takeaway: Math Problems

As Republicans struggle to come to agreement on how far to go with ACA repeal and what to put in its place, they are confronted with three interlocking math problems.

The Takeaway: Same Old Snake Oil In A New Bottle

While the change is a welcome testament to the success of the resistance to date, it does not reflect any change in purpose on the part of most Republicans in Congress.

The Takeaway: The Republican Health Care Bait and Switch

The classic “bait and switch” in the world of retail sales is to entice people with an offer of something good and then switch them to something of either inferior quality, higher price or both.

The Takeaway: Pay No Attention to the Plan Behind the Curtain

It's funny, or at least it would be if it weren't so sad and so dangerous. Lack of transparency in health care is a problem that has often been decried. You buy health insurance, but you don't really know which providers are in-network.

The Takeaway: Will the Real Donald Trump Please Stand Up?

It is often said that the first casualty of war is the truth. In the coming war on health security for the American people, one question is whether Donald Trump was sincere when he said he would not cut Medicare...

The Takeaway: How Do the Political Scientists Explain This One?

One curious feature of our current moment in health policy is how divergent the impending course of action pledged by Republicans in Congress and the incoming Trump administration is from the preferences of major health care industry stakeholders. Dominant models...

The Takeaway: Health Care and the Election - The Fight For Health Care Justice Must Continue

How the voters thought about health care The election is over and Donald Trump, to the surprise of most people (including, apparently, the Trump campaign team) will be the next president of the United States. Although this will have profound...

The Takeaway: What We Don't Know Could Hurt Us (Or Not)

Here’s a scary sentence courtesy of the editorial writers at The New York Times, “The Affordable Care Act’s flaws are fixable, but only if politicians from both parties work together in good faith.”

The Takeaway: Battle Lines Being Drawn

As the race for the White House tightens, a number of stories over the past week have cast a bright light on how the election outcome could shape future health care policy.

The Takeaway: Oh Aetna, Aetna, Aetna

Without a doubt the biggest health policy/politics story of last week was Aetna’s announced pullout from a large number of ACA markets.

The Takeaway: Are We Seeing the Last Gasp of Repeal and Replace? (Maybe Kinda Sorta)

It's been a surprising electoral campaign in many respects, but from a health policy standpoint, what isn't happening is perhaps as surprising as what is happening.

The Takeaway: Reflecting on the ACA

It was a big week for reflecting on the accomplishments of, and challenges facing, the ACA and the U.S. health care system. President Obama released an article in JAMA.

The Takeaway: Guns, Race and Health

The United States has a gun problem, and the United States has a racial justice problem. When the two collide the results are too often tragic and horrible.

The Takeaway: Problems With The House Republican ACA Replace "Plan"? Let Me Count The Ways

After six-plus years of rhetoric and sixty-some repeal votes, the House Republican caucus finally produced a document they refer to as a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. (To call the plan disappointing would be an understatement. Despite my...

The Takeaway: Summer Reruns

The thing about health policy “news” is that the same stories keep popping up over and over. This week we were treated to another episode of the long-running drama, “Repeal and Replace,” and also a sequel to that summertime favorite,...

The Takeaway: Closing the Coverage Gap—It’s Getting Better All the Time

There’s not much the Obama administration can do to persuade states to take up the already generous terms available for closing the Medicaid coverage gap, especially in an election year. But they are doing what they can to sweeten the...

The Takeaway: Battle Over Drug Prices Heats Up

Drug prices are continuing their upward spiral and there seems to be no end in sight. Lucky for the drug companies (and unlucky for us) that they have very deep pockets because it appears they are going to need them...

The Takeaway: One More Time with Feeling

One More Time with Feeling It’s pre-rating filing season again. That means it’s time for the annual ritual of insurers trying to soften up the public and regulators for rate increases. This year, HHS is pushing back on the insurers’...

The Takeaway: Efforts To Close The Coverage Gap Inch Forward With Brighter Days Likely Coming

Efforts To Close The Coverage Gap Inch Forward With Brighter Days Likely Coming Despite the health, economic and fiscal benefits of closing the coverage gap for people who fall between state Medicaid eligibility levels and eligibility for subsidized Exchange coverage,...

The Takeaway: Cruz Issues An ACA Replacement Plan (April Fool)

Actually, he has done no such thing. His willingness to bring the federal government to a grinding halt in order to grandstand on the issue earned him a lot of notoriety. But when it comes to “replace,” the candidate remains vague at best.

The Takeaway: Sound and Fury Surrounds Rx Pricing Debate, But What Do They Signify?

Sound and Fury Surrounds Rx Pricing Debate, But What Do They Signify? Sticker shock is continuing to make prescription drug prices a campaign issue, and with changes in benefit design exposing people to more and more cost-sharing, the issue is unlikely to...

The Takeaway: The Political Challenge of Reining in Drug Prices

The Political Challenge of Reining in Drug Prices The high price of prescription drugs is an issue of great concern to most Americans and has even attracted the attention of presidential candidates from both parties. Although the growth rate was...

The Takeaway: Final Obama Era Insurance Rule Makes Incremental Progress But Leaves Many Issues Unresolved

Every year, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issues an update to the rules governing insurance companies and marketplaces. While there were many small adjustments the final update released Monday, the last under President Obama, can most fairly...

The Takeaway: Stonewalling the President's Budget

President Obama released his final budget this week, containing some familiar health care items, as well as some good new ideas, like offering states three years of 100 percent federal financing whenever they elect to close the Medicaid coverage gap.

The Takeaway - Flint: How Did This Happen And What Does It Mean?

Flint: How Did This Happen And What Does It Mean? In my opinion, the biggest health care story of the week is the continued fallout from the lead contamination of the water supply in Flint, Michigan. The Flint crisis underscores...

The Takeaway 2016 New Year’s Edition

Why Is This News? 2016 opened with yet another vote by the Republican controlled Congress to repeal the ACA coupled with more muttering about a replace agenda — we really really mean it this time. Maybe by the time we are...

The Takeaway: Holiday Hangover Edition

Just before the holiday recess Congress completed work on a budget package that included what some have described as "blows" to the ACA. Here's a belated reaction to a couple of the most discussed provisions. Unpacking the Cadillac Tax Debate...

The Takeaway: Gun Violence is a Public Health Issue. Time for Congress to Treat it Like One

Gun violence in the US seems to have reached epidemic proportions averaging at least one mass shooting per day in 2015. According to OECD data 87 percent of the children in the developed world who die from gun violence live in the...

The Takeaway: Having Their Cake and Eating It Too

Last night in a cynical act of political theatre, the Senate passed a bill to eliminate major provisions of the Affordable Care Act including expanded Medicaid coverage and tax credits for people who don't have affordable employer coverage. Of course,...

The Takeaway: Reason Slowly Gaining Ground Over Ideology in Medicaid Debate

Reason Slowly Gaining Ground Over Ideology in Medicaid Debate When the Supreme Court ruled that states were not required to expand Medicaid to cover all poor adults, as originally envisioned by the ACA, it touched off a fierce political struggle...

The Takeaway: Mitt’s Moment of Reality, Er, Weakness

Mitt’s Moment of Reality, Er, Weakness, The Dog in the Nighttime—Still Not Barking, Speaking of Dogs…, A few stories that didn’t get much attention, but are worth checking out..

The Takeaway: In Search of a Prescription for Runaway Drug Prices

The problem of runaway prescription drug costs continues to make headlines and bedevil consumers, payers and policy makers.

The Takeaway: Has PhRMA PHinally Gone too PHar?

Well, really it’s not just PhRMA, it’s the generic manufacturers, as well. Normally there is a special room deep underground below the capitol where ideas to control excessive prescription drug prices go to die. The drug industry casts a long...

The Takeaway: More Signs of ACA Success but There's Still Work Left to Do

Michael Miller talks insurance merger mania, tackling out-of-pocket costs and more data touting the success of the ACA in this week’s edition of The Takeaway.

The Takeaway: Is it Time to Bust the Drug Cartels?

And by drug cartels I mean the big pharmaceutical companies. Recently, there was an interesting confluence of drug industry-related stories.

The Takeaway: The South Leads the Nation…A Phrase We Don’t Often Get to Say

This week, Gallup released the results of a two-year survey on the nation's uninsured and the results have stunning implications for the South.

The Takeaway: No ACA-Related News (and Few Sparks) in First GOP Presidential Debate

Immigration and the nuclear deal with Iran dominated the first Republican presidential debate last night. Health care issues were decidedly second tier with candidates saying expected things about defunding Planned Parenthood and repealing the ACA. The Fox News moderators pushed...

The Takeaway: Medicare and Medicaid at 50

Michael Miller reflects on the 50th Medicaid and Medicare Anniversary

The Takeaway: Michael Miller's Congressional Forecast, The Weather Looks Stormy

Michael Miller's The Takeaway, featured in On Message on July 24, 2015.

The Takeaway: Life After King v. Burwell

Now that the Supreme Court has removed the (next to last) existential threat to the ACA, how is the health care world reacting? We turn first to politics where we find the appetite for using reconciliation for ACA repeal is waning.

The Takeaway: The ACA is Here to Stay...

This week the Supreme Court issued a strong decision upholding the availability of federal tax credits in all states regardless of whether health insurance is purchased on a state or federally-operated insurance marketplace.

The Takeaway: More Please

The most significant development of the week at the intersection of health care policy and politics was the Obama administration’s crackdown on insurers for evading the rules about free preventive services as they apply to contraception.
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