Study Finds Health Care Spending Will Rebound When Economy Picks Up


Responses to the question: "For future pr...

Responses to the question: “For future presidential elections, would you support or oppose changing to a system in which the president is elected by direct popular vote, instead of by the electoral college?” Data from Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation-Harvard University Survey of Political Independents, conducted May-June 2007, available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/interactives/independents/post-kaiser-harvard-topline.pdf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The analysis by The Kaiser Family Foundation says the slowdown in
health spending over the past several years was largely driven by the
economic malaise.

Los Angeles Times: Study: Growth In Health Spending, Curbed By Recession, To Rebound

A new study attributes a slowdown in U.S. healthcare spending to the
recent recession and predicts more rapid growth as the economy
strengthens. The report issued Monday by the Kaiser Family Foundation
seeks to shed light on the reasons behind the recent drop-off. The
analysis found that economic factors related to the recession accounted
for 77% of the reduced growth in national healthcare spending, which
totaled an estimated $2.8 trillion in 2012 (Terhune, 4/22).

The Washington Post’s WonkBlog: Here’s Why Health-Care Costs Are Slowing

The answer has huge implications for the federal budget, which now faces
threats of really fast growth in Medicare, Medicaid and other health
programs. If those programs grow like they have for the past few years —
at the same rate as the rest of the economy — then that frees up lots
of funds for whatever other investments the federal government wants to
make (Kliff, 4/22).

The Hill: Study Predicts Rise In Healthcare Cost Growth By 2019

A stronger U.S. economy will contribute to a rise in the growth of
healthcare costs over the next six years, ending the current
record-breaking slowdown, according to a new study. The Kaiser Family
Foundation (KFF) predicted that by 2019, annual healthcare cost growth
will be closer to historic averages — over 7 percent compared to 3.9
percent between 2009 and 2011 (Viebeck,4/22).

CQ HealthBeat: Nation’s Health Spending Problem Remains Unsolved, Kaiser Analysts Say

Speculation that the nation’s health spending problem has somehow been
solved or cut down to size is unrealistic, says a new Kaiser Family
Foundation study that concludes 77 percent of the slowdown stems from
the weak economy. … But the analysts had a bit of good news. They said
the chilling effect on individual health spending due to the weak
economy will continue for a few more years (Reichard, 4/22).

(KHN is an editorially independent project of The Kaiser Family Foundation.)

Meanwhile, a different analysis is released on health issues–

Reuters: S&P Sees Pension Funding Burden Of Nonprofit Healthcare

Pension liabilities, expenses and contributions remain a burden on U.S.
not-for-profit hospitals despite improvements in the investments used to
fund the retirement systems, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services
said on Monday. Large pension funding demands will likely “be a drag on
the sector for several years,” it added (Lambert and Trokie, 4/22).

This is part of Kaiser Health News‘ Daily Report – a summary
of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The
full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

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Proposal Would Require Insurers To Report Health Law Taxes


English: , member of the United States Senate....

English: , member of the United States Senate. Español: John Cornyn, un senador del Senado de los Estados Unidos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The measure’s sponsor, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, bills it as a
way to educate consumers about how the health law’s benefits are funded.

The Hill: Insurers Would Report ObamaCare Taxes Under GOP Bill

A new bill from Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) would require health insurers
to disclose taxes they pay under ObamaCare to policyholders. In a
statement Monday, Cornyn touted the measure as a way to educate
consumers about how the Affordable Care Act’s benefits are funded
(4/22).

Also in the news, health law opponents are pressing for repeal of the
health law’s medical device tax, among other provisions, in
comprehensive tax reform legislation –

Roll Call: Health Law Tax Foes Find Hope In Overhaul Effort

Proponents of doing away with provisions such as the medical-device tax
and the annual fee on health insurance companies say they already have
bipartisan support for their repeal legislation. But the efforts still
will face health care politics and the need for significant offsets,
making their inclusion far from certain as lawmakers work toward
comprehensive tax legislation that can pass in both chambers (Attias,
4/22).

This is part of Kaiser Health News‘ Daily Report – a summary
of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The
full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

State Roundup: Nurses Press For Broader Responsibilities


Issues in Mental Health Nursing

Issues in Mental Health Nursing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Topics: States, Hospitals, Women’s Health, Public Health, Mental Health

Mar 25, 2013

A selection of health policy stories from California, New York, Maryland and Texas.

The Washington Post: Nurses Can Practice Without Physician Supervision In Many States
For years, nurses have been subordinate to doctors — both in the exam room and the political arena. But aided by new allies ranging from AARP to social workers to health-policy experts, nursing groups are pressing ahead in a controversial bid to persuade state lawmakers to shift the balance of power (Aizenman, 3/24).

Baltimore Sun: Bill Would Offer More Protection To Pregnant Workers
When Peggy Young became pregnant with her third child, she said a supervisor told her she was a liability and not to come back to work as a UPS package delivery driver in Landover [Md.] until she had the baby … Her midwife had written a letter saying she couldn’t lift more than 20 pounds, but Young said she was willing to do her regular duties if management wouldn’t give her less strenuous work. Young sued UPS six years ago for discrimination and to recoup money for lost health benefits the company denied her while not working, but lost. Most recently, judges in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against her in January, saying there was no discrimination. Young plans to petition the Supreme Court, but in the meantime, her case caught the eye of Maryland lawmakers who hope to remedy the problem at the state level (Walker, 3/22).

The Associated Press: Calif. Wants Control Of Prison Mental Health Care
Nearly two decades after a court takeover of California’s prison mental health system, a federal judge is set to consider this week whether the billions of dollars invested by California taxpayers have improved conditions enough that he can return control to the state. Gov. Jerry Brown has aggressively moved to end the long-running lawsuit (3/23).

The Associated Press/Wall Street Journal: NY Town Eyes Hospital Reopening Months After Sandy
Of the more than half-dozen hospitals in the New York area forced to close because of damage from Superstorm Sandy, only one has yet to reopen, idling hundreds of workers for months and forcing thousands of residents to travel farther for emergency health care (3/23).

Baltimore Sun: Fort Meade VA Outpatient Clinic Advances Effort To Serve Women Veterans
When retired Master Sgt. Sheryl A. Webb left the U.S. Army in 1997, she was scarcely aware of services that U.S. Veterans Administration hospitals offered specifically for women. That was well before women became the fastest growing demographic group within the U.S. veteran population, and before VA hospital officials made a concerted effort to get the word out about its women’s services. On Friday, Webb marveled as she walked through the Women Veteran’s Clinic inside the new $4.7 million Fort Meade VA Outpatient clinic. … The clinic provides veterans with outpatient medical care, preventive health and education services, screenings, social work and mental health clinics, as well as referrals to specialized programs and inpatient services (Burris, 3/24).

The Texas Tribune: Communities, State Lawmakers Take Aim At Obesity Rates
With obesity rates still soaring in parts of the state, lawmakers and local communities are looking at ways to combat the health crisis, especially among the state’s fast-growing Hispanic population (Zaragovia, 3/25).

This is part of Kaiser Health News’ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.