Phil Galewitz covers Medicaid, Medicare, long‐term care, hospitals and various state health issues. He has covered the health beat for nearly two decades. He is a board member of the Association of Health Care Journalists. In 2004‐05, he was a Kaiser Media Fellow and wrote about community solutions to the uninsured. Before coming to KHN, he was at The Palm Beach Post and was a national health industry writer for the Associated Press and The Patriot‐ News in Harrisburg, Pa. He has a BA in health planning and administration and a master's in public administration with an emphasis in health policy. | Contact: PGalewitz@kff.org
For employers, the Senate Finance Committee health bill says size matters. Small businesses that don't offer coverage would get tax credits while the bigger ones could face fines.
Former TV reporter-turned-White-House-official says the health reform debate is different than 16 years ago, although she laments efforts by lobbying groups to "spread misinformation."
Sebelius cites case of Rick Colby, who supports Obama's health care goals, but offers some changes.
The roots of Medicare Advantage plans go back to the late 1970s, when health planners believed they could improve care while saving money. Now, health care reformers say the plans are too costly.
Part of the effort to cut health spending aims at Medicare Advantage programs, which often offer benefits that go beyond traditional Medicare. But Obama says they are unfair and inefficient.
With 66 general hospitals, cancer centers, home services, clinics and nursing homes, Ascension Health is an important player in the U.S. health care system. President and CEO Anthony Tersigni has a message for Washington lawmakers: "We want to make sure we keep the agenda on the right focus - caring for all in this country."
Charles "Chip" Kahn III, president of the Federation of American Hospitals, has been a major player on the Washington health policy scene for nearly 25 years. As head of the lobbying group representing investor-owned hospitals, Kahn helped negotiate a deal in June among the hospital industry and the White House and the Senate Finance Committee.
As congressional legislation takes shape, most of the major health care players - hospitals, doctors, nursing homes, health insurers and pharmaceutical companies - are likely to benefit over the long term.
Obama and congressional leaders hope to reduce health care spending by promoting prevention to catch disease early. But some insurance and health officials say such efforts—although laudable—may not cut overall health costs.
Unions and advocates for low-income workers are criticizing a possible Senate Finance Committee move to drop an employer mandate in favor of a "free-rider" penalty. The provision would require companies to pay for part of the subsidies for uninsured workers to buy health insurance on the proposed exchanges. Business lobbyists say it's better than a straight mandate.