Jenny Gold covers the health care industry, overhaul and disparities for radio and print. Her stories for
KHN have aired on NPR and been printed in USA Today, the Washington Post, McClatchy and MSNBC.
She was previously a Kroc Fellow at NPR, where she covered health and business, and a broadcast
associate at the CBS Evening News. She is a graduate of Brown University. | Contact: JGold@kff.org
For two families, "gold-plated" health insurance has made a huge difference in the health care they receive. But it's not always the rich who get these benefits, and they worry about what a possible tax on plans would do to their health coverage.
The conservative lobbying group Conservatives for Patients' Rights says health reform with a government option will "squeeze" Americans from all directions: higher taxes, an inflated deficit, skyrocketing premiums and lousy public health coverage. But the group's numbers don't add up.
The little-known crime of medical identity theft can cause havoc - victims end up with big bills and wrong medical records. A new federal "Red Flags Rule" would require physician offices, among other businesses, to spot phony IDs. Doctors protest that the regulation could have "serious adverse consequences" for patients, even as the government tries to protect them.
To raise money to help pay for a health overhaul, Sen. John Kerry is proposing taxing insurance companies on expensive "Cadillac" policies. A new group of opponents is emerging: employers who "self-insure." They say they shouldn't have to pay taxes on the benefits they give their workers.
Small business organizations are encouraging members to make their views about health overhaul proposals known through emails, letters, phone calls and personal visits to Capitol Hill. But small business, a powerful constituency in every congressional district, no longer speaks with one voice on health care.
In an interview with KHN's Jenny Gold, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's senior manager of health policy, James P. Gelfand, says that an employer mandate would hurt employers and employees: "It makes people who don't make a lot of money worth less to their employers." The Chamber also vehemently opposes a "public plan" but endorses many other ideas to reform the U.S. health care system.
Democrats in Congress, surprised by the high cost estimates for their health care proposals, are looking at a wide range of options for raising money and reducing costs. Some of the revenue raisers have been rejected in previous years, but now all ideas are on the table because of the big amounts needed to pay for a health care overhaul.
Non-profit health co-ops have gained currency in the national health reform debate. But for some, like those who participate in the Group Health Cooperative, the idea has been working for decades.
Surgeon and author Atul Gawande's recent article in The New Yorker is generating intense discussion about the cost of medicine and exerting a powerful influence over the health reform debate.
The man originally designated to run President Obama's health reform effort debated President Bush's HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt about possible overhaul legislation.