Mary Agnes Carey has covered health reform and federal health policy for more than 15 years as an editor at CQ HealthBeat
, as Capitol Hill Bureau Chief for Congressional Quarterly
and at Dow Jones Newswires. A frequent radio and television commentator, recently featured on the Nightly Business Report, the PBS NewsHour and on NPR affiliates nationwide, Mary Agnes has a thorough understanding of both the policy and politics of health reform. She worked for newspapers in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, and has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. | Contact: MaryAgnesC@kff.org
Democratic and Republican lawmakers will offer their constituents very different takes on pending health care legislation during the August recess. Democrats will say the bills will “hold insurance companies accountable” and guarantee lower costs and more choice, while the Republicans will warn against a government takeover that will undermine competition and drive up costs.
An agreement between the House leadership and conservative Democrats sparked protests from states worried about higher Medicaid costs and liberals upset about the paring back of subsidies.
After weeks of painstaking talks, Democrats celebrated breakthroughs on health care overhaul on both sides of the Capitol. Yet many lawmakers and health care experts said that yesterday's events marked only one step on the very bumpy road to a final deal that President Barack Obama might sign into law.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., said Wednesday that a preliminary Congressional Budget Office score of his panel's draft health care overhaul package would cost under $900 billion over the next decade and provide health coverage to 95 percent of uninsured Americans.
Consumer and patients' groups criticize proposal that would let employers bestow bigger premium discounts on employees who embrace wellness programs.
President Obama and leading Democrats have stressed that people who like their employer-sponsored insurance would be able to keep it, under a health care overhaul. But they haven't emphasized the flip side: That people who don't like their coverage might have to keep it.
Medicaid’s role in health reform is emerging as a flash point, exposing policy and political rifts not only between the two parties but also among Democrats themselves.
The Congressional Budget Office took center stage this week when its assessment of a health overhaul plan fueled criticism of its cost. Little known outside of Washington, the CBO is an arbiter of the cost and impact of legislation -- meaning it will continue to play a critical role in the health reform debate. Senate Finance Committee Democrats, meanwhile, vow to re-tool their as-yet-unreleased proposal to make it less costly.
As one of the House’s chief deputy whips and vice chairwoman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado is helping map her party's strategy on health care legislation. Earlier this year, she pressed for an expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program. She talked with Kaiser Health News Senior Correspondent Mary Agnes Carey.
A new analysis of a major Senate health reform bill reports it would cost the government $1 trillion but reduce the number of uninsured by a net of only 16 million. The estimates by the Congressional Budget Office provided Republican critics with fresh ammunition on a day when President Obama was defending his plan before a national audience of doctors.