Julie Appleby reports on the implementation of the health care overhaul law, the interplay of health care treatments and costs, trends in health insurance, and policy issues affecting hospitals and other medical providers. Her KHN stories have appeared in USA Today, the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer and MSNBC, among others. Before joining KHN in March 2009, Appleby spent 10 years on the health care industry and policy beat for USA Today. She also worked at the San Francisco Chronicle
, the Financial Times
in London and the Contra Costa Times
in Walnut Creek, Calif. She serves on the board of the Association of Health Care Journalists and her education includes a Master of Public Health degree. | Contact: JulieA@kff.org | @Julie_Appleby
In just the last few weeks, Karen Ignagni, the health industry’s chief lobbyist, has faced Democratic accusations that insurers are "villains" and "immoral." In an interview with KHN, Ignagni discussed her take on the Democratic political assault, her industry’s end-game strategy and her unflagging opposition to a public plan.
As Senate Democrats scramble to finance an ambitious health care overhaul, they're exploring ways to get extract money from the insurance industry, including taxing very costly policies. They're also considering tacking a fee onto every new policy sold as a result of health reform or a flat tax on insurer profits.
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.
While advocates say insurance exchanges would stimulate price competition and give consumers new choices, there's also a risk these programs could undermine the employer-based health insurance system. Here are nine questions and answers about exchanges and their role in health reform.
Insurance exchanges are a critical part of proposed health system overhaul legislation. They could transform how insurance is sold. But experts warn that without the right structure and rules, exchanges could undermine the employer-based insurance 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.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus says the bill soon to come out of his committee will include comparative effectiveness requirements.
Lawmakers are considering varied approaches to taxing employer-provided health insurance as a means of paying for an overhaul of the health system, Kaiser Health News reports. Proposals include taxing benefits above a certain premium amount, taxing the benefits only of high-income earners, or combining both approaches.
The new head of the White House Office of Health Reform predicts there will be a health care reform bill on President Obama's desk by Thanksgiving.
With the health care debate about to erupt on Capitol Hill, a look at three ways it could turn out.