WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Obama administration could dodge a bullet that felled the Clinton administration’s attempt at health care reform by keeping an active and independent role for private insurers in the overhauled system, according to the Washington Post.
In a recent report (pdf), the Congressional Budget Office said if the government requires all Americans to buy health insurance — a mandate being considered to help reform the system — it runs the risk of having to run the health care insurance system through the federal budget.
However, if the government keeps private insurers actively involved in the reformed system — even if it requires people to buy minimal insurance — it could avoid putting health insurance into the federal budget because it would be a “largely private-sector system,” wrote Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, in his blog.
The CBO took a different view of the Clinton-era health care reform, the Post said. Then, the office concluded a mandate requiring employers and employees to pay into a national health insurance system would constitute a form of taxation — and that would massively expand the federal government, according to the Post.
Meanwhile, a report by policy wonk journal Health Affairs said that cutting the cost of health care is the next step in the Massachusetts reform effort, begun in 2006, that has succeeded in covering most of the state’s residents in the closest thing to universal coverage in the nation.
The report shows that while expanding insurance coverage is one way to improve patients’ access to health care, cutting costs has to be part of the formula, too, according to the Wall Street Journal Health blog.
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- FDA approves new total ankle replacement system (U.S. Food and Drug Administration)
- Uninsured face avalanche of U.S. health care costs (Reuters)
- Aultman wants part of trial shut (Massillon Independent)
- License for turning stem cells into heart cells (Associated Press/Chicago Tribune)
- Deals re-energize biotech sector (Wall Street Journal)
- Drugmaker to pay nearly $100 million settlement (Associated Press/Pioneer Press)
- Former Cardinal Health execs settle SEC lawsuit (Modern Healthcare)
- Hidden health tax: Americans pay a premium (Families USA report; pdf)
- Health care coverage reform remains a priority in Ohio (Ohio Department of Insurance)
- Leavitt talks CCHIT, stimulus and new administration (Modern Healthcare)
- Work starting on flu vaccine (New York Times)
- WellPoint deal clears hurdle (Indianapolis Star)
- Biospecimen storage company to expand (Indianapolis Star)
- Can the feds get into the biotech VC business? Bionager wants to make it happen (Xconomy | Seattle)
- Scientists identify new lethal virus in Africa (Associated Press/Boston Globe)
- J&J seeks to terminate Remicade, Simponi drug agreements with Schering-Plough on Merck deal (Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune)