national health reform


Video Debate: Is RomneyCare Really The Parent Of ObamaCare?

Tonight is going to be all candy, so let’s start the week with a few vegetables, as we sometimes refer to our health policy posts. Not that the above video is lima-bean-like; it’s a lively — though civil — Republican-Democrat debate about whether it’s fair to consider Massachusetts health reform as the “parent” of the federal health overhaul.

As CommonWealth magazine executive editor Michael Jonas introduces it:

We recently launched a new video feature on CommonWealth’s website involving webcam-based discussions between two people. I thought our most recent installment of “Face to Face” might be of interest to you and CommonHealth readers: a discussion of “Romney” and “Obamacare” between two of the people best qualified to chew over the issue that dogs Romney’s campaign perhaps more than any single topic.

Talking over the issue are Tim Murphy, who was Romney’s secretary of health and human services and the administration point-man on the 2006 Massachusetts law, and John McDonough, who was in the thick of the 2006 reform as director of Health Care for All and then went on to serve as senior policy adviser to Ted Kennedy’s Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, where early work on the federal law took place.

National Health Reform: What’s New In 2011?

Obama signs national health care reform law

Twenty-one new provisions of the national health reform law take effect in the coming year, ranging from extra money for wellness programs to subsidies for creative attempts at tort reform. Kaiser Health News concisely explains each new provision on its interactive and wonkily named “Implementation Timeline.”

Some key provisions coming online in 2011 include:

–Elimination of cost-sharing for certain Medicare-covered preventive services
–Changes to the Medicare Advantage payment system
–Grants for small employers to establish wellness programs
–Establishment of the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Program (CLASS Act)
–Grants for states to develop alternatives to tort litigation
–Disclosure of the nutritional content of standard menu items at chain restaurants and food sold from vending machines
–Creation of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation
–Grants for chronic disease prevention efforts in the Medicaid program
–Incentives for physicians to practice primary care through the Medicare program
–Changes to tax-free savings accounts such as Health Reimbursement Accounts or health Flexible Spending Accounts