Papers: Health Care

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Ten Economic Facts about Financial Well-Being in Retirement

June 2015 • Jane Dokko, Brad Hershbein, Melissa S. KearneyEconomic Security, Health Care

Rising life expectancy and potentially exorbitant long-term care costs have increased the financial resources required to support oneself and one’s spouse in retirement and old age. This set of economic facts bring attention to trends in Americans’ financial security and preparedness for retirement.


Strengthening Risk Protection through Private Long-Term Care Insurance

June 2015 • Wes YinHealth Care, Economic Security

Americans currently spend over $300 billion a year on long-term services and supports (LTSS), paid for through government programs, private insurance, and importantly, individuals’ own out-of-pocket spending. Wesley Yin proposes changes to the financing of long-term care (LTC) insurance so that individuals can have more-affordable and more-complete insurance against long-term services and supports (LTSS) expenses, and so insurance firms can manage their risks more efficiently.


Reducing Unintended Pregnancies for Low-Income Women

June 2014 • Isabel V. Sawhill, Joanna VenatorEconomic Security, Education, Effective Government, Health Care, Poverty, State & Local

In this policy memo, Isabel Sawhill and Joanna Venator propose that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Population Affairs, in conjunction with state governments, reduce unintended pregnancies through a social marketing campaign to encourage more young women to use long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs). This proposal, targeted at unmarried women between the ages of 15 and 30, aims to expand awareness so more low-income women use a LARC or other method of contraception, thereby reducing the number of unintended pregnancies and lowering the number of children born into poverty. This proposal is chapter three of The Hamilton Project’s Policies to Address Poverty in America, and a segment in Promoting Early Childhood Development.


Hunger and the Important Role of SNAP as an American Safety Net

November 2013 • Melissa S. Kearney, Benjamin H. HarrisEconomic Security, Effective Government, Health Care, Poverty

In this month’s economic analysis, The Hamilton Project focuses on two critical issues related to SNAP: (1) the widespread existence of both food insecurity and obesity among low-income children in the United States, and (2) the role of SNAP in fighting poverty during times of weak labor markets. SNAP participation rises and falls in lockstep with the unemployment rate, highlighting SNAP’s role as a safety-net program that bolsters family resources when employment and wages are low.


Transitioning to Bundled Payments in Medicare

February 2013 • Michael Chernew, Dana GoldmanHealth Care

Slowing the rate of health care spending growth will likely require transitioning away from a fee-for-service system to a global payment system. Michael Chernew and Dana Goldman propose policies to promote efficiency in the Medicare program by providing incentives to treat disease rather than paying for individual services in a way that encourages improvements to the quality of care.


Restructuring Cost Sharing and Supplemental Insurance for Medicare

February 2013 • Jonathan GruberHealth Care

Cost sharing under the Medicare Parts A & B programs is both variable and uncapped, with an overall structure that is hard to rationalize. Jonathan Gruber proposes reforms to Medicare cost sharing that insures consumers against high out-of-pocket costs, aligns the costs faced by consumers with the actual cost of care, and discourages incentives in private plans that encourage excess use of Medicare benefits.


The Hamilton Project Policy Response to the State of the Union Address

February 2013 • Economic Security, Education, Effective Government, Employment & Wages, Energy & Environment, Global Economy, Health Care, Infrastructure, Poverty, State & Local, Tax Policy, Technology & Innovation

In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama outlined an ambitious second-term agenda focusing on policies to help strengthen America’s middle class through broad-based economic growth. Since its launch in 2006, The Hamilton Project has released a range of targeted policy proposals that provide innovative, evidence-based approaches to address many of the priorities set forth in this year’s address, which we offer as a resource to policymakers in response to specific ideas mentioned by the President this week.


Implementing Comparative Effectiveness Research: Priorities, Methods, and Impact

June 2009 • Health Care

Comparative effectiveness research must assess a comprehensive array of health-related outcomes for diverse patient groups. This paper explores a variety of issues surrounding the implementation of CER.


Achieving Universal Coverage Through Medicare Part E(veryone)

July 2007 • Hugh R. Waters, Gerard F. AndersonHealth Care

This paper outlines a model for Medicare Part E(everyone), a program to provide universal, continuous, and affordable health insurance. This proposal adopts Medicare rules and payment systems to provide enrollees the same benefits that current Medicare beneficiaries receive.


Universal, Effective, and Affordable Health Insurance: An Economic Imperative

July 2007 • Jason Furman, Robert E. RubinHealth Care

This paper examines the interrelated problems of uninsurance and expensive or ineffective  care in the American healthcare system.  Universal insurance would eliminate uncompensated cost shifts and expand risk pooling and reduce the fragmentation of financing.


Taking Massachusetts National: An Incremental Approach to Universal Health Insurance

July 2007 • Jonathan GruberHealth Care

Jonathan Gruber discusses issues surrounding universal healthcare coverage and the uninsured and lays out a plan at the national level which builds on the Massachusetts model.


A Comprehensive Cure: Universal Health Care Vouchers

July 2007 • Ezekiel J. Emanuel, Victor R. FuchsHealth Care

Ezekiel Emanuel and Victor Fuchs discuss a Universal Healthcare Voucher System, which would achieve universal health coverage by entitling all Americans to a standard package of benefits comparable to that received by federal employees.


Evolving Beyond Traditional Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance

May 2007 • Stuart M. ButlerHealth Care

For most working-age families, health insurance is directly connected to the workplace; but this form of coverage is steadily eroding. This paper outlines three key steps necessary to achieve a gradual transformation without disrupting successful parts of the system.


The Promise of Progressive Cost Consciousness in Health-care Reform

April 2007 • Jason FurmanHealth Care

One important contribution to the challenges facing healthcare today is the increased insulation of Americans from the cost of care.  To address this issue, this paper proposes a template for a progressive cost sharing plan. 


A Wellness Trust to Prioritize Disease Prevention

April 2007 • Jeanne M. LambrewHealth Care

Chronic and preventable diseases now account for most of the deaths and costs in the healthcare system, despite relatively low-tech and low-cost services that could limit them. This paper outlines a new agency to deliver preventive care. 


Mending the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit: Improving Consumer Choices and Restructuring Purchasing

April 2007 • Richard G. Frank, Joseph P. NewhouseHealth Care, Effective Government

This paper proposes a series of reforms to address the challenges facing Medicare’s Part D prescription drug benefit. These reforms include creating a standardized set of plans, increasing competition, and lowering prices paid for drugs. 

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