Health Care

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The American health care system produces cutting edge technologies that improve and extend life in ways previously unimaginable. At the same time, health care costs remain among the greatest financial threats to both American families and the long-run sustainability of government budgets. Health care spending is expected to grow from 21 percent of total federal spending in 2011 to 28 percent of total federal spending by 2021. The Hamilton Project explores innovative proposals for delivering higher-quality health care more efficiently and with less financial risk for families.


Related to Health Care

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Reducing Unintended Pregnancies for Low-Income Women

Papers • June 2014 • Isabel V. Sawhill, Joanna Venator

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.

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

Papers • November 2013 • Melissa S. Kearney, Benjamin H. Harris

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.

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Transitioning to Bundled Payments in Medicare

Papers • February 2013 • Michael Chernew, Dana Goldman

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.

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Restructuring Cost Sharing and Supplemental Insurance for Medicare

Papers • February 2013 • Jonathan Gruber

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.

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

Papers • February 2013

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.

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Implementing Comparative Effectiveness Research: Priorities, Methods, and Impact

Papers • June 2009

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.

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Achieving Universal Coverage Through Medicare Part E(veryone)

Papers • July 2007 • Hugh R. Waters, Gerard F. Anderson

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.

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

Papers • July 2007 • Jason Furman, Robert E. Rubin

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.

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Taking Massachusetts National: An Incremental Approach to Universal Health Insurance

Papers • July 2007 • Jonathan Gruber

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.

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A Comprehensive Cure: Universal Health Care Vouchers

Papers • July 2007 • Ezekiel J. Emanuel, Victor R. Fuchs

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.

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Child Food Insecurity and Obesity Rates in 2011, by State

November 21, 2013 • Charts

In a new chart, The Hamilton Project shows the child food insecurity rates in every state in 2011. 

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A Bipartisan Approach to Reforming Medicare

April 27, 2012 • Alice M. Rivlin

Hamilton Project Advisory Council member Alice Rivlin testified before the House Ways and Means Subcomittee on Health in favor of a bipartisan plan for Medicare premium support.
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Real Specifics:  15 Ways to Rethink the Federal Budget—Part II:  Addressing Entitlements, Taxation, and Revenues

February 26, 2013 • Washington, DC

On February 26th, The Hamilton Project hosted a forum featuring a diverse group of experts from around the country who discussed 13 targeted policy proposals that were released that day on reforming entitlement spending, tax reform, and how to create new sources of revenue and efficiency. The proposals provide specific strategies on how lawmakers can address many different areas of the budget, and address options to reduce both mandatory and discretionary spending.

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Implementing Comparative Effectiveness Research: Priorities, Methods, and Impact

June 9, 2009 • Washington, DC

The Project co-hosted a forum with the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform to address the key questions surrounding comparative effectiveness research. The event featured remarks from Sen. Max Baucus and former Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag.

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Who’s Got the Cure? Four Options for Achieving Universal Coverage

July 17, 2007 • Washington, DC

The Project held two panel roundtable discussions on four alternative policy proposals for achieving universal health care coverage in the United States and the merits and challenges of the various proposals.

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Evolving Beyond Traditional Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance

May 2, 2007 • Washington, DC

The Hamilton Project hosted a policy seminar on a proposal from Stuart Butler of the Heritage Foundation to move toward universal coverage by evolving beyond the traditional model of employer-sponsored health insurance.

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Health-Care Reform Reconsidered: Options for Change, Part 1: Affordability and Effectiveness

April 10, 2007 • Washington, DC

The Project held the first of a two-part series focused on making health care more affordable while improving its effectiveness. The event featured panel discuss on the challenges of providing affordable quality health care and specific health policy recommendations.

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Addressing America’s Poverty Crisis - Day 1, Panel 4 Audio

June 19, 2014 • Audio

Day one of Addressing America’s Poverty Crisis closed with a  roundtable discussion on promoting early childhood development. Glenn Hutchins of the Hutchins Center for Fiscal and Monetary Policy at The Brookings Institution moderated the conversation, and was joined by Diane Whitemore Schanzenbach of Northwestern University, Ariel Kalil of the University of Chicago, Isabel Sawhill of The Brookings Institution, JoAnn Hsueh of MDRC and Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs of the Health and Human Services for New York City. The panelists focused on policy proposals to reduce unintended pregnancy for low-income woman, the need for more evidence on parenting intervention programs, and framework for establishing high-quality preschool access for disadvantaged children.

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Child Food Insecurity and Obesity Rates in 2011, by State

November 21, 2013 • Charts

In a new chart, The Hamilton Project shows the child food insecurity rates in every state in 2011. 

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Real Specifics: 15 Ways to Rethink the Federal Budget—Part II: Addressing Entitlements, Taxation and Revenues—Panel 1: An Enduring Social Safety Net

February 28, 2013 • Video

President of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Association Edward Thomas; Professor of Health Care Policy in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School Michael Chernew; Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Jonathan Gruber; Malcolm Wiener Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government Jeffrey Liebman; and Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Paul Van de Water participate in a roundtable discussion on the nation's social safety net moderated by S.K. and Angela Chan Professor of Global Management at the University of California--Berkeley Haas School of Business Laura D'Andrea Tyson.

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Real Specifics: 15 Ways to Rethink the Federal Budget—Part II: Addressing Entitlements, Taxation and Revenues—Panel 1: An Enduring Social Safety Net

February 27, 2013 • Audio

President of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Association Edward Thomas; Professor of Health Care Policy in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School Michael Chernew; Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Jonathan Gruber; Malcolm Wiener Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government Jeffrey Liebman; and Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Paul Van de Water participate in a roundtable discussion on the nation's social safety net moderated by S.K. and Angela Chan Professor of Global Management at the University of California--Berkeley Haas School of Business Laura D'Andrea Tyson.

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Mark McClellan on the Importance of Comparative Effectiveness Research

June 9, 2009 • Video

Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform Director Mark McClellan on the benefits and challenges to comparative effectiveness research at the Implementing Comparative Effectiveness Research: Priorities, Methods, and Impact Hamilton Project and Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform event.

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Senator Max Baucus on the National Benefits of Comparative Effectiveness Research

June 9, 2009 • Video

Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) on the national benefits of comparative effectiveness research at at the Implementing Comparative Effectiveness Research: Priorities, Methods, and Impact Hamilton Project and Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform event.

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Robert Rubin Says the Steep Costs of Health Care Are a Threat to American Competitiveness

June 9, 2009 • Video

Council on Foreign Relations Co-Chair and Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin says the steep costs of health care are affecting American competitiveness and are a threat to the country's economic future at  the Implementing Comparative Effectiveness Research: Priorities, Methods, and Impact Hamilton Project and Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform event.

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Mark McClellan on Using Comparative Effectiveness Research to Improve Costs and Outcomes

June 9, 2009 • Video

Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform Director Mark McClellan on using comparative effectiveness research to improve costs and outcomes at the Implementing Comparative Effectiveness Research: Priorities, Methods, and Impact Hamilton Project and Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform event.

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Peter Orszag on Health Care Reform

June 9, 2009 • Video

Then-Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag argues that health care reform should address two needs, providing health care to more people and doing so more efficiently at the Implementing Comparative Effectiveness Research: Priorities, Methods and Impact Hamilton Project and Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform event.

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Implementing Comparative Effectiveness Research: Priorities, Methods, and Impact: Event Photos

June 9, 2009 • Photo Galleries

Photos from a forum hosted by The Hamilton Project and the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform addressed many of the key questions surrounding CER and feature remarks from Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag.

Hamilton Project Updates

A periodic newsletter of events, policy briefs, and working papers from The Hamilton Project.