Headlines – 6/17/08

  • The Urban Institute put out a report on the Massachusetts health plan two weeks ago.  It’s findings were mostly positive.  More than half of the unisured in 2006 are now insured (greater than expectations), most people like the plan, access to care has improved, and out of pocket costs have dropped.  The bad side is that budget costs have run over budget (but so has national spending) and there is a shortage of primary care doctors.  For the NYTimes read here and here.
  • Ben S. Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, told Congress on Monday that health spending would “rise relentlessly” unless lawmakers overhauled the health care system, and he recommended an eclectic approach.”  Read more here.
  • Employer health care costs are expected to rise nearly 10% in 2008 and in 2009, respectively. Much of the extra expense is due to a hospital building boom and the cost of cross-subsidizing the uninsured and public programs.  The study comes out of PriceWaterhouseCoppers and was reported by the AP.

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