11.06.09

Can Health Reform Include Malpractice Reform? Sure, But Which Reforms Can Generate Political Agreement?

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With the exception of the ludicrous death panel accusations, it’s hard to find an area of health policy that is subject to more demagoguery than the ongoing debate about medical liability. The level of distortion and the amount of misinformation (i.e., outright falsehoods) has all but obliterated any chance for a reasoned debate. In an […]

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11.05.09

Can Health Reform Include Malpractice Reform?

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The House Republican alternative health care reform bill is now available. There is little new in it. It mainly recycles ideas like association health plans and interstate insurance sales that have been pushed for years. The bill is important, however, because it does highlight the issue of malpractice. The bill contains a familiar package of […]

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11.03.09

The Story of Murphy: Hope or Death Knell for Health Insurance Tax Protesters?

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Thinking about using tax law to enforce either an individual or employer mandate has led me down the dark paths of seldom-discussed constitutional provisions relating to excise, direct, and income taxes.  At one surprising turn, I encountered the Murphy case from the D.C. Circuit, 460 F.3d 79 (D.C. Cir. 2006), rev’d on rehearing, 493 F.3d […]

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11.02.09

HR 3962, ERISA, HIPAA, McCarran-Ferguson, and State Law. How Does the Puzzle Fit Together?

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Congress is not writing on a clean slate in enacting health care financing reform legislation. We already have, of course, massive federal health care programs: Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Hundreds of pages of the bills Congress is considering are consumed by amendments to the statutes governing these programs. The legislation […]

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11.02.09

Procedural Issues in HR 3962: Rather Disappointing

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In my post of September 27, I observed that the legislation then under consideration in Congress—HR 3200 (the House tri-committee bill), the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) bill, and Baucus chairman’s mark—paid inadequate attention to important procedural issues. In my post of October 27, I noted that the Senate Finance bill had made […]

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10.31.09

“We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us.”

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Mark makes some excellent points, particularly regarding the limited benefits likely to be derived from removing health insurers’ antitrust exemption. Although health insurers are convenient targets for expressing dissatisfaction with the health care delivery system (indeed, I’ve taken my share of pot-shots), reforming health insurance markets is simply one aspect of a much more intractable […]

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10.29.09

Connector Conundrums: An Interview With Jamie Katz

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Jamie Katz is general counsel to the Massachusetts Connector. The O’Neill Institute’s Lester Feder spoke with him on October 23rd about lessons Massachusetts’ exchange offers for national health reform legislation. Lester Feder: One of the questions for federal lawmakers is how much authority they give to the exchange or exchanges. Has that been challenged in […]

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10.29.09

Do We Need More Competition Among Insurers?

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All the talk about repealing insurers’ antitrust exemption and creating a public plan to compete with them raises the question: what will more competition among health insurers really accomplish? Recall that competition among hospitals often increases rather than reduces prices. Can insurer competition work better that that, or than it does now? One key is […]

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10.27.09

Some Progress on Procedural Protections

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In my post of September 27, I raised the issue of the absence of procedural protections in the proposed health reform legislation. The Senate Finance Committee America’s Healthy Future Act shows some progress on these issues. Section 2225(e) of the bill obligates the states to require insurers who offer plans through the exchanges to provide […]

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10.24.09

More Legal Issues Raised by Health Insurance Exchange Legislation

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The following is part of a memorandum on legal and policy issues raised by health insurance exchanges, which will be presented at the O’Neill Center’s Legal Issues in Health Care Reform conference on Monday, October 26. The full paper from which it is taken is available here. In my last post, I discussed the constitutional […]

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The views reflected in this blog are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent those of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law or Georgetown University. This blog is solely informational in nature, and not intended as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed and retained attorney in your state or country.

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