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Health Reform for New Health Reform Reporters

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

For reporters who normally cover topics other than health reform, today’s reform debates can mean playing catch-up. They may be facing a new vocabulary – public plan option, health insurance cooperative, employer mandate, individual mandate. Maybe they're trying to figure out what all this means for readers, viewers or listeners.

To help speed reporters along the learning curve, the Alliance for Health Reform sponsored a July 1 briefing. The webcast and resource materials compiled will be valuable for anyone wanting an overview of the health reform process in Washington to date, and where it's headed.

Featured were: Dean Rosen, a partner at the public affairs firm Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti, Inc. and head of the firm’s health practice, with Ed Howard, head of the Alliance for Health Reform and a veteran of health reform efforts going back to 1989.

Prior to joining Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti, Mr. Rosen held a series of high-level positions in both government and the private sector. He was the chief health care advisor to former Senate Majority Leader William H. Frist, M.D (R-TN), after serving as staff director for the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Public Health. Previously, he was senior vice president of policy and general counsel for the Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA). Mr. Rosen came to HIAA from the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee. He also served as health policy coordinator and majority counsel to the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources.

Mr. Howard has headed up the Alliance for Health Reform since its formation in 1991. Earlier, he served as the general counsel for the U.S. Bipartisan Commission on Comprehensive Health Care, the “Pepper Commission,” which reported to Congress on ways to assure access to health care and long-term care for all Americans.



Dean Rosen, Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti, Inc. , Speaker
Ed Howard, Alliance for Health Reform, Speaker

Transcript, Event Summary and/or Webcast and Podcast

Transcript: Health Reform for New Health Reform Reporters (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 7/1/2009
Full Webcast/Podcast: Health Reform for New Health Reform Reporters

The full webcast and podcast for this briefing, as well as videos of individual speakers' presentations, are provided by Kaiser Family Foundation.

Speaker Presentations

Dean Rosen Presentation (PowerPoint), 7/1/2009

(If you want to download one or more slides from these presentations, contact us at info@allhealth or click here for instructions.)

Source Materials

Speaker Biographies (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Alliance for Health Reform, 7/1/2009
Materials List (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Alliance for Health Reform, 7/1/2009

Offsite Materials (briefing documents saved on other websites)

Health Care Reporting For Journalists (Adobe Acrobat PDF),New America Foundation, 6/1/2009
Health Care Reform: An Introduction (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Congressional Research Office, 4/14/2009
Health Care Reform and the Federal Budget (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Congressional Budget Office, 6/16/2009
Focus on Health Reform: Health Care Reform Proposals (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Kaiser Family Foundation, 6/1/2009
Big, Small or Nothing At All? Three Scenarios For Health Reform, Kaiser Health News, 6/1/2009
Options for Financing Health Reform: Comparing the Impact of Selected Policy Options (Adobe Acrobat PDF),The Commonwealth Fund, 6/1/2009
Short Summary of the Patients' Choice Act (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Congressman Paul Ryan, 5/20/2009
Kennedy, HELP Committee Democrats Announce the Affordable Health Choices Act (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, 6/9/2009
Key Features of the Tri-Committee Health Reform Draft Proposal in the U.S. House of Reps. (Adobe Acrobat PDF),House Committee on Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Education and Labor, 6/9/2009
Baucus, Grassley Release Policy Options For Financing Comprehensive Health Care Reform (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Senate Finance Committee, 5/18/2009
President Obama's Fiscal 2010 Budget: Transforming and Modernizing America's Health Care System, Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President, 6/1/2009
Health Care Reform: Asked and Answered, The Briefing Room blog, the White House, 6/25/2009
Health Policy Brief: A Public Health Insurance Plan (Adobe Acrobat PDF),The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Health Affairs, 6/19/2009
High and rising health care costs: Demystifying U.S. health care spending (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 10/1/2008
Chapter One: Health Reform, from Covering Health Issues, Alliance for Health Reform, 6/22/2009
Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Public Opinion on Health Care Issues (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Kaiser Family Foundation, 6/1/2009
Lessons Learned: The Health Reform Debate of 1993-1994 (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Alliance for Health Reform, 10/1/2008


Dean Rosen, head of the health practice at the public affairs firm Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti, Inc., gave reporters a review of what's happened with health reform legislation over the past nine months and offered predictions about what's ahead. From the July 1 briefing.

Ed Howard, executive vice president of the Alliance for Health Reform, helped reporters get up to speed on health reform legislation at a July 1 briefing at the Alliance. Also on the panel: Dean Rosen, head of the health practice at the public affairs firm Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti, Inc.


Briefing for Reporters on State Health Initiatives

A governor met with reporters Friday, February 19 to discuss the latest health care innovations and changes they are pursuing or implementing. Gov. Asa Hutchinson, R-Ark., discussed his experience with the state's program to move newly eligible Medicaid beneficiaries to qualified health plans, and his intentions for changes moving forward.

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Health Care Consolidation: What You Need to Know

A recent whirlwind of mergers and acquisitions has thrown health care industry consolidation into the spotlight. In 2014 alone, there were 1,299 mergers and acquisitions in the health care sector at a value of $387 billion, a new record. In this roundtable for reporters, featuring a top FTC official and two experts, panelists discussed the drivers behind this recent trend; the scope and extent of consolidation among doctors, hospitals and insurers; implications for consumers and other stakeholders; and the roles of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Click here for video
Click here for transcript

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New Toolkit on Health Care Consolidation

There were 1,299 mergers and acquisitions in the health care sector in 2014 at a value of $387 billion, both record highs. A new Alliance for Health Reform toolkit, “Health Care Consolidation,” looks at the drivers behind this trend, as well as implications for key players in the health care system and regulatory issues surrounding the issue.  Critics argue that consolidation could have a harmful impact on consumers, including higher costs, while others say some amount of activity is necessary to reshape the health care industry following changes implemented by the Affordable Care Act.

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What Tools do Patients Need? Video

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Click here for video.

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Video from Reporter Roundtable on Open Enrollment III

On October 5, speakers at a reporter roundtable held at the National Press Club on open enrollment III provided the latest information about premium trends and drivers, health plan availability and new comparison tools for consumers to use in choosing health plans. They discussed trends in the role of navigators and brokers, and increasing consumer expectations, particularly around the ease of the process.

Click here for video.

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Toolkit on Connection Between Health and Housing

A new Alliance toolkit, “The Connection between Health and Housing: The Evidence and Policy Landscape,” provides a detailed look into federal, state and local initiatives, as well as cost implications for health and housing programs.

Attempts to tie health and housing policy are gaining momentum, amid evidence that housing, a social determinant of health, is an important factor in the health status of various populations. More than 610,000 people experience homelessness in the U.S., and over 250,000 individuals within that population have a severe mental illness or a chronic substance use disorder, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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Toolkit on Biosimilars

The Alliance for Health Reform has released a new toolkit, “Biosimilars: Unpacking Complex Issues.”

The Affordable Care Act created an expedited licensure pathway for biosimilars, and, in March 2015, the U.S. approved the first biosimilar, leaving policy makers, regulators, providers and stakeholders to grapple with regulatory and financial questions.

Biosimilars are similar – but not identical – to biologic drugs, and cost less. Unlike traditional pharmaceuticals, biologic drugs are derived from living organisms and tissues, making them more complex and expensive to produce.

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Experts Discuss Workplace Wellness Programs

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Toolkit on Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS)

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