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Show Me the Money: Options for Financing Health Reform

Friday, July 31, 2009

As the key congressional committees draft health reform legislation, they are keenly mindful of the costs of various provisions. Congress will look to an array of options, including both savings from the health care system and new revenues, to finance coverage expansions and reforms to both the delivery system and insurance markets. What options hold the most promise? How do the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) go about “scoring” various financing options? Are there credible options for financing reform? Is there room for bipartisan cooperation in paying for reform? This July 31 briefing, cosponsored by The Commonwealth Fund, addressed these and related questions.

Panelists were: Uwe Reinhardt, health economist at Princeton University; Bill Hoagland, vice president for public policy at CIGNA and former Senate Budget Committee staff director; Mark McClellan, senior fellow and director of the Engelberg Center for Healthcare Reform at the Brookings Institution, former administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); and Chris Jennings, president of Jennings Policy Strategies and former senior health policy advisor to President Clinton. Ed Howard of the Alliance and Rachel Nuzum of The Commonwealth Fund moderated.


 Ed Howard, Alliance for Health Reform, Moderator
 Rachel Nuzum, The Commonwealth Fund, Speaker
 Uwe Reinhardt, Princeton University, Speaker
 Bill Hoagland, CIGNA, Speaker
 Mark McClellan, Brookings Institution, Speaker
Chris Jennings, Jennings Policy Strategies, Speaker
(Click on the camera icon to see a video of the speaker's presentation.)

Transcript, Event Summary and/or Webcast and Podcast

Transcript: Show Me the Money: Options for Financing Health Reform (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 7/31/2009
Event Summary: Show Me the Money: Options for Financing Health Reform (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 7/31/2009
Full Webcast/Podcast: Show Me the Money: Options for Financing Health Reform

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

Speaker Presentations

Rachel Nuzum's Presentation (PowerPoint), 7/31/2009
Bill Hoagland's Presentation (PowerPoint), 7/31/2009
Uwe Reinhardt's Presentation (PowerPoint), 7/31/2009

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

Source Materials

Agenda (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Alliance for Health Reform, 7/31/2009
Speaker Biographies (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Alliance for Health Reform, 7/31/2009
Selected Experts (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Alliance for Health Reform, 7/31/2009
Show Me the Money: Options for Financing Health Reform (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 7/31/2009

Offsite Materials (briefing documents saved on other websites)

A German Import That Could Help U.S. Health Reform, New York Times, 7/24/2009
Alternative Paths to a High Performance U.S. Health System: Impact of Three Approaches, Commonwealth Fund, 6/24/2009
Capping the Tax Exclusion of Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance: Is Equity Feasible?, Urban Insitute, 6/1/2009
Democrats Are at Odds on Financing Health Care, New York Times, 7/10/2009
Congressional Budget Office Letter to Hon. Charles B. Rangel (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Congressional Budget Office, 7/17/2009
Congressional Budget Office Letter to Hon. Steny H. Hoyer (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Congressional Budget Office, 7/25/2009
Financing Health Care Reform (Adobe Acrobat PDF),American Enterprise Institute, 5/12/2009
Financing Health Reform: A Plan to Ensure the Cost of Reform is Budget-Neutral, Center for American Progress, 6/1/2009
Finding Resources for Health Care Reform and Bending the Health Care Cost Curve (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Commonwealth Fund, 6/1/2009
How Health Care Reform Can Lower the Costs of Insurance Administration, Commonwealth Fund, 7/16/2009
Health Commission Plan Wins Some, Angers Others , Kiaser Health News, 7/27/2009
CBO and IMAC, Office of Management and Budget, 7/25/2009
Options for Financing Health Reform: Comparing the Impact of Selected Policy Options, Commonwealth Fund, 6/24/2009
Statement of Professor Jonathan Gruber in Senate Finance Committee (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Senate Finance Committee, 5/12/2009
Tax Debate: Workers who get health coverage from their employers don’t pay income or payroll... (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Health Affairs, 7/9/2009
Move over, David Beckham. Bend it like Peter Orszag!, Politico, 7/24/2009
Preliminary Analysis of the House Democrats’ Health Reform Proposal, Congressional Budget Office Director's Blog, 7/18/2009
The Cost of Taxing Health Benefits, Washington Post, 7/20/2009
Side-By-Side Comparison of Major Health Reform Proposals, Kaiser Family Foundation, 7/31/2009
Fork in the Road: Alternative Paths to a High Performance U.S. Health System, Commonwealth Fund, 6/24/2009
Progressive or Regressive? A Second Look at the Tax Exemption for Employer-Sponsored Health.. (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Commonwealth Fund, 5/1/2009
Crossing Our Lines: Working Together to Reform the U.S. Health System, Leaders' Project, 7/1/2009


Rachel Nuzum, senior policy director at The Commonwealth Fund, was the leadoff speaker at the July 31 briefing cosponsored by the Fund. She reviewed how $3 trillion could be saved in total health spending over 10 years by implementing a number of reforms.

William Hoagland, vice president of public policy at CIGNA, demystified the "scoring" process of the Congressional Budget Office at the July 31 briefing, cosponsored by The Commonwealth Fund.

Uwe Reinhardt of Princeton University described how health reform could be financed by increasing taxes, provider productivity, or both, at the July 31 briefing cosponsored by The Commonwealth Fund.

Chris Jennings, president of Jennings Policy Solutions, explained what he thinks are the features of a health reform bill that can win congressional approval this year, at the July 31 briefing cosponsored by The Commonwealth Fund.

Mark McClellan of The Brookings Institution discussed bending the cost curve, uninterrupted access to care, and personal responsibility at the July 31 briefing cosponsored by The Commonwealth Fund.


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