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The Next 100 Days: Some Final Hurdles to Health Reform

Thursday, September 03, 2009

For some on Capitol Hill and in the White House, we’re just around the corner from a Rose Garden signing ceremony for health reform. But for others, that day seems far away.

Both camps agree: Significant disagreements remain that must be worked out if health reform is to become law. Will there be a public plan option or, as an alternative, health insurance co-ops? How will reform be financed? Can the “cost curve” be bent, either during or after the 10-year window that’s the focus of Congressional Budget Office “scoring”? How might Medicare change – or facilitate change – in a reformed system? How will reform affect employers, especially small businesses?

This briefing, cosponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, looked at some of the important issues that must be settled if President Obama is to sign a meaningful health reform bill this year. Speakers were:

Gail Wilensky of Project HOPE, former chairman of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and former administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration (now Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services);

Dallas Salisbury, president and CEO of the Employee Benefit Research Institute; and

Ken Thorpe, chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management, Emory University.

Ed Howard of the Alliance moderated, along with Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


 Ed Howard, Alliance for Health Reform, Moderator
 Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Moderator
 Dallas Salisbury, Employee Benefit Research Institute, Speaker
 Gail Wilensky, Project HOPE, Speaker
 Ken Thorpe, Emory University Department of Health Policy Management, Speaker
(Click on the camera icon to see a video of the speaker's presentation.)

Transcript, Event Summary and/or Webcast and Podcast

Transcript: The Next 100 Days: Some Final Hurdles to Health Reform (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 9/3/2009
Event Summary: Event Summary (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 9/3/2009
Full Webcast/Podcast: The Next 100 Days: Some Final Hurdles to Health Reform

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

Source Materials

Speaker Biographies (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Alliance for Health Reform, 9/3/2009
Agenda (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Alliance for Health Reform, 9/3/2009
Event Summary (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 9/3/2009

Offsite Materials (briefing documents saved on other websites)

Health Care Reporting Guide for Journalists (Adobe Acrobat PDF),New America Foundation, 6/6/2009
Key Senators Discuss Trimming Health Bill, Washington Post, 8/20/2009
Focus on Health Reform: Health Care Reform Proposals (Adobe Acrobat PDF),The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 8/7/2009
Fannie Med? Why a “Public Option” Is Hazardous to Your Health (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Cato Institute, 8/6/2009
On the Fast Track, Employee Benefit Research Institute, 4/13/2009
How Can We Pay for Health Reform? (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Urban Institute, 7/14/2009
Health Care Reform and the Federal Budget (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Congressional Budget Office, 6/16/2009
Options for Financing Health Reform: Comparing the Impact of Selected Policy Options (Adobe Acrobat PDF),The Commonwealth Fund, 6/18/2009
Why is U.S. Health Care So Costly?, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 7/26/2009
Finding Resources for Health Reform and Bending the Health Care Cost Curve (Adobe Acrobat PDF),The Commonwealth Fund, 7/2/2009
Financing Health Care Reform: 2009 vs. 2003, New York Times, 8/28/2009
Cooperatives Being Pushed as an Alternative to a Government Plan, Washington Post, 8/18/2009
Health Reform at a Glance: Strengthening Medicare (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Offices of the Democratic Leadership and House Committees on Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Education and Labor, 7/14/2009
Reforming Medicare’s Physician Payment System (Adobe Acrobat PDF),The New England Journal of Medicine, 2/12/2009
Health Surcharge Would Not Affect 96% of Small Businesses (Adobe Acrobat PDF),House Ways and Means Committee Staff, 7/20/2009
Addressing Health Care Market Reform Through an Insurance Exchange: Essential Policy Components (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Employee Benefit Research Institute , 6/17/2009
Chapter One: Health Reform, from Covering Health Issues, Alliance for Health Reform, 2/12/2009


Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, explains what's really needed in a reformed health care system. From the Sept. 3 briefing cosponsored by the foundation.

Gail Wilensky of Project HOPE explains that focusing on short-term savings to finance health reform could undermine measures to improve health care delivery. From the Sept. 3 briefing cosponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Dallas Salisbury, president and CEO of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, outlines why most employer groups support some aspects of health reform but oppose others. From the Sept. 3 briefing cosponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Kenneth Thorpe of Emory University explains why health reform should pay special attention to the care of those with chronic conditions. From the Sept. 3 briefing cosponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


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