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2 posts from June 2014


A Republican Alternative to the Affordable Care Act: A Conversation with James Capretta (June 27th)

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As is well known Congressional Republicans have vehemently opposed the Affordable Care Act (the ACA or Obamacare). House Republicans, for example, have voted an estimated 50 times to replace the law.   Despite their criticisms over the past four years only recently has the party presented anything that approaches a substantive alternative to the ACA. Earlier this year an alternative proposal was presented by Republican Sentors Burr, Coburn and Hatch titled the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility and Empowerment (CARE) Act. 

During this 21 minute podcast Jim discusses several provisions of the CARE plan, i.e., auto-enroll and continuous coverage, coverage limits and mandates, limitations on the tax exclusion, reforms to Medicaid and other issues.          

James C. Capretta is a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, DC, where he provides Untitled-8-300x300-150x150[1]research and analysis on a wide range of public policy and economic issues with a focus on health-care and entitlement reform, US fiscal policy and global population aging.  He also is presently a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.  Mr. Capretta previously served in senior positions in the executive and legislative branches of the federal government for sixteen years.  For example, from 2001 to 2004, he was an Associate Director at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), where he had responsibility for health care, Social Security, education, and welfare programs.  He received his MA in Public Policy Studies from Duke University and was graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BA in Government.

Details regarding the CARE Act can be found at: http://www.coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/rightnow?ContentRecord_id=7ef8f0d5-bf56-4ea3-80fe-7f86765a00ca&ContentType_id=b4672ca4-3752-49c3-bffc-fd099b51c966.



How Can We Improve Primary Care: A Conversation with Ann O'Malley (June 10th)

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Primary care is considered the bedrock of healthcare delivery.   Primary care services promotes wellness, prevents disease onset, progression, exacerbation and premature death and moderates the need for higher-cost specialty services.   However, as the recent news about wait times at VA health care facilities demonstrated, the US suffers a shortage of primary care providers.  The current shortage, estimated at approximately 8,000 primary care physicians, is anticipated to grow to 50,000 or more by 2020. 

During this 21 minute discussion Dr. O'Malley explains why primary care is becoming more team based and why that is important, the adoption and use of electronic medical records in the primary care practice setting and the emergence of retail health clinics over the past 15 years and her assessment thereof.    

Dr. Ann O’Malley is a Senior Fellow in the Health Research Division at Mathematica, a social policy AOMalley_bio[1] research organization.   Her research focuses moreover on primary care and quality of care.  Dr. O’Malley has also held faculty positions at Georgetown University Medical Center where she worked on research funded by the NIH's National Cancer Institute and foundations examining the use of evidence-based preventive services in primary care settings.  She serves as a reviewer and has published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Health Affairs, and the Annals of Internal Medicine.  She is a member of AcademyHealth and a fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine.  Ann earned her MD from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and her MPH in Health Policy and Management from Johns Hopkins. 

For more on retail health clinics see this 2013 Center for Studying Health System Change publication titled "Despite Rapid Growth, Retail Clinic Use Remains Modest," by Ha T. Tu and Ellyn R. Boukus at: http://www.hschange.org/CONTENT/1392/.