JAMA Commentaries Discuss Health Care Reform; Report Links Health, Education Levels
- "Incremental Health Care Reform," Journal of the American Medical Association: In the commentary, Troyen Brennan, a physician with CVS Caremark, and Michelle Mello of the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health discuss the Massachusetts Health Insurance Connector and say that "a lower-price Medicare would fit into a connector concept based on specific segments of the insurance market." Such proposals "suggest an incremental approach to reform that does not abandon market competition, and hence may be more politically viable that fundamental reform has been in the past," they write. According to the authors, "The key issue will be whether legislators believe that the government/private plan competition can be fair, with government as regulator and competitor" (Brennan/Mello, JAMA, 5/6).
- "Health Care Reform: Beyond Ideology," JAMA: In the commentary, David Orentlicher of the Center for Law and Health at the Indiana University School of Law, highlights three "basic components" that a successful government health plan should include to achieve universal coverage for all residents: the plan should offer coverage that is funded by payroll taxes; the plan should be run by the federal government, instead of state governments; and the plan should provide all residents with "coverage in the same way" regardless of social or health status (Orentlicher, JAMA, 5/6).
- "Employment and U.S. Health Care Reform: Saving Jobs While Cutting Costs," JAMA: In the commentary, Samuel Sessions of LA BioMed at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in California, and Allan Detsky of the Departments of Health Policy Management and Evaluation and Medicine at the University of Toronto write, "One central goal of health care reform is to reduce U.S. health care costs or more realistically slow their increase," but it "will not be politically possible to proceed down a path of cost reduction without giving due consideration to the overall employment strategy for the United States." They conclude, "Now more than ever the potential for health care cost savings to lead to job loss and reduced incomes must also be recognized as a legitimate policy problem to be addressed and not simple a political one to be 'overcome' to achieve reform" (Sessions/Detsky, JAMA, 5/6).
- "Reaching America's Health Potential: A State-by-State Look at Adult Health," Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission To Build a Healthier America: The report by researchers from RWJF and several U.S. academic institutions ranks all 50 states and Washington, D.C., on the differences in the health of adults based on their education status. The report shows how adults' health can improve if the social factors that affect health are addressed by narrowing education gaps (RWJF release, 5/5).