James C. Capretta

The President’s Health Care Predicament

KHN Original

Having spent so much political capital on the health law’s passage, one might expect it to feature prominently in the president’s planned reelection campaign. But it will likely turn out to be the law’s opponents who are more likely to talk about it.

An Irresponsible Roll Of The Dice

KHN Original

The president chose to submit a profoundly unserious budget. There’s no entitlement reform to close the long-term fiscal gap. There’s no tax reform. There are some minor cuts to marginal programs for show. But, overall, it’s very much a business-as-usual budget, with a few new and expensive long-term commitments thrown in for good measure. It’s like the president and his team woke up after the mid-term election with a bad case of political amnesia.

A Bipartisan Budget Will Require Bipartisan Health Care

KHN Original

It is essential that political leaders come together in a bipartisan fashion to put our government’s finances on more stable footing. But that won’t be done if the nation’s approach to health care is supported by only one of the two major political parties.

The Roadmap Lives

KHN Original

Rep. Paul Ryan, R- Wis., took the courageous step of going first with a bold plan — his Roadmap — to fundamentally restructure the tax and entitlement policies that threaten to push the federal budget past the breaking point. Now others, even some from the other side of the aisle, are joining him in sponsoring similar plans.

The Insurance Straw Man

KHN Original

It is no doubt useful politically for the administration to set up the private health insurance industry as its foil in this struggle. Many Americans have low regard for insurance companies. But this is largely a diversionary tactic on the part of [HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius].

Debunking Medicare Myths

KHN Original

Critics say Medicare Advantage plans are inefficient and costly. But those same critics oppose vouchers for Medicare — even though that approach would set up a direct competition between the private plans and the traditional fee-for-service program.

About Those Presidential Promises

KHN Original

Despite the relentless sales pitch, there was always a lot of skepticism among voters that such a government-heavy plan would leave them alone and be cost-free. Now, of course, their skepticism is being validated.

Can Massachusetts’ Experiment Tell Us What’s Next?

KHN Original

Now that the year-long debate in Congress over health care legislation has come to a close, it’s reasonable to ask: What’s next? Some think that enactment will quickly lead to widespread and generally quiet acquiescence to the terms of the new law, even by those who were strongly against its passage by Congress. Perhaps. But […]

The President’s Health Plan Won’t Cut the Budget Deficit

KHN Original

One of the central arguments President Barack Obama has made on behalf of the health care plan he wants Congress to approve in coming weeks is that it would begin to address the problem of rising costs and thus also begin to bring down future federal budget deficits. But will it?

The President’s Budget and Health Care Reform

KHN Original

It’s not that President Obama and his advisors don’t recognize their budget problem. They speak frequently about the dangers of business as usual. The problem is that the president’s stated solution will never work.

Where Things Stand

KHN Original

There’s no doubt the administration’s new health reform sales pitch works much better in focus groups. But does it really describe what’s under consideration in Congress?