Blog: The New District of Columbia Policy to Protect Insurance Coverage

The District of Columbia recently took an important step to protect health insurance coverage by creating a District-specific health insurance requirement.  This is in response to the unexpected termination of the federal health insurance requirement, which Congress narrowly passed last December.  The Affordable Care Act had required that federal taxpayers, except some with low incomes, to have health insurance or pay a federal income tax penalty.  The underlying logic was that this would incentivize more people to get coverage and prevent insurance premiums from rising for the great majori

New Data on the Cost-shifting Debate Published in the National Bureau of Economic Research

New research published by the nonprofit, nonpartisan National Bureau of Economic Research provides new data on a longstanding debate in health economics and health policy:  whether or not hospitals “cost-shift” by adjusting prices with private insurers following reductions in public funding.  The new analysis shows that between 2010 and 2015, hospitals reacted to reduced Medicare payments by negotiating 1.6 percent average higher payments from private insurers,  increased prices that added an average of $86,500 per hospital for acute care claims for privately insured patients to offset reim

Blog: Terminating the DACA Program Would Harm Health and the States

Stymied by years of Congressional gridlock concerning immigration reform, in 2014 President Obama used executive action to create the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to provide temporary legal status to children and young adults who came to the U.S.

Investigating How States’ Vaccination Exemption Laws Affect Vaccination Rates

Courtesy of Bigstock

Childhood vaccines play a major role in minimizing the incidence of vaccine-preventable disease. While all states accommodate medical vaccine exemptions, certain states also allow for waivers on the basis of religious or philosophical objections. Certain vaccines have been particularly controversial, with public perceptions linking them to autism and developmental disorders, despite consensus to the contrary in the scientific and medical communities.  This has led some states to add exemptions in recent years, while other states opted to eliminate the exemptions.