Reheating Health Stew

Health Stew John 300x300_editedAbout 12 months ago, I suspended writing this blog, Health Stew, which I had produced since late 2011. The original site for the Stew,, ended their Community Voices series, and I had some big work commitments that convinced me to take a hiatus.  I also, naively, believed that in 2014, after implementation of the big access expansions of the Affordable Care Act were done, that health policy would, finally, get boring again.  Boy, was I wrong!

So after a year off, I’m back with the Stew as an independent blogging site for me, and I hope for others looking for a nontraditional and nonaligned site for commentary and analysis on health policy and politics in Boston, Massachusetts, the US, and around the globe.

Why do this?  I do this because I feel a need to add my voice to those who seek to advance a fairer, more just, more equitable, smarter, and better health care system for all Americans.  I don’t — and can’t — pretend to be neutral when it comes to the Affordable Care Act — or ObamaCare.  I was one of an army of Congressional staff who worked on the writing and passage of the law between 2008 and 2010. I wrote a book about the ACA called Inside National Health Reform to help people understand both the process to passage and the substance of this most important federal law.  I believe in health reform as a continuous process that never ends and, we can hope, gets better.

I chose the name Health Stew because I like stew and I like the image of a lot of ingredients coming together to produce a nutritious and tasty dish with an attractive aroma.  My interests in health policy are wide ranging and include access, quality, costs, public health, health inequities and disparities, health politics, history, economics, psychology, sociology, law, finance, and much more.

If you want to catch up, you can check out all my earlier Health Stew posts by clicking here.  They are reverse chronological, and my advisers and I are trying to figure out how to make them all more easily searchable and categorized.  Stay tuned.

My special thanks to Jennifer Powell from the Excellent Writers Group for her great consultation and support, as well as to Tania Helhoski for her graphic design.

So much to talk about !  Let’s get started…



Author: John McDonough

I offer insights and opinions on how to improve health care systems for everyone

4 thoughts on “Reheating Health Stew”

  1. Thank you for your continuing willingness to champion safe and affordable access to care. The crafting of the PPAHCA set a new bar for health reform but we continued innovation and policy revisions are needed to best serve our public. As a former MA resident now living in rural Pennsylvania, I am acutely aware of the disparities in health care access. The implementation of the ACO is largely restricted by not only state policy, but by a shortage of primary care providers. Efforts to expand access to care through the use of nurse practitioners is viable, safe and affordable approach, but the crafting of the language of ACO’s at the federal level, and political myopia at the state level, blocked NP in favor of MD’s control. In the weeks to come I welcome your evolving thoughts on the challenges of access, cost (pharmaceutical, diagnostics, services) etc.



    1. Hello my friend:
      Thank you for your message and for your continuing interest in health reform. So much more to do, and we all have to stay engaged. The ACA is not the end of the road, just an important milestone along the way. keep the faith and keep in touch.

      Thank you,


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