No Time to Go Wobbly on “One Care”

I am reprinting an article I wrote for the new issue of Commonwealth Magazine concerning One Care, Massachusetts’ bold and risky experiment to coordinate care for the so-called “dual eligibles” who are under age 65 and disabled.  It has been a tough ride in the program’s first two years.  In this piece, I give the background and context for One Care and propose that we stay the course as the smart and right thing to do:

one-care-banner-headerBACK IN 2008, when I was working in the US Senate on national health reform, a delegation of 20 business leaders from the New England Council visited Capitol Hill to offer advice. The group’s leader was Charlie Baker, then Harvard Pilgrim Health Care’s CEO. I recall his one recommendation: “You have to do something about dual eligibles because they are one of the most important and expensive pieces of the puzzle.”

As Massachusetts now struggles to sustain One Care, its nationally significant dual-eligibles demonstration project that launched in October 2013, Gov. Baker’s hope is happening. Given the project’s rocky and difficult first 18 months, he could be forgiven for wondering if he could rewrite that wish. Continue reading “No Time to Go Wobbly on “One Care””

Will 61 Be the Charm? The New Republican Effort to Gut the ACA

[Note: This post was first published on the Health Affairs Blog.]

For the 61st time since 2011, Congressional Republicans are moving legislation to undermine and dismantle key elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This time, though, will be different.

First, this will be the first time Republicans will use the budget process known as “reconciliation” to advance repeal. Using a budget reconciliation bill prevents Democrats from filibustering the legislation in the Senate, meaning only 51 votes are needed for passage in expedited debate.shampoo

Second, this will be the first time that the House and Senate both pass similar legislation to damage the law. As a result, this will be the first time that anti-ACA legislation will reach President Barack Obama’s desk. The President’s veto of this measure is guaranteed, as are the needed votes in the House and Senate to sustain his veto. So this will be another exercise in ObamaCare-Kabuki Theater with some new twists.

What’s In The Reconciliation Package?

The key elements in the legislation, developed by three House Committees (Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, Education and the Workforce) including: Continue reading “Will 61 Be the Charm? The New Republican Effort to Gut the ACA”