February 2003 Health Care News

Issue Date: 
February, 2003
Newspaper PDF: 

The February 2003 issue of Health Care News offers articles explaining why reform of the nation’s health care system is so important, and also how free-market reforms offer the most promise for improving the quality and affordability of care.

The Galen Institute’s Joe Moser describes the revenue shortfalls plaguing most states as they enter the new year. Medicaid spending is a driving force behind state budget deficits, and Medicaid reform will be a top priority for state legislatures and Congress this year.

Managing Editor Conrad Meier reports that total health care spending in the U.S. reached $1.4 trillion in 2001. Spending on health care was up 8.7 percent from 2000, a year-to-year jump not seen since 1990.

Free-market reforms offer great promise for addressing the problems that plague health care in the U.S. The February issue of HCN features part 1 of a two-part series, written by Ethan Allen Institute President John McClaughry, outlining key reforms. Robert Goldberg summarizes the Republican and Democrat positions on reform; Merrill Matthews describes Association Group Health Plans; Nina Owcharenko describes how states can use HIFA waivers to expand the reach of private insurance; Kevin C. Waycaster urges that MSAs be reformed and made permanent before the pilot project expires at year-end; and Twila Brase reports on a Minneapolis “America Talks Health Care” town hall meeting.

Also in this issue: surgeon Bill Frist takes over as Senate Majority Leader; courts take action on state prescription drug programs; doctors protest soaring malpractice insurance rates; and government officials and policymakers revisit human cloning. We introduce in this issue Greg Scandlen’s new column, “Scandlen at Large” and expanded coverage of state policy actions.

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