Spring Break Health Wonkery

Jennifer Salopek hosted the Health Wonk Review this week at Wing of Zock, and there’s lots of good weekend reading in this spring break edition.  Several posts stood out as excellent – here are some of my favorites:

Shea McCarthy has an excellent piece at Healthcare Lighthouse, explaining the SGR deal that overwhelmingly passed the house yesterday.  The post was written several days ago, but so far, things are playing out the way McCarthy predicted:  The House passed the legislation, but the Senate won’t take it up until after the upcoming two-week recess.  McCarthy’s post is an excellent summary of what’s at stake, and what each political party likes and doesn’t like about the legislation.  

Anthony Wright’s article about the history of the individual mandate is an excellent read.  The individual mandate has been in the spotlight for years, and although it’s a crucial element of the ACA, it’s also very controversial.  And while Democrats like to point out that it was a Republican idea to begin with, it was also solidly embraced by Democratic leaders well in advance of the ACA legislation.  

Michael Johnson, who recently resigned his position as Director of Public Policy at Blue Shield of California, has an excellent guest post at healthinsurance.org, offering an insider’s look at why Blue Shield of California was stripped of its tax exempt status (that happened last summer, but just hit the media this month).  Johnson explains how BSCA wasn’t operating any differently than for-profit insurers, and their community contribution amounted to $35 million in charitable donations per year – a drop in the bucket compared with the $10 billion in BSCA community assets.

There are plenty of other great reads in this edition of the Health Wonk Review.  Happy spring, happy reading, and many thanks to Jennifer for compiling so many great posts!

About Louise Norris

Louise Norris has been writing about health insurance and healthcare reform since 2006. In addition to the Colorado Health Insurance Insider, she also writes for healthinsurance.org, medicareresources.org, Verywell, Spark by ADP, and Boost by ADP, and Gusto. Follow on twitter and facebook.

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