New postings and analysis from Health Affairs, the leading journal of health policy. Health Affairs publishes new research each week online at www.healthaffairs.org. For more information, contact Chris Fleming at 301-347-3944.
States Using HIFA To Expand Coverage Without Cutting Existing Benefits|
States have used the Bush administration's Health Insurance Flexibility and Accountability (HIFA) initiative primarily to expand coverage, not to cut costs, says a Health Affairs Web Exclusive published April 18. The article, by the Urban Institute's Teresa Coughlin and coauthors, says that states contributed new funds to expand coverage, despite their generally dismal budget pictures in the early 2000s, but that fiscal pressures still impede progress in some cases, notably California.
TennCare Worked, Says Advocate, But Was A Victim of Politics
In a Health Affairs Web Exclusive interview, also published April 18, Gordon Bonnyman tells Robert Hurley that politics, not policy, killed TennCare, Tennessee's controversial Medicaid waiver expansion program. Bonnyman, who heads the Tennessee Justice Center, says that the TennCare expanded coverage and improved outcomes. He charges that recent efforts by Tennessee Gov. Philip Bredesen (D) to "fix" the program have led to "the largest single increase in the number of uninsured Americans in the nation's history."
Quantity of Worldwide Drug Introductions Down, But Quality Up
Recent decades have seen fewer new drug introductions, but the therapeutic and commercial importance of the drugs that have been launched has gone up, say Henry Grabowski and Richard Wang in the March/April Health Affairs. They report that U.S. pharmaceutical and biotech companies have forged ahead, as has the U.S. as a first-launch market. However, they also note looming threats to U.S. progress, such as the ban on federal funding for new embryonic stem cell lines and the recent wave of early patent challenges to innovative drugs.
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Health Affairs, published by Project HOPE, is the leading journal of health policy. The peer-reviewed journal appears bimonthly in print with additional online-only papers published weekly as Health Affairs Web Exclusives at www.healthaffairs.org. The full text of each Health Affairs Web Exclusive is available free of charge to all Web site visitors for a two-week period following posting, after which it switches to pay-per-view for nonsubscribers. The abstracts of all articles are free in perpetuity. Web Exclusives are supported in part by a grant from the Commonwealth Fund.
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