Category Health Policy

What’s a fair price for a band-aid?

Steve Bruns, MPP, Staff Writer, Brief Policy Perspectives On Amazon, a casual shopper can buy a seemingly endless supply of 280 band-aids for around $13. Once that shopper becomes a patient, the price of a band-aid increases significantly, to say the least. Take, for example, Colette Bird, a one-year-old girl in western Connecticut, who visited the […]

Proposed rule would expand association health plans at the expense of the sick

Steve Bruns, MPP, Staff Writer, Brief Policy Perspectives Balancing the tradeoff between access and affordability is a key challenge of enacting reform in the health insurance marketplace. Policies designed in good faith to improve the market must consider how to increase access to care for sick, high-cost individuals while maintaining affordability for all. A recently proposed […]

GW WonkCast S3E3-1: Below the Fold

Data servers, eggs, and memos are all cracking. This week’s Below the Fold covers the CareFirst health care data breach, the Nunes memo that alleges the FBI abused its surveillance authority to target a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, and Panera’s request to the Food and Drug Administration to legally define eggs. Moderator Jessica Blackband, […]

With Tax Plan, Senate Submits Bid to Destabilize ACA Marketplace

Steve Bruns, MPP, Staff Writer, Brief Policy Perspectives Senate Republicans announced that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, heralded as the first potential legislative achievement of the Trump era, will also include a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate. Republican lawmakers cite public budgeting and political reasons for repealing the mandate’s tax penalty […]

Amid Signs of Stability, White House Injects Uncertainty into ACA Marketplace

Steve Bruns, MPP, Staff Writer, Brief Policy Perspectives Just this past summer, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Health Plan announced that insurance premiums in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace would rise by eight percent, on average, in 2018 to compensate for the anticipated increase in health care costs. Fast forward to mid-October, when […]

Weigh The Evidence: The Potential of Medical Marijuana to Address The Opioid Epidemic

By Steve Bruns, MPP, Staff Writer, Brief Policy Perspectives  Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently delivered a two-word verdict on medical marijuana as an antidote to the ever-growing opioid epidemic: “it’s stupid.” However, there are a lot of smart people who, based on a growing body of clinical research, would confidently disagree with Mr. Sessions’ assessment. […]

If it ain’t broke, don’t repeal it

Steve Bruns, MPP, Staff Writer, Brief Policy Perspectives In 1977, Bert Lance, director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Jimmy Carter, urged the federal government to operate using a simple motto: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Lance explained, “That’s the trouble with government: Fixing things that aren’t broken and not fixing […]