The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution was launched last year to advance an economic strategy to restore America’s promise of opportunity, prosperity and growth—and inject new policy options from leading thinkers across the country into the national economic debate. To further this mission the project has commissioned significant work in the area of health policy and will release two sets of papers this year.
On April 10, The Hamilton Project launched the first of the two-part series focusing on making health care more affordable while improving its effectiveness. A panel of experts from the business, labor and policy communities, including Andrew Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and Ronald Williams, Aetna chairman, chief executive officer and president, addressed the challenges of providing affordable, quality health care in the United States.
A second panel highlighted three new discussion papers addressing key areas of health care reform. Proposals include improving the affordability of insurance and effectiveness of health spending through income-related cost sharing; policy options for fixing the Medicare prescription drug benefit, including simplifying consumer choice, improving benefit design and closing the gap or “donut hole” in coverage that consumers now face; and restructuring the financing of preventive health care services to promote health and improve efficiency. Robert E. Rubin, former treasury secretary and Hamilton Project advisory council member, provided opening remarks.
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The Promise of Progressive Cost Consciousness in Health-care Reform, by Jason Furman
Mending the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit: Improving Consumer Choice and Restructuring Purchasing, by Richard G. Frank and Joseph P. Newhouse
A Wellness Trust to Prioritize Disease Prevention, by Jeanne M. Lambrew