The Social Security Trustees released their latest report yesterday, which showed that the finances of the system are deteriorating. In particular, The Trustees moved up the date when Social Security will become insolvent by three years, from 2036 to 2033. In 2033, absent any reform, the Social Security benefits of all recipients will be reduced across the board by 25%.
Many charities are funding applied medical research — trying to turn scientific discoveries into new treatments.
How can the governing boards of these charities determine whether their efforts have been successful?
It is not realistic to judge applied research on whether it produced a cure for a major disease.
But it also is not sufficient to say: “Our scientists and smart and hardworking, so continue to give them grants.”
To contain ever-rising health care costs, a commission established by the state recommended a year ago that Massachusetts replace the traditional payment model in which each doctor is paid for delivering each medical service, with the “capitation” approach in which a group of doctors is paid an annual fee for providing a patient with all healthcare.
By Katharine Q. Seelye.
What is the Public Option?
“Some see it as having the government act as a provider of last resort,” Robert C. Pozen, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, wrote online in Harvard Business, arguing in favor of state-based public options. “Others mean a national one-payer system based on the Medicare model. Still others mean health care cooperatives, though they do not exist in most of the U.S.”
Whatever the public option may actually be, the public itself seems fairly flexible on the matter — even if those in Washington are not.
A critical issue in the Congressional debate on healthcare is whether the new legislation will include a “public option.” Part of the problem is that there is little agreement about what the public option should be. Some see it as having the government act as a provider of last resort. Others mean a national one-payer system based on the Medicare model. Still others mean healthcare cooperatives, though they do not exist in most of the US.
Within the context of state-based Connectors implementing the individual mandate, the most viable definition of the public option is a state-based health care plan currently serving governmental employees. That approach would sidestep the ideological debate, while helping to achieve the consensus goal of constraining health care costs.
Massachusetts is among the top states in the nation when it comes to access to and delivery of health care, according to a study by The Commonwealth Fund. Founded by philanthropist Anna Harkness in 1918, the Commonwealth Fund works to promote a high-performance health care system. Among its board members, most of whom hail from academia and medical backgrounds, is Bob Pozen, the chairman of MFS Investments in Boston.