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  • Despite the potential consequences for babies, up to 10 percent of pregnant women opt to deliver through C-section or induction prior to 39 weeks gestation without medical indication. 

  • The CDC has declared adolescent vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) one of the top five public health priorities of 2014. Last month the President's Cancer Council also issued an urgent call to action to improve HPV vaccination rates.

  • Evidence has consistently shown that hospital consolidations are associated with higher prices, but preventing anti-competitive mergers has proven difficult.

  • For decades steady increases in lifestyle-related illnesses have affected our quality of life and our bottom line. With more than half of Americans now facing at least one chronic disease, the status quo is no longer acceptable. 

  • Health care is a uniquely challenging consumer experience: it can be complex and expensive but also vital and deeply personal. It’s no wonder that consumers are looking to technology to help simplify their health care choices—and businesses are increasingly meeting them with solutions.

  • Patient-centered care has at its base a very powerful concept: health care decisions should be driven by the preferences, needs and values of the patient. In this essay, Michael Millenson identifies three distinct ways of thinking about patient-centered care—ethically, economically and clinically.

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Expert Voices: The Role of Individual Mandates in Health Reform

Jonathan Gruber, PhD, Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 

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January 2009

With 46 million people uninsured in America, providing access to health care for all has been touted as a critical goal for health reform in the new Administration. The role that individual mandates may play in the path towards universal coverage has been fiercely debated. Massachusetts legislated a mandate for adults in 2006, and an individual mandate features prominently in several national reform proposals. Despite broad attention being paid to the topic, much of the discussion of mandates has occurred without thorough consideration of the evidence. In this essay, Gruber explores the primary arguments for and against individual mandates and the challenges faced in their design and implementation. Then pulling strongly from the Massachusetts experience, he examines evidence on the effectiveness of individual mandates in practice.

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