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  • Population aging and recent coverage expansions have fueled concerns about physician shortages in primary care, leading several influential groups to recommend that nurse practitioners take on a larger role.

  • Most children’s health system experience is limited to the pediatrician’s office, but those with chronic or complex medical needs often deal with care that is fragmented, duplicative and crisis-driven. This leads to stress on families and wasteful utilization.

  • Just 5 percent of the population accounts for 50 percent of national health spending. Behind these numbers are patients and families struggling with multiple chronic conditions, physical and mental impairments, and tremendous stress.

  • Washington, DC – October 10, 2014 – NIHCM Foundation has awarded $215,000 to eight organizations through the first cycle of its new journalism grant program announced earlier this year.

  • The Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC)—a small panel of medical professionals whose recommendations have considerable influence over Medicare payment levels for their own services—has drawn quite of bit of political and media scrutiny recently.

  • More than 8 percent of two- to five-year-olds are obese, and another 23 percent are overweight and at substantial risk of becoming obese by the eighth grade. These early years are a critical time to focus on the development of healthy habits.

NIHCM

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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