Several Papers Discuss Myths About Health Insurance

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Study examines effects of medicaid proof-of-citizenship requirements, measures to improve children's health coverage. Another paper discusses myths about health insurance and proposals to fund universal health coverage.

* "Assessing the Effects of Medicaid Documentation Requirements on Health Centers and Their Patients: Results of a 'Second Wave' Survey," George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services' Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative: The study is the second in a two-part study that examines the effects of Medicaid citizenship documentation requirements. Researchers find that 75% of community health centers continue to experience significant problems with the requirements for one or more eligible patient groups because of the requirements and nearly one-half of health centers continue to report Medicaid application and enrollment delays and disruptions. The report also found that changes implemented to address these issues have done little to alleviate the problems (George Washington University Medical Center release, 10/21).

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* "Improving Child Health Care Through Federal Policy: An Emerging Opportunity," Commonwealth Fund: The issue brief reviews recent legislative proposals focusing on child health care coverage and quality. The brief also proposes a set of provisions that would strengthen primary, preventive and developmental health care services (Commonwealth Fund press release, 10/21).

* "Myths and Misconceptions about U.S. Health Insurance," Health Affairs: In the Web exclusive, Katherine Baicker and Amitabh Chandra, both of Harvard University, examine five myths about the U.S. health insurance system: uninsured people with pre-existing conditions cannot find affordable coverage; the cost of covering the uninsured is offset by savings from expensive and inefficient care received by the uninsured in emergency departments; lack of coverage is the major access barrier to high-quality care; employers can afford to shoulder more of the cost of providing their employees with coverage; and inaction is the answer until a solution can be found (Health Affairs press release, 10/21).

* "The Politics of Paying for Health Reform: Zombies, Payroll Taxes and the Holy Grail," Health Affairs: In the Web exclusive, Jonathan Oberlander, an associate professor of social medicine and of health policy and administration at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, examines the political strengths and weaknesses of major proposals to fund universal health coverage. Oberlander also examines barriers to changing the way the U.S. pays for health care (Oberlander, Health Affairs, 10/22).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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