Kaiser: New Year, New Healthcare Battles

With the new year upon us, Kaiser Health News has a list of current healthcare-related topics in its lineup that merit close attention in 2012.

Medicare and Medicaid will feature largely along with the upcoming presidential elections.

One reporter will be looking into state waivers for the Medicaid program, as states such as Florida, Utah, and Wisconsin have submitted or are expected to submit waivers that do a “variety of things, including expanding Medicaid-managed care, or making changes to the program’s cost-sharing and benefits. All will require federal approval—which will be OK’d? Which will go too far? Those decisions will be really telling in terms of the kind of care beneficiaries are going to receive in the future, and also how states are going to manage and pay for their programs,” she says.

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Another reporter plans to keep an eye out on the Supreme Court’s ruling on the healthcare law and the presidential election, saying that 2012 should be a “pretty momentous year in healthcare.”

He will also follow changes to Medicaid among states, including Texas, California, and Florida’s “special initiatives as they roll out managed care,” and whether states will continue to cut benefits and increase cost sharing.

The upcoming presidential race is also of particular interest to another Kaiser writer, who says she’ll be reporting on how healthcare will play into candidates’ campaigns.

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“Healthcare discussion is featuring largely in presidential candidates; we’re gonna keep following the candidates and where they stand on healthcare,” she said. “They’re talking about Medicare, and it’s going to be a big issue moving forward to 2012.”

Check out the other issues that Kaiser Health News reporters will be keeping tabs on in 2012.

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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