John E. McDonough

Guest Contributor

Stories by John E. McDonough

Reality and unreality in new Congressional Medicare deal

Reality and unreality in new Congressional Medicare deal

Agreement is a good thing, but not a game-changing breakthrough

THIS WEEK, YOU can be confident that the US Senate will approve bipartisan legislation approved on March 26 in the House of Representatives by an overwhelming (392-37) bipartisan majority to repeal a long-standing feature of Medicare physician payment policy called the Sustainable Growth Rate, or SGR. If you’ve never heard of SGR, you are among(...)

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Explaining Obamacare to foreigners

Explaining Obamacare to foreigners

On the 5th anniversary of health care reform, taking stock of its limitations and breakthrough achievements

On the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act, I ponder how non-Americans view our momentous and controversial health reform law. Like many US health policy analysts, I get requests from groups outside the US to explain the ACA, or “Obamacare.” I have traveled to Brazil, Australia, and South Africa, and also(...)

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The Affordable Care Act is working

The Affordable Care Act is working

Amidst brickbats from critics, national health care reform is delivering results

IN LATE NOVEMBER, Sen. Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, publicly opined that Democrats blew it in 2009 by pursuing passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) instead of maintaining a focus on the economy.  Shortly thereafter, now-retired Sen. Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat and key ACA architect, opined that Democrats missed the chance to(...)

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Baker’s health care moment

The state’s new leader has deeper background in health policy than any governor in Massachusetts history — and he’ll need to tap every bit of it.

THOUGH THE 2014 gubernatorial campaign lacked any real discussion of health care policy, this will soon be forgotten because Massachusetts has never had a new chief executive as steeped in health policy and politics as is Charlie Baker. Baker’s legacies affecting the Massachusetts health policy landscape span 25 years and provide clues to the directions(...)

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Vermont ends single payer bid

Feds now left to confront the issue

Many American dislike the Affordable Care Act not because it goes too far but because it does not go far enough, as observed in the chart below from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the dark blue.  About 24 percent of Americans believe the ACA should be expanded, and by that, many mean a Medicare-for-All single(...)

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How the new Congress will try to undermine the ACA

GOP likely to target Obamacare two ways

It’s no secret that the new majority Republican Congress will seek any and every opportunity to undermine the existence and operation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But how? One approach seems more likely to me than any other – divide ACA supporters from each other and play to the law’s deepest vulnerability The tack(...)

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Obamacare in the wake of the GOP romp

Some parts of law could fall, others will stand

So Republicans won enough seats to take control of the US Senate in January for the first time since 2006. Given their continuing opposition to the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), is this an existential threat to the law’s survival, and what might we expect over the next two years? The ACA’s lifespan has included(...)

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Teacher leftovers story sends wrong message

Teacher leftovers story sends wrong message

Description does professionals a disservice

While we appreciate coverage on our efforts to ensure great teachers in every classroom, we worry that Bruce Mohl’s recent article, “Teacher Leftovers,” sends the wrong message. The Boston Public Schools and the Boston Teachers Union share the goal of ensuring every child has a great teacher in every classroom. This year, the district extended(...)

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Counterpoints

Dear Gov. Romney: First of all, thank you. Your willingness to confront the dual crises of health access and affordability has enhanced prospects for reform. We may now be on the cusp of a “third wave” of Massachusetts health reform, building on gains achieved in 1988 and 1996, progress that has driven our rate of(...)

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Taking the laws into their own hands

Taking the laws into their own hands

The Bay State's referendum process lets voters take control--sometimes

When it comes to democracy, is it possible to have too much of a good thing? Today, the question applies to the Massachusetts initiative-and-referendum process–the power of citizens to write and approve laws and constitutional amendments–as it faces a growing crisis of legitimacy and authority. NICK GALIFIANAKIS Supporters of ballot initiatives say the people’s will(...)

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