John E. McDonough

Guest Contributor

Stories by John E. McDonough

Obamacare repeal would mean 22 million people lose coverage

Obamacare repeal would mean 22 million people lose coverage

President vetoes Republican effort, but GOP will keep trying

TWENTY-TWO MILLION – that’s how many Americans would lose their health insurance, according to the US Congressional Budget Office, if the reconciliation legislation approved by the House of Representative on Wednesday by a 240-181 vote were to become law. The Senate approved the same bill in December and the House adopted it yesterday with no(...)

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Why Republicans hate the Affordable Care Act

Why Republicans hate the Affordable Care Act

New Medicare taxes on the wealthy responsible for much of the animus

THIS WEEK, THE US House of Representatives will take up reconciliation legislation, amended and approved in the US Senate last month, that would drill major, damaging holes in the Affordable Care Act. Though the bill has zero chance of becoming law because of a certain veto by President Obama, it is – by the Democrats’ count(...)

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An ACA damage assessment

An ACA damage assessment

Mixed impact of efforts thus far to derail health law

ON ONE  THING all Affordable Care Act watchers can agree: This autumn saw important developments and changes relating to the nation’s health reform law. How much and how serious? Any immediate assessment is incomplete and the full impact only will be evident through the lens of the 2016 presidential and Congressional election results. Until then,(...)

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No time to go wobbly on One Care

No time to go wobbly on One Care

Program has hit hurdles, but we need to stay the course

BACK IN 2008, when I was working in the US Senate on national health reform, a delegation of 20 business leaders from the New England Council visited Capitol Hill to offer advice. The group’s leader was Charlie Baker, then Harvard Pilgrim Health Care’s CEO. I recall his one recommendation: “You have to do something about dual(...)

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Sounds of health-care silence in GOP debate

Sounds of health-care silence in GOP debate

Lack of Obamacare talk speaks volumes

I HAD ONE mission last night watching the Republican debate among the party’s top 10 presidential contenders: What, if anything, could we learn about the state of play regarding the Affordable Care Act and US health policy? What I observed: The impassioned debate about the Affordable Care Act/ACA/Obamacare is over, even among Republicans. Here is(...)

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Cake and cupcakes for Medicare and Medicaid’s 50th anniversary

Cake and cupcakes for Medicare and Medicaid’s 50th anniversary

Landmark programs have propelled country forward

FIFTY YEARS AGO this Thursday, July 30, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law legislation creating two new national health insurance programs, Medicare and Medicaid. Fifty years later, these programs appear as recognizable and durable as any monuments in Washington, DC. But the comparison is not entirely apt. There is little difference between the Lincoln(...)

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Financing the Affordable Care Act

Financing the Affordable Care Act

Obamacare explained, including the Republican plan for its repeal

NOW THAT THE the lawsuit challenging federally established health care exchanges, King v. Burwell, has been relegated to history’s dustbin, let’s return for a deeper dive into the June 2015 report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), “The Budgetary and Economic Effects of Repealing the Affordable Care Care Act.” The report, which I wrote about here, projected(...)

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US Chamber of Commerce’s shameful tobacco work

US Chamber of Commerce’s shameful tobacco work

National business group and foreign affiliates are fighting tobacco regulation and anti-smoking efforts

I RECALL SITTING in my office in the US Senate’s Hart Office Building in Washington, DC, between 2008 and 2010 with my desk TV always turned onto one of the cable news channels when the Senate was not in session.  Incessantly, I saw TV ads from the US Chamber of Commerce speaking as the “voice(...)

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The Supreme Court surprise that wasn’t

The Supreme Court surprise that wasn’t

Ruling on health care subsidies was expected, but is still a relief

THOSE CLOSELY WATCHING the US Supreme Court process on the King v. Burwell suit that almost upended insurance subsidies for about 6.4 million Americans knew that one of three outcomes was most likely – 5-4 for the plaintiffs, or 5-4 or 6-3 for the government.  That indicated to me a two-thirds probability of a pro-Affordable(...)

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CBO: Obamacare repeal would be costly

CBO: Obamacare repeal would be costly

Congressional report projects big increases in defiit and uninsured from repeal of the Affordable Care Act

MY FAVORED DEFINITION of “health policy wonk” is someone who reads health reports from the Congressional Budget Office — and enjoys it. Guilty as charged. Last Friday’s new report, “Budgetary and Economic Effects of Repealing the Affordable Care Act,” was enlightening and fascinating. It will be a benchmark document during the coming two years of debates(...)

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