Health Policy

Rigorous investigation of the effects of policy decisions and economic factors on the health care system and individual health outcomes

Racial and ethnic health disparities in Illinois

Authors

  • Lorens Helmchen

Illinois has a diverse population: 66 percent of its residents are non-Hispanic white; 15 percent, black; 14 percent Hispanic or Latino origin; and 4 percent Asian. Unfortunately, this demographic diversity is strongly associated with diversity in health status. Blacks and Hispanics are in worse health than whites. Immigrants arrive in Illinois healthy but their health declines rapidly with time spent here.


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Policy Initiative: none

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Medical malpractice liability reform in Illinois

Authors

  • Lorens Helmchen

More than two years after medical malpractice liability reform first took effect in Illinois, its uncertain fate continues to preoccupy policy makers, the public, and, most of all, the interest groups that have been lobbying for or against the measure. On August 25, 2005, Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed into law Senate Bill 475, the principal provision of which limits the amounts that juries can award for pain and suffering.1 The law was primarily intended to curb the growth of medical malpractice insurance premiums.


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Policy Initiative: none

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State health insurance regulations

Authors

At various times advocates, politicians, policy analysts, and concerned citizens have recommended reforms of state small-group and non-group (individual) health insurance markets. The early- to mid-1990s was a period in which health care issues rose to the top of federal and state agendas, and we appear to be entering another such period of acute interest in expanding health insurance coverage.


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Policy Initiative: none

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Health reform

Authors

  • Nicole Kazee

Probably the most dramatic immediate reaction to federal health care reform has been legal: in the first month following President Obama’s signing ceremony, 20 states announced that they will join a lawsuit challenging the federal legislation as unconstitutional. In short, opponents allege that the reforms constitute an illegal federal encroachment on policymaking territory reserved for state governments. In fact, such encroachment is not new. Through rules, incentives, and financing, federal policy routinely guides state decisions.


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Policy Initiative: none

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Related News

Understanding the effects of Medicare prescription drug insurance

Authors

The Medicare Modernization Act became law in 2003, creating a prescription drug benefit for the elderly called Medicare Part D. At the time of its passage, approximately one-third of seniors did not have prescription drug coverage, leaving them prone to financial and medical hardships. About half of those without prescription drug insurance incurred out-of-pocket spending of $1,200 or more per year. Uninsured patients were also more likely to forego buying essential medications.  


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Expertise:

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Darren Lubotsky’s research falls within two broad areas: the American labor market and the health and cognitive development of children. Some of his recent projects study the impact of rising health insurance premiums on public-sector compensation, the impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit on employment, and the economic status of immigrants in the United States.



Expertise:

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Anthony T. Lo Sasso is an economist whose research spans several dimensions of health economics and health services research. Lo Sasso is keenly interested in how government policies affect private sector decisions. Lo Sasso has studied the impact of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program on uninsurance among children and the extent to which public coverage “crowded out” private coverage. In addition, he has examined how community rating provisions affected individual health insurance coverage and uninsurance. Lo Sasso also studies the effects of health savings accounts and other high-deductible health insurance products on service use and spending.

Illinois sees greater decrease in uninsured population than rest of nation, most surrounding states

Authors

Compared to the rest of the nation and most surrounding states, Illinois saw a larger decrease in the number of citizens without health insurance in the first year of implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).


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Policy Initiative: none

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Expertise:

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Robert Kaestner's area of expertise are health, labor and social policy. He is an expert in health and labor economics and has conducted research on the effects of Medicaid and private health insurance on infant and child health; whether or not expansions in Medicaid crowded out private health insurance; the effect of Medicare coverage on health behaviors, prescription drug use, hospitalizations and mortality; the impact of state policies on the timing, place of occurrence and incidence of abortion; the effects of welfare reform on employment, fertility, health insurance and health; the effect of Title IX on adolescent physical activity and weight. He has authored more than 100 scholarly publications and has been awarded several research grants from the National Institutes of Health.