GRASSLEY TWEETS HIS HURT FEELINGS: President Obama is meeting today with Democrats from the Finance and HELP Committees. Charles Grassley, ranking Republican on Finance, doesn't like the message about partisanship that sends--and tweets his displeasure. "Lunch w Obama 3wks ago he told Max and me his desire for biparty HealthCareRefm. I hope he remembr when he meets w financeHELP Demo Tues." And then: "The prez is meetin w Finance and Help Demo bc doesn't appear they on same page Finance working biparty HELP more partisan. Where Prez land?" I'm pretty sure that a president meeting exclusively with members of his own party doesn't constitute a snub to the other party. But I do like reading Grassley on twitter and hope he keeps this up. Maybe he can convince Max Baucus to do the same.
WHEN "MODEST" CO-PAYMENTS DON'T SEEM MODEST: Your wonky journal article of the day comes from Health Affairs, naturally. In it, four scholars look at the impact higher cost-sharing has on low-income families. Politicians and policy experts, particularly economists, frequently argue that we should make individuals pay more for each health care service--in the for of co-payments, etc.--in order to instill some financial discipline. But while that might reduce overall health spending, the authors suggest such a strategy could, if implemented crudely, impose serious financial hardship on some low-income families.
HEALTH REFORM, GOOD FOR YOUR WALLET: The administration says that if we do health care reform right, it will free up resources that could be put to more productive use elsewhere, raising living standards. Intuitively, that sounds right, although I haven't read the report yet so I can't really speak to their numbers. Oh, and the industry groups that met at the White House last months delivered a follow-up letter, detailing some of the ways they can deliver savings. I haven't had a chance to read that letter, either. Will get to both soon, I hope. Meantime, you can get up to speed via the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal's Health Blog.