Wednesday, November 26, 2008

America's CEOs Set Priorities for the Obama Administration

First published in THCB

This past Monday and Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal convened an extraordinary conference of about 100 CEOs to develop and recommend issue priorities for the new Administration. (See the participant list here.)

This meeting brought together the nation's industry power players. Several Senators and Congressional representatives participated, as well as Rahm Emanuel, the President-elect's new Chief of Staff, and others who advise Mr. Obama.

Engage With Grace

Alexandra Drane and the Engage With Grace Team

This was first published on THCB.
We make choices throughout our lives - where we want to live, what types of activities will fill our days, with whom we spend our time. These choices are often a balance between our desires and our means, but at the end of the day, they are decisions made with intent. But when it comes to how we want to be treated at the end our lives, often we don't express our intent or tell our loved ones about it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Small Business Coverage: A Report From the Trenches

Brian Klepper

First published on THCB.

John Sinibaldi, a well-respected health insurance agent in St. Petersburg, Fla., has become prominent in Florida's broker community because he counsels and services a large book of small business clients and studiously tracks the macro trends that impact coverage for this population. And he's active in the state's regulatory and legislative activities.

The other day I dropped him
Jane Sarasohn-Kahn's post that reported on the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans' survey showing that most employers still want to be involved with health care. John responded with a long description of what the small employers he works with are up against. It's an illuminating, damning piece. I asked him whether I could post it, and he graciously agreed.John notes that only 36 percent of Florida's small businesses -- employers with two to 50 employees - now offer coverage. This is significant because 95 percent of Florida businesses are small. Nationally, about one-third of all employees work for firms with fewer than 100 employees.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Two Mea Culpas

First published on THCB

Here's an attempt to recover from two mistakes yesterday. My post on our dismal prospects for real health care reform prompted a couple readers - thanks to Hal Andrews and Fred Goldstein - to take me to task for suggesting that lobbying ought to be abolished.

And Barry Passett - who was a lot closer to the events in question than I was - pointed out that I misstated the reason that the Clinton's reform effort was killed, and in doing so over-simplified the issue.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Changes We Need

First published on THCB

These are, as the Chinese curse reputedly called them, interesting times.

If the burst of new Democratic health care reform proposals is any indication, a fresh breeze of the Obama campaign's "Yes We Can" optimism is blowing across the nation. Mr. Obama’s team is expected to make health care one of its priorities. First out, though, was Senate Finance Committee Chair Baucus (D-MT), who introduced
an aggressive health care reform package that builds on Mr. Obama’s campaign platform of cost controls and extended coverage. Senator Kennedy (D-MA) and Representatives Dingell (D-MI) and Stark (D-CA) are expected to offer proposals soon, and undoubtedly there will be others.

The rub is that Congress’ old-guard lobbying system remains in place. Congress is awash in special interest contributions -
$2.8 billion from 15,500 lobbyists in 2007 - that exchange money for influence over policy. When the Democrats retook Congress two years ago, they did not substantively change the lobbying rules.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Health 2.0 2008 - The Business and Society of Health 2.0

The Business and Society of Health 2.0

Panelists include Alan Greene, Rob Kolodner, David Kibbe and David Lansky. Moderated by Brian Klepper