10/2003 Consumer Choice Matters: At Your Fingertips

Published October 1, 2003

This month’s column is devoted to an alphabetical list of resources you can access from your desk. Please don’t be shy about notifying me of any corrections or omissions. I know it isn’t perfect and am eager to improve it. Send comments to me at [email protected].

American Association of Health Plans

The American Association of Health Plans issues a daily newsletter that has more information than you will ever read. A lot of it is company news, medical information, and AAHP information. It also includes policy issues.

Source: http://www.smartbrief.com/aahp/aahp_sample_f.htm

American Enterprise Institute

AEI offers two free email newsletters about its own work. “AEI in an Instant” is a biweekly email publication with news of recent and upcoming events, publications, and other activities at AEI. There is also a daily version of that publication, “AEI Today.” Send an email requesting a subscription to [email protected].

Americans for Free Choice in Medicine

Scott Hollaran edits “The Pulse” on behalf of California-based Americans for Free Choice in Medicine (AFCM). This pub includes sections on physician practices, medical savings accounts (MSAs), insurance regulation, hospitals, the drug industry, and others. Each week he also includes a “winners and losers” section that is pretty entertaining. The publication is aimed at members of AFCM but useful to anyone who follows health care issues.

Source: http://www.afcm.org

Cato Institute

Tom Miller heads up a team of analysts and researchers that produces policy studies, books, shorter commentaries, conferences, and seminars presenting a libertarian perspective on federal health care reform matters.

Source: http://www.cato.org

Citizens’ Council on Health Care

Minnesota’s Citizens’ Council on Health Care, headed by Twila Brase, issues frequent news releases and action alerts, especially on issues such as privacy and patient safety. It also covers reform issues in Minnesota.

Source: http://www.cchconline.org/

EBIA Weekly

This one is real dry, but the Employee Benefits Institute of America (EBIA) puts out a weekly newsletter that is must reading for those who want to stay on top of new case law and regulations regarding the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), cafeteria plans, and all the other benefits issues. The analysis is clear, well written, and completely objective.

Source: http://www.ebia.com/weekly/index.jsp


FactCheckers.org is a cooperative venture of several organizations to rebut misinformation and “bring attention to the hypocrisy of those that advocate single-payer health care systems,” according to the Web site. It currently cites reports from Physicians for a National Health Plan, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, and Families USA, providing links to articles and commentary on each. This will be an important resource as we enter the wacky period of pre-election posturing and hysteria.

Source: http://www.factcheckers.org/

The Heartland Institute

The Heartland Institute publishes Health Care News (which you are reading now), featuring a variety of leading lights in the free-market health care reform movement. HCN is available as a print or email subscription.

The Heartland Web site also includes a health care issue suite, pulling together back issues of Health Care News and hundreds of the best research and commentary documents from other groups addressing health care issues.

Source: http://www.heartland.org

The Heritage Foundation

Heritage’s Center for Health Policy Studies issues frequent email updates on topics such as the uninsured, Medicare, Medicaid, and state initiatives. It conducts analyses and develops conservative policy prescriptions on such federal health care policy issues as affordability, insurance, and quality-of-care.

Source: http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/healthpolicy.cfm

Independence Institute

Colorado’s Independence Institute issues a monthly newsletter from its Health Care Policy Center, headed by Linda Gorman. The publication focuses on Colorado, but also deals with national issues. Subscriptions are free.

Source: http:/www./i2i.org/healthcarecenter.aspx

Medical Tuesday

Dr. Del Meyer puts out a fortnightly publication called “Medical Tuesday.” It is a huge body of work that summarizes recent publications of other organizations and has original commentary on single-payer systems, Medicare reform, physician autonomy and a whole lot more. You may subscribe by sending an email to [email protected].

National Association of Manufacturers

One of the most entertaining and informative newsletters is by Neil Trautwein of the National Association of Manufacturers. He closely follows what is happening in Washington, especially from a benefits perspective, and covers issues such as mental health parity, flexible spending accounts, health reimbursement arrangements, MSAs, Medicare reform, and so on. He also tracks personnel changes on the Hill and issues alerts on pending legislation. He’ll probably put you on his distribution list if you ask nicely. Email him at [email protected].

National Center for Policy Analysis

Almost every issue of NCPA’s Daily Policy Digest includes a few health-related stories, though the topics are very wide. It is always well-written, summarizing current studies and news reports, with a focus on economics news. NCPA’s Web site also contains a large number of studies and reports on market-based health care reform.

Source: http://www.ncpa.org/sub/

State Policy Network

State Policy Network is a clearinghouse for free-market think tanks all over the United States. Forty-two states now have active organizations, and some states have more than one. They try to stay focused on state issues, but in health care that includes a lot: MSAs, Medicaid reform, insurance regulation, health planning and certificate of need, state employee benefits, etc. SPN organizes workshops and conferences that bring the local groups together to exchange information and strategies.

Source: http://www.spn.org/about_spn/

Greg Scandlen is director of the Galen Institute’s Center for Consumer Driven Health Care and assistant editor of Health Care News. His email address is [email protected].