Open Letter to Congress

In aiming to cover everyone with insurance, don't forget costs

Despite all the talk of change, most of the noise emanating from inside the Beltway suggests that in health care, we are going to get more of the same:  Employer-based care, more cost, and more government subsidies so the insurance industry can continue to profit from an inefficient delivery system.

We Can't Afford to Wait

Advocates rally for House reform bills

May 7, 2009 -- Advocates hold high a banner for drawing down all available federal funds to cover 180,000 Oregonians, and for addressing both system reform and expansion during this legislative session.

Massive Reform Bill Inches Forward

Cost saving measures come first while harder decisions are left for next legislature

April 30, 2009 -- Rep. Mitch Greenlick (D-Portland) has done his part. As chairman of the House Health Care Committee, Greenlick passed the most sweeping piece of healthcare reform legislation this state has ever seen.

Pound Wise and Penny Foolish

Personal experience shows that short-sighted insurance denials cost more in the end.

Healthcare reform seems to be on everyone’s mind. There is a definite need to push through the morass and work toward real healthcare reform. The “fluff” or “pie in the sky” statements may sound wonderful as they flash across our television screens, but they really mean nothing. It’s time for action, not just posing for the media. 

Massachusetts Fails to Control Costs

As Oregon looks to borrow parts of the Massachusetts reform plan, the message is to control costs or universal coverage doesn't matter
Originally at The Boston Globe
April 7, 2009 -- On the third anniversary of Massachusetts' landmark health insurance overhaul, a new report shows that employers, consumers, and state government paid the same, proportionately, for health coverage after 2006 as they did the year before the initiative started.

Fainting in America Costs $10,000

Kirk Nielsen takes the pulse of the nation's emergency health care costs by passing out and getting gouged.
Originally at
March 30, 2009 -- There's really no good time or place for a blackout, though some are significantly worse than others. Mine, one subzero evening in downtown St. Paul, Minn., last December, fell solidly on the inauspicious side of the spectrum.

Need Some Extra Cash?

A healthcare economist calls our lifestyle into question

$285,888,128 dollars per hour. That’s the speed of U.S. healthcare spending. How do I know? I’m a health economist. I have a professional obligation to share this kind of trivia. If you’re like most people, you don’t run across many health economists.


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