For more information, contact:
Andrea Zuercher at Health Affairs at (785) 842-2611


HOLD FOR RELEASE UNTIL
Tuesday, January 8, 2002

HIGHLIGHTS OF STUDIES APPEARING IN THE
JANUARY/FEBRUARY ISSUE OF HEALTH AFFAIRS


Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance: Pressing Problems, Incremental Changes, by Sally Trude, Jon B. Christianson, Cara S. Lesser, Carolyn Watts, and Andrea M. Benoit. Employers are adopting short-term solutions for the long-term problem of rising health care costs. As health care premiums rise dramatically, employers are increasing out-of-pocket expenses for workers who use services instead of making drastic changes to health benefits or developing future strategies to deal with the problem of escalating health care costs. The authors believe that if this trend continues, policymakers will need to address erosion of coverage among low-income workers, the chronically ill, and the elderly.

Insuring Low-Income Adults: Does Public Coverage Crowd Out Private? by Richard Kronick and Todd Gilmer. Based on a review of four states' public health insurance subsidy programs for low-income adults, the authors contend that any national programs offering subsidies to low-income adults would lead to crowding out. Furthermore, such a national program would likely only reduce the number of uninsured Americans by two to three million. In the four states studied, the authors found that the subsidy programs led to crowding out of private insurance coverage and only a small reduction in the number of uninsured.

Economic And Demographic Trends Signal an Impending Physician Shortage, by Richard A. Cooper, Thomas E. Getzen, Heather J. McKee, and Prakash Laud. For years, researchers have warned that the United States is producing too many physicians. But Richard Cooper, a former medical school dean, contends that the opposite now appears to be true. He warns that the United States is facing a serious shortage of specialists in the future. His assessment takes into consideration the recent economic expansion, population growth, physicians' work effort, and the provision of services by nonphysician practitioners.

Health Affairs, published by Project HOPE, is a bimonthly multidisciplinary journal devoted to publishing the leading edge in health policy thought and research. Copies of the January/February 2002 issue will be provided free to interested members of the press. To obtain a copy, or to get an advance copy of this article, contact Jackie Graves at Health Affairs, 301/656-7401, ext. 255, or via email, press@healthaffairs.org. Selected articles from the January/February issue are available free on the journal's Web site, www.healthaffairs.org.

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©2002 Project HOPE–The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.