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Obama’s political prose puts the wheels back on health reform and lead in the pencil of House legislators: Health Policy Today

Publish Date/Time: 
09/10/2009 - 06:15

HPI associate director Tom Smith puts the Obama healthcare speech into its political and social context

Last night, US President Barack Obama delivered his most political speech since taking office. Despite positioning himself between left and right, blue and red, his prose was less purple than usual and much more political.

The Maynard Doctrine: Making people healthier - time to use the price mechanism?

Professor Alan Maynard OBE suggests a taxing approach to the health problems caused by alcohol and sugary foods. Minimum pricing per unit of alcohol and new taxes on highly-fattening processed foods could help change habits and raise revenues.

This time next year, the Conservatives will be in power and the NHS will be facing significant reductions in resourcing.

Typically, such parsimony is accompanied by Ministers lauding the merits of health promotion and non-NHS investments which affect health.

The Maynard Doctrine: Limey lessons for America on healthcare reform

Professor Alan Maynard OBE looks at the progress and pitfalls of healthcare reform in the USA

Winston Churchill is alleged to have said that Americans will try everything and eventually they get it right! Will this be the case with Obama’s hopes for health care reform?

David Cameron, NHS ladies' man: Health Policy Today 28 July 2009

Publish Date/Time: 
07/28/2009 - 16:32

David Cameron is trying to woo NHS woman.

Women are the section of the electorate that are moving to the Conservatives, and the Tories now want to ensure they gain the support of women who care about the NHS.

The Maynard Doctrine: Squeezing the public sector – progressive pain on pay

Professor Alan Maynard OBE offers some ‘black sky thinking’ about how the NHS could react to cope with recessionary economics.

It is time for NHS purchasers and providers to confess their failings and mitigate their inefficiencies. Unless they ‘bring out their dead’, their capacity to weather the storms of recession funding will be inadequate and they will join the redundant throngs produced by mischief of the bankers.

An A-Z of US healthcare politics: Health Policy Today 25 July 2009

Publish Date/Time: 
07/24/2009 - 15:00

HPI associated director Tom Smith looks at the battleground of US healthcare reform - a totem to the Obama presidency, and a target for Republicans and large parts of the US's mighty healthcare industry. This could make the Boston Tea Party look sedate ...

After months of discussion, the battle is accelerating and the key disputes are becoming clear. The politics are ‘messier than ever’, the FT says, while The Economist says the next few weeks are critical for how the politics play out.

Make tough choices? They won't even write them down. Health Policy Today, 9 July 2009

Publish Date/Time: 
07/09/2009 - 11:04

HPI associate director Tom Smith discusses the reclusive green paper on social care.

This week, the Telegraph reported that internal rows in the Department of Health are delaying the publication of the green paper on social care. The story is that Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper cannot agree on the options it should contain and whether their release makes political sense so close to the Norwich North by-election.

The Maynard Doctrine: If and when the Tories win, what happens to the NHS?

Professor Alan Maynard OBE considers how a potential Conservative administration might go about dealing with the NHS. Integration, evidence, less PCTs and reforms to QOF (including a pay-related one for secondary care teams) all crop up – as do the possibility of public sector pay cuts.

The outcome of the 2010 general election remains very uncertain after the Labour meltdown and the Tories failing to take a significant lead in the recent June elections.

Nevertheless, the pundits all expect a Tory victory next year. If and when this transpires, what should they do with the NHS?

The Maynard Doctrine: NICE problems to have?

Professor Alan Maynard OBE looks at the changes needed to make NICE’s rationing role more effective in an economically-challenged environment

The current economic and financial crisis will affect public expenditure for the next decade. Even if the Conservatives and the Labour parties seek to meet their pledges to maintain public funding of education and the NHS, it is doubtful whether they can maintain their promises, let alone increase the funding of these services as demand increases.

Back to Griffiths and management basics - manage the money, manage the medics: Health Policy Today 9 June 2009

Publish Date/Time: 
06/09/2009 - 12:35

Tom Smith, associate director of Health Policy Insight and chief executive of the British Society for Gastroenterology, looks at the silver jubilee of the Griffiths Report and clocks Andy Burnham's potentially record-beraking tenure as health secretary.

Reading the Health Service Journal this week made me think that NHS management is going retro: it's all about managing the money and managing the medics.

A lot of the news reports suggest the Department of Health is interesting in conflating the two into a single priority.

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