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where to find the political gossip on health care

While mainstream news coverage is still a primary source of information for the latest in policy debates and the health care marketplace, online blogs have become a significant part of the media landscape, often presenting new perspectives on policy issues and drawing attention to under-reported topics. To provide complete coverage of health policy issues, the Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report offers readers a window into the world of blogs in a roundup of health policy-related blog posts. “Blog Watch,” published on Tuesdays and Fridays, tracks a wide range of blogs, providing a brief description and relevant links for highlighted posts.

Peter Harbage from the Center for American Progress Action Fund’s Wonk Room reports on a Families USA event about health reform held in conjunction with the Democratic National Convention. Trudy Lieberman from the Columbia Journalism Review’s Campaign Desk discusses health reform and the current and past conventions, while Jacob Goldstein from the Wall Street Journal’s Health Blog notes that several health care companies are host-committee sponsors at the convention.

Len Nichols on the Health Affairs Blog calls a new paper that estimates the cost of covering the uninsured (here) “a major contribution to our understanding of how much additional spending will be required,” but says he has a “quibble … over its treatment of cost shifting and private insurance premiums.”

Maggie Mahar of the Century Foundation’s Health Beat Blog discusses the relationship between socioeconomic status and health.

Jeff Goldsmith on the Health Care Blog describes fading attention to health care during the presidential election and examines several obstacles to reform in the current economic and political climate.

Jonathan Cohn on the New Republic’s The Plank responds to a comment by John Goodman from the National Center for Policy Analysis that anyone who has emergency department access is essentially insured, calling the statement “a pretty basic tenet of conservative opinion that the problem of the uninsured is wildly exaggerated and that the bigger problem with health care is that many people have too much insurance,” and saying that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain’s (Ariz.) “health care plan … is very much a product of this thinking.”

Several bloggers commented on new Census Bureau estimates of the number of uninsured U.S. residents:

* The American Prospect’s Ezra Klein says the numbers indicate “the continued dissolution of the private, employer-run system, but a strong performance by the public safety net.”

* Brian Rosman of Health Care for All’s A Healthy Blog argues that the drop in uninsured residents, in part because of higher enrollment in public programs, “validates the ongoing reports of progress in Massachusetts, and confirms the urgent need for national reform.”

* The Heritage Foundation’s Greg D’Angelo on The Foundry writes that data show the “trend is toward government dependency” and that conservatives could “support a ‘third way’ that preserves and expands private coverage by evolving beyond the traditional model of employer-sponsored health insurance.”

* Managed Care Matters’ Joe Paduda concludes that the “market is not solving the problem of the uninsured.”

* Len Nichols on The New America Foundation’s New Health Dialogue says that “a weakened economy and rising health care costs have led fewer Americans to buy private insurance and more Americans to turn to the government for safety net coverage.”

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