40th anniversary timeline

40th anniversary timeline

Since 1981, as the U.S. and global health policy landscape constantly evolves and changes, Health Affairs has maintained a consistent presence as a nonpartisan, peer-reviewed, and timely destination for health policy experts. With the continued support of our authors and editorial community, funders and staff, Health Affairs has continued its mission to be at the forefront of the news and provide unparalleled policy analysis for more than 40 year.

Today the Health Affairs the journal ranks first in health policy research with an impact factor score of 9.048; #1 of 88 reviews (Clarivate). Thank you and our Health Affairs community for reading Health Affairs for over 40 years. With your continued support, we can promote better health, health care and policy.

To celebrate this milestone, take a trip back in time with our digital timeline highlighting the historical health policy trends that have shaped today’s health culture and the evolution of Health Affairs over the years.

  • nineteen eighty one

    The original cover of the journal Health Affairs.
    A photo of John K. Iglehart, founding editor of Health Affairs.

  • 1983

    First thematic issue of Health Affairs.  Volume 2, Number 4: “The Role of State and Local Government in Health” by Drew E. Altman and Douglas H. Morgan.

  • 1984

    Thematic issue of health affairs on variations.  Volume 3, Number 2: “Coping with Medical Variations: A Proposal for Action” by John E. Wennberg.

  • 1986

    • Congress enacted the Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (Emtala) to ensure public access to emergency services regardless of ability to pay.

    • On April 7, 1986, President Reagan signed into law the Consolidated Fiscal Reconciliation Act (COBRA).

    • Current Population Survey begins: 31 million uninsured.

    • The RAND Health Insurance Experiment (HIE) is coming to an end. HIE has shown that modest cost sharing reduces service utilization with negligible health effects for the average person.

  • 1987

  • 1988

  • 1989

  • 1990

  • 1991

    First thematic issue of Health Affairs on International Health Systems.  Volume 10. Number 3: “Letter from the Editor” by William B. Walsh.

  • 1993

    A photo of President Bill Clinton delivering a speech in front of Capitol Hill.

    Health Affairs issue on health reform.  1 of 3. Volume 12, Issue 1:

  • 1994

    Health Affairs issue on health reform.  Volume 13, number 1:

  • 1995

    • The Agency for Healthcare Policy and Research (AHCPR) has a ‘near death experience’, renamed the Agency for Healthcare Research (AHRQ).

    • “Disruptive Innovation” (Clay Christensen)

    • “Responsible Choices” (Jackson Hole Group)

    • Fitzhugh Mullancollaborating editor

  • 1996

    • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was passed. A federal law that required the creation of national standards to protect sensitive patient health information from disclosure without the consent or knowledge of the patient.

    • The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) was passed. The PRWORA welfare reform aimed to radically transform public welfare in the United States.

    • Adoption of the first law on parity in mental health.

    • The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) was conducted for the first time (formerly the National Medical Expenditure Survey (NMES)).

    • Review redesigned.

    The cover of the journal Health Affairs has been redesigned.

  • 1997

    • 42.4 million people uninsured.

    • BBA enacted including CHIP, Medicare + Choice.

    • Thematic issue: “Not-for-profit to for-profit conversions”

    • Implementation of the first electronic manuscript tracking system (MANTRA).

    • Health Affairs is changing from monthly to bimonthly.

  • 1998

    Thematic issue of Health Affairs on the new federalism.  Volume 17, Number 3: “From the Editor: The Ebb and Flow of the New Federalism” by John K. Iglehart.

  • 1999

    Health Affairs Volume 18, Number 4 features the first Narrative Matters essay titled

  • 2000

    “To Err Is Human: A Report from the Institute of Medicine” by Debra Hardy Havens and Lizbet Boroughs.

  • 2001

    • The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) was renamed the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on June 14, 2001.

    • “Chasm” published by IOM.

    • Health Affairs website launched.

    • First “Web Exclusive” articles (now “Ahead of Print”).

  • 2003

    • Medicare Modernization Act passed, Medicare + Choice renamed Medicare Advantage.

    • Health Savings Accounts (HSA) legislation passed.

  • 2004

  • 2005

    • named health cases the bible of health policy” (Steve Pearlstein, Washington Post).

    • First external support dedicated to ongoing global content (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation).

  • 2006

    • Medicare Part D is passed.

    • Health reform passed in Massachusetts, Vermont, San Francisco.

    • 100,000 Lives Campaign (Don Berwick)

    • “Responsible Care Organizations” (Elliott Fisher)

    • “Value-Based Competition” (Michael Porter)

    • Health Business Blog (now Foreground) begin.

    • Implementation of the first fully integrated electronic manuscript tracking system.

  • 2007

    Health Affairs coverage of the 25th anniversary special issue.  Volume 26, number 6. November/December 2007: “25 years in the field of health”.

  • 2008

    Health Affairs published The Triple Aim: Care, Health, And Cost,” authored by Donald M. Berwick, Thomas W. Nolan, and John Whittington.  Volume 27, number 3.

  • 2009

    • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARPA) has been passed.

    • Health Reform Summit held at the Obama White House.

    • Death of Senator Ted Kennedy.

    • Health Policy Notes spear.

    A photo of President Barack Obama giving a speech.

  • 2010

    • The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed.

    • The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) was created.

    • Health Affairs goes from bimonthly to monthly, redesigned journal.

    • Health Affairs migrates PDF and XML composition services to Beacon Press (now Lumina Datamatics).

    • First Narrative Matters Podcast was produced.

    A stethoscope above a document with a titled header
    Header: Narrative Matters Health Affairs Podcasts.  Image of an open book with clouds and two heads and a spinning gear.

  • 2011

    Header: Health Newsmakers.  Image of a microphone.

  • 2012

  • 2013

  • 2014

    A photo of Health Affairs editor Alan Weil in front of a repeating backdrop with the Health Affairs logo.

  • 2015

    Health Affairs first datagraphic on “Focus On Obesity”, featured in Volume 34, Number 11.

  • 2016

  • 2017

    Image of a stethoscope, calculator and capitol hill silhouette.

  • 2018

    Header: Health affairs taking into account health expenditure.  Image of a hand holding a calculator, a pair of reading glasses and a stethoscope over papers.

  • 2019

    A photo of Katie Keith, editor of Health Affairs Eye On Health Reform.

  • 2020

  • 2021

    • 30 million uninsured.

    • Decision California v. Texas.

    • Health Affairs offices move to Dupont Circle.

    • Thematic issue: Borders, immigrants and health

    Image from Health Affairs January 2021 cover. Volume 40, Issue 1. Topics covered: COVID-19 response, Medicaid and more.

  • 2022

    A photo of Health Affairs Editor Alan Weil with a face mask speaking into a microphone at a community event in Washington, DC.
    Header: Introducing Health Affairs Insider Where health policy is progressing.  With the Learn More button.
    Header: Health Affairs.  Clarify the analysis.  Impact factor of 9.048.  The leading journal of health policy research.  An image of the cover of the Health Affairs journal.  Health Affairs Journal ranked number one in health policy and services.
    A photo of a panel of speakers.  From left to right: Craig Rice, Gabe Albornoz, James Bridgers, Odile Bruntetto, Stacey Herman, Carol Beatty, Vabren Watts and Alan Weil.

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