Health Business Blog was one of the sites we used to read even before we started our own blog in 2006 – and we’ve been reading it ever since. It’s turning ten this weekend (where does the time go?!) and to celebrate, David hosted the Health Wonk Review this week. There are lots of great articles in this edition, so be sure to check it out. Here are a couple of my favorites:
As usual, Dr. Roy Poses is spot on. His article digs into a labor dispute that resulted in a hospital labor union turning a van into a mobile billboard describing the not-for-profit Catholic charity hospital’s CEO as greedy, and advertising his two million dollar compensation and the hospital’s phone number. The CEO has filed a defamation lawsuit, but Dr. Poses explains exactly why the lawsuit is probably baseless (the claims made on the van are true, and the phone number listed was the main number for the hospital, so the CEO’s claims that his privacy was invaded seem to be unfounded). And he reminds us that we shouldn’t just accept the status quo that involves healthcare managers making salaries that turn them into “instant millionaires” – especially given that our current focus is (or needs to be) containing healthcare costs.
Joe Paduda takes a look at the plaintiffs in the King v. Burwell case, and asks “is this the best group of litigants the Koch-backed CEI could come up with?” It’s painful to read the details of their situations, and their clear lack of understanding about how the law works (one plaintiff didn’t understand that Medicaid expansion is part of the ACA, or that if the lawsuit prevails, millions of people will lose their subsidies and probably their insurance; another plaintiff things that the ACA will cost some people $77,000 a year). Two of the plaintiffs – because they’re older, use tobacco, and have relatively high incomes that put them further up the scale of what the ACA expects you to pay for your health insurance – are exempt from the ACA’s penalty even with the subsidies, because the lowest-cost subsidized plan they can get is more than 8% of their income. It will be challenging at the very least for the plaintiffs’ attorneys to prove that these four people have actually been harmed by Obamacare. The Supreme Court is scheduled to start hearing oral arguments next week, so stay tuned (ruling expected in June).
There are plenty of other great posts in the HWR this week, so head over and check it out. And congratulations to David on ten years of blogging!