Health Wonks and Selfies

Steve Anderson did a great job with the selfies edition of the Health Wonk Review, hosted at MedicareResources.org this week.  There’s plenty of great reading material in this edition, so be sure to check it out.  Some of my favorites:

  • Wendell Potter’s article about prescription drugs, Medicare, lawmakers, and pharmaceutical lobbying is a must-read.  The fact that Medicare can’t negotiate prescription drug prices is ridiculous, and yet we’ve accepted it as normal for a decade now.
  • InsureBlog has a great analysis of a limited benefit plan aimed at employers.  The take-away points are excellent: while it’s great to have coverage for primary care, a plan that doesn’t cover catastrophic claims is of questionable benefit.  And while primary care coverage on health plans is a great way to ensure that people are actually receiving primary care, it shouldn’t be the main benefit of any health plan.  Not to mention the fact that folks who enroll in these plans would still have to pay the ACA’s shared responsibility penalty for not having minimum essential coverage, assuming they’re not exempt from the penalty.
  • At HealthBlawg, David Harlow describes the less-than-stellar performance of Medicare Shared Savings Program ACOs.  In 2014, only about a quarter of Medicare ACOs were showing savings, and the savings were not exactly robust.  Harlow notes that this is just based on 2014 data, and I’m relatively optimistic that as time goes by, we’ll see better performance from ACOs.  There are growing pains with any major reform, and I’m curious to see how the numbers look after we have five years of data.

 

About Louise Norris

Louise Norris has been writing about health insurance and healthcare reform since 2006. In addition to the Colorado Health Insurance Insider, she also writes for healthinsurance.org, medicareresources.org, Verywell, Spark by ADP, and Boost by ADP, and Gusto. Follow on twitter and facebook.

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