The latest edition of the Health Wonk Review is over at InsureBlog – don’t miss it! Two of my favorite posts in this edition come from Peggy Salvatore and Joe Paduda. Peggy, writing at Healthcare Talent Transformation, brings us a trip down health insurance memory lane, comparing where we’ve been to where we’re headed. She addresses the conundrum of maintaining private health insurance while also placing numerous government-style restrictions on the health insurance marketplace, both from a vendor and consumer standpoint. Insurers will be required to accept all applicants and compress age-banded premiums into a 3:1 ratio, while consumers will have no choice but to purchase coverage. There will be no more voluntary business arrangement on either side, and yet the plan is to continue to have health insurance be largely private. Definitely some good food for thought in Peggy’s post. I’m generally a fan of regulation, and especially when something as important as healthcare is on the line, I believe regulation is needed in order to advocate for the consumers. But I’m as curious as everyone else to see how this health insurance experiment will look five years down the road.
Joe Paduda, from Managed Care Matters, wrote a piece about the real-life impacts of sequestration on healthcare. Sequestration probably seems like an abstract concept to a lot of people, and appears to be used rather casually by politicians who aren’t likely to be directly impacted by many of the spending cuts. But in case you were curious as to how healthcare sequestration spending cuts are stacking up, Joe’s article is an eye-opener. One important thing to note is that government spending cuts disproportionately affect lower-income and older Americans. People who rely on free and low-cost healthcare, Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, the uninsured, people who benefit from public health programs… these people – often the least able to withstand cuts – are the ones who feel the sequestration squeeze first.
Many thanks to Hank for hosting, and for all the excellent articles that were contributed.