The Colorado legislative session that wrapped up this month was a busy one for Colorado-specific health care reform. Despite a few bumps in the road, SB200 passed, which means that Colorado is now on its way to creating a health insurance exchange that will address the particular needs of individuals and small businesses in the state. Although this bill was controversial simply because the whole idea of exchanges is too closely tied with the PPACA […]
[…] While these changes might not have been warmly welcomed, they will ultimately help to make the system sustainable in the long term. The same could be said for the rest of the health care industry if similar cuts are implemented in other areas. Although the physician reimbursement cuts are unpopular with most doctors, they may be the only way to keep Medicare as a viable payer for seniors’ health care needs. And ultimately, it’s in the best interest of both doctors and seniors to keep Medicare around.
[…] While many studies comparing health care around the world tend to look at generalized data like life expectancies and total cost of healthcare, this one was more focused on how healthcare in each country impacts individual people, and whether people are satisfied with their health insurance, personal medical costs, and access to care. […]
[…] There’s nothing wrong with being opposed to all or part of the health care reform law. However, it’s not factual to call the PPACA “socialism”. It’s does a disservice to voters to say that the reform law contains “death panels”. It’s not factual to say that patients will have to go to a bureaucrat before seeing his or her doctor. Spreading this sort of misinformation is truly harmful to the debate. Rather than discussing the actual facts of the law and searching for sensible solutions and compromises, fear-mongering sound bites with no basis in reality only serve to get people riled up.
[…] most non-elderly Americans still get their health insurance through their employers. And in general, as long as people are somewhat satisfied with the status quo, most of us tend to be a bit resistant to change. Obviously, people who are currently uninsured are likely to support sweeping changes in the health care system. But most Americans do have health insurance, and those who have generous policies – that are at least partially funded by their employers – might find themselves with less coverage if we moved to a single payer plan.
[…] Yes, we would all have to purchase health insurance under the proposed reform bills. But if we want guaranteed issue universal coverage, and we don’t want the government running the health care system, there isn’t really a way around the requirement that everyone obtain coverage. And yes, we’ll need some additional tax revenues in order to help subsidize health insurance coverage for families who would otherwise be unable to afford it. But I can’t see how these things translate into the federal government running the health care system.
Ezra Klein recently interviewed George Halvorson, Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente (which operates our largest HMO here in Colorado). Both the questions and answers were insightful and on target in terms of addressing the cost conundrum that is so often glossed-over in the health care reform debate.
Mr. Halvorson pointed out that while many developed countries have some form of private health insurance, they also have medical fee schedules that are set by the government and are far lower than average costs for the same procedures in the US. When average fees for various medical procedures in several countries are shown on graphs, the US bar looks like a giraffe standing in a herd of gazelles.
But Halvorson acknowledged that while fees in other countries are even lower than Medicare reimbursement amounts here in the US, half of hospitals here are losing money, and do so especially when they treat Medicare patients. So it’s not as simple as just saying that we need to create set fee schedules that are more in line with those of other countries […]
Welcome to the Health Wonk Review. 2009 has been an exciting year for health care reform, and last Saturday’s passage of HR3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, has given us plenty to talk about. For anyone who hasn’t kept up on the details of the House reform bill, I want to start things off with a four-part series from Tim Jost, who holds the Robert L Willett Family Professorship of Law at the Washington and Lee University School of Law. His articles were published at Health Affairs Blog, and amount to an excellent primer, written in plain English, for people who want to understand HR3962, but don’t have time to read all 1990 pages […]
[…] Reid wanted to make Sick Around America into a push towards national health insurance, and the producers wanted more of a documentary of how the health care system currently works. Reid withdrew from the film and asked that his interviews be edited out – he’s not in the new documentary at all, which will make it quite a bit different from last year’s show. […]
[…] it really doesn’t make sense for an individual state to set up its own single payer health insurance system. We absolutely need to focus on providing access to health care for the people of Colorado who don’t have health insurance. But it makes more sense to expand programs that are already here.
[…] Imagine a scenario where the rest of the country still has private health insurance combined with public programs like Medicare and Medicaid, but Colorado has universal health care. What would prevent an influx of sick people from moving to Colorado? […]
[…] A little government intervention in terms of providing affordable basic healthcare access to all Americans through a tax-funded program is a good idea. But too much government intervention, in the form of a moratorium on private pay healthcare, is a bad idea.
[…] I like the idea of a public health insurance system operating side by side with our private system. I think that there are people who would immediately opt for one or other system just on principal. But I think that there are lots of people who would wait and see what happens. Either way, the idea of a public/private health insurance system deserves a chance.
If you’re wondering what to do with yourself now that the election is over and you can’t listen to pundits debate the finer points of political campaigning, the Health Wonk Review is here to entertain and educate. So how exactly will health care reform fare under our new […]
[…] Here in Colorado, Cigna has just started offering individual health insurance policies, and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield has rolled out their new Smart Sense plan for individuals. I doubt that reputable carriers like Cigna and Anthem would be putting time and money into new plans if they sensed single payer health care just around the corner.
[…] A little government intervention could go a long way towards getting health insurance and access to health care for all Americans. It does appear that the government is willing to bail out a major free market system if things get bad enough. I just wonder how bad things will have to get in the health care industry before it’s considered bad enough.
the 21st century involves exciting details like choosing an HSA qualified health insurance policy and making sure that we have adequate liability insurance for our cars. Much preferable to sticking my neck out as a traitor against the British Monarchy. Without further ado, the Colorado Health Insurance Insider presents the Independence Cavalcade of Risk […]
In Colorado, two of the top five proposals being considered last year by the Blue Ribbon Commission included mandatory health insurance, and they’ve done it in MA – residents there are currently paying fines if they don’t have health insurance in place. But with Clinton out of the race, nationwide mandatory health insurance isn’t likely to come to […]
We work primarily in the individual health insurance market. Colorado is one of the healthiest states in the US, and yet we still have about one applicant in ten unable to obtain coverage. Luckily we have a high risk pool – Cover Colorado – that we can present as a last resort, but the high premiums and out-of-pocket expenses can be a bit off-putting. Although 9 out of 10 applicants […]
At the Colorado Health Insurance Insider, we tend to be a little behind the times with our TV viewing. Jay and I just watched Frontline’s “Sick Around The World” – sort of like how we watched and reviewed Sicko months after everyone else. Lots of bloggers […]
I found this article at the Health Care Blog and wanted to share it with our readers. Obviously this doesn’t only apply to McCain. All big-time politicians get government-funded health care. It’s a sweet benefit of working for the government. And there’s no way around the fact that it makes it difficult for a politician… Read more about Government Health Care Is Better Than None At All
At the Colorado Health Insurance Insider, we’re big fans of a single-payer national health care system. We know that it would have quite an impact on our careers, but we believe it would be the best way to provide health care for everyone who needs it, without bankrupting people in the process. Turns out that… Read more about What The Doctor Ordered
I just came across an excellent article by Karl Manheim and Jamie Court. It presents some compelling explanations of how the idea of making private health insurance mandatory for American citizens may not be constitutional. At the Colorado Health Insurance Insider, I’ve come out in support of mandatory health insurance, and also very much in… Read more about Is Mandatory Health Insurance Unconstitutional?
I just came across an interesting article by Michelle Swenson at the Health Blog. The gist of the article is that the two major Colorado newspapers – the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post – consistently presented a skewed view of the health care reform proposals that were evaluated over the last year by… Read more about Newspapers Support "Free Market" Health Care Reform
Just a few more Colorado Health Insurance Insider thoughts on Michael Moore’s Sicko… One thing that struck me in the movie was when Moore pointed out that the US already has lots of public “socialized” systems, including firefighters and public education. I doubt that many people like the idea of having firefighting services that have… Read more about Health Care Should Be Just Another Public Service