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Health Policy Insights

CBO: Insurance Proposal Would Effectively Nationalize Private Insurance

December 17, 2009
by John Goodman

 A Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) is the percentage of premium dollars an insurer spends on claims as opposed to administrative costs and other expenses. According to news reports, a proposal from Senator Rockefeller and others would limit MLRs to 90%. The Reid bill already requires insurers to issue rebates to enrollees on a pro rata basis if its medical loss ratio falls below 80% or lower for the individual and small-group markets or 85% or lower for the large-group market. 

However, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says that a 90% MLR would expand “the federal government’s regulatory role in the health insurance market so much that it would make such insurance an essentially governmental program, so that all transactions related to health insurance policies (even those with private companies) should be recorded as cash flows in the federal budget.”  A similar ruling helped kill Hillary Clinton’s health reform proposal 15 years ago.

Donald Marron, former Acting Director of CBO, explains the issue at his blog.

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 Is This Fair?

Dec 17, 2009
by John Goodman

Health reform on Capitol Hill:

Focus on Jane, a primary breadwinner making $48,000 (in 2016) to support her family of four. If Jane is offered insurance by her employer that meets the test, she must accept it or pay a fine. That means Jane ends up paying for the entire cost of, say, a $14,100 policy, according to some economists. They say she pays the premiums out of pocket and the remainder indirectly because employers offer reduced paychecks to offset the cost of their share of health insurance.

Now, meet Julie, who also makes $48,000 and is not offered insurance at her job. Julie heads to the newly created exchange to purchase the same policy. But it costs her only $5,300. The rest – about $9,000 – comes from federal subsidies.

Fair?

Full editorial by Douglas Holtz-Eakin in The Boston Globe.

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How Much Does Insurance Really Cost?
Dec 16, 2009
by Greg Scandlen

CNNMoney reports on a recent study by eHealthinsurance.com that found:

Half of individual policyholders paid $132 or less per month… According to the report, in 2009 the median non-group health insurance premium for an individual in the United States was $1,584 per year ($132 per month) and the average deductible was $2,326. Combined, annual premiums and deductibles account for approximately 7.7 percent of median household income for 2008 ($50,303) as reported by the US Census Bureau.

Now, if individuals buying their own insurance got the same tax break as employees get for employer-provided coverage and if there were a back-up mechanism for high-risk applicants, we might dramatically reduce the numbers of uninsured without any individual mandate.Your new doctor?

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New Mammogram Guidelines Show What We Should Expect 

 

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Here are some alternatives to Obamacare:

National Center for Policy Analysis

Health Plan

To confront America’s health care crisis, we do not need more spending, more regulations or more bureaucracy. We do need people, however, including every doctor and every patient. All 300 million Americans must be free to use their intelligence, their creativity and their innovative ability to make the changes needed to create access to low-cost, high-quality health care.
NCPA HC plan (7 page pdf)

Consumers for Health Care Choices

Our friends at FreedomWorks, the National Center for Policy Analysis, and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste provide great services that enable you to communicate with your Congress Critters. If you are a doctor, go to Take Back Medicine.com, a project of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Health Action Network, an online site sponsored by WellPoint that brings together medical personnel, patients, and informed consumers, also makes it easy for you to communicate with your elected officials. Please take a few minutes to make your voice heard.

You can also sign up for Greg Scandlen’s weekly e-newsletter, Consumer Power Report, become a member of Consumers for Health Care Choices (CHCC), or become a donor to The Heartland Institute, the parent organization of CHCC. See Peter Ferrara’s recent     Heartland Policy Study for the facts about ObamaCare, and The Heartland Institute’s Health Care Issue Suite for extensive background information about health care reform.

And if you think your taxes won’t be affected by Obamacare, you’re drinking Kool-Aid!

Tea Party Patriots

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December 17, 2009 Posted by | Agenda of the Left, Family, Fiscal (Ir)Responsibility, Life with Big Brother, Politics, Real Purpose of Govt., Wake Up, WordPress Political Blogs | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top 10 Myths of American Health Care

The Top Ten Myths of American Health Care

By Sally C. Pipes

ISBN-13: 978-1-934276-12-9
October 2008
http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/Articles/Obamas%20Health%20Reform%20Needs%20Medicine.html 

Myth One: Government Health Care Is More Efficient

Myth Two: We’re Spending Too Much on Health Care

Myth Three: Forty-Six Million Americans Can’t Get Health Care

Myth Four: High Drug Prices Drive Up Health Care Costs

Myth Five: Importing Drugs Would Reduce Health Care Costs

Myth Six: Universal Coverage Can Be Achieved by Forcing Everyone to Buy Insurance

Myth Seven: Government Prevention Programs Reduce Health Care Costs

Myth Eight: We Need More Government to Insure Poor Americans

Myth Nine: Health Information Technology Is a Silver Bullet for Reducing Costs

Myth Ten: Government-Run Health Care Systems in Other Countries are Better and Cheaper than America’s

Solutions: Markets, Consumer Choice, and Innovation

 

Eighty percent of Americans say they are satisfied with the quality of their health care. In fact, the overwhelming majority of Americans, about three-fourths, are happy with their current health care coverage. (CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll, March 2009; Gallup poll, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001; Quinnipiac University poll, October 2007).

In  a June 23rd article, Scott Atlas reports on the lack of access the Obamacare plan will produce in six major ways:

Number 1: Less access to timely health care, especially by trained specialists

Number 2: Less access to state-of-the-art drugs that are proven to cure serious diseases, like cancer

Number 3: Less access to modern medical technologies that lead to earlier diagnoses, safer treatments, and better outcomes

Number 4: Less access to choice of doctor and choice of treatments for patients and families

Number 5: Less access to choice of health insurance coverage

Number 6: Less access to the leading innovators and innovations in health care

“What really is urgent,” Professor Atlas clarifies, “is careful deliberation before costly changes are made that could force Americans to lose precious access to what most of the world envies.

“Our government should best heed the principal maxim taught to all doctors everywhere–primum non nocere–first, do no harm.”

July 14, 2009 Posted by | (Un)Limited Government, Agenda of the Left, Fiscal (Ir)Responsibility, Politics, Wake Up | , , , , , , | Leave a comment