Years ago I wrote an article about our Rates, Regulations and Body Parts approach to health care. This approach has caused thousands of legislative bills and laws for specific coverage and rates. A few examples include:
- Mental health
- Children’s health
- Medicaid and Medicare coverage
- Medicare and Medicaid physician rates
- State and federal insurance rates and regulations
- Private insurance policies and rates
- Veterans’ health
- Disability coverage
- Insurance networks
- Addiction coverage
- Women’s health and maternity care
- End Stage Renal Disease
- Large employers such as Microsoft or General Motors, are exempt from state insurance regulations and state insurance taxes.
And consider this: Continue reading
Posted in Affordable Care Act, Economics, Health Care Reform, Medicaid, medical bankruptcy, policy and politics, Uncategorized
Tagged Congress, Democrats, economics, health care costs, health insurance, health policy, Medicaid, Medicare, politics, Republicans
I am in the throes of moving, but I found this article of interest, especially since it originates with a hospital north of Spokane, Washington. Not quite in my backyard, but close enough to be of interest. I don’t have time for commentary, except to say this is not restricted to Washington state or Spokane. It is the problem of defined networks. If the doctor is not in the network the patient pays the bill whether they are in control of where they are seen or by whom.
Too often too many patients have no choices or voice. I find the particularly mean spirited–billing people for something beyond their control because where they received care that was not in their network. This at a time when they could have no say in where they were going and who they were going to see.
There is something very, very wrong with this picture. Here’s the story. You may also find the other articles interesting as well.
Posted in Affordable Care Act, emergency rooms, health insurance, hospitals, medical bankruptcy, patient care
Tagged affordable care act, economics, emergency care, health care, health care costs, health insurance, hospitals, insurance rules
Insurance is the law of large numbers. Without a long dissertation—here are some basics: You need many healthy people to offset the costs of sicker people. You need healthy people to offset the costs of older and often sicker people. Having everyone in one plan would lower the costs for everyone by spreading the risk. That’s health care insurance.
Poor people tend to be less healthy, so their costs of care are often more than those who are not poor. Seniors are more expensive simply because they are aging. The poor and the old are on Medicaid. Medicaid is a major issue in current proposals. Nearly 2/3 of Medicaid costs are for seniors and disabled in nursing homes. Over 64% of all people in nursing homes are on Medicaid. They are on Medicaid because Medicare does not cover long-term nursing home care. Most people cannot afford long term care which can be $5-$7,000 a month. Women, children represent and single adults are only 1/3 of Medicaid costs.
In one horrific case in 2003, one state contemplated cutting 13,000 Medicaid nursing home beds to balance the state’s budget. I double checked and called the governor’s office that confirmed this. After back and forth fights with the legislature that did not happen. The fact this was even considered is chilling. Medicaid is funded by both the state and the federal government. When state budgets get tight, Medicaid is often on the chopping block. With a growing aging population more people will be cut from Medicaid or alternatives found.
Posted in Affordable Care Act, aging, Medicaid, Medicare, policy and politics, seniors
Tagged affordable care act, Congress, health care costs, health care reform, health policy, Medicaid, Medicare, politics
Hello, I am in the process of moving so I will have few, if any, blogs until September.
When, it comes to Medicaid, however, nearly 2/3 of all Medicaid spending is for the elderly and disabled in nursing homes.
Nearly 65% of all the people in nursing homes are on Medicaid. Medicare does not cover long-term nursing home care! Therefore cutting Medicaid and requiring people to work affects less than 1/3 of people on Medicaid. Most of them are children, poor women and families.
To help support Obamacare, pharmaceutical and medical device companies were taxed as well as wealthy families. Those taxes will be repealed under the new “Better Health Care Reform Act” Proposed by the Senate. The tax repeal on the wealthy will be retroactive.
Yes, drug advertising is coming to Facebook and its new Facebook Health initiative. Congress allowed direct to consumer advertising in 1997. Before that time they were not allowed to do so. One way to try to ‘control’ drug costs would be to ban direct to consumer advertising. Enjoy the story below. The article below is from STAT news which holds the copyright to the article. Coming next: Selling Sickness.
Get ready for more drug ads: Facebook is making a bid for pharma dollars
Current proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will cause great harm to seniors and poor families. The proposals also pit the welfare of seniors against the welfare of children and poor families. Here’s why:
- Nearly half of all Medicare members have incomes under $26,000 per year
- Voucher programs with flat fees could make health services out of reach financially if the voucher is tied to social security income which is lower for low income workers (AARP—Policy Institute)
- Many people 60 to 64 who buy individual health insurance policies have median incomes around $20,000 (AARP Policy Institute)
- Simply because of age, many 60 to 64 are more likely to have pre-existing health conditions (AARP Policy Institute) Continue reading
Posted in Affordable Care Act, aging, budget cuts, Medicaid, Medicare, policy and politics
Tagged affordable care act, children and families, Congress, economics, health care, Medicaid, Medicare, Obamacare repeal, poverty, seniors, the poor
Repeal proposes cutting taxes on Pharmaceutical and Medical Devise Companies while raising costs for elderly and those with pre-existing conditions.
The CEO of Blue Cross of California opposes current reform proposals, citing cost increases for individuals and families and harm for people with pre-existing conditions, such as cancer, diabetes:
MODERN HEALTH CARE CITES COSTS CONCERNS ABOUT CHANGES TO ACA FOR INDUSTRY
April 29th is Drug Takeback Day so people will have a place to get rid of unused or old medications. The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) now has a way for you to dispose of your old or unused medications. Here is the link to find a place close to you: www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov
A common problem with old or unused prescription medications is how to get rid of them. Flushing them down the toilet is not a good idea, nor tossing them in recycling, much less giving them to friends and family! (that’s part of the Opioid epidemic problem).
I actually heard a “funny” story in the 1990’s about how a popular anti-depresant was impacting fish.