Health issues on Sunday reading list

For Sunday reading–Start with, “The truth about health insurance premiums.”

On the Senate Republicans’ website, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell claims that the law is responsible for “whopping rate increases.” McConnell highlights a quote from a Washington state man who says that the health care bill “went into effect and my rates went through the roof.” But that’s highly misleading. In fact, Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is quoted in the very news story McConnell cites as saying that that particular rate increase “has absolutely nothing to do with health care reform.” Kreidler, a Democrat, was elected to his position.

Then there are findings of another study, “Government Unfunded Liability Cut in Half by Health Reform.” But, this study finds, it’s not all good news. They predict, based on lower future payments to providers, that seniors and disabled could have more difficulty accessing health care. However, the study seems to avoid noting the argument of the health laws backers, who say that cutting the rolls of the uninsured will lead to overall boosts for physicians and hospitals. In any case, it’s another interesting bit of reading. Click here for the full report.

Today we’ve got an early morning schedule to make, so I won’t have a chance for a full entry. Hopefully I’ll get back to it later in the day.

2 responses to “Health issues on Sunday reading list

  1. In Hawaii, the insurance commissioner must review and approve health insurance premium rates. My understanding is that if costs go up, as for example if HMSA should have to accept insureds with pre-existing conditions that drive up their cost of providing services, the commissioner would be bound by law to approve the increase.

    Cutting reimbursements to doctors even just for Medicare means that their practices are less viable on Neighbor Islands. Thus we all lose when specialists are not available.

    Without orthopedic surgeons who will take care of broken bones after a car or bicycle accident on the Big Island? Oh, sorry, that’s where we are right now.

    It can only get worse if reimbursements are cut further.

  2. Two interesting, related stories on NPR over the weekend…

    1) This one dealing with several issues relating to Medicare:

    2) and this one reporting discussing the impact that a large hospital system can have on the cost of health care:

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