I talked with several people in and close to the insurance industry who told me they see scant evidence that any “big rollout” of publicity directing people to Obamacare is under way or imminent. One insurance executive bluntly told me: “In addition to continued problems with the data, there is zero evidence they have fixed the security vulnerabilities of the website. We don’t want to send people to a site where their data could be compromised or stolen.” Indeed, David Kennedy, the founder and principal security consultant of TrustedSec, told CNBC in late November that “security wasn’t built into” the site. Last week, Kennedy told the Washington Free Beacon that “it doesn’t appear that any security fixes were done at all” during the recent relaunch.
An effective eye drug is available for $50. But many doctors choose a $2,000 alternative. – The Washington PostDecember 8, 2013
Avastin costs about $50 per injection.
Lucentis costs about $2,000 per injection.
Doctors choose the more expensive drug more than half a million times every year, a choice that costs the Medicare program, the largest single customer, an extra $1 billion or more annually.
Spending that much may make little sense for a country burdened by ever-
rising health bills, but as is often the case in American health care, there is a certain economic logic: Doctors and drugmakers profit when more-costly treatments are adopted.
The good news, if you want to call it that, is that roughly 1.6 million Americans have enrolled in ObamaCare so far.
The not-so-good news is that 1.46 million of them actually signed up for Medicaid. If that trend continues, it could bankrupt both federal and state governments.
If Democrats agree to re-litigate healthcare and focus on just a few problems, like pre-existing conditions and catastrophic medical bills, it\’s possible House Republicans can forego dreams of building a Berlin border wall and deporting Mexicans in numbers equal to about half the population of Texas.
Immigration reform supported by enough House Republicans could yield a real legacy for President Obama, similar to Bill Clinton\’s claiming Republican-enacted welfare reform as his legacy post-HillaryCare. But it would also benefit Republicans. Cooler-headed strategists understand Hispanic antipathy can doom GOP presidential ambitions for years. Older Latinos may be Democratic, but as new generations become middle class, Republicans have a shot at their support—if they can get past strident nativism.
If you want to keep your doctor, you might have to pay more for it, Obamacare architect Zeke Emanuel said today on Fox News Sunday:
What does this mean for the future? While Millennials still want the government to protect and serve, they are drifting away from both political parties. According to a 2012 study, almost half (45%) of Millennials are independents, whereas 33% are Democrats and 23% are Republicans. Millennials will increasingly distrust individual politicians and continue to opt for third-party candidates and “outsiders.” Perhaps, with time, they will find someone who will truly protect them.
But today, Millennials are done with Barack Obama.
My guest this week is Michael Hiltzik, a columnist with the Los Angeles Times and the author of The New Deal: A Modern History, now out in paperback.
Michael has been doing great work covering the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and we spent a good deal of time in this multi-part interview discussing those efforts. In our first segment, though, we briefly discuss the far-reaching social insurance programs undertaken by President Franklin Roosevelt and the landmark health reform legislation embraced by President Barack Obama.