Obamacare Hikes for 2018 May Top 80 Percent in Some States 

November 19, 2017

Your premiums are going to go up in 2018. The national-average increase is a smidge over 27 percent, but depending on the state you live in, the hike could skyrocket to as much as 81 percent. Freedom Partners has created a state-by-state 2018 “Premium Increase Tracker”.

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The problem of doctors’ salaries

November 2, 2017

But an unavoidable part of the high cost of U.S. health care is how much we pay doctors — twice as much on average as physicians in other wealthy countries. Because our doctors are paid, on average, more than $250,000 a year (even after malpractice insurance and other expenses), and more than 900,000 doctors in the country, that means we pay an extra $100 billion a year in doctor salaries. That works out to more than $700 per U.S. household per year. We can think of this as a kind of doctors’ tax.

Source: The problem of doctors’ salaries


Estimating The Effects Of Health Insurance And Other Social Programs On Poverty Under The Affordable Care Act | Health Affairs

November 2, 2017

The effects of health insurance on poverty have been difficult to ascertain because US poverty measures have not taken into account the need for health care and the value of health benefits. We developed the first US poverty measure to include the need for health insurance and to count health insurance benefits as resources available to meet that need—in other words, a health-inclusive poverty measure. We estimated the direct effects of health insurance benefits on health-inclusive poverty for people younger than age sixty-five, comparing the impacts of different health insurance programs and of nonhealth means-tested cash and in-kind benefits, refundable tax credits, and nonhealth social insurance programs. Private health insurance benefits reduced poverty by 3.7 percentage points. Public health insurance benefits (from Medicare, Medicaid, and Affordable Care Act premium subsidies) accounted for nearly one-third of the overall poverty reduction from public benefits. Poor adults with neither children nor a disability experienced little poverty relief from public programs, and what relief they did receive came mostly from premium subsidies and other public health insurance benefits. Medicaid had a larger effect on child poverty than all nonhealth means-tested benefits combined.

Source: Estimating The Effects Of Health Insurance And Other Social Programs On Poverty Under The Affordable Care Act | Health Affairs


The Hidden $700 Billion Debt Owed to Public Workers – Hit & Run : Reason.com

September 22, 2017

Connecticut, for example. Last year’s state budget (the current state budget is still being hammered out) projected $731 million to cover health care costs for retired state employees in 2017, compared to just $698 million for the health care costs of current employees.

Because Connecticut failed to save-up for the long-term costs of their retirees, state taxpayers are now paying more money to cover the costs of people who aren’t providing any government services—because they are retired—than for people who actually are.

Source: The Hidden $700 Billion Debt Owed to Public Workers – Hit & Run : Reason.com


Medicare-For-All Would Increase, Not Save, Administrative Costs

September 20, 2017

In a previous report, I found that Medicare’s administrative costs amounted to about $509 per primary beneficiary, and private plan administrative costs were about $453 per beneficiary. That means, in effect, that private health plans’ administrative costs were about 10 percent lower than Medicare’s. However, Medicare spends more on actual medical care (payments to hospitals, doctors, and other health care providers), so if you expressed administrative cost as a percentage of total costs (administrative plus medical), you’d get 6 percent for Medicare and 13 percent for private health plans – a result that is exactly backwards.

Source: Medicare-For-All Would Increase, Not Save, Administrative Costs


2017’s City Uninsured Rates | WalletHub®

September 15, 2017

The national uninsured rate is on an upward trend this year, following a record low of 8.6 percent in the first quarter of 2016, according to a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But how widely do the rates differ from city to city?

With U.S. health-care reform still in limbo, WalletHub’s analysts measured the uninsured rates for 547 U.S. cities and broke them down even further by age, income level and race. In addition, we conducted the same analysis at the state level. Read on for the complete ranking, a ranking by city size and a full description of our methodology.

Source: 2017’s City Uninsured Rates | WalletHub®


Congress’ illegal and egregious Obamacare exemption, explained

September 12, 2017

Contrary to assurances and in violation of federal law, the Obama administration shielded lawmakers from an effective pay cut of up to $12,000 each by granting Congress several types of special treatment unavailable to the public. It deemed Congress eligible to participate in D.C.’s small-business exchange, though both federal and D.C. law prohibit it. That form of special treatment gave rise to another: It made Congress the only large employer in the country that can make tax-free contributions toward its employees’ exchange-plan premiums. The act of issuing those payments conflicts with other federal laws, and bestows yet another form of special treatment on Congress: Members of Congress and their staff are the only group of federal workers who receive FEHBP premium contributions for non-FEHBP coverage.

Source: Congress’ illegal and egregious Obamacare exemption, explained