Obama Justice Department makes case against single-payer healthcare | TheHill

July 29, 2016

They didn’t mean to, but officials at the Obama Justice Department have laid out the case against government-run healthcare. In filing suit against mammoth health insurance mergers, they’ve explained that reduced competition limits options for consumers, raises costs, and threatens access to care.  That’s exactly why a single-payer system would be a disaster for America.The Justice Department is right: competition is good for consumers, and the government does have a legitimate role in enforcing antitrust laws. The recent trend in healthcare and health insurance markets, driven mostly by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), has been toward consolidation.

Source: Obama Justice Department makes case against single-payer healthcare | TheHill


Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplaces | The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

July 29, 2016

While we cannot generalize to all states until more data become available later this year, in most of these population centers, the costs for the lowest and second-lowest silver plans are, in fact, increasing faster in 2017 than they have in previous years. Based on insurer rate requests, the cost of the second-lowest silver plan in these cities will increase by a weighted average of 9% in 2017. Last year, premiums for the second-lowest silver plans in these areas increased 2% following review by state insurance departments.  There is substantial variation across markets, with premium changes for second-lowest silver plans ranging from a drop of 13% to an increase of 25%. Premiums for 2017 are still preliminary and could be raised or lowered through these states’ rate review processes.

Source: Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplaces | The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation


Overwhelming Evidence That Obamacare Caused Premiums To Increase Substantially – Forbes

July 28, 2016

While I will discuss the relevant evidence of the ACA’s effect on premiums in depth, there are three data points worth emphasizing. First, unlike Adler and Ginsburg’s approach, Brookings 2014 study used actual data and found that “enrollment-weighted premiums in the individual health insurance market increased by 24.4 percent beyond what they would have had they simply followed…trends.” Second, S&P Global Institute found that average individual market medical costs increased substantially between 2013 and 2015, up an estimated 69%. Third, 2014 insurer data shows that premiums for individual market Qualified Health Plans (QHPs), ACA-compliant plans certified to be sold on exchanges, were much higher than premiums for individual market non-QHPs, mostly plans in existence before 2014 that did not comply with the ACA. Relative to non-QHPs, insurers collected more than $1,000 per enrollee in higher premiums and more than $2,300 in higher premium revenue per enrollee in 2014 after accounting for large premium subsidy programs for their QHPs.

Source: Overwhelming Evidence That Obamacare Caused Premiums To Increase Substantially – Forbes


The research is clear: electing more women changes how government works – Vox

July 27, 2016

One of her papers looked at Congress in the mid-1990s, comparing male and female legislators of similar ideologies. She found that liberal female legislators co-sponsored an average of 10.6 bills related to women’s health — an average of 5.3 more than their liberal male colleagues.

Source: The research is clear: electing more women changes how government works – Vox


Where the Money Goes: The Evolving Expenses of the U.S. Health Care System – The Commonwealth Fund

July 24, 2016

Key Findings

In 2012, health care revenues exceeded expenses by 10.2 percent across the three sectors.

Half of all revenue was paid to workers, with 23 percent going toward the wages and benefits of physicians and nurses. Although more nonprofessionals (e.g., support staff in physicians’ offices) were employed in health care over the study period, this did not account for much increased spending.

Even though labor remained the single-largest contributor to costs, the share of revenue spent on labor declined modestly from 1997 to 2012, from 53.2 percent to 49.8 percent.

The fastest-growing expense category across the three sectors was goods and services, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, IT systems, and accounting and engineering services. In 2012, payments for goods and services accounted for one-third of spending.

Source: Where the Money Goes: The Evolving Expenses of the U.S. Health Care System – The Commonwealth Fund


How 5G technology enables the health internet of things | Brookings Institution

July 19, 2016

By the end of the decade, the fifth-generation (5G) network is expected to support 50 billion connected devices with speeds of more than 100 megabits per second. 5G’s connectivity, computing power, and virtual system architecture will soon expand the mobile internet of things (IoT). The connection of billions of digital devices through IoT will pave the way for innovation across industries and markets; in particular, connected medicine has the potential to transform health care through imaging, diagnostics, and treatment improvements, among other groundbreaking new possibilities.

Source: How 5G technology enables the health internet of things | Brookings Institution


Inside Obama’s White House 2 : Obamacare HD 2016 – YouTube

July 19, 2016

A BBC iplayer copyrighted content. With exclusive interviews from president Obama and his White House team, episode two tells the story of Obama’s greatest legacy: healthcare.When Obama announced his proposals for affordable, accessible healthcare for every American, he sparked a bitter conflict. Within weeks of his launch, members of Congress were confronted by angry ‘Tea Party’ protesters.As opposition grew, Obama’s top advisers asked him to go for a less ambitious bill – he refused. His chief of staff knocked heads together inside his own party, as Democrats in Congress began to fight amongst themselves. The final battle was over abortion – the Catholic bishops tried to kill the bill. The hero who saved him was Sister Carol Keehan. She mobilised 59,000 US nuns and faced down the bishops to get Obama the votes he needed.But in the midterm elections, Obama lost more seats in Congress than any president since 1938. The Tea Party now had 60 members and the Republicans would block all his future major reforms.