An empowering health care plan for America

January 30, 2017

Rand Paul’s health plan ensures that Americans can purchase the health insurance coverage that best fits their needs by eliminating Obamacare’s essential health benefits requirement, along with other restrictive coverage and plan requirements, to once again make low-cost insurance options available to American consumers.

It also protects individuals with pre-existing conditions by providing a two-year open-enrollment period under which individuals with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage.

The plan helps more people save to buy health insurance and cover medical costs by authorizing a tax credit (up to $5,000 per taxpayer) for individuals and families that contribute to HSAs, removes the annual cap on HSAs so individuals can make unlimited contributions, and allows those HSA funds to be used for a wide range of uses. Its money you have designated for health related costs, so you should be able to use it for things like prescription and OTC drugs, dietary supplements, nutrition and physical exercise expenses, and direct primary care, among others.

Source: An empowering health care plan for America

What Happens When Doctors Only Take Cash |

January 30, 2017

Sometimes called direct pay, and closely related to concierge care, this sort of business model was once seen as the perquisite of rich folks and medical tourists from foreign lands. But nowadays many of the people seeking cash-based care are middle-class Americans with high-deductible insurance plans. For a patient with an $11,000 family deductible, for example, it might make more sense to seek out a cash-based center like the Premier Medical Imaging facility in Minneapolis, which offers a basic MRI for $499, than to cough up the several thousand dollars that the same procedure generally costs at a traditional hospital. Cash payments don’t count toward a patient’s deductible, but for some it’s worth the gamble.

Source: What Happens When Doctors Only Take Cash |

Tom Price, At His Confirmation Hearing, Hints At A New Path For Health Reform

January 27, 2017

There’s a divide emerging between some congressional Republicans, many of whom are eager to repeal Obamacare and comfortable with fewer people being insured as a result, and President Trump, who has promised a plan that will offer “insurance for everybody.”Price, the recently-departed Chairman of the House Budget Committee, understands fiscal and health policy enough to figure out if there’s a way to achieve Trump’s objectives in a way that also satisfies congressional Republicans. It won’t be easy—but it is definitely possible.

Source: Tom Price, At His Confirmation Hearing, Hints At A New Path For Health Reform

Massachusetts Governor Hiking Taxes To Rescue Failed Health Reform

January 27, 2017

Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts has proposed a tax of $2,000 per worker on businesses which do not offer health coverage to employees who become dependent on Medicaid.

Source: Massachusetts Governor Hiking Taxes To Rescue Failed Health Reform

Don’t Panic Over the CBO Repeal Report | RealClearHealth

January 27, 2017

Attributing such massive changes to individual mandate repeal is unbelievable. The chief architect of the ACA, economist Jonathan Gruber, has reported that the individual mandate had no significant effect on increasing coverage — eliminating it should have minimal effect. The mandate is riddled with exceptions that allow people to avoid buying insurance. The mandate also does little to motivate insurance purchase because penalties for failing to obtain coverage are low compared to insurance premiums. The IRS reports that during the 2016 tax season 11 million people claimed exemptions and 5.6 million people paid an average penalty of $442 – far less than the cost of insurance.

Source: Don’t Panic Over the CBO Repeal Report | RealClearHealth

High Prices in the U.S. For Life-Saving Drugs: Collective Bargaining Through Tort Law? by Paul J. Zwier :: SSRN

January 25, 2017

Sudden exorbitant price hikes to patients who have long taken life-saving drugs are more and more common in today’s pharmaceutical market. The anxiety caused to patients who have been prescribed these drugs by their doctors is predictable and severe. Even when initially covered by insurance or through government programs, patients and their families can soon be made destitute by the high copays or caps on payments. This Essay argues that those who buy up life-saving drugs and decide to raise their prices, despite their knowledge of the consequences to patients, are committing the torts of intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Despite challenges presented by class certification law, these patients should be allowed to qualify as a class for purposes of pursuing a price reduction in these drugs. Through class action collective bargaining, courts can avoid the pitfalls of waiting for piecemeal legislation for consumers of individual drugs and still receive the advantages of free market principled pricing through collective bargaining. And, in combination with legislation, patterned on statutes designed to address bad faith insurance practices, the courts can most effectively moderate high pricing and curtail pricing practices that may otherwise soon bankrupt our-healthcare system.

Source: High Prices in the U.S. For Life-Saving Drugs: Collective Bargaining Through Tort Law? by Paul J. Zwier :: SSRN

Obama makes healthcare plea in handoff letter to Trump | TheHill

January 25, 2017

In the tradition of departing presidents, Barack Obama left a letter for incoming President Donald Trump.  The thrust of the message, which Trump relayed to congressional leaders during their White House meeting Monday evening, was a plea to salvage ObamaCare — or swap it for something at least as generous.

Source: Obama makes healthcare plea in handoff letter to Trump | TheHill

Massachusetts Governor to Pitch Health-Insurance Penalty for Employers – WSJ

January 25, 2017

The first state in the nation to require residents to carry health insurance is grappling with escalating Medicaid rolls, but a fix floated by Massachusetts’ Republican governor is drawing pushback from employers.

Gov. Charlie Baker will propose in his annual budget on Wednesday a $2,000 penalty per worker on businesses that don’t shoulder enough of the health-insurance cost. The governor is aiming to solve what he sees as a flaw in the national health law: Medicaid ends up being more appealing to low-income workers than insurance offered by employers, raising the costs for the state.

Source: Massachusetts Governor to Pitch Health-Insurance Penalty for Employers – WSJ

How Molina Healthcare views Obamacare now – Axios

January 25, 2017

Molina Healthcare CEO J. Mario Molina isn’t fazed by President Trump’s Obamacare executive order. But he’s also not entirely confident about what will happen with the law and its insurance marketplaces — and he won’t commit to staying in the marketplaces in 2018.In an interview, Molina said the executive order is “symbolic” and doesn’t change the plans for his company, an insurer that mostly covers Medicaid members but also has more than a half million Obamacare customers. Yet when asked if Molina Healthcare would keep offering Obamacare plans in 2018, he said: “There are just too many unknowns at this point to give a definitive answer.”

Source: How Molina Healthcare views Obamacare now – Axios

Longer lifespans largely not to blame for rising health care spending | The Incidental Economist

January 25, 2017

In other words, living longer doesn’t increase health care spending so much as it delays the large amount spent near death. Some health care spending is associated with those intervening, relatively healthy years, just not much compared with that spent in one’s final years.Living longer offers many benefits. That it isn’t, by itself, a major contributor to health care spending is a nice bonus.

Source: Longer lifespans largely not to blame for rising health care spending | The Incidental Economist