Quote of the Day Category

This is one more highly credible study that demonstrates that high-deductible health plans are creating great financial burdens amongst enrollees in employer-sponsored health plans. These burdens are especially large for low-income employees – a group that already suffers from high financial burdens.

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This study adds one more bit of evidence to the abundance of studies that show that private Medicare Advantage plans will always game the system to benefit themselves to the detriment of patients.

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Faster growth of national health spending

In: Quote of the Day

As of 2015, our national health spending is $3.2 trillion or 17.8 percent of our GDP. That is a per capita spending of almost $10,000 ($9,990). Coverage expansions as a result of the Affordable Care Act certainly contributed to this 5.8 percent increase in spending.

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Based on media reports for the past half year or so Americans seemed to be split on whether they want to keep Obamacare or to repeal it and perhaps replace it with an ill-defined Republican plan. As is usual during political campaigns, the rhetoric did not reveal much in the way of the true feelings of Americans about health care reform. This Kaiser poll provides us much better insight.

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Will CMS push Seema Verma’s POWER accounts?

In: Quote of the Day

In media reports about her selection as CMS administrator, Seema Verma is being praised for her policy acumen and for being able to work across the isle, that is, as long as “the health savings account model (for Medicaid) remained intact.”

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President-elect Donald Trump is making good on his promise to repeal and replace Obamacare by appointing Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Seema Verma as administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). There is trouble coming.

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Emergency department closures can be lethal

In: Quote of the Day

Under our medical-industrial complex, decisions regarding location of facilities such as emergency departments are frequently based on business considerations of the market rather than on what would be optimal for the community. This NBER paper demonstrates that such decisions can be a matter of life or death. If closure of an emergency department results in more than a ten minute delay in access to the next closest hospital, mortality for an acute myocardial infarction is increased.

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Republicans repeatedly voted for repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) knowing that the severe adverse consequences would be prevented by serial vetoes by President Obama. They also filed a lawsuit – House v. Burwell – to prevent the payment of cost-sharing subsidies for exchange plans since the funds were never authorized by Congress. But since, to their surprise, a judge has ruled in favor of the Republicans, they are concerned about being blamed for the ensuing disaster if the judge’s decision were to be upheld.

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has been leading the charge to paying for quality instead of quantity, as if that will be the answer to our concerns about the high cost of health care. This report on CMS’s hospital quality star ratings reveals that the ratings are not only invalid, but they are potentially harmful because of the misinformation disseminated about the hospitals’ quality status.

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Quoting Professor Gerald Kominski: “No option should be ruled out quickly because it appears too difficult or politically impossible.”

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Physicians for a National Health Program's blog serves to facilitate communication among physicians and the public. The views presented on this blog are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of PNHP.

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