Quote of the Day Category

Most individuals who are serious about health care reform recognize that the improvements brought to us through the Affordable Care Act have been insufficient in that costs have not been adequately contained while far too many people remain uninsured or underinsured with detrimental consequences to their health and financial well being. Further reform is mandatory.

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Copper plans are an unacceptable trade-off

In: Quote of the Day

Government means-tested cost sharing reductions (CSR) were designed to reduce out-of-pocket expenses for low-income individuals in order to make health care access more affordable. President Trump terminated the CSR payments. This can result in disruptions in the ACA exchange plans.

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When the Affordable Care Act was crafted, a majority of Americans were enrolled in large employer-sponsored group plans which seemed to be working fairly well. It was decided that these plans should be left alone, other than slightly modifying them to ensure continued protection.

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As President Trump signs an executive order designed to help dismantle Obamacare, look who is celebrating – UnitedHealth Group, Inc., the nation’s largest health insurer.

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The pecuniary distortion of limited networks

In: Quote of the Day

This paper looks at the motivation of insurers in establishing narrower hospital networks (profit-maximization, of course) and the perspective of the consumer (i.e., patient) and the social planner.

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In order to make health care more affordable for lower-income individuals, the Affordable Care Act required that credits (cost-sharing reductions or CSR) be paid to the insurers to cover a portion of the cost sharing. Republicans chose to block these payments by refusing to appropriate the funds required, forcing the Obama administration to use an alternative source of funds.

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Guns

In: Quote of the Day

Suppose we identified a public health hazard that caused 36 deaths. There would certainly be considerable interest in the nature of the problem and what could be done about it. Suppose that were 360 deaths instead. That would be national news that would be followed up with Congressional hearings. Suppose it were 3,600 deaths. Whoa. Yet, in 2015, there were 36,252 deaths from firearms in the U.S.

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Bain & Company is a management consultancy organization. They are believed to have a good grasp of the business prospects of the health care industry. Their 2017 US Front Line of Healthcare Survey is important because it demonstrates that physicians do not believe that the current experiments in models of payment are the way forward.

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In the past decade, payments for health insurance deductibles increased by 229% – over 7 times the 31% rate of increase in wages during that same period. The authors conclude, “Deductibles are the most visible element of an insurance plan to patients, which may help explain why consumers continue to show concern about their out-of-pocket costs for care.”

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Why cost sharing should be abandoned

In: Quote of the Day

It is irrefutable that deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance cause patients to forgo beneficial health care services, and that often results in physical suffering and sometimes death. For those who cannot avoid health care, financial hardship is frequently a consequence.

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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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