Quote of the Day Category

President Obama on the individual mandate

In: Quote of the Day

He said that if we make people responsible for their own insurance (individual mandate), then we must grant a hardship waiver to exempt people who cannot afford it. But the primary reason that people have not purchased insurance in the individual market is that the plans are not affordable. Most of these individuals will be eligible for the hardship waiver and will remain uninsured.

Will WellPoint support any reform?

In: Quote of the Day

WellPoint/Anthem/Blue Cross has become the largest provider of private health plans through its highly successful business model that has kept their premiums very competitive. How have they done that? In the individual market, they have limited their exposure to risk by medical underwriting – not selling policies to individuals who might need health care. In the small-business market, they also limit loss by increasing premiums to unaffordable levels for any business that has an unfavorable claims experience, causing those firms to drop coverage.

Growth of employer-sponsored underinsurance

In: Quote of the Day

With the reform debate having been diverted to issues such as offering a public option, changing the tax status of employer-sponsored coverage, or mandating individuals to purchase insurance, little attention is being paid to some of the most fundamental flaws in our dysfunctional system of financing health care. One of the most important has been the ever-increasing incidence of underinsurance that has created financial hardship for individuals and families who do have health insurance coverage.

More small firms drop health care

In: Quote of the Day

Rampant health care cost escalation is a problem for everyone. In bad economic times the problems are compounded, threatening the viability of employer-sponsored coverage. Small businesses that operate on very narrow margins have no choice but to reduce health benefits by either shifting more of the health care costs to their employees, or by eliminating health plans altogether. The fault lies not with the small business owners, but with the flawed U.S. system of financing health care.

Sen. Baucus defines universal coverage

In: Quote of the Day

So according to Sen. Baucus, a key to reform is “everyone having health insurance.” By that he means that everyone will have health insurance – except the 12 to 18 million who won’t. That’s “pretty good,” he says.

2009 Milliman Medical Index

In: Quote of the Day

The Milliman Medical Index (MMI) provides us with a very important measure of health care spending in the United States. For 2009, average annual medical spending for a typical American family of four covered by an employer-sponsored preferred provider organization (PPO) program is $16,771. That number should be front and center in our national dialogue on reform. It is important that we understand what it means.

“The Patients’ Choice Act of 2009” is one of two Republican proposals for health care reform being released today and is considered to be the more conservative version. (The other, “The Medical Rights Act,” is being introduced by the “Tuesday Group” of centrist Republicans in the House, though their report has not been released as of this moment.)

Tomorrow the members of the Senate Finance Committee will retreat to a closed-door session, taking this report with them to walk through their options for financing comprehensive health care reform. Sen. Baucus and others have said that the success of the reform effort is dependent on their ability to find ways to pay for it. What are their prospects for success?

Relman/Angell letter in The New York Times

In: Quote of the Day

Although single payer advocates were not allowed to testify at the Senate Finance Committee roundtable on reform, the New York Times seems to agree that the concept of comprehensive reform is worthy of their Letters page.

Medicare beats employer-sponsored plans

In: Quote of the Day

Very few individuals, especially those already covered by Medicare, will be surprised by this study. It demonstrates that, compared to people under 65 with private employer-sponsored coverage, Medicare beneficiaries over 65 have fewer problems with access to care, have less financial hardship due to medical bills, and have higher overall satisfaction with their coverage.

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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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