Pay for performance programs add to the administrative burden of our health care system and contribute to physician burnout, and now we have yet one more study that shows that they are ineffective in improving patient outcomes.
The shareholders of Aetna and Anthem, by voting down disclosure of dark money contributions, are co-conspirators with the corporate executives in the efforts to prevent transparency of their financial contributions to dark money organizations that use their funds to influence elections.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been effective in reducing the numbers of uninsured, particularly amongst low-income adults. Although that is good news, we should be alarmed that “low- and moderate-income adults are uninsured at rates as much as 10 times higher as those for adults with higher incomes,” and that there has been little improvement in enrollment for these lower income levels since the initial steep decline in 2014.
The Milliman Medical Index (MMI) is the cost of health care for a typical American family of four covered by an average employer-sponsored preferred provider organization (PPO) plan. It is now over $25,000 ($25,826).
This poll of selected “top leaders of hospitals, insurance companies, physician groups, trade associations and other not-for-profit advocacy groups” can give us a rough idea of where the executive leadership of the health care industry stands today on health care reform.
The media continue to cite the flawed Urban Institute analysis of the costs of single payer while ignoring the actual facts as presented by David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler. Yet the Urban Institute authors twice have felt compelled to answer the Himmelstein/Woolhandler criticism of their analysis. Woolhandler and Himmelstein respond here to Urban’s doubling down of errors in their second response.
Today’s report confirms the growing dissatisfaction with higher premiums and greater cost-sharing of not only ACA-compliant non-group plans but also employer-sponsored group plans as well. The share saying that they feel vulnerable to high medical bills has increased to 45 percent for non-group enrollees and 36 percent for those with employer coverage.
This article by David Woods is an important contribution to our efforts to inform our colleagues and the public on the true facts about the single payer model of reform. It is particularly credible since the author is a former editor-in-chief of the Canadian Medical Association Journal who was attracted to the market-driven U.S. health care system, but then, through his personal experiences, recognized its clear inferiority to single payer systems.
There have been a multitude of recent media reports indicating that a single payer program, as proposed by Bernie Sanders, would cost much more than previous estimates have shown. These reports rely on recent analyses by the Urban Institute and by Emory Professor Kenneth Thorpe. Unfortunately, these analyses are being given more credibility than the contrasting conclusions of the nation’s two leading experts on single payer – Professors David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler.
Although this new Gallup poll has been widely interpreted in the media as showing strong national support for single payer reform, the actual question was about favoring or opposing “Replacing the ACA with a federally funded healthcare program providing insurance for all Americans,” and it was asked with two other options (repealing ACA, keeping ACA in place), any or all of which could be chosen. Replacing ACA with federally funded health care was supported by 58%, repeal ACA by 51%, and keeping ACA by 48%.
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