As the leading candidate for the Republican nomination for president, we should be aware of Donald Trump’s health policy proposals. His descriptions to date have been vague — replace Obamacare with something terrific, remove the lines around states, and can’t let people die in the streets. Responding to demands for specifics, Trump plays it safe and now releases a brief list of standard recommendations long held by mainstream Republican politicians.
Physicians were so relieved to get rid of the sustainable growth rate (SGR) method of adjusting Medicare payments that they seemed to care less about the replacement: the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and the Alternative Payment Models (APMs). They should have cared. Robert Berenson explains why.
Yesterday, at the annual meeting of the Federation of American Hospitals, Acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt asked the for-profit hospitals to join CMS’s ongoing push for the “retailization” of health care.
With the recent often inaccurate and ill-advised debate taking place in the media over the financing of single payer it is imperative that the record be set straight on the basic, irrefutable facts of single payer. Physicians and medical students who are well informed on the true facts should sign this open letter so that the nation understands clearly that we can ensure that absolutely everyone has free choice of health care in a system that is affordable for everyone, through an improved Medicare-for-All.
Most polls place support for a single payer Medicare-for-all national health program at about 60%, with some variation based on labels, framing, and polling technique. Yesterday’s Kaiser poll placed it at 50%. This new Associated Press GfK poll places it at about 40%, but it is unusual in that over one-fourth of those polled expressed no preference. Of those expressing a preference, 54% were supportive and 46% opposed. But there was something else that was also very unusual about this poll.
About half of Americans would prefer a single government health plan for everyone, according to this poll. However, when offered several choices, more would prefer to build on the current system (36%) than would prefer to establish a single government plan (24%). Also, followup questions show that the opinions of a single government plan are quite malleable, depending whether the query has a positive or negative slant.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was supposed to make health care affordable, yet many hospitals are finding that patients are generating more bad debt. A large portion of that is due to the inability of patients to pay the high deductibles and other cost sharing required by their insurance plans. Patient bankruptcies also compound the problem.
You remember the public option. During the drafting of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), efforts were made to include a public option – a government-run plan that would compete with the private health plans in the insurance marketplace. If the private plans proved that they could provide greater value, then they would prevail. If the government could do a better job, then the public option could expand by demand and eventually become the single payer for the nation, so supporters believed.
Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana wants to select his own facts for a report to CMS confirming that their consumer-directed health program for Medicaid, authorized by a Sec. 1115 waiver, is meeting Medicaid requirements for the patients.
Today CMS released proposed updates for the 2017 Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. It appears that, once again, CMS will be co-conspirators with the insurance industry in increasing net MA payment rates when the Affordable Care Act requires reduction of the MA overpayments.
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