Monthly Archives: March 2013

Cost of Healthcare

Economist Ewe Reinhardt blogging at the NY Times: U.S. Health Care Prices Are the Elephant in the Room

It’s a very interesting read. These two paragraphs jump out to me, but others may interest you more.

As Consumer Reports noted in an illuminating article, “Health care prices are all over the map, even within your plan’s network.” The chart at the bottom of the article, based on the Healthcare Blue Book on prices, is especially revealing.

The high variance of health care prices in the United States can be explained in good part by the opacity of these prices. Both government and the private sector have done their best to maintain that opacity.

Part of the problem it seems to me is that different facilities that can run the same test have different expense structures. Compare the cost of an MRI or CT scan at a hospital vs. a separate facility that can run these tests. In my experience the hospital is substantially more expensive. Most likely because they have higher day to day operating expenses plus issues with caring for the uninsured. The other facilities have the luxury of making sure you can pay before running the tests. They don’t have the accounts receivable problem that a hospital does.

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An Exchange races to be ready

Oregon’s ambitious health insurance marketplace races to meet federal reform deadlines | OregonLive.com.

Comments:

Nationwide, millions of people have benefited from the Affordable Care Act, gaining free access to preventive services including cancer screenings and discounts on prescriptions. The real muscle of the law, though, kicks in the new year. That’s when the law calls for insurance for everyone, regardless of a pre-existing condition or age. Health marketplaces will offer tiered insurance plans to individuals and small businesses employing 50 or less.

What is this “free” stuff. None of it is free. Either it’s built into the premium you’re paying or someone else is paying for it.

In Oregon, more than 200,000 people initially are expected to sign up through Cover Oregon. While premiums will jump for some initially, supporters hope competition will tamp down health care costs over the long haul.

Continue reading An Exchange races to be ready

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Shikha Dalmia: Obamacare is Obama’s Iraq War | WashingtonExaminer.com

Shikha Dalmia: Obamacare is Obama’s Iraq War | WashingtonExaminer.com.

Shikha claims:

Not even the most ardent defenders of Obamacare — aka the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — claim anymore that the law will lower health coverage costs for Americans. How, then, will it achieve universal coverage, its central goal?

The short answer is, it won’t.

and I agree with her. So it’s not affordable except with substantial subsidies. How about universal? Not likely…

Continue reading Shikha Dalmia: Obamacare is Obama’s Iraq War | WashingtonExaminer.com

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Proof That Obamacare ‘Rate Shock’ Is An Ugly Insurance Company Deception – Forbes

Proof That Obamacare ‘Rate Shock’ Is An Ugly Insurance Company Deception – Forbes.

Rick Ungar says the Obamacare rate shock is false. His source is the Urban Health Institute. Their conclusion is:

“Overall, we find that loosening the rate bands from 3:1?to 5:1 would have very little impact on out-of-pocket?rates paid by the youngest nongroup purchasers, once subsidies are taken into account. This is not only the case for all likely purchasers, but also for two populations of particular concern: the 10 million 21-27 year olds who are currently uninsured and the 3 million who currently have nongroup coverage.”

Continue reading Proof That Obamacare ‘Rate Shock’ Is An Ugly Insurance Company Deception – Forbes

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Thousands could get ‘Obamacare’ tax credits | The Columbus Dispatch

Thousands could get ‘Obamacare’ tax credits | The Columbus Dispatch.

This article investigates the number of people in the Columbus, OH area that are eligible for the Obamcare tax credits. Included in this article is a chart detailing eligibility for tax credits and the percentage of premium that is the “buyers share”. Note the lower the income the more subsidy and the less premium the purchaser is responsible for. That’s all well and good, HOWEVER, the chart then shows actual numbers for annual premium. I have one question:

How do they KNOW what the premiums will be?

subsidy chart

Continue reading Thousands could get ‘Obamacare’ tax credits | The Columbus Dispatch

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ObamaCare promises not being kept?

Fox News report reminding us in President Obama’s own words, the false claims regarding the cost of Obamacare. Quotes:

We will start by reducing premiums by as much as $2500 per family.

Add it all up and the plan I’m proposing will cost around $900 billion over 10 years.

Our cost cutting measures mirror most of the proposals in the current Senate bill which reduces most people’s premiums and brings down our deficit by up to $1 trillion dollars over the next decade because we’re spending our health care dollars more wisely.

Reality hits Obamacare. Are you ready for the Reality OF Obamacare?

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Why an Obamacare blog?

The health insurance industry is undergoing a dramatic upheaval. The “man on the street” is just starting to look around and ask “What’s about to happen to my health care?”.

This blog will attempt to address those questions. To be up front, I am a health insurance broker, so I deal with people looking for coverage every day. Obamacare is starting to come up in almost every conversation. People are concerned. They are concerned about cost, they are concerned about penalties, they are concerned about how their coverage will change and of course what the cost of their policies will be.

Some of these questions can’t be fully answered yet. That said, the blog portion of this website will address these issues on an ongoing basis. It WILL have an anti-Obamacare bias. That said, I will try to have posts addressing issues and will link to a wide variety of websites so that a number of points of view are represented. The 2nd portion of the blog will be the resource pages. The goal of these pages will be to provide basic factual information on Obamacare. For example, what income ranges will qualify for a government subsidy?

I’ll create an email address where you can reach me in the next few days.

Chris Adams
Boulder, Colorado

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CNN asks: “We’re American’s mislead about the cost of Obamacare?”

CNN Reports on Rising Health Care Premiums Due to Obamacare – YouTube.

This is news? If this is news to CNN, they need to remove the middle ‘N’ from their name and just go by Cable Network. If we let the “water go under the bridge” that CNN is just discovering that Obamacare will have higher premiums, they have actually done some decent reporting. The question that comes to mind is why didn’t they do this a long time ago? If anyone at CNN is objectively covering the health care industry, you simply do NOT need Kathleen Sebelius to spoon feed this headline to you.

I find it interesting into how much detail Wolf Blitzer goes into to make sure the information is factual while interviewing Louise Radnofsky. Continue reading CNN asks: “We’re American’s mislead about the cost of Obamacare?”

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