Viewpoints: A ‘Success Story’ In McAllen, Texas; ‘Uniquely High Prices’ In Health Care
The New York Times: A Health Care Success Story
It may have been the most influential magazine article of the past decade. In June of 2009, the doctor and writer Atul Gawande published a piece in The New Yorker called “The Cost Conundrum,” which examined why the small border city of McAllen, Tex., was the most expensive place for health care in the United States. ... Five years later, the situation has changed. Where McAllen once illustrated the problem of American health care, the city is now showing us how the problem can be solved, largely because of the Affordable Care Act that Mr. Obama signed into law in 2010 (Bob Kocher and Farzad Mostashari, 9/23).
Bloomberg: Reggie Jackson And The Cost Of Health Care
More demand for baseball raises demand curves for almost everyone whose living relates to baseball. The increasing value of a slugging outfielder drives up the value -- and therefore the pay -- of the scouts who found him, the executives who signed him, the minor league instructors who nurtured him, the marketers who exploit his image and the broadcasters who call his games. A team of expensive sluggers requires a luxurious clubhouse, gourmet food, first-class travel, skilled publicists, state-of-the-art training equipment and top-notch medical care. Which brings us to America's building awareness about our uniquely high prices in health care (David Goldhill, 9/23).
The New York Times’ Taking Note: An Anti-Obama Message On A Woman’s Level
On the face of it the concept isn’t so different from that of Lena Dunham’s 2012 ad urging young women to make sure their first time—voting—is with “a guy who really cares” about health insurance and birth control. Except of course the Dunham ad was arch whereas the Americans for Prosperity ad has all the charm of an arthritis PSA (Juliet Lapidos, 9/23).
The Baltimore Sun: Affordable Care Act Lies
The man-made catastrophe known as the "Affordable Care Act" and "Obamacare" still lurks. And nobody should interpret the absence of daily negative headlines as a sign the law's myriad problems have been rectified, or that there is substance to Harry Reid's claim of "untrue" horror stories following the law's implementation. So, how much damage has been inflicted now that gross ineptitude in foreign policy has replaced gross ineptitude in health care policy? Let me count the ways … and lies (Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., 9/21).
Forbes: Why You Are Likely To Lose Your Health Insurance -- No Matter How Much You Like It
Take a look at the chart below. It reflects the fact that all commercial health insurance must fit within four metallic bands: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Each band is defined by its “actuarial value” – which is the percent of covered benefits the plan is expected to pay. ... Now here is what is really strange and it is explained superbly by Bob Graboyes, a health economist with the Mercatus Center, in this video. There are gaps between the corridors. And if your plan happens to fall within one of the gaps, it is no longer a valid plan (John C. Goodman, 9/23).
Los Angeles Times: Anthem Blue Cross' Welcome New HMO Idea
The 2010 federal healthcare law experimented with a number of ways to limit healthcare costs, but the real impetus to hold down spending has come from those who pay for coverage — most notably large employers and governments — and from doctors, hospitals and insurers seeking more sustainable business models. A good illustration is the HMO established recently by Anthem Blue Cross and several top Southern California hospitals, which will reward healthcare providers if they cut waste while improving patients' results. It's a welcome development, although the industry will have to go even further to rid itself of the perverse incentives that drive up costs (9/23).
Wall Street Journal: How Workers and Employers Diverge on Wellness Programs
Employers have been investing in workplace wellness programs despite little in the way of rigorous evidence of effectiveness. Workers are happy to go along so long as they see wellness as a benefit that improves their sense of well-being, rather than an effort to intrude on their privacy or make them pay more for health coverage. ... Ultimately, employers will demand more proof that these programs work, and workers may resist bigger sticks to get them to participate (Drew Altman, 9/24).
The Washington Post: Long-Acting Birth Control Could Help Stabilize The Single Parenthood Trend
Imagine that all women in the United States, upon becoming sexually active, were automatically fitted with an intrauterine device or other form of long-acting birth control. This scenario sounds creepy, with its undertones of Big Brother and eugenics; framed this way, it would be neither a realistic nor a desirable development. But this thought experiment, provoked by a new book by Brookings Institution scholar Isabel Sawhill, illuminates two important societal and technological realities (Ruth Marcus, 9/23).