Viewpoints: Trying To Regulate Insurance Premium Rates, Fighting Medicare Fraud
Los Angeles Times: Regulators Have Little Power Over Health Insurance Rate Increases
Big, powerful industries facing tougher government oversight - the health insurance industry, say - know that the legislative battle in Congress or state capitals is just the first skirmish. The more important fight is over the regulations that implement legislative policies (Michael Hiltzik, 1/25).
The Miami Herald: Better Weapons For Medicare Fraud Battle
Authorities estimate that Medicare fraud bilks the U.S. government as much as $60 billion to $90 billion a year. Of that, Miami accounts for about $3 billion. Medicare scams have become so lucrative, the FBI says, that the mob is getting in on them. Medicare fraudsters are getting better at finding new scams to bilk Uncle Sam. The new anti-fraud tools should include mandatory fingerprinting for providers. Federal agencies that fight Medicare cheating have to be nimble enough to outwit the scammers (1/26).
The Arizona Republic: Public Money Is Directed To Wrong Places
Speaking of reputations, I wonder what will happen to ours as people we've kicked to the health-care curb begin to die, given our inability to come up with $2 million for transplants this year and next. But while we can't afford certain transplants, money's flowing when it comes to others. I'm speaking of Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer, who has generously offered to buy the Phoenix Coyotes, provided Glendale kicks in $100 million -- more than half of the team's price tag -- with another $97 million tossed his way for operating the arena for five years (Laurie Roberts, 1/26).
The Seattle Times: Proposed Law A Sensible Approach To Medical Marijuana
The Medical Use of Cannabis Act, proposed by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, deserves support in the Legislature. ... current law provides no protection from arrest and prosecution. It provides only a defense once a user has been put on trial. The result has been that in some places the police mostly leave medical users alone, and in others they treat them like criminals (1/24).
The Des Moines Register: How To Cut Medical Costs: Fewer Tests
Last week a U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel weighed in on Amyvid. Most have probably never heard of this drug to identify brain plaque associated with Alzheimer's disease. The panel's recommendation was barely a bleep in the news. What caught our attention had nothing to do with the safety or effectiveness of the drug. It was the conversation FDA reviewers had about the drug's usefulness in the real world that gets at the heart of a question Americans need to consider when it comes to health care: How do we weigh the benefits and costs of diagnostic tests? (1/26).