Viewpoints: Blue Shield’s Profit Cap; Employees Could Be Surprised By Loss Of Health Benefits; Involving Patients
Los Angeles Times: Blue Shield's Catchy Cap
Blue Shield of California announced Tuesday that it will cap its profits for the sake of making health insurance more affordable. Richer in symbolism than in economic impact, the move seems designed to deflect scrutiny and blame from insurers onto others in the industry, particularly doctors and hospitals. All the same, the steadily rising cost of medical care is where the real challenge lies for the sustainability of the healthcare system. ... To its credit, Blue Shield is working to develop more efficient methods of delivering and paying for care (6/8).
The Wall Street Journal: No, You Can't Keep Your Health Insurance
ObamaCare will lead to a dramatic decline in employer-provided health insurance-with as many as 78 million Americans forced to find other sources of coverage. This disturbing finding is based on my calculations from a survey by McKinsey & Company. The survey, published this week in the McKinsey Quarterly, found that up to 50% of employers say they will definitely or probably pursue alternatives to their current health-insurance plan in the years after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act takes effect in 2014 (Grace-Marie Turner, 6/7).
USA Today: As Health Reform Unfolds, Involve The Patients
More than ever, I find myself fielding questions from patients about the health care reform law. The most common one is, "How will reform affect me?" It's a complicated question, with a different answer for each patient. But as the law's full effects unfold, one of the more significant changes will be in how patients interact with their doctors. This sea change became clearer in March, when the Department of Health and Human Services proposed rules encouraging health providers to operate in teams . ... We will realize the full benefits of health reform only if patients are informed and involved every step of the way (Dr. Kevin Pho, 6/7).
Newark, N.J., Star-Ledger: White House: Buy Health Insurance Or Be Poor
The federal appellate court in Atlanta will hear arguments today on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), including the government's latest position that the law doesn't really require people to buy health insurance at all. We have the option instead of earning less money. Not only is this bad lawyering, it's un-American. It suggests Congress can do anything it wants to us because we always have the "opt out" of renouncing our worldly possessions and heading for the hills (Ilya Shapiro, 6/8).
Los Angeles Times: Save California's 'Hospitals In A Box'
The recent disasters in Japan and Joplin underscore that California's three portable hospitals are not luxuries. But the budget crisis leaves them vulnerable (Bonnie Lowenthal, 6/8).
Atlanta Journal Constitution: HHS' Open Data Initiative Great for Consumers & Healthcare System
The Health & Human Services (HHS) Department has been actively promoting a major new project under the "Open Government" umbrella called the Community Health Data Initiative (CHDI). CHDI's core strategy is to publicly release government health data and actively promote the availability of this data to private and public businesses to encourage production of products, platforms, applications, and services that will serve our citizens and overall healthcare system. The basic idea is that knowledge and education can empower citizens to action (Bart Foster, 6/7).