Viewpoints: Crediting The Health Law For Modest Premium Increases; Hollywood Misses The Mark On Sick Teens
The New York Times: Better News On Insurance Premiums
The rate of growth on premiums for employer-based health coverage in the first five months of this year was one of the lowest in 16 years. Despite longstanding concerns that employer-sponsored coverage might become too costly to sustain, that market seems to have stabilized for now .... Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, federal tax credit subsidies — available for people earning up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level ($95,400 for a family of four) — are helping to make these policies affordable and cushioning the impact of premium increases in some cities (9/14).
The Wall Street Journal: In Employer Health Insurance Costs, Stability Is the New Normal
[O]ver the past decade ... premium increases for employer health insurance have moderated sharply and stabilized. Premiums for family policies in the group market grew 72% between 1999 and 2004; 34% between 2004 and 2009; and 26% between 2009 and 2014. Even as premium growth moderated, health insurance costs still outpaced inflation and wage growth. But this year premiums grew 3%, about the same rate as wages and inflation. Despite fears that premiums would rise in the group market because of the Affordable Care Act, they have remained stable (Drew Altman, 9/12).
Forbes: Obamacare Has Failed To Collapse -- But Its Premiums Continue To Climb
Democrats are trumpeting preliminary estimates indicating that premiums on Obamacare's insurance exchanges will rise modestly, on average, in 2015. ... it's true: Obamacare isn't collapsing. But in the real world, we don't measure the success of the "Affordable Care Act" by its failure to collapse. We measure it by looking at the underlying affordability of American health care. And there can be no doubt that health care today is more costly than it would have been without Obamacare (Avik Roy, 9/14).
USA Today: Be Wary Of Doctor-Rating Sites
The public can rate almost everything on the Internet today: books, hotels, restaurants — and even doctors. But while your chances of getting a great meal at a 5-star restaurant are pretty high, receiving excellent care from a 5-star doctor is less certain. Doctor ratings generally focus on more subjective issues, such as patient wait times, time spent with the doctor, and physician courtesy. Those are obviously important issues, but they paint an incomplete picture. Doctors with stellar interpersonal skills may not be the best at controlling patients' blood pressures or managing their diabetes (Dr. Kevin Pho, 9/14).
The Washington Post: Hollywood Has It Wrong: I'm A Teenager With An Illness And It's Not Glamorous At All
In 2008, it was all about vampires. In 2011, it was dystopian societies with corrupt governments. And now, 2014 seems to be the year of teenagers with fatal diseases. ... When I was 14, I was diagnosed with an autonomic nervous system disorder called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) that causes extreme dizziness, fatigue and other debilitating symptoms. ... In the past five years I’ve spent quite a bit of time in emergency rooms and hospitals across the country, and none of the patients I’ve seen were anything like the characters in the hospital portrayed in the pilot episode of "Red Band Society," a new Fox show premiering Wednesday (Lillie Lainoff, 9/12).