Viewpoints: Renewing The Call For A Public Option; Keep All Justices On Health Law Case
The Seattle Times: Why Are Washington's Nonprofit Health Insurers Sitting On Huge Surpluses?
In Washington, the three major health insurers — Premera Blue Cross, Regence BlueShield and Group Health Cooperative — are sitting on a total of more than $2.4 billion above and beyond what they expect to ever pay out in claims. All of them are not-for-profits. And they continue to propose substantial rate increases. How much is enough? (Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, 1/9).
Los Angeles Times: Obama Needs To Find His Backbone On Healthcare Reform
After backing off from a 'public option' and settling on extending coverage to 30 million of the nearly 50 million uninsured, he's apparently content to let each state set policy and price standards (David Lazarus, 1/9).
The Lund Report: Healthcare Remains The 2012 Election Riddle
[T]he cost of health care is the federal deficit. We are paying far too much for an inefficient health care system when we also have an aging population that is facing expensive medical care. Just think, if we solve this one problem, then the rest of the budget is manageable. But if we fail to reach a national consensus then the budget obligations to pay for existing problems are many times greater than our resources (Mark Trahant, 1/9).
Forbes: Forget The Doctor Fix, We Need A Medicare Fix
The doc-fix ordeal exemplifies what's wrong with our Medicare system. Injections of cash in the short term won’t preserve seniors’ access to care in the long term — and will instead hasten the program’s bankruptcy. Nothing less than fundamental reform is needed (Sally Pipes, 1/9).
Des Moines Register: All Justices Should Hear Health Case
If some people had their way, the U.S. Supreme Court would decide a case challenging the constitutionality of the new health care law with just seven of the nine justices participating. That means a minority of the court could decide one of the nation's most historic questions with implications far beyond this one case. That would be a bad precedent (1/9).
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Walker Wrong To Halt Work On Insurance Exchanges
Gov. Scott Walker's decision to stop work on Wisconsin's insurance exchanges, which are mandated by health care reform, is shortsighted and could give the federal government more influence over the state's insurance market than it should have. ... Originally a conservative idea, well-designed insurance exchanges should make it easier for customers to buy health insurance by allowing comparison shopping and providing a wealth of information for informed purchases. Let's get on with designing the best ones we can (1/9).
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: State Wise To Wait And See Fate Of Health Reform Law
True free-market exchanges do exist, and the competition they generate yields positive results. A government-run Obamacare exchange is deceptive, ill-conceived and an expensive government expansion that our nation cannot afford at this time or in the near future…. Wisconsin should not participate in this costly federal program until the last possible moment (State Sen. Frank Lasee, 1/9).
Archives of Ophthalmology: Emergency Department Use for Eye Care Services and Future Directions in Care
(T)he deep recession precipitated by the collapse of the housing bubble and the associated financial consequences, which were felt particularly hard in Florida, did not appear to increase the number of uninsured seeking eye care in EDs across the state. Instead, the proportion of care paid for by Medicaid increased, suggesting that this safety net (and 2-income households) mitigated the effect of financial distress during this time (Dr. Paul Lee and Dr. Jacqueline Dzau, 1/9).