Today’s OpEds: California Implements Health Reform; Government and Cost Controls, Rationing
Insurers Must Bargain Harder, Not Just Pass Along Higher Costs The Boston Globe
In the bitter clash over health insurance rates between the Patrick administration, the big insurers, and the powerful hospital chains and doctors' groups, it's easy to forget who is suffering the most: the small businesses facing rate hikes of up to 32 percent. Hospitals and health insurers must make a determined effort to keep their rate increases in the low single digits (6/30).
State Gets An Early Jump On Health Reform Merced [California] Sun Star
While budget matters have stalled in the California Legislature, lawmakers are making progress with legislation to implement the federal health reform. While some states continue to resist the new federal health reform law, California is embracing it and Californians will be better off for it (6/30).
Safeguarding Electronic Records The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
If done improperly, a HIT overhaul could make American health care less effective and more expensive. As they craft the nation's health IT strategy, policymakers must collaborate with doctors and hospitals to ensure that the new technology actually results in a more efficient, higher-quality health care system (Sally Pipes, 6/29).
Smart Health Care Cuts Hit A Brick Wall The Fiscal Times
The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) will make annual recommendations (just as MedPAC does now) for cutting Medicare's costs whenever they rise significantly faster than the general rate of inflation, starting in 2014. Alas, last week's Capitol Hill hearing on the latest MedPAC report offered a sobering reminder of how hard it will be for IPAB to hit home runs in the cost control game. Rather than focus on implementing any of the dozens of intriguing cost control recommendations in MedPac's latest 267-page report, members from both political parties took potshots at specific proposals that would hurt local hospitals and providers (Merrill Goozner, 6/30).
Health Care Rationing Is Bound To Come Barstow Desert Dispatch
All government-run programs here and abroad are running out of money, causing budget crunches and political anguish. Barring a retreat from such expansive plans, rationing is inevitable. ... Critics of Obamacare were severely attacked for using allegedly overheated rhetoric such as 'death panels.' But given the fact that an 18-member Independent Payment Advisory Board will be established to set 'quality and efficiency' standards that doctors will be forced to follow after 2015, that rhetoric does not appear to be so overheated after all (Richard Reeb, 6/29).