HHS all day webinar

I am going to blog things throughout the day about what HHS is saying today on a 7 hour webinar.

Interesting things so far is that only 80,000 people received coverage on the high risk pools throughout the country.  They are already worried that the pool is going to run out of the $5 billion.  They expected over 1 million people would revive coverage from these pools.  Wow the estimate was way off on  that one.

Supreme Court Ruling

We have heard the ruling that the Individual mandate has been upheld but the states can not have their current medicaid funding taken away if they do not expand medicaid.  I will be sitting in a webinar today with the employee benefit advisers on what this means.  I am also sitting in on another webinar tomorrow morning with the american college.  After I sit in on both of those hopefully I will know more.

As of right now what this means is that if congress does not change anything with the law, then everything that you have learned so far is moving forward.

The big change that we do see at first glance with the medicaid ruling is that if the states do not put the people on medicaid that the federal government was projecting than the price of the healthcare bill is going to go up exponentially, so we will be shifting the cost of the healthcare from the states back to the federal government.


I will keep you updated as I learn more.
Dan

Putting the ‘Insurance’ Back in Health Insurance – Forbes

This is a really good article about some of the things that we can do to get real health insurance reform to get the costs of health insurance down.

If you read the article, I can tell you that there is one major flaw with the theory.  That is We will always have adverse selection in health insurance as long as the hospitals are required to treat people.  This is where we have to get into the real discussion of healthcare reform not health insurance reform.

This discussion is the discussion that no one wants to have.

Economics tells us that we have unlimited wants but we have limited resources.  So as a society we have to decide how we want to have those resources divided.  Do you want your ability to pay to determine if you get care or do you want the government to determine if you get care.  Until we admit that it is impossible to give everyone all the care that they want, we will never solve this problem.

 I will also say that anyone that says that it is possible is fooling themselves.  We can not do it here just as the countries in Europe and Asia have not been able to do it.  Those countries are all broke and do not have any money to continue to give care either, and many of them are starting to go back to allowing their citizens to buy private insurance so that way if you have money you do not have to wait as long to get care.

Let me know what you think.

Putting the ‘Insurance’ Back in Health Insurance – Forbes:

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truth about medicare and medicaid

I read a very interesting article in the Journal and courier in Lafayette today.  The article was written by a lawyer from IU that talked about he has many people on disability that are falling through the cracks in the healthcare system and how healthcare reform if it continues to be implemented is  going to fix these cracks for these individuals.

What I find interesting is that all of the people in this article are are already on a government program and they are not being taken care of so we need a bigger government program to take care of them.  The way they are going to be taken care of these people is that we are going to allow all of them to go on to medicaid much easier. 
Now it is important to note that the author did not go into any other details of healthcare reform and what the real world implications of what he wants are.  
Most people do not realize that in loosening these standards for medicaid we are planning on taking many people off of Medicare and putting them onto medicaid.  If a person on medicare is receiving a government subsidy for their medicare part d or are currently on both medicare and medicaid they will no longer be eligible for medicare, they will only have medicaid.  
Why is this important?  Well the federal government pays all of the medicare bills but medicaid is partially funded by the states.  So guess what Medicare is going to look like it has more money and is closer to being solvent while the states go broke.
The major problem though is not how are we going to pay for this, but are these people going to get any care?
See there is currently a shortage of doctors that accept medicaid patients.  As an example, here in Demotte I believe there are 7 primary care doctors and only 1 accepts medicaid.  So if medicaid roles are increased 30% where are the people going to go to the doctor?  Also it would appear that the states will not have the money to keep paying the doctors the same rates that they do now so how many doctors will continue to take medicaid.
I do feel sorry for people when they fall through the cracks but we can not just add large programs without truly figuring out how to pay for them. 

Bank of Japan buys record amount of stock ETFs

I think that this is one of the scariest things happening in the stock markets.  It seems odd to me that people the press whoever does not care when a government prints money to then artificially prop up the stock market.  When people say the the stock market does not make sense, this is one of the reasons.  Currently no other central bank is supposedly doing this but I find it hard to believe that they haven’t found a way to do it, that is not so obvious.

Bank of Japan buys record amount of stock ETFs – Asia Stocks to Watch – MarketWatch:

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Governor of New York says that 250% of medicare reimbursement is not enough

This is another example of the Government protecting us from big companies and then we find out that they just made it worse.

What is the most interesting though is that if an insurance company pays 250% of what medicare pays we are told by the government that the insurance company does not pay enough.

So this just proves that if we want to stop health insurance rates from going up we have to get medicare and Medicaid to pay their Fair Share.  Until that happens we will continue to see the rise of Insurance Premiums because someone has to pay the Doctors enough to keep their doors open.

Also interesting is the way that Healthcare reform dealt with this issue is to promise to cut the doctors reimbursements even more for medicare and increase the number of people insured by medicaid.  So if you see that healthcare reform is going to cut the deficit the main way that they are planning on getting this savings is to cut Doctor Reimbursements on Medicare.  Also note that they do not cut the Medicare reimbursement rate every year by passing a special bill to hold off the cut because it is known that the Doctors will quit accepting Medicare patients.

Thanks for listening
Dan

Insurers Alter Cost Formula, and Patients Pay More – US Business News – CNBC:

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Rulemaking Input Sought for Contraceptive Coverage

I find this to be very interesting.  For the last three years all we have heard is how all the health insurance companies want to do is make money, over everything else.  Now the Department of HHS has decided that insurance companies can save money by offering contraceptive coverage.

Now don’t you think that an industry that is is so money hungry, whose only job is to figure out how to save money and pay claims on healthcare costs would have thought of this by now.

I can tell you from experience that if you are adding contraceptive coverage it does not reduce pregnancies enough to pay for the contraceptives.  We have had groups that did not cover them and then started covering them and pregnancies have not gone down.

Broker – Rulemaking Input Sought for Contraceptive Coverage:

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