Tag: Health Insurance

Looking Ahead: More Hurdles for ObamaCare

Looking Ahead: More Hurdles for ObamaCare  By Ronald Bachman  Last week’s commentary, “ObamaCare Implementation Stumbles Along,” focused on the confirmed challenges in implementing the Affordable Care Act. Based on the already-checkered if brief past, the federal health law can expect even more implementation struggles moving forward.  Among them:  Health insurance exchanges: 27 states declared they would not establish a state run health insurance exchange. These states have defaulted to federally facilitated exchange. Will the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) be ready to implement these exchanges that are required to go live on October 1, 2013? There are serious doubts. In fact, Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute made a prediction earlier this week that an announcement will… View Article

Friday Facts: August 2, 2013

August 2, 2013  It’s Friday! Win with words: The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is giving away four tickets, valued at $100 each, to attend the Heartland Institute’s Emerging Issues Forum at the Capital City Club in Atlanta on Thursday, August 15. For a chance to win a ticket to the daylong session, tell your Facebook friends what you like about the Foundation and why. (Be sure you “like” the Foundation Facebook page and tag us in your post or share it on our page!) We’ll announce four winners in the Friday Facts next week, so make your case by noon on Thursday, August 8. Remember, if you don’t tag us, the NSA will be able to see you but View Article

Checking Up On Health: July 30, 2013

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd Save the date: The Heartland Institute’s Emerging Issues Forum is coming to Atlanta on Thursday, August 15. This is Heartland’s annual daylong event for elected officials, policy analysts and government affairs professionals to confer and strategize about the top public policy issues of the day. Among the topics: Health Care, Education, Energy and Tax Reform. (I’ll be part of the panel on energy issues.)  The keynote speaker is Congressman Tom Price of Georgia. Find out more at http://eif.heartland.org/. But wait! There’s more! The Georgia Public Policy Foundation, which will be a sponsor at the event, is giving away four tickets, valued at $100 each, to the daylong session. For… View Article

ObamaCare Implementation: Stumbling Along

By Ronald E. Bachman On July 2, 2013, just a few short months before significant portions of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) were to take effect, a Treasury Department official announced the Obama Administration will “provide an additional year before the ACA mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements begin.” “Provide” is a generous description. A mounting list of problems and failures plagues key aspects of the law, the most recent being the announced delays until 2015. Postponed by fiat of the Health and Human Services Department, the coverage mandate requires businesses of 50 or more employees to provide health insurance or pay a penalty. Along with the individual mandate, it was supposed to be key to solving the uninsured… View Article

Checking Up On Health: July 16, 2013

  Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd Much ado about nothing: A new paper identifies five overused medical treatments and offers proposals to prevent their overuse, which the report defines as use of a treatment that confers zero or negative benefits to a patient. The paper, by the Joint Commission and the American Medical Association-Convened Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement, cites antibiotics for viral upper respiratory infections; over-transfusion of red blood cells; tympanostomy tubes for brief middle ear effusion (fluid); early-term, non-medically indicated elective delivery, and elective angioplasty.   The $69 million machine that goes “ping:” In health care, “self-referral” is when providers refer patients to facilities or services in which they or their family members have… View Article

What if the Exchanges Are Not Ready on Time?

By John Goodman On October 1, millions of Americans are supposed to be able to go online and acquire health insurance on electronic exchanges in the states where they live. But a new GAO report is raising an issue I raised in The Wall Street Journal: What happens if the exchanges aren’t ready? Already, the Department of Health and Human Services has thrown in the towel on small-business exchanges that were supposed to allow employees to choose among competing health plans. The opportunity to make those choices has been put off for at least a year, leaving small-business employees with only their employer’s plans as options. As for individuals acquiring insurance on their own, the only states that have… View Article

Checking Up On Health: June 11, 2013

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd It’s just not growing on you: Most voters continue to view ObamaCare unfavorably, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports survey. Two out of three expect it to increase the federal budget deficit, six out of 10 expect it to increase health care costs and half expect it to hurt the quality of care. The survey finds that 39 percent of likely U.S. voters hold at least a somewhat favorable opinion of the health care law, while 53 percent view it unfavorably. This includes 16 percent with a very favorable opinion and 38 percent with a very unfavorable one. Not affordable: An editorial in Investor’s Business Daily points out… View Article

Checking Up On Health: May 28, 2013

Health Care News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd The federal government will run the health insurance exchange, or marketplace, in Georgia and many other states. The goal is for individual consumers to be able to make informed choices comparing benefits and price. Andy Miller of Georgia Health News reports that seven health insurers have signed up to offer benefits plans in the online insurance exchange that will begin enrolling Georgia individuals in October. Miller reports that the companies are offering rates that are comparable to or even below current employer premiums, according to Bill Custer, a health insurance expert at Georgia State University who evaluated the findings. Aetna, Alliant, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Coventry, Humana,… View Article

Checking Up On Health: May 21, 2013

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd Coverage doesn’t mean care: Jonathan Ingram, Illinois Policy Institute Senior Fellow, recalls in his blog that in 2010, medical researchers at the University of California analyzed a decade of emergency room visit data provided by the National Center for Health Statistics. ” They found that Medicaid patients were seven times as likely as privately insured patients to use emergency rooms for preventable conditions. In fact, Medicaid patients were nearly three times as likely as the uninsured to use emergency rooms for preventable conditions. During that decade, the odds of using emergency rooms for preventable conditions went down by 10 to 15 percent for both privately insured and uninsured patients,… View Article

Checking Up On Health: May 14, 2013

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd  Fighting tooth and nail: At least 30 states have tried to shut down teeth-whitening businesses, according to a new study by the Institute for Justice. It’s usually because licensed dentists and hygienists have tried to corner the market on these services. As the teeth-whitening industry has exploded in recent years, so too has the push for laws and regulations that enable licensed dentists and hygienists to capture a greater share of that market by banning anyone else from offering teeth-whitening services. The study investigates this expansion of dental licensing as a form of economic protectionism, where industry insiders agitate for laws that limit competition. The institute points out that… View Article

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