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PHARMA/POLICY: Medicare Part D, yet more to and fro, and some on the uninsured too

A long transcript from a conference full of health care journalists (hat-tip Kasier FF) in which Leslie Norwalk from CMS proves that she’s very brave, or maybe even foolhardy.  And apparently Medicare Part D was all Al Gore’s idea….. Bob Hayes from the Medicare Rights center, Susan Jaffe, from the Cleveland Palin Dealer and Stuart Gutterman from Commonwealth, don’t exactly agree.

Well worth a quick flip through.

There’s also one on the uninsured which is horribly transcribed, but suggests that some of the reporting about Dirigo care in Maine has been wrong, including one that I picked up on in my Spot-on piece on why we need ONE insurance pool.

Here’s what Joe Ditre, executive director, Consumers for Affordable Health Care, says about the WSJ opinion piece and it does indeed sounds as though the insurer-backed Council for Affordable Healthcare which wrote the articel with a local right wing think-tank has been caught with its hand in the statistical cookie jar:

the Main Heritage Policy Center and they put out this piece that basically said that in the state of Maine that the Dario Program had …only twenty two-percent of all enrollees were previously uninsured. The fallacy is that they based that statistic on one quarter of enrollment which did not include the individuals who enrolled. Again, Dario covers small businesses and individuals, so they focused on the very first quarter of the program’s operation in which no individuals were allowed to enroll because they had to enroll in the second quarter. So they took that percentage, twenty two-percent and what did they do they applied it across the entire enrollment for the first year only sixteen hundred people were uninsured. Now, that’s problematic from any point of view but it is the story that has stuck in the state but one the government didn’t respond quickly enough to basically take away or say that’s false but too, these mouthpieces have been able to get this story, it was in the wall street journal, if you saw that story, and it was printed up on the Kaiser website, I mean on their you know their coverage of the when they do that sweep of the national stories it gets repeated everywhere and it’s false.The real number of uninsured is forty four-percent of them are uninsured overall, within the individuals it’s fifty-percent,– of the ten thousand forty four-percent overall are uninsured, were previously uninsured

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