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CONSUMERS/BLOGS: CDHC Conference

Dmitriy did a nice job at his talk at the CDHCC meeting yesterday. You can see his slides here

I was the skunk in the room on a couple of panels. I asked a “question” at the payments and financial services panel, which basically said that HSAs were going to turn doctors into collections agencies….and got surrounded by lots of people afterwards who either agreed with me, or who told me that they were on the point of building the real-time credit guaranteeing, deductible adjudication network that was going to save physicians, and guarantee them that the patients with HDHPs actually pay their bills. They’d better be right, or else the doctors will start thinking that single payer, but one that at least guarantees to pay, is a pretty good alternative!

I was not the only skunk in the room on the Sally Pipes/Grace-Marie Turner debate (!) which I pointed out was as much of a  debate as the Republican Convention. One questioner stood up and said that the pro-HSA crowd (which he was on) would have to prove that they weren’t just about employers cost shifting to employees, or they’d lose the ideological battle. Too bloody right—unfortunately the data is in and that is exactly what’s going on. The PRI guys (Graham and Pipes) want to go to meetings to combat State Senator Sheila Kuhl’s call for single payer—what they are confused about is why the single payer guys think that HSAs are a godsend for their cause. Apparently they think everyone wants to have an HSA and take part in health care “ownership”.

I tried to be a moderate and merely pointed out that the ideologues in the HSA movement are treading on very dangerous ground as Americans love their employer-based insurance and know that there’s not much to replace it with. Just wait till they find out how dreadful life is in the individual market!

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