Uncategorized

Health Care Outlook Not Improving

 Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mon) released his much-anticipated healthcare proposal Wednesday morning.

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mon) released his much-anticipated healthcare proposal Wednesday morning.

The next big test for a health care bill in 2009 (notice that I did not call it health care reform) will come in Senate Finance.

The
final vote in that committee will tell us a lot about whether the
Democrats have any chance for 60 votes in the full Senate. So far, it
does not look good.I have the greatest respect for Senators
Baucus and Grassley and their good faith efforts to find a bipartisan
health care solution. But I also think their efforts were fatally
flawed from the beginning.I think the problem is that Baucus
and Grassley were trying to bridge the wide chasm between liberal and
conservative ideas. Finding the fine balance necessary has created an
unwieldy compromise—no one is happy. Most striking, the compromise
reached between cost and premium subsidies has yielded an $880 billion
bill that requires middle class people to buy health insurance they will in no way will be able to afford. On top of that, the policies have big deductibles and out-of-pocket costs.

As
I have said on my blog before, we cannot do something as big as
health care reform without bipartisanship. The American people will
never be comfortable with one side’s proposals so long as the other
side is taking shots.Any successful health care effort will need political cover from at least some respected members of the minority party.This
health care effort has occurred on one side of the political spectrum.
Grassley and Baucus tried to bridge a wide chasm between the
conservative side and the liberal side and were only able to build a
rickety bridge across it that, it would appear, Grassley can’t even
sign onto.To get this done, we will need to build a consensus
on health care from the middle and then build out. We need to start
with the things everyone can agree on and then push simultaneously as
far right and left as we can go and still hold a consensus.I know I have said this a few dozen times before on this blog, but Wyden-Bennett is an example of that middle-out model.You might respond that Wyden-Bennett is off the table.Have you noticed the growing number of times that name keeps coming up?

Robert Laszweski has been a fixture in Washington health policy
circles for the better part of three decades. He currently serves as
the president of Health Policy and Strategy Associates of Alexandria,
Virginia. Before forming HPSA in 1992, Robert served as the COO, Group
Markets, for the Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. You can read more of
his thoughtful analysis of healthcare industry trends at The Health
Policy and Marketplace Blog
, where this post first appeared.

Livongo’s Post Ad Banner 728*90

58
Leave a Reply

58 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
27 Comment authors
JohnAG, M.D., J.D.dyck dewidSteve W.Best Health Insurance Companies Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
John
Guest
John

How does health care reform affect Social Security Disability?

AG, M.D., J.D.
Guest

CHESK OUT WHAT THE LAWDOC POSTED ON THE HEALTHCARE MADNESS IN HIS LAWDOCBLOG AT:
http://www.lawdocblog.com
HEALTHCARE REFORM: IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD

dyck dewid
Guest
dyck dewid

There are those of us who have nothing to gain politically or business-wise. That would Not be Most of who is working on the healthcare failure. This appears why we are getting solutions prior to understanding the problem– and it’s Cause. This is not working, and can’t work again. Isn’t it obvious this is how we got to our existing failure. No one wants to hear that those working on this problem argue over solutions that would benefit themselves or their deals. Its about Image, big business, politics. It only appears intelligence failing. It’s just intelligence applied wrongly, with a… Read more »

Steve W.
Guest
Steve W.

Social security is going to be bankrupt soon and they say Medicare costs will make it too expensive to run as well. Everyone is going to pay more money for less healthcare. You can believe whomever you want but this is just another money grab by your federal government so they can shift the money to whatever programs they think it needs to go to. Nevermind if you happen to be one of the people who needs medical treatment. How long are you going to keep letting your government take away your liberties?

Best Health Insurance Companies
Guest

This really needs to get worked out before it causes more hysteria in people. Once it’s figured out, even if some people don’t fully support the option chosen, the chaos will die down.

Mithra Green
Guest

I must say that I’m terrified by the idea of forcing everyone to buy insurance at the point of a gun. Let’s not sugar coat it, if you choose not to buy health insurance in MA and don’t pay the fines, you will ultimatly face an officer with a gun. As a healthcare provider I see the duplicty and outright lies of the insurance industry everyday. Having health insurance no longer means having access to healthcare. All it means is that some faceless company somewhere is spending your money on quarterly executive bonuses. Meanwhile your’re left scrambling to pay for… Read more »

HealthCare Reform
Guest

I think things are looking better. We are moving further from Marxist Medicine and Commie Care.

Wendell Murray
Guest

Jacob Hacker is not an economist, he is a political scientist, a very astute and knowledgeable one at that, but still not a professional economist. Read Uwe Reinhardt’s works, professional or for the layman, or Robert Evans’ (Canadian) or Victor Fuchs’ or those by many others, for good analysis. Mr. Laszewski consistently and regrettably writes drivel on this topic, reflecting unfortunately the apparent need to keep income flowing from his advisory practice that evidently caters to private insurers. On the topic of the most basic analysis, take a look at Prof. Reinhardt’s analysis of WellPoint’s income statement published in the… Read more »

Steve
Guest
Steve

Oh please. Republicans won’t sign on to Wyden-Bennet anymore. At what point do you acknowledge that the Republicans aren’t going to back ANY health care reform this year?

Nate
Guest
Nate

have I just not noticed it before or are economist suddenly the witch doctors of healthcare? Besides politicians and journalist I have never seen a speciaility of people blab more on something they have no understanding of. And worse yet been given so much creditability. They obviously don’t teach these clowns in school the economics doesn’t exist in a bubble free of all other reality.

Nate
Guest
Nate

Gary O contrary to your assertion and the drabble written by Hacker who obviously has never negotiated a hospital contract your both clueless. It doesn’t matter if you are the only insurance company in town, if there is hospital monopoly or duopoly you have no power. He’s an economist, who cares what he says, he doesn’t have any experience or education in the matter. If he told you one surgery was cheaper then another would you let him do your operation? Hospitals have all the power unless there are enough health systems in the area to play them against each… Read more »

Gary O.
Guest
Gary O.

Actuary, First, I pointed out that there is concentration in the health insurance market to show that the large carriers will naturally fight to maintain their dominance and that Senator Baucus and his senior aide who is helping draft the Finance Committee bill have deep ties to that industry. Secondly, and somewhat aside from the first point but in answer to your point about hospital concentration, the insurers have used their concentration to increase their own profits without using their weight to tamp down hospital costs. I’m sure you have read economist Jacob Hacker’s The Case for Public Plan Choice… Read more »

Jerry
Guest

Shorter Actuary: Hey, business is great. Quit harshing my mellow.

Actuary
Guest
Actuary

Gary O. To get back on track, I agree with Rob MDs post of Sept 16, 12:34 except in 4. strike “insurance plans” because insurance plans attempt to keep costs down … if anyone disagrees with any of his proposals, why? So I guess you aren’t lying, you (like many who haven’t been involved in this area for 20 years) just need to read some respected journals regarding the economics of health care instead of relying on some windbag politicians (redundant, I know). You state: “In only three state markets do the largest three plans control less than 50 percent… Read more »

Nate
Guest
Nate

So you think dieing people should be denied the right to cash in their life insurance early becuase it nauseates you? This must mean you are also morally opposed to reverse mortgages that also are contingent on the death of the home owner. Is there any limit to how much you will impose your personal feelings on others? tens of thousands of ieing people felt they where a good deal for their sitution. Hundreds of thousands made the personal decision that a reverse mortgage was in their best interest. Why is the left so opposed to letting people live their… Read more »