Bail Out or Bailout?

“Bail out” means to jump from an airplane. Lately, we’ve been hearing a lot about it…especially when it comes to health insurance. Does it really mean that Congress intends to throw insurance companies out of an airplane? They might want to, but the current use of the term I’m focusing on is health insurance “bailout,” and it has nothing to do with air travel. The Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) created two subsidies for low income people purchasing individual health insurance … [Read more...]

Good News: Employers Don’t Need 51 Votes to Manage Their Health Plans!

I think we’ve all been watching the news unfold lately…and if you haven’t been, you no doubt have heard about the “little” thing going on with healthcare. You know…the one that involves the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare, as some affectionately call it)…and impacts nearly everyone. If not, let me get you up to speed. The GOP (Republican party) controls the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. First order of business was to replace the ACA. However, they needed 60 votes in the Senate to … [Read more...]

What About Obamacaid?

Public opinion regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, runs hot or cold based largely on political party alignment. The reality is the vast majority of Americans have had no significant interaction with Obamacare. I believe most Americans are largely confused regarding what Obamacare is and isn’t. The recent Republican-failed effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, and the subsequent town hall protests, strengthen my belief in the confusion. Part of the confusion comes from … [Read more...]

What About Obamacaid?

Public opinion regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, runs hot or cold based largely on political party alignment. The reality is the vast majority of Americans have had no significant interaction with Obamacare. I believe most Americans are largely confused regarding what Obamacare is and isn’t. The recent Republican-failed effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, and the subsequent town hall protests, strengthen my belief in the confusion. Part of the confusion comes from … [Read more...]

R-words are All the Rage

It all started when Republicans got elected on a Repeal & Replace platform. When getting Rid of Obamacare became Rancorous, the Reaction of some was to embrace Reconciliation and Repair. Then the Russians Redirected the Repartee. Regardless, the Race to Remove Obamacare Remains on course. Right-wingers are suffering Ridicule at Rallies and town halls, but Retreat isn’t an option, especially as tax Reform is next on their list. Remember to get some R&R and keep your Rolaids handy…there’s … [Read more...]

Healthcare Sanctuary City

The term “sanctuary city” does not have a consistent definition, but it does provoke a wide range of emotional (and political) responses. I will define a sanctuary city as a jurisdiction where local authorities have made a conscious and declared decision to not enforce certain federal immigration laws. These local authorities lack the power to change the laws, so they simply don’t enforce them. President Trump effectively created a healthcare sanctuary city on his first day in office. His … [Read more...]

Healthcare Sanctuary City

The term “sanctuary city” does not have a consistent definition, but it does provoke a wide range of emotional (and political) responses. I will define a sanctuary city as a jurisdiction where local authorities have made a conscious and declared decision to not enforce certain federal immigration laws. These local authorities lack the power to change the laws, so they simply don’t enforce them. President Trump effectively created a healthcare sanctuary city on his first day in office. His … [Read more...]

Same Old, Same Old

My wife and I eat at our favorite Thai food restaurant on a regular basis. It’s a small, family run restaurant, and Kim waits the tables. I always ask Kim how she’s doing. Inevitably, her answer is, “Same old, same old.” Same old, same old is great for a Thai restaurant with great Thai food. I want the same old, same old. That’s what I expect. The year 2016 ended with the same old, same old. One of the major insurers resolved a pricing dispute with a major hospital system in the 11th hour. The … [Read more...]

What do Hurricanes and High Deductible Health Plans Have in Common?

The recent destruction and flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew caused me to think about the different way we view homeowner’s insurance and health insurance. Seems like an odd comparison, but stay with me on this. Many individuals shy away from high deductible health plans and opt for a more expensive preferred provider organization (PPO) plan even though their maximum exposure is identical under both types of plans. Yet, the same individual has a high deductible homeowner’s policy for their … [Read more...]

ColoradoCare Part 4: “Health Price Discrimination in Colorado”

Whether Colorado voters decide to socialize healthcare financing in the state (ColoradoCare AKA Amendment 69) or maintain the current hybrid of public and private financing, the issue of discrimination in healthcare — and what to do about it — remains. Price discrimination in healthcare is real, and it’s measurable. My questions deal with what level of price discrimination is acceptable, what level is unethical, what level might be illegal, and what role, if any, should the government play? So … [Read more...]