Florida Medicare Advantage Plan to pay for members’ fitness trackers (which means the plan seeks to enroll healthy, not chronically ill, seniors).
Are biosimilars priced similarly to generics? According to Ana Nicholls, healthcare analyst at The Economist Intelligence Unit, the answer is no:
“Given the lower levels of competition in the biosimilars market, the copies tend to be priced at just 20-30% below the original drugs, compared with around 90% below for traditional generics.” (Jason Shafrin)
What to make of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ notice that it will pay out retroactive ObamaCare premium tax credits and cost-reducing subsidies to people who have not yet signed up for ObamaCare?
The media have reported that these payments will be dished out to people who bought qualifying health insurance outside an ObamaCare exchange because the exchanges have not been working. According to the New York Times, the new policy is a result of the heroic lobbying of Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, whose exchange has failed to enroll almost anybody. According to Professor Sara Rosenbaum of George Washington University Law School: “People could have gone to court to obtain benefits denied without due process of law, because of a breakdown in government eligibility systems, and a judge would probably have ordered retroactive relief. The federal government is voluntarily providing equitable relief that a court would have given.”
Robert Book of the American Action Forum has a new analysis of ObamaCare’s annual fee on health insurance:
Patrick Howley of the Daily Caller reports that Department of Veterans Affairs employees destroyed medical files in a “systematic attempt to eliminate backlogged veteran medical exam requests.” Oliver Mitchell, a former patient services assistant in the VA Greater Los Angeles Medical Center said that the center got about 3,000 requests a month for exams but only had the resources to do 800. Because waiting lists counted against a hospital’s efficiency report, officials began discussing how to make their waiting list look better by destroying records.
Not to help the ACA work better, mind you. Everyone agrees this delay hurts the effective functioning of the new marketplace. But is it constitutional to fail to execute the laws of the land for no other reason than to help your party win an election? From The Hill:
The Obama administration is set to announce another major delay in implementing the Affordable Care Act, easing election pressure on Democrats.
As early as this week, according to two sources, the White House will announce a new directive allowing insurers to continue offering health plans that do not meet ObamaCare’s minimum coverage requirements.
Prolonging the “keep your plan” fix will avoid another wave of health policy cancellations otherwise expected this fall.
The cancellations would have created a firestorm for Democratic candidates in the last, crucial weeks before Election Day.
The White House is intent on protecting its allies in the Senate, where Democrats face a battle to keep control of the chamber.
Fifty years after President Johnson declared “war on poverty”, House Budget Committee Chairman has released a report on federal anti-poverty programs. The tally includes:
Beyond the bewildering complexity of the anti-poverty programs, the report notes that:
…[A] large problem is the “poverty trap.” There are so many anti-poverty programs — and there is so little coordination between them — that they often work at cross purposes and penalize families for getting ahead…CBO finds that some low-income households face implicit marginal tax rates of nearly 100 percent.
Medicare bureaucrats believe seniors have too much choice! Last month the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed sweeping changes to the Medicare Part D drug program. Released without fanfare, buried in a 700 page veritable plethora of regulations published in the Federal Register were three significant changes to the Medicare drug program. These proposed regulations include: 1) Any willing pharmacy regulations to prohibit exclusive networks; 2) reducing the number of protected classes of drugs covered in each plan; and 3) reducing the number of drug plans that plan sponsors are allowed to offer in each service region.
Any willing pharmacy regulations prevent plan sponsors from creating exclusive pharmacy networks. The proposed regulations would require drug plans to allow participation by any pharmacy willing to abide by the terms of the “winning” bidder in the network contract. This weakens drug plans’ bargaining power to negotiate the lowest prices from pharmacies competing to be included in a network.
I’d do anything