Tag: "Medicaid"

Will Vermont Ever Get a Single-Payer System?

money-rollsJust two small issues need to be resolved before the state gets to all systems go: First, it needs the federal government to grant waivers allowing Vermont to divert Medicaid and other health-care funding into the single-payer system. And second, Vermont needs to find some way to pay for it.

Although Act 48 required Vermont to create a single-payer system by 2017, the state hasn’t drafted a bill spelling out how to raise the additional $1.6 billion a year (based on the state’s estimate) the system needs. The state collected only $2.7 billion in tax revenue in fiscal year 2012, so that’s a vexingly large sum to scrape together…

Paying for this program would likely make Vermont the highest-taxed state in the nation, by quite a lot.

Megan McArdle.

Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

black-man-worriedWhy liberal cities are bad for blacks: Some of the most segregated cities in the U.S. are above the Mason-Dixon line, including Chicago, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Detroit.

Flight 370: If nothing else can be learned from this bizarre hunt, one thing has become clear: There’s a ton of trash in the Indian Ocean.

Day care costs more than college in 31 states.

Processing backlog: Hundreds of thousands of consumers who may qualify for new Medicaid coverage aren’t getting it.

The TRICARE Quagmire

TRICARE, the health insurance program for active duty military and their families, has a well-deserved reputation for inadequate quality at an exorbitant public cost:

  • A 2008 survey found that 96 percent of physicians accepted new commercially insured patients, 86 percent accepted new patients on Medicare, and 72 accepted new patients on Medicaid. By contrast, between 2008 and 2011, only 58 percent of civilian providers accepted new TRICARE patients.
  • Premiums for enrollees have not risen in the 17 years since TRICARE’s inception in 1996. As a result, enrollment fees for TRICARE Prime recipients remain at $38 a month, about 12.5 percent of the average cost of comparable private insurance.
  • From 2001 to 2011, general military health care spending  grew twice as fast as the rise in the nation’s overall health care costs.  The TRICARE program has largely contributed to this growth, tripling over the last decade. TRICARE spending now accounts for about 10 percent of the baseline defense budget.

Here are some solutions, proposed by NCPA’s Jacob Casey.

ObamaCare to Increase Disruption and Discontinuity of Care for Low-Income Americans

A new Health Affairs study:

  • PiStock_000004347437XSmallre-ObamaCare, approximately half of low-income adults might have experienced a change of circumstances that caused churn between Medicaid and private coverage each year.
  • Higher-income states and states that had more generous Medicaid eligibility criteria for nonelderly adults before the ACA experienced more churning.
  • Under ObamaCare, more than 40 percent of adults likely to enroll in Medicaid or subsidized exchange coverage would experience a change in eligibility within twelve months.

Why is this important? Because people who are eligible for Medicaid are not allowed to get private, subsidized insurance in the exchange and vice versa.

Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

1077More than a third of the U.S. population eligible for the Medicaid expansion are convicted criminals.

Kim Jong Un wins 100 percent of votes in North Korean election.

Wake me when it’s over: Prescriptions for sedatives up 12.5 percent annually for seven years.

“Scheduled ER visits” at New York’s Mount Sinai led to “obscene levels” of pay for cardiologists.

Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

MoreMarch 31 300 lawlessness: consumers may switch health plans before the end of March.

AIDS patients in ObamaCare limbo as insurers reject checks.

For some, the only place to get help for a mental illness is behind bars.

Almost 3 million people earning between three and four times the federal poverty rate may have to pay up to 9.5 percent of their income toward in premiums before the (ObamaCare) subsidy kicks in.

Black teenage unemployment rate at 38% and President Obama wants a higher minimum wage?

Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

DespitMedicalRecordKeyboarde the government’s bribe of nearly $27 billion to digitize patient records, nearly 70% of physicians say electronic health record (EHR) systems have not been worth it.

One-third of the new Medicaid enrollees will be inmates, parolees or people just released from prison.

Moocs (massively open online classes) are not as easy to offer as you might think.

Accenture, the contractor urgently tapped to help fix the federal health-insurance website, has a history of troubled projects and allegations of ethical lapses.

Hits and Misses

Henry Waxman to retire. :) henry_waxman-618x400

Medicaid managed care studies: they don’t save money and they don’t improve quality. But I know some who claim to do both.

Are nurses about to replace doctors in VA hospitals?

Gallup: only 4% think inequality is a major problem.

Hits and Misses

MDLivdoctor_laptope: One of the fastest-growing telemedicine startups where patients can register in minutes to speak with a board certified physician by email, on the phone, or in a video call.

Can exercise reduce cancer risk?

By the end of 2015, roughly 75% of Medicaid beneficiaries will be enrolled in a private managed care plan.

Around 50 percent of the SP500′s earnings are generated overseas…This means that our stock market is to some extent decoupled from our economy.

Government scientists deliberately giving volunteers the flu.

Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

Target drops coverage for part-time workers; send employees to the exchange.

Moody’s downgrades health insurers over ObamaCare uncertainty.

Analysis: Employers could face millions in penalties in states not expanding Medicaid [gated].