This Week in Health Care

StethoscopeThis post was prepared by research associate, Jerrod Attias.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has begun examining the role that pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) play in rising drug prices, starting with a hearing this week on the drug delivery system. Drug manufacturers have blamed PBMs for rising prices and Senators from both sides of the aisle have called for more transparency in drug price negotiations. (Morning Consult)

According to a new report from the Office of the Chief Actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the House health care bill would result in 13 million more Americans uninsured by 2026. This is 10 million fewer uninsured than predicted by the CBO estimate. (CNBC)

In a private meeting with Senate Republicans, President Trump reportedly called the House health care bill “mean” and urged the Senate version to be “more generous.” Senate Republicans are currently working on their own health care reform which they hope to vote on next month. (Associated Press)

Major health insurer Centene announced plans to expand into three more insurance exchanges and increase coverage options in six states. This comes at a time when competitors such as Humana and Aetna are weighing large price increases or have exited exchanges altogether. (The Washington Post)

Senate Republicans are weighing options to address state differences in Medicaid spending. One proposal would use higher growth rates for lower spending states when determining yearly increases in federal funding for Medicaid. Senate Majority Whip Jon Cornyn points to this dispute as a major sticking point in Senate negotiations over a revised health care bill. (Roll Call)

Comments (7)

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  1. Lee Benham says:

    It’s the Blind leading the Blind. Of course it’s brilliant for Centene to expand when all the other competition has left the market. If they are the only ones left just triple the price! The regulators will look the other way as long as they have at least one carrier. After all its only tax payers money. Using anything with CMS information is like having Jerry Lewis play Brando’s role in the Godfather.

    Medicaid , Keeping kids on policies until 26, Schip policies. I don’t think the government could come up with more ways to waste tax dollars if they tried.

  2. Ron Greiner says:

    In Maricopa County in Arizona, zip code 85002, Centene charges way too much for worthless HMO coverage. 30-year-old couples with two children are charged $1,234 a month, $14,808 per year, for a $6,800 deductible per person, which pays nothing if a sick child goes out of network. In contrast, in the free and open market United Health Care, the Nation’s largest insurer, has Short-Term-Medical (STM) for this family with a little $2,500 per person deductible then 100% coverage, on a much better PPO plan, for just $487 a quarter or $1,948 a year. America wake up, would this young family prefer to pay $14,808 a year for Centene’s worthless HMO with a sky-high deductible or $1,948 a year with a little deductible and save $12,860 so they will be able to purchase Christmas presents for their children?

    Centene doesn’t care about value for their customers and their plan doesn’t qualify for a tax free HSA so their families pay Federal and Arizona State income tax on medical, vision and dental expenses making them even more expensive. If this family gets the better PPO coverage and saves in their tax-free HSA ($6,750) they will save $2,025 in taxes (30% combined Federal and State income tax) or they save more in taxes than the cost of their family’s health insurance!

    Centene CEO Neidorff is sweating bullets because he knows that when TrumpCare is passed and this Maricopa County in Arizona family gets their $9,000 in Trumpcare age-based tax credits and has to decide to get Centene’s $14,808 plan or United Health Care’s $1,948 HSA-PPO plan, Cenetene will be just a bad memory from America’s corrupt past.

    Goofball Neidoroff is making $22,000,000 a year and serves as Treasurer of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

    Neidoroff told stock holders he didn’t think Obamacare replacement will effect the company’s Medicaid business if $800 billion is taken out of Medicaid. This sounds illegal to me. These public companies are bound by ETHICS and the SEC.

    • Ron Greiner says:

      Like rats abandoning a sinking ship the insurance companies are leaving the Obamacare Exchange. To counter this fact the New York TIMES today has socialist propaganda titled: Trump Says Market is Failing but One Insurer Bets Big on Obamacare by Margot Sanger-Katz. Margot starts with, “The Obamacare insurance markets aren’t as shaky as President Trump seems to believe.” I’m rolling on the floor here. Margot reports that Missouri Medicaid Company Centene is going to plug all of the holes in America where Obamacare has eliminated all insurers in 2018. Centene is flush with cash because they are Medicaid billionaires. When TrumpCare is passed the shareholders of Centene will have a tear in their beer when their stock plummets. When Obamacare was passed Centene stock was $9 a share and today it is flying high at $78. Centene stock is headed to ZERO with TrumpCare.

      The NY TIMES reports, “Centene has experience being the only insurer in a market. It was the sole carrier in Maricopa County in Arizona, a place forsaken by its competitors.” Centene’s business model is to sell insurance where all competition has been eliminated by government regulation. The NY TIMES further asserts, “Economists generally view such bare counties as a good bet for insurance companies, which would face no competition and little resistance from local regulators if they charged high prices for coverage.” Centene CEO Neidorff says, “The vast majority of Obamacare marketplace customers receive federal subsidies to help purchase their coverage and would essentially not be harmed by any price increases.” In other words, Neidorff thinks you can massively overcharge for insurance because nobody cares as the Federal taxpayers are footing the bill, disgusting.

  3. Ron Greiner says:

    Devon, I listened to you on Breitbart Radio podcast and I was amazed. Your tone of voice and that Texas drawl, plus the stuttering, makes it sound like you are a cowboy instead of a PHD. The host gave you plenty of questions to explain the problem with health insurance in America and you were totally worthless. To fix the system you said in Singapore the government made everybody save 10% of income and we should do that in America, unreal.

    No mention of the tax-free HSA. No mention how employer-based insurance terminates the sick employees’ insurance. I have to tell you that I am a salesman with Tone-Of-Voice (TOV) and you better pray that you never have to debate me because you my friend would lose, BIGLY.

    Devon, you and Dr. John Graham say that you don’t like employer-based health insurance yet you NEVER write about how dangerous it is when a bald headed woman with ovarian cancer loses her insurance. What is the deal? Why don’t you share with all of us the post that you are the most proud of that explains this FACT.

    Imagine all of the dead people in America because you refuse to truthfully explain the dangers of employer-based health insurance. I personally called you over a decade ago when you lied and said Golden Rule was the 1st to market MSAs and I was very clear then. Remember, I told you if you got a head full of brain tumors that you would lose your NCPA Blue Cross employer-based insurance? YOU didn’t have much to say to argue with the TRUTH over the phone.

    Why are you riding shotgun and protecting employer-based insurance Devon?

  4. Ron Greiner says:

    Did you see the movie Idiocracy where the guy sleeps for 500 years and he wakes up and everybody is an idiot? I have to tell you I think I must have slept for 1000 years!

    1 minute 39 seconds

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBvIweCIgwk

  5. Lee Benham says:

    This just shows how ignorant the public is on what is actually happening. But its a catchy school house rock song.

    https://vimeo.com/222279889

    • Ron Greiner says:

      Ignorant is way too nice Lee. President Trump says FAKE News and he is correct.

      FOX News billionaire owner terminates his own employees when they get cancer and too sick to work. Rupert sends them a COBRA notice which triggers a magical Obamacare Special Enrollment Period (SEP) and us stupid taxpayers pay to switch the bald headed sick employee to Individual Medical (IM) insurance and Rupert laughs all the way to the bank.

      Chris Wallace and Megyn Kelly didn’t ask Hillary any Obamacare questions during the Presidential Debates because FOX News uses Obamacare to shed their liabilities with their own employees. Rupert takes premiums from employees and when they get cancer the taxpayers pay the bill anyway. I guess every newspaper in America is doing exactly the same thing and that is why they are all dedicated to selling Obamacare.

      Where is the NCPA? Where is the CATO? Where are all of the NON TAXED think tanks on telling the TRUTH?

      I say tax them all for riding shotgun for the Socialists.

      Tax the think tanks and drain the swamp – Vote Trump!

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