Friday, March 26, 2010

Medicare You Can Buy Into

Health care vote expands direct government.......

Health care vote expands direct government
Single Payer passed in the new health care bill! Amazing -- they will save billions by creating a single payer system.

Too bad it isn't in the health care payment system. We will now have a government run single payer system for student loans. How ironic.............

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Obamacare shows off country's can-do spirit

Jerome Column: Obamacare shows off country's can-do spirit

A positive spin from a small town editor. Click on the link to read the column.
An excerpt: "There's been a lot of manufactured drama over the past few months. Folks dressing up in frock coats and tricorn hats have been kicking up a fuss, doing their best to scare the people into believing that making sure everybody can take their kids to the doctor is an idea Joe Stalin cooked up in the bowels of the Kremlin and that any attempt to guarantee basic medical care is as good as a ticket to the Gulag.

For month's we've heard the "No We Can't" crowd tell us that the United States of America wasn't able to do what Germany, Great Britain, France, Canada and Iceland can do. They told us we're not as resourceful as Spain, as prosperous as Cuba, as self-disciplined as Italy. Well, they're wrong, and it's about time for the costume party patriots to quit selling our country short. First of all, to the all those angry, frustrated folks demanding "I want my country back!" - it's not your country ... it's our country. Each of us has equal claim. For that matter, I'm not sure what country it is you want back or why it is you feel you've lost it."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Letter from one caught in the middle

More and more people are caught in the ever growing middle between having good insurance and being on welfare. This is an actual letter and a great message:

"Self-Employed and Farmers Need Health Care Too

My husband and I are hard working self employed farmers and have a home woodworking business which keeps us fully employed. We do not have an outside job that provides medical insurance.

Given the recent rate increases in our medical insurance premiums, paying for our own insurance is no longer an option we can afford. Here is the letter we had to send to Blue Cross Blue Shield of MN.

Customer service department,

Due to economic circumstances in our household and your two most recent rate increases we can no longer afford to or justify holding medical insurance with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota.

From our perspective the rate increase is unfounded and further depletes our monthly budget to the extent that a visit to the doctor is nearly impossible.

I am not comfortable with being under insured and still paying $539.00 per month for that privilege. Our current policy looks like a very big waste of money, of which we have so little.

I am hoping these explanations help your company to find a better way, and not just a better marketing strategy.

Please cancel my insurance policy numbered XXXX effective April 1, 2010.


xxxxxxx xxxxxxx

I have heard in the media that the insurance rates are going up so much because of all the lay offs and employers dropping coverage. So, we have to pay more because more and more people don't have coverage. All I know for sure is that the rates on our insurance policy have increased every year in the time we have had it, both in good times and bad.

We need a different way to do this. A way so hard working people don't get left out.

We applaud the effort to extend health care to low income people, but self employed farmers, and others who are self employed and small businesses need affordable health care coverage also. We have always considered the United States to be a great country to live and work in, but now many of who fall in the middle are being forced to take the gamble that we won't get drastically sick and save the dollars that were spending on medical insurance to use to actually go see a doctor if we need to. The policy we were in had a deductible so high that a visit to the doctor’s office would result us making monthly payments to the provider on top of the premiums to the insurance company, what is also known as being "underinsured".

America’s current health care system means people pay more and get less – until they can’t even afford it any more. That weakens our economy, undermines families, concentrates wealth in fewer and fewer hands, and puts people’s long-term health at risk. It’s clear to me that America would be stronger with a decent health care system.

In my mind, we in our state of Minnesota can and should do much better on health care, and can help lead the nation on real reform that works and fits average people's budgets. We can’t afford to keep letting this slide."

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Reinventing care for poor means relying less on ER |

Reinventing care for poor means relying less on ER |
Minnesota politicians say they have a wonderful solution to the Governor's threat to stop the medical payment program for the poorest of the poor - GAMC. I love this quote from the article in the Trib.

"First, create a new system to provide comprehensive medical care for 32,000 adults, many of them homeless and chronically ill, add social work and psychological counseling, do it on a budget slashed from $219 million to $91 million -- and roll it out in 12 weeks.

Second, convince Samuel Matoke and other skeptical users of General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC) -- living on $203 a month and preoccupied with getting a meal and a bed -- that the best care starts in a low-cost medical clinic, not an expensive hospital emergency room.

"The emergency room, that's where you can go anytime," Matoke said last week during an interview at St. Stephen's shelter near downtown Minneapolis. "Maybe they don't like you too much, but they fix you up when you get really sick or you break your arm.""

A County hospital can't say no to this since a dime is better than nothing even if it means losing a dollar. But our system has such a history of driving the poor and sickest to ERs (which we all pay for in premiums, co-pays and taxes) that changing patient behavior will be very hard. And don't forget that often those arriving at the ER were taken there by others after hours.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Op-Ed Columnist - Health Reform Myths -

Op-Ed Columnist - Health Reform Myths -
Good summary of what the major myths are. Appreciate that Krugman says it would be better to have Medicare for All but let's get what we can right now.

One Payer - One Plan - One Pool

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Bill George: Time to transform state's health care |

Bill George: Time to transform state's health care | "Many great ideas here - except the ideas for using private for profit health insurance as a part of the system. HMO's managed care model has failed. High deductibles are failing and will fail as they cream the healthy off the top and hurt the old, poor and sick. The only way we can afford the team based, high quality model is to rid ourselves of the 30% of our money going into insurance company profits and CEO salaries and shareholders. One Payer, One Plan -- that is the only way we can afford change. Minnesota was the birthplace of HMOs. Let's be the birthplace of a better system -- enact the Minnesota Health Plan. []"