Sunday, March 27, 2011

Winona Daily News Editorial on HMO's running Medicaid

Our view: Making sure Minnesota gets the best deal:
These comments talk about transparency and accountability. It mentions how HMOs hide behind the idea of not having to reveal "Trade Secrets". In Minnesota HMOs, by law, are to be non-profits. However, they operate as "for profits" are are beholden to the big boy "for profit" - United Health. All states should be pushing for reducing the political control the big multi-million dollar HMO/insurance CEOs have of the legislative process.
If the link to the editorial doesn't work, a copy is here.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dr. Frank Bures: Doctors overwhelmed by needless regulation

Dr. Frank Bures: Doctors overwhelmed by needless regulation:
If the above link to the article doesn't work, try this copy.

This local Doc's comments on the red tape he has to deal with and how it raises cost are worth considering in the efforts at reform. An excerpt:
"In order to implement the process, immense expense will be incurred to the benefit of the medical computer companies, such as Cerner, which has Winona in its grip. Every time there needs to be a change, it’s an “upgrade,” leading to additional cost. This adds to the charges you and I pay for “medical care.”

The private insurers have followed suit, and have cleverly twisted it further to their advantage to add even more layers of insurance cost, siphoning off real dollars that could be spent for true medical care.

This is a small fraction of the complexity that has become everyday life

for doctors. The insurers, private or public, the administrations of hospital groups, the bureaucrats assigned to monitor “health care” have become entirely self-serving and self-perpetuating."

Monday, March 7, 2011

Editorial from Mass. : Official’s single-payer comment worth longer look - Watertown, MA - Watertown TAB & Press

Editorial: Official’s single-payer comment worth longer look - Watertown, MA - Watertown TAB & Press

"It sounds strange, but one way to rein in health costs may be to get the private sector to become as efficient as the government."

Minn. Senator Wants To Kick HMOs Out of Public Health Plans

Created: 03/06/2011 10:44 PM

State Senator, John Marty, (DFL) Roseville, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS  that he plans to introduce legislation this week that would eliminate seven HMOs from delivering public health care plans like Meidicaid and Minn-Care.  Marty says HMOs spend three billion dollars of your tax dollars every year on public health care plans and do not open their books to state auditors. According to HMOs, they made a 109-million dollar profit on those programs in 2009 alone. Marty says, if HMOs are unwilling to submit to state audits, then he wants them removed from the process entirely.
Marty says the state of Connecticut faced a similar issue with HMOs refusing to submit to state audits, so the governor in that state kicked them out of the public programs. The Minnesota Council on Health Plans declined our request for an on-camera interview, but in a written statement the HMOs say they have delivered high quality health care at an affordable price to low-income Minnesotans for 25 years. They also said there are better options to transparency and efficiency than having government take over health care.

[Full newspaper article and series of KSTP stories in this document.]

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Power Point Presentation on the Need for Reform

United Health's incredibly wealthy CEO Helmsley flustered by protesters

MN Progressive Project:: United Health's incredibly wealthy CEO Helmsley flustered by protesters

This article on what Take Action did at a speech by Helmsley is great. We need more of this.
If the above link doesn't work, try this one.

A Union Guy, a Teabagger and a CEO

"A unionized public employee, a teabagger, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table there is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, looks at the teabagger and says, "Look out for that union guy -- he wants a piece ...of your cookie."

Seems to relate to the Wendel Potter article in NYT in above link.  If that link doesn't work, try this one.