The Great Northern States Health Care Initiative is a group of people from Minnesota and Wisconsin who have come together for the purpose of advocacy for a better health care system in our respective states and the nation. Our main objective is education of ourselves and others in our communities on the imperatives of a single payer health care system.
641-715-3900, Ext. 25790#
Monday, December 31, 2012
Five ways your health care will change in 2013
Another try at keeping up with the changes....
Saturday, December 29, 2012
How Many Billions a Year Will the DSM-5 Cost? - Bloomberg
Mental health is a black sheep of health care. This article shows how the new DSM-5 could cause more problems for patients AND for cost of health care. We do not need this when we are struggling to really reform how we pay for health care. It will hurt mental health care as well as hurt health care payment reform.
Friday, December 21, 2012
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
AP News: Surprise: New insurance fee in health overhaul law
This too will hit us in the pocketbook..............
Monday, December 10, 2012
Health care creates a new state jobs boom | StarTribune.com
Not sure if this is a good thing or not for all of us but it sure seems like a good thing for unemployed folks who can be re-trained.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
UnitedHealth looks at doctors' pay for medical savings | StarTribune.com
I am not sure if or how forcing docs to become managed care monitors is really going to save money and not adversely affect our quality of care and our rights as patients. Also, this just may create more of a shortage of docs. I think we do need to do something about access outside of big cities and to lower specialist pay as we raise GP's pay.
Sunday, December 2, 2012
State health plan faces new future | StarTribune.com
An example of how the ACA could be bad for low income people if the State is not careful. This is how it could affect Minnesota Care. Wonder how it will impact Badge Care.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Kathleen Vinehout: State exchange best option for lowering health costs
And, this link will give another write up by Kathleen on Exchanges.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
UnitedHealth forecasts 2013 earnings growth
I sure wish our health care was not analyzed, etc. like all other parts of the stock market in terms of profits for shareholders as compared to affordable health care access for all citizens.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Insurers head to the malls for customers | StarTribune.com
This is really going to be crazy. I am in the middle of trying to figure out Medicare Part D choices on the official Medicare site. It is not easy, for me anyway. I can't imagine choosing among all the hype we will get on insurance policies. They are not very experienced at competing for individuals - most has been for employer groups. The coverage and cost usually are the same - kinda like the gas prices in a town. I sure wish we can get to all having the same coverage, little or no paperwork and all pay our fair share. I think that's called Single Payer.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Insurer UnitedHealth’s 3rd-quarter profit jumps 23 percent, 2012 earnings outlook climbs - The Washington Post
Millions and millions of our tax dollars are going to feather the nest of the stock holders and the billionaire CEOs of these large insurance companies and our elected officials act like government is not involved in health care.
"UnitedHealth Group Inc.’s third-quarter earnings jumped 23 percent, thanks in part to Medicare and Medicaid business growth....."; "UnitedHealth is the largest provider of Medicare Advantage plans, which are privately run versions of the government’s Medicare program for the elderly and disabled people."
'via Blog this'
Monday, October 15, 2012
Yes, Mr. Romney, Americans die for lack of health insurance - KansasCity.com
"What kind of a health policy encourages people to wait until they are in crisis, and then, as Romney explained, “you go to the hospital, you get treated … and it’s paid for, either by charity, the government or by the hospital”?
Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/10/11/3863048/yes-mr-romney-americans-die-for.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy"
Friday, September 21, 2012
Health beat: Health coverage expands - unevenly | StarTribune.com
We need the Minnesota Health Plan and one like it in Wisconsin.
Monday, September 17, 2012
Reality Check: Americans For Prosperity Health Care Ad « CBS Minnesota
Yet another example of finding a Canadian who will lie to make their health care payment system look bad and our expensive insurance company run one look good.
Video of the story.
Sunday, September 2, 2012
Editorial: A call for a mutual non-aggression pact on spending and deficits : Stltoday
Debate over who is going to cut Medicare the most outlined in this opinion piece.
Sure wish the Dems/Obama hadn't folded on the single payer idea and on the pubic option.
Boomers retiring to rural areas won't find doctors - Yahoo! News
We need Single Payer to solve this problem.
Friday, August 31, 2012
Friday, August 17, 2012
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Not poor enough: In some states you can be below the poverty line and not qualify for Medicaid | StarTribune.com
Monday, August 13, 2012
Medicaid Fight Reinvigorated With Political Light On Health Care | Minnesota Public Radio News
Well worth reading or listening to the whole story. With Ryan now on the ticket getting a true, factual picture of what they want to do with Medicare (vouchers) and Medicaid (cut it by millions by capping $ to states) is critical. I just can't get rid of the memory of the time recently when an excited group of Romney followers yelled in response to what to do about those who get Medicaid -- "Let them Die".
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Health care ruling means employers must act now
A summary of current provisions.
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Editorial: State aims to build a better Medicaid | StarTribune.com
Too bad these ideas are not being applied to the insurance companies.
Friday, July 27, 2012
Permission to Live: How I lost my fear of Universal Health Care
"When I moved to Canada in 2008, I was a die-hard conservative Republican. So when I found out that we were going to be covered by Canada’s Universal Health Care, I was somewhat disgusted. This meant we couldn’t choose our own health coverage, or even opt out if we wanted too. It also meant that abortion was covered by our taxes, something I had always believed was horrible. I believed based on my politics that government mandated health care was a violation of my freedom."
Employers shifting toward high-deductible healthcare plans - The Hill's Healthwatch
Too many see this as a good thing. It isn't as it continues to limit people's access to health care and prevention and early intervention -- thus ending with increasing cost and decreasing results in terms of health care outcomes for this country.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Expansion of Medicaid may cut death rates | StarTribune.com
People say we have the best health care in the world and yet the statistics show we are well below other industrialized countries in many, if not most, key health indicators. The US culture that has a history of treating the poor like they deserve it and do not deserve access to food, shelter and basic health care is behind those statistical results. This article and the study it reports add evidence to this supposition. Expanding coverage for poor people reduced death rates. Sad thing is there are all too many in this country who see that as a bad thing. They believe those people deserved to die and they do not deserve to have tax payer money used to provide them with health care. In countries with universal health care like Canada and Britain the man on the street responds to questions on using tax money for health care by saying "it's the right thing to do". In this country all too often the response is "I don't want my hard earned money used to help those people..they made their bed let them sleep in it".
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
WellPoint cuts outlook as 2Q profit falls 8.3 pct
I long for the day when shareholder's earning per share is not the headline in articles concerning our health care system.
Monday, July 23, 2012
Rational, accountable health care is the answer
"As a palliative care physician, I was relieved by the Supreme Court’s ruling and hope Congress allows the law to stand. This is not a partisan reaction. Diseases know no politics. I’m relieved because this law may well unravel patterns of payment and practice that promote irrational care and make dying much harder than it has to be."
This opinion piece is thought provoking - especially for us old folks.
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Insurers sending out rebate checks | StarTribune.com
"The nation's health insurers will pay out more than $1 billion in rebates over the coming days after many of them fell short of new standards that require them to spend a certain share of premiums on patient treatment."
Thursday, July 19, 2012
United Health's 2Q profit rises 5.5 percent as Health care spending slows in Minnesota
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Minn. case probes public data in outsourced work | Minnesota Public Radio News
Worth watching what happens in this case. Could allow access to all that 'secret' data the manged care companies will not release concerning the real cost of their running the MN public health care programs.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
WellPoint deal adds strength in Medicaid | StarTribune.com
"Health insurer WellPoint Inc. said on Monday that it is buying Amerigroup Corp. for $4.9 billion in a deal that signals sharp competition in the Medicaid market now that the Supreme Court has upheld the bulk of President Obama's health care law.
Saturday, July 7, 2012
What would replacing Obamacare look like?
I found this opinion piece raised a lot of issues. Finding things to disagree with is easy but trying to find common ground to build on is harder. I won't go into detail here but do suggest reading it to get the thought juices flowing. Removing coverage from the job is a major place that agreement might come. Making public programs like Medicaid more palatable to providers makes good sense if we really want to equalize access. Focusing on the "market" approach and suggesting Part D is good give me much concern.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
UnitedHealth's $20.5 billion Pentagon contract upheld | StarTribune.com
We need to keep learning how this really works. We don't want single payer to end up meaning all of our health care money will be funneled through United Health. Those billions to execs and stockholders would better be used to fund our health care.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Doug Hill: The Mandate: How does it work?
Good summary of the changes, now and in '14.
Monday, May 21, 2012
Thursday, May 17, 2012
The Associated Press: Mentally ill inmates sue to get out of solitary
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Modernize medical payment systems | StarTribune.com
This guy gives the one of the best arguments ever for single payer. I know he is selling his company's service but we shouldn't need it if we'd just see the light and enact single payer.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Attorney general: Fairview put squeeze on patients | StarTribune.com
A story for those who tell us that people can get care at hospitals even if they don't have insurance or the money to pay the high deductibles/co-pays. Hard nose collection agent's efforts in the ER of a hospital -- now that is not a pretty picture. Story also on TV @ http://cbsloc.al/J8ZOlS
Monday, April 16, 2012
America's Superficial Health Care Debate Silences Single-Payer Supporters
" "We have the solution, we have the resources and we have the money to provide lifelong, comprehensive, high-quality health care to every person," Dr. Flowers said when we spoke a few days ago in Washington, D.C. Many Americans have not accepted the single payer approach "because people get confused by the politics," she said. "People accept the Democratic argument that this [Obamacare] is all we can have or this is something we can build on."
"If you are trying to meet the goal of universal health coverage and the only way to meet that goal is to force people to purchase private insurance, then you might consider that it is constitutional," Flowers said. "
Thursday, April 12, 2012
New Conservative Reports Aims To Undermine Obamacare And Medicare At The Same Time | TPMDC
Monday, April 9, 2012
In World's Richest Country, the Uninsured Wait in Line Overnight for a Chance at Health Care
Dental and Vision Care may get left behind by ACA.
Saturday, April 7, 2012
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
The case for universal care at the state level | StarTribune.com
"Here's what we found: If Minnesota adopted a unified system with a statewide risk pool, continuous coverage, a common benefit set, and uniform payment rates and reimbursement rules, the annual administrative savings would approach $5 billion. The negotiating clout of a single buyer could save Minnesotans nearly $1 billion on prescription drugs and medical equipment. And with a single claims administrator and the subpoena powers of a state program, we could reduce fraud and realize another $200 million in savings. Paying for the system with a progressive tax structure, rather than increasingly expensive premiums, would reduce average health care costs for all households, except for those in the very highest income brackets."
The full report [Beyond the Affordable Care Act: An Economic Analysis of a Unified System of Health Care for Minnesota] mentioned in the article is available at this link.
Friday, March 30, 2012
Can Health Care Win by Losing at Highest Court?
"One early exchange between Verrilli and the chief justice featured John Roberts following a similar line of logic related to a single-payer system. The solicitor made the argument that “people cannot generally control when they enter that market or what they need when they enter that market,” prompting this response from Roberts:
Well, the same, it seems to me, would be true say for the market in emergency services: police, fire, ambulance, roadside assistance, whatever. You don’t know when you’re going to need it; you’re not sure that you will. … So can the government require you to buy a cell phone because that would facilitate responding when you need emergency services? You can just dial 911 no matter where you are?
Monday, March 26, 2012
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Insurers say reform will flop without a mandate | StarTribune.com
Since everything else nowadays seems to be decided based on what's best for big business and the richest this request by the insurance industry should guarantee a Supreme Court "all or nothing" decision.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
UnitedHealth Wins $21 Billion U.S. Military Health Contract - Bloomberg
Last week there was news on how UnitedHealth is going international getting into health insurance business in many foreign countries. Now they are getting into making money off of the health care insurance program for Veterans. The private insurance industry involvement in Medicare and Medicaid has driven up costs while reducing coverage for patients. Now it is going on for Veterans care. What's next - privatizing the Vet's Hospitals?
Zakaria: Health insurance is for everyone – Global Public Square - CNN.com Blogs
Interesting article. Shows coverage for all saves money whether single payer or non-employer insurance coverage for all.
TV show on this tomorrow night: "...be sure to watch my CNN special, Global Lessons: The GPS Road Map for Saving Health Care, Sunday, March 18, at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. E.T. and P.T. "
Monday, March 12, 2012
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Small companies working to make health pay | StarTribune.com
A good health story about staying healthy as being good for business and a story about how health coverage is good for business too. I just wish the coverage was there, was 100% and was not tied to the job. Then the benefit mentioned by Sartell in this article could apply nationwide.
Uninsured rate for young Minn. adults drops to 17% | StarTribune.com
Sunday, March 4, 2012
SOBOCINSKI: Democracy in health exchange — Minnesotans need a voice
Great Letter from Paul S.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Editorial: Grassley heightens HMO scrutiny | StarTribune.com
It is great to see an Iowa conservative going after the non-profit HMOs.
Friday, February 24, 2012
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Book Review on Starr's "Struggle Over Health Care Reform"
This long review appeared in The Nation. An interesting analysis of the history and the value of standardized administration.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Editorial: Is state overpaying health plans? | StarTribune.com
Excerpt: "In 2010, Minnesota paid an average of $441 per month, per Medicaid managed-care enrollee, to the state's four big nonprofit health plans: Medica, Blue Plus, HealthPartners and UCare. In Michigan, the average monthly amount paid to four big plans was $283. In Wisconsin, where Baumgarten had analyzed only 2009 data, the amount was $298."
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Jerome Christenson: Visit to hospital leads to revelation
A great story to support single payer.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Battle over how health insurance is sold in Minnesota begins | StarTribune.com
And the battle continues.
Jan. 1, 2013: States must demonstrate that exchanges can be operational by Jan. 1, 2014.
First half of 2013: Exchanges undergo testing.
October 2013: Open enrollment begins.
Jan. 1, 2014: States begin to offer coverage over the exchanges.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Tough talk for Minnesota's medical community | StarTribune.com
Some issues to consider here -- we do need to focus on inefficiencies and not just new fancy technologies. The article critical of Mayo (which some reports say is one of the most cost effective providers in the country) is available by clicking here.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Internal Memos: Obama Avoided Health Reforms to Build GOP Support for Legislation | NationofChange
The politics of medical funding reform............
Consumer groups fear White House may water down rule on user-friendly health plan summaries
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Editorial: Finding a cure for 'charity care' ills | StarTribune.com
Charity care does cost us all a lot of money in what hospitals charge and in what we pay for insurance and in what we pay via income and property taxes. This gets into how much 'charity care' goes on but does not really give a true picture of how much it really costs all of us.
Eliminating the Individual Mandate - RWJF
A study on the ACA's requirement to have insurance. Good to follow as this is a stepping stone toward single payer but it is really too bad that so much of our money will still go to finance such an expensive insurance system that really should just be shut down.
Health care changes: Will state of MN remain gridlocked? | StarTribune.com
The exchanges are needed as the best we can do for now. Another link to a column on the need for teamwork needed to accomplish this is here.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Why the fight to cut medical coverage for most of us?
Friday, January 13, 2012
Cracking Down on Insurance Companies, Protecting Consumers | HealthCare.gov
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Tip/Wag - Irresponsible Dead People & Insensitive Papa John's - The Colbert Report - 2012-10-01 - Video Clip | Comedy Central
This video by Colbert has great stuff on people without health insurance.
Per PNHP Jan. 12th post: "On Tuesday night, television comedian Stephen Colbert did a two-and-a-half minute segment based on GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s refusal to accept an Iowa student’s remark that 50,000 people die annually in America from lack of health insurance, a finding based on a PNHP study by Dr. Andrew Wilper, et al. The “Colbert Report” segment, which starts at the very beginning of this clip, is must watching!"
Uncompassionate Conservatism - NYTimes.com
Talks about Romney but speaks to health care:
"But most of all, we don’t see the health insurance company as providing us a service. We see ourselves, rather, as indentured supplicants forced to pay exorbitant monthly rates for a basic need that responsible people with means can’t get out of paying for if we can help it. We don’t see ourselves as in control of the relationship with them. They are in control of us–and no more so than when we get sick and need the insurance most."
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Annual growth in US health care spending at historic lows; experts debate if relief will last | StarTribune.com
Monday, January 9, 2012
Instead of tweaking system at patients’ expense, opt for single payer - Letters - The Boston Globe
Tiered coverage limits choice for patients who may prefer doctors or hospitals outside their network, and unfairly penalizes patients who can’t afford extra fees to go to providers of their choice. The SaveOn initiative that pays patients to go to less expensive service facilities, even though their doctor may not recommend them, strains the important doctor-patient relationship and raises doubt about the quality of cheaper services.
The real solution to the health care crisis should be focused on eliminating the huge administrative waste generated by the health insurance industry, the unacceptable number of uninsured, the growing number of underinsured, and the Rube-Goldberg-like systemic complexity that makes patients fall through the cracks.
Patients should be the center of a strong health care system that makes high-quality health care available to everyone regardless of ability to pay. We need a single payer system that covers everyone, provides continuous care, and is affordable and sustainable.