Despite ObamaCare Supporters’ Claims, Health Insurance Plans Prior to ObamaCare Exchanges Were Neither ‘Crappy’ Nor ‘Substandard’

From David Hogberg at the National Center for Public Policy Research:

When millions of people in the individual health insurance market lost their health plans in late 2013, ObamaCare supporters claimed those lost plans were “substandard” or “crappy.” However, they failed to support that contention.

This study examines the claim that the policies on the individual market were inferior in quality to those on the ObamaCare exchanges. First, it compares the premiums and the size of the deductibles as well as maximum out-of-pocket costs of policies on the individual market prior to the exchanges to those of current polices on the exchanges. Second, it examines the quality of provider networks by comparing the number of plans that are HMOs versus those that are PPOs in the individual market prior to the exchanges and those now on the exchanges.

The study finds that there were many policies on the individual market that had lower premiums and lower or equal deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums than the cheapest plans now available on the exchanges. It also finds that the individual market prior to the exchanges offered a greater choice of hospitals and physicians since it contained far more PPO policies than HMO policies, whereas the exchanges offer more HMO policies.

Read the whole study: Despite ObamaCare Supporters’ Claims, Health Insurance Plans Prior to ObamaCare Exchanges Were Neither ‘Crappy’ Nor ‘Substandard’.

Via the National Center for Policy Analysis.

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Medicaid Expansion: Wisconsin got it right by liberating people from Medicaid ghetto

As Devon M. Herrick concludes his policy brief :

On paper, Medicaid coverage appears far better than what most Americans enjoy — with lower cost-sharing and unlimited benefits. But by almost all measures, Medicaid enrollees fare worse than similar patients with private insurance and often experience worse health issues than patients with no insurance. Wisconsin made a wise choice when it decided to forgo a full Medicaid expansion in favor of a smaller program that would maximize the availability of private coverage for Wisconsin’s low-income residents

Read more: Medicaid Expansion: Wisconsin Got It Right | NCPA.

More on the Medicaid ghetto here and here.

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Obamacare Medical Device Tax: Sending Research, Development and Innovation Overseas

From the National Center for Policy Analysis:

The effect of Obamacare on innovation within the health care sector is staggering. Scott Atlas, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, explains how the law has begun to change research, development and innovation — activities which traditionally have taken place in the United States — thanks to the ACA’s $500 billion in new taxes, many of which fall on medical device and drug manufacturers. The result? Companies are moving overseas.

via Obamacare: Sending Research, Development and Innovation Overseas.

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Who Decides What Medical Care You Receive At End of Life?

In Forbes, Paul Hsieh, MD writes:

Any government-funded health care system must necessarily set limits on medical spending. No government can issue a blank check for unlimited medical care for everyone. The only issue is where and how it draws that line.

This is an inherent part of any socialized medical system, such as in Canada or the UK. Put simply, if you expect “somebody else” to pay for your health care, then “somebody else” will ultimately decide what care you may (or may not) receive. …

Who should decide what care you receive towards the end of your life — you or an “administrative tribunal” of “experts and wise community members”? If you want to retain control over your medical care, you must retain control over your medical dollars. He who pays the piper calls the tune. Make sure the tune being called is the one you want.

via Who Decides What Medical Care You Receive At End of Life?.

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How Price Controls Contribute to High Medicare Bills

From Peter Suderman at Reason:

The basic issue here is that when you cap prices on services, you end up creating a system in which providers have a huge incentives to bill for more services. As Brookings health policy scholar Dr. Darshak Sanghavi tells the Times, “The notion is you can make end runs around price controls by increasing the number of things you do and bill for.”

Indeed, pricing systems end up creating opportunities for consultants and middlemen to help doctors figure out how to maximize their billing

More: How Price Controls Contribute to High Medicare Bills.

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Mark Sklar: Doctoring in the Age of #ObamaCare

In The Wall Street Journal, Mark Sklar writes about endlessly entering data or calling for permission to prescribe or trying to avoid Medicare penalties—when should I see patients? Sklar writes:

The patient should be the arbiter of the physician’s quality of care. Contrary to what our government may believe, the average American has the intellectual capacity to judge. To give people more control of their medical choices, we should move away from third-party payment. t may be more prudent to offer the public a high-deductible insurance plan with a tax-deductible medical savings account that people could use until the insurance deductible is reached. Members of the public thus would be spending their own health-care dollars and have an incentive to shop around for better value. This would encourage competition among providers and ultimately lower health-care costs.

Mark Sklar: Doctoring in the Age of ObamaCare – WSJ.

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Filed under Policy - National, regulation

#ObamaCare Exchanges Recklessly, Often Unlawfully, Throwing Taxpayer Money At Health Insurance Companies

Michael Cannon at Cato:

This is part of a deliberateconsistent strategy by the Obama administration to throw money at individual voters and key health care industry groups—lawfully or not—to buy support for this consistently unpopular law.

More: ObamaCare Exchanges Recklessly, Often Unlawfully, Throwing Taxpayer Money At Health Insurance Companies | Cato @ Liberty.

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Filed under insurance, tax code, HSAs