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Posts Tagged ‘Health Insurance Companies’

Crooks & Liars- By Susie Madrak Monday Feb 22, 2010 7:00am

This will be controversial, to say the least. I wonder on what legal grounds this will be asserted – and how long it will be before the insurance companies lobbyists stop it. (I also wonder why he didn’t support the public option, which would have been less directly interventionist than this, and thus, less politically risky.)

You can read the details here:

President Obama will propose on Monday giving the federal government new power to block excessive rate increases by health insurance companies, as he rolls out comprehensive legislation to revamp the nation’s health care system, White House officials said.

[…] The president’s bill would grant the federal health and human services secretary new authority to review, and to block, premium increases by private insurers, and it would create a new Health Insurance Rate Authority, comprised of health industry experts that would issue an annual report setting the parameters for reasonable rate increases based on conditions in the market.

The legislation would call on the secretary of health and human services to work with state regulators to develop an annual review of rate increases, and if increases are deemed “unjustified” the secretary or the state could block the increase, order the insurer to change it, or even issue a rebate to beneficiaries. States would be eligible for a portion of $250 million in grants to finance premium review and approval.

The new rate board would be composed of seven members, including consumer representatives, an insurance industry representative, a physician, and other experts such health economists and actuaries, the White House said. The board’s annual report would offer guidance to the public and states on whether rate increases should be approved.

The corporatist-friendly RAND think tank issued a 2004 report on a similar proposal in California, warning of unintended consequences:

This issue brief evaluates why health insurance premiums are rising and examines the potential long-term consequences of regulating premium costs, using examples from other insurance products such as automobile coverage and workers compensation. The findings underscore that if health care costs continue to rise while premiums are frozen, stringent rate regulation could lead to undesired consequences. These include:

* In the short term, insurers could balance their losses by reducing the quality or quantity of care — or both.
* Insurers could discourage unhealthy consumers from enrolling in plans, thus increasing the number of uninsured over time.
* If costs continue to rise and premiums are fixed, insurers may exit the market entirely.
* Over the longer term, regulation could discourage expensive treatments and technologies, no matter how beneficial, from coming to market. (A desirable related consequence is that premium regulation could motivate the introduction of cost-saving technologies.)

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Dean: I won’t “vigorously” support Obama’s re-election

Raw Story- By Sahil Kapur
Thursday, December 17th, 2009 — 9:20 am

WASHINGTON — Escalating his opposition to what remains of the health care legislation, former Gov. Howard Dean has taken more swipes at President Obama, after a contentious back-and-forth that led to Press Secretary Robert Gibbs publicly sniping at him on Wednesday.

Dean, who outspokenly championed the public option and also supported the Medicare buy-in, said Thursday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe that he won’t “vigorously” support Obama’s re-election in 2012.

“I’m going to support President Obama when he runs for re-election,” Dean, also a former DNC Chair, said. “Not vigorously.  I’m going to vote for him.”

Although Dean hasn’t withdrawn his support for Obama, he is a leading voice in the progressive community, and his dialed-down support of the Obama presidency as a result of this health care bill is likely to represent and ultimately fuel the sentiments among the president’s core constituency.

The show’s host, Joe Scarborough, pointed to this possibility. “‘Not vigorously!,” said Scarborough. “Boy, I can almost feel the confetti falling on my head here,” probably referring to the delight among Republicans.

VIDEO AND MORE HERE

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Howard Dean: Kill the Senate Bill

Crooks & Liars

By Heather Wednesday Dec 16, 2009 8:00am

Howard Dean reiterates what he said in an earlier interview today–Howard Dean: “Kill the Senate Bill”:

In a blow to the bill grinding through the Senate, Howard Dean bluntly called for the bill to be killed in a pre-recorded interview set to air later this afternoon, denouncing it as “the collapse of health care reform in the United States Senate,” the reporter who conducted the interview tells me.

Dean said the removal of the Medicare buy-in made the bill not worth supporting, and urged Dem leaders to start over with the process of reconciliation in the interview, which is set to air at 5:50 PM today on Vermont Public Radio, political reporter Bob Kinzel confirms to me.

The gauntlet from Dean — whose voice on health care is well respsected among liberals — will energize those on the left who are mobilizing against the bill, and make it tougher for liberals to embrace the emerging proposal. In an excerpt Kinzel gave me, Dean says:

“This is essentially the collapse of health care reform in the United States Senate. Honestly the best thing to do right now is kill the Senate bill, go back to the House, start the reconciliation process, where you only need 51 votes and it would be a much simpler bill.”

WATCH THE VIDEO & MORE HERE

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