Presidential Aspirations for Medicare’s future

In case you missed a discussion of the senior safety net in the early debates, here’s a look at what presidential candidates are thinking.

If you’ve watched all of the presidential debates so far – both Democratic and Republican – and you were waiting for the candidates to tell you if and how they would change Medicare, you are still waiting.

Not one of the candidates has provided much in the way of insights on the debate stage about how

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The ‘Casino Effect’ on Your Health Insurance Rates

If you’re being hit with a huge rate hike on your individual health plan next year, your insurance carrier likely ‘placed bad bets’ last year.

Minnesotans who get health insurance through the individual market last week became the latest in the country to get unwelcome news: the cost of their coverage will likely go up significantly next year. According to the state’s Commerce Department, which regulates insurance in the North Star state, some customers of Blue Cross and Blue Shield

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Presidential Candidates in Fantasy Land Over Health Care

Candidates say this and that about health care, but it’s the insurers and pharmaceutical companies that call the tune.

Presidential candidates from both parties are full of sound and fury about various aspects of the U.S. health care system, but unless we as a nation get serious about big money in politics, all the noise will ultimately amount to nothing.

Every one of the Republican candidates has pledged to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. But I’m not

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Insurers Using Lobbying Muscle, Campaign Cash to Push Mergers

Firms pulling Washington’s power levers on Capitol Hill.

The CEOs of Aetna and Anthem, the two big insurers that have offered to pay more than $90 billion to buy two competitors, Humana and Cigna, will testify before a Senate panel Tuesday, in an effort to persuade lawmakers that the deals will be good for consumers. Physician and hospital trade groups and health care advocates are among those that disagree,

Appearing before a Senate Judiciary committee that oversees antitrust issues

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Insurers Say Private Medicare Plans Are Better, But We Really Don’t Know

Firms hold tight to data, so comparing their programs with traditional Medicare not possible.

Health insurers have been telling us for years that their Medicare Advantage plans, which are federally funded but privately run alternatives to traditional fee-for-service Medicare, can provide better care—at lower cost—than the government.

One of my priorities when I worked in the industry was to perpetuate that notion. And I believed the PR, so much so that I encouraged my own parents to enroll in a

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WalkerCare Gives Women Reasons to Worry Again

Walker plan envisions a return to an ‘open market’ that rolls back ACA’s consumer protections and ratchets up premiums for women.

If women are beginning to get a tad concerned about what their world might be like if the next occupant of the White House is a Republican, they have more reason to worry now that some of the GOP candidates for president are cluing us in about their Obamacare replacement plans.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday issued a

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Merger of Health Insurers Usually Leads to Big Payday for Executives

Policyholders end up paying more, according to studies.

If regulators approve the recently announced mega-deals in which Aetna, Inc. would buy Humana Inc. and Anthem Inc. would buy Cigna Corp., will consumers benefit? Or will the winners be limited primarily to the executives and shareholders of the companies involved?

If history is guide, the big winners will be — you guessed it — company executives and shareholders. The companies’ customers, on the other hand, likely will have the privilege of

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Why Pre-Existing Conditions Mattered … to Millions

Before Obamacare became law, Americans faced rejection of individual health coverage for any one of 400 medical conditions.

The Republican candidates for president who say they’ll lead the charge to repeal Obamacare if they’re elected (that would be all 17 of them) might want to take note of the most recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll: more Americans are now for the law than against it. If you don’t believe me, take a look at this.

Granted, it’s not by

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Health Insurers Working the System to Pad Their Profits

Taking advantage of Medicare Advantage.

One of the reasons the health insurance industry worked behind the scenes in 2009 and 2010 to derail Obamacare was the fear that changes mandated by the law would cut their Medicare Advantage profits. Medicare Advantage plans are federally funded but privately run alternatives to traditional fee-for-service Medicare.

Although the industry’s biggest trade group, America’s Health Insurance Plans, said repeatedly that insurers supported Obamacare, the group was secretly financing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s TV

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