Privatizing Medicare Would Create More Problems Than it Solves

Elderly health program was created 50 years ago for a reason.

Republicans have long dreamed of finding a way to either privatize or get rid of Medicare, a program that has provided access to health care for well over 100 million Americans since it was created in 1965. As presidential candidate and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush made clear a few days ago, that dream is still alive.

While many Democrats and Medicare beneficiaries were making plans to celebrate the

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Priceless Safety Net Reaches Golden Anniversary

Medicare’s impressive milestone is reason to celebrate the safety net and time for supporters to wake up to threat of increased privatization.

Happy birthday, Medicare! Happy Golden Anniversary!

If you’re just a few decades old, you might be surprised to learn that Medicare, the publicly financed health insurance program for America’s senior (65 and older) and disabled citizens is just turning 50 this month. It has become such a part of the nation’s fabric that, unless you know its history,

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Latest Swing of Revolving Door Puts Former Medicare Czar in Charge of Health Insurance Lobby

Tavenner appointment reveals that insurers will continue to chase federal money.

Washington’s notorious revolving door was in full swing again last week as the health insurance industry snagged another top federal official to help it get what it wants out of lawmakers and regulators.

America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s biggest lobbying and PR group, announced Wednesday that its new president, starting next month, will be none other than Marilyn Tavenner, who served as the chief administrator of the Centers

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GOP Myth: Obamacare is Driving Insurance Mergers

Other factors are fueling the proposed Aetna-Humana and Anthem-Cigna marriages.

Republican lawmakers and their friends in Washington’s conservative think tanks have put forth another reason Americans should hate Obamacare: it’s making the country’s biggest insurance companies gobble each other up. If the recently announced deals actually happen, they say, we’ll have fewer insurance choices.

When the CEOs of Aetna and Humana announced a few days ago that they had agreed to a deal in which Aetna will pay $37 billion

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Coming Health Insurance Mergers Will Cost Consumers

Talk of ‘eliminating redundancies’ really means layoffs.

The number of health insurers competing for your business almost certainly will decrease in coming months as the big for-profit firms merge or acquire each other.  The companies insist that the results will enable them to operate more efficiently  through the elimination of redundancies. But don’t expect your premiums to go down when the dust settles. In fact, if the past is prologue, premiums will go up.

The biggest beneficiaries will be the

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Insurers’ Arguments Key to Supreme Court Decision

Upholding Obamacare only way to avoid ‘death spiral.

It is clear from both the first paragraph and closing comments in the Supreme Court’s decision upholding Obamacare subsidies that the justices listened more closely to the insurance industry than perhaps any other party.

In an amicus brief it filed with the court in King v. Burwell, America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s main trade group, painted a dire picture of what would happen to the private health insurance market—and to

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Industry Lobbies Hard to Snuff Out Tax on Medical Devices

Funds go to support Affordable Health Care Act.

If there ever was a piece of legislation influenced by campaign contributions and lobbyists, the bill to repeal a 2.3 percent excise tax on medical device manufacturers, which the House passed last Thursday, would be it.

Forty-six Democrats joined 234 Republicans to repeal the tax, which was authorized by the Affordable Care Act as one of the ways to pay for the expansion of health insurance to millions of uninsured Americans. The

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The Best Health Care System in the World? Nonsense!

Let’s stop buying the party line from insurers and drug companies.

Americans spend more per capita on health care than people anywhere else in the world, yet outcomes in every other developed country are better on almost every measure, from infant mortality to life expectancy.

A big reason for that is our collective gullibility. We continue to believe what many politicians tell us, despite evidence to the contrary: that we have the best health care system in the world.

Similarly,

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Obamacare Exchanges Help, But Confused Consumers Are Still Spending Too Much

Folks are happy with health coverage, but still confused by choices.

Here’s the good news: 74 percent of people nationwide who enrolled in health insurance plans through the Obamacare exchanges rate their coverage as excellent or good.  That’s according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey released last Thursday.

Here’s the not so good news: There’s a better than even chance that many of those folks did not pick the plan that is best suited to their needs. As a consequence,

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Insurers’ High-Deductible Plans Leave Many Without Needed Care

Study shows more Americans entering ranks of the underinsured.

A dozen or so years ago, a small group of wealthy corporate insurance executives decided their customers were not paying nearly enough for the medical care they received. How else to explain the fact that managed care — which they had touted as a silver bullet just a decade earlier — had failed miserably at controlling health care costs.

Those executives came to embrace as the newest silver bullet a strategy …

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