Reform Will Help Level Premium Costs

Obamacare’ may make coverage more affordable for ill.

Recently I was one of three witnesses to testify before a House committee hearing on whether the cost of health insurance will be higher or lower for people who cannot obtain it through their employer when important provisions of the Affordable Care Act go into effect in a few months.

I cited studies that indicate the overall cost of coverage — premiums plus out-of-pocket obligations — will be lower. The others on …

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Real-world Health Insurance Math Doesn’t Add Up

Graduate student was covered, but had to call out Aetna to get cancer treatment paid for.

Aetna’s had a lot to say lately about how  business is good. The company disclosed last week that it made $458 million in profits this spring, and said it expected to make more money this year than executives previously thought possible. The firm also signaled it set aside three quarters of a billion dollars from policyholders to buy back shares of its own stock

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The Cost of Care for Colorado’s Victims

Hospitals step up – but only in America could the cost of care bankrupt the wounded.

One of the reasons Americans seem so willing to tolerate the fact that 50 million of us are uninsured and almost 30 million more of us are underinsured is that most of us who have coverage assume we are OK. That nothing truly catastrophic will happen to us, and that, even if it did, our insurance policies will pay our bills and keep us

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Translating the Insurance Industry’s Feel-Good Rhetoric

Focus group bromides obscure real intentions.

Health insurers avoided their worst case scenario last week — the prospect of the Supreme Court striking down the individual mandate but letting the rest of the health care law, especially profit-threatening consumer protections, go forward. Now the industry can focus on a goal it has had all along: getting rid of those pesky consumer protections.

That goal was clear to me from the reaction statement issued by America’s Health Insurance Plans. The statement

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Flip-flop on Healh-Care Refrom Casts President as Modern-Day Julius Caesar

Et tu, Ron?

As President Obama read former Aetna CEO Ron Williams’ op-ed in The Wall Street Journal renouncing his support for a key provision of the health care reform law, he must have felt like Julius Caesar when Caesar realized, as he drew his last breath, that his close friend Brutus was in cahoots with his assassins.

Williams’ betrayal appeared in last Monday’s edition of the Journal under the headline, “Why I No Longer Support the Health Insurance Mandate.” 

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Shareholders Raising Ruckus About CEO Pay

Cigna chief enjoyed 25 percent raise.

One of my responsibilities when I was head of corporate communications at Cigna was to help ensure that the company’s annual meeting of shareholders ran smoothly and, if at all possible, attracted no negative publicity.

I always dreaded the annual meeting because you really never knew if one or more disgruntled shareholders might show up and ask rude questions of the CEO. But during all of my years of helping plan those meetings, we

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Hope the Supremes strike down ObamaCare? Get ready for PanemCare

Since Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia clearly isn’t going to take the time to actually read the health care reform law before he decides whether or not it’s constitutional, maybe he and a couple of his buddies on the High Court can catch a screening of “The Hunger Games”, the movie about children battling each other to the death in a futuristic America, renamed Panem.

“You really want us to go through these 2,700 pages?” Scalia asked during arguments on …

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Lack of Leadership at the Top of Corporate Ladder

Health insurers or investment banks, the values are still misplaced.

As I was reading former Wall Street executive Greg Smith’s bombshell of an Op-Ed in the New York Times last week, I mentally inserted the names of the big for-profit health insurers — two of which I worked for — in place of Goldman Sachs, where Smith worked until resigning on the day his column was published.

Smith wrote that he decided to leave Goldman-Sachs because it had veered so

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Another Family’s Tragic Tale of Unaffordable Health Care

Plight of uninsured Alabama girl illustrates need for reform.

“It shouldn’t be this way,” read the subject line of an email I received Friday morning from a conservative friend and fellow Southerner. “People shouldn’t have to beg for money to pay for medical care.”

At first, I thought he was referring to my column last week in which I wrote about the fundraising effort to cover the bills, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, that the husband of Canadian skier

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The High Cost of Allowing Health Insurers To Continue Keeping Us In The Dark

In his State of the Union address, President Obama said very little about health care reform, but what he did say was a reminder of how tight a grip the insurance industry has on the U.S. health care system — and will continue to have if the Affordable Care Act is not implemented as Congress intended. And it is largely up to the President to make sure that it is.

“I will not go back to the days when health …

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