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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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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Thank You, Justice Roberts, For Saving Our Butts

If House Speaker John Boehner decided to express his gratitude for the King v. Burwell ruling – and he should – it might sound like this.

In the Supreme Court’s ruling Thursday, Chief Justice John Roberts provided a truthful assessment of what would happen to the health insurance marketplace if the requirement to purchase insurance and the federal subsidies to help people afford coverage were declared unlawful in all but a few states. It would collapse.

Because of the hyper

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Free Market Ideology Doesn’t Work for Health Care

Costs imposed by ‘medical industrial complex’ defy reason.

In my column last week I suggested that one of the reasons Americans tolerate paying so much more for health care than citizens of any other country — and getting less to show for it — is our gullibility. We’ve been far too willing to believe the self-serving propaganda we’ve been fed for decades by health insurers and pharmaceutical companies and every other part of the medical-industrial complex, a term New England

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Insurers Backed Obamacare, Then Undermined It. Now They’re Profiting From It

Playing all sides of the street on Obamacare.

Anyone who still thinks the Affordable Care Act was a “government takeover of health care” should consider this headline from the news pages of last Thursday’s Investor’s Business Daily:

UnitedHealth Profit Soars On Obamacare, Optum—April 16, 2015

That’s from a Wall Street publication whose editorial writers have rarely missed an opportunity to bash the health care reform law. Here are a few other headlines, these from IBD’s editorial page, just

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Consumers Getting ‘Skinned’ by Health Insurers

Bigger premiums, more cost sharing equate to big profits.

The reason health care costs are so high is because Americans don’t have nearly enough “skin in the game.”

That was the phrase that many of my former colleagues in the insurance industry and I began using in the early 2000s as a way to deflect attention away from us.

Americans — especially American employers — looked to private insurers to help control medical costs. But insurers were failing miserably, and

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Why I’m OK Having a Mid-Level Dental Practitioner Work on My Teeth

Would you trust someone with two years of dental training to pull one of your teeth or fill a cavity?

If you’re like me–or like I used to be–I’m pretty sure you’re saying, “Not a chance.”

Until a few years ago, I wouldn’t have believed that anyone with 24 months of training (plus a six- to 12-month preceptorship) could help solve America’s dental healthcare crisis. Now I know better.

I first heard about dental therapists from Dr. Gail Christopher, Vice …

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High-Stakes Health Care Battle in the Green Mountain State

Upcoming financing plan will reignite debate over single-payer system in Vermont.

Two weeks from now, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin will describe how he thinks the country’s first state-based single payer system will be financed. Whether the Green Mountain State keeps moving forward with its goal of achieving universal coverage while also reducing the growth of health care spending depends largely on how the state’s residents and businesses react to what Shumlin has in mind.

Vermont lawmakers passed a bill in

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Exploding The Myths About American Health Care

New documentary takes ‘world’s best’ system to task.

I don’t agree with Romney and Obama health care advisor Jonathan Gruber that Americans are stupid, but there is abundant evidence that we’re incredibly gullible. And we’re paying a big price for it. For the latest evidence, check out the documentary Remote Area Medical, which opens in select theaters across the country this coming Friday.

We’ve been told over and over again by politicians and flacks—including me in my previous

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Court Case Pushed By Think Tank Could Leave Uninsured Out In The Cold

Supremes to decide challenge to Obamacare based on a single sentence.

At least four million Americans will rejoin the ranks of the uninsured—and consequently lose access to affordable health care—if the Supreme Court sides with opponents of Obamacare in a case that hinges on the interpretation of a single sentence in the law. But if that’s the price that has to be paid to impose an ideology that worships the so-called free market no matter what the cost, so be

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