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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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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Former Rep. Allyson Schwartz’s New Group, The Better Medicare Alliance, Is Not What It Appears

Fronting for a phony front group.

The health insurance industry took advantage of Washington’s infamous revolving door last week when it named former Rep. Allyson Schwartz of Pennsylvania, perceived by many to be a liberal Democrat, as the face of its latest K Street-operated front group.

Schwartz, a former five-term member of Congress who made an unsuccessful bid for Pennsylvania governor last year, announced in an email blast Tuesday that she had found work again, not back home but back

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Energy Firms, Health Insurers Deftly Use Others to Spread Propaganda

The disinformation dance.

I usually don’t pay a lot of attention to the songs on a restaurant’s playlist, but when “The Old Rugged Cross” came on at the Manassas, Virginia, Cracker Barrel as I was traveling to Tennessee recently, I put my fork down and listened.

Hearing the hymn took me back nearly half a century to my childhood in Kingsport, Tennessee. Every Sunday morning, we listened to the “hymn program” on WMCH, a Christian radio station, as we got

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Fed War on Health Care Spending Abuse Needs to Include Medicare Advantage

Obama administration bragging about anti-fraud efforts, but Center report showed bigger dollars are being lost elsewhere.

The Obama administration went to great lengths last week to inform us that it recovered $3.3 billion in fraudulent payments to Medicare health care providers in fiscal year 2014. Officials even went so far as to give an advance copy of their report to The Wall Street Journal, which, like the Center for Public Integrity, has been investigating Medicare fraud and abuse.

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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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Anatomy of a True Health Insurance Death Spiral

States deprived of subsidies by SCOTUS could face market collapse felt by guaranteed-issue states that lacked an individual mandate.

I mentioned in my last post that a Supreme Court decision in favor of the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell would likely lead to a collapse of the health insurance market in more than two-thirds of the states. History bears this out.

Historical precedents

In the years before the Affordable Care Act was passed, several states tried to bring an end

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Succeed or Fail, Challenge May Push Rates Higher

The specter alone of a SCOTUS ruling for plaintiffs will likely force industry actuaries to spike premiums based on a worst-case scenario.

You may have heard that the Supreme Court will be hearing arguments on Wednesday in yet another case challenging the Affordable Care Act.

What you probably have not heard is that regardless of how the Court eventually rules in King v. Burwell, your premiums will likely go up next year simply because the justices agreed to take the

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Obamacare Opponents Should be Careful What They Wish For

Supreme court decision nullifying subsidies would result in chaos.

“Obamacare is a train wreck, and that’s actually not fair to train wrecks.”

So said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) at last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland. It was a line that drew both applause and laughs, as you would expect from a gathering of folks who view the Affordable Care Act as an abomination.

Chances are that Cruz and his CPAC fans are hoping the Supreme Court will do

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‘Socialized’ or Not, Britain’s Health Care System is Superior

Fear of single-payer system fueled by American insurance companies.

America is the home of the brave, they say, but a lot of us brave folks are terrified of the way the British do health care.

We’re even afraid of other Americans who aren’t afraid of it, like Dr. Donald Berwick. President Obama nominated Berwick to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services a few years back, but Senate Republicans were so united in their opposition to Berwick that Obama

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