Month: September 2011

Few Bright Spots in Perry’s Health Care Record

By Emily Ramshaw, The New York Times

At campaign stops and in the three Republican presidential debates he has participated in so far, Gov. Rick Perry has made a sport out of bashing the 2006 state health insurance plan of former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts. He has not missed a chance to yoke “Romneycare” to “Obamacare,” the federal health care reform that Republicans largely revile.

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Supreme Court Is Asked to Rule on Health Care

By Adam Liptak, The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration asked the Supreme Court on Wednesday to hear a case concerning the 2010 health care overhaul law. The development, which came unexpectedly fast, makes it all but certain that the court will soon agree to hear one or more cases involving challenges to the law, with arguments by the spring and a decision by June, in time to land in the middle of the 2012 presidential campaign.

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Why are insurance premiums going up?

I spoke to so many people today who were wondering why health insurance premiums were going up so much next year.  Almost everyone thought it was because of healthcare reform.  No one was being negative, they were merely trying to understand why it’s going to cost so much more next year.  It is important to make sure people understand healthcare premiums have been going up year after year — long before healthcare reform was passed.  While last year the increases were lower than this year, for a whole host of reasons, the harsh reality is our healthcare costs will continue to rise until we are all willing to truly tackle the many reasons behind the explosive growth.  To name a few, an aging population, new drugs and technologies to treat an ever increasing number of diseases, and finally, if not most importantly, our insatiable demand for healthcare services when we want them, regardless of the costs.

I have written about this before but I feel it is important to remind everyone when insurance companies raise their rates year after year.  It would be easy to blame healthcare reform, but it is also wrong.  We need to give healthcare reform a chance to work.  It really starts in 2014.  Until then, we are going to have to deal with what we have and hope that as more and more reforms are implemented, we may finally see some relief.  Even then, I am not optimistic that we will have done enough to control costs.  Congress will need to make some hard decisions.  We all will have to make some hard decisions about how to pay for healthcare in the future.  In the interim, do not blame healthcare reform for the high costs.   If you are really looking for someone to blame, call your congressman.

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Health Insurers Push Premiums Sharply Higher

By Reed Abelson and Nina Bernstein, The New York Times

Major health insurance companies have been charging sharply higher premiums this year, outstripping any growth in workers’ wages and creating more uncertainty for the Obama administration and employers who are struggling to drive down an unrelenting rise in medical costs.

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Full Appeals Court Won’t Be Asked to Rule on Health Care Law

By Kevin Sack, The New York Times

The Justice Department announced on Monday that it would not ask the full Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit to reconsider a three-judge panel’s ruling against the 2010 health care law. That presumably leaves the government to appeal its loss directly to the Supreme Court, although Tracy Schmaler, a Justice Department spokeswoman, declined to comment on the next steps. The Supreme Court has already received one of the multitude of federal cases challenging the constitutionality of the law’s individual insurance mandate. It arrived in July from the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati, which upheld that provision on a 2-to-1 ruling. A month later, the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, ruled 2 to 1 against the mandate.

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Long-Term Care Program in Doubt

By Janet Adamy, The Wall Street Journal

The Obama administration said it may not enact a long-term-care insurance program included in last year’s legislation that overhauled health care.

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Pre-existing Conditions Exclusions

When HealthCare Reform goes into full effect starting January 1, 2014 no healthplan, either sold privately or through the …

Health Insurance Exchange Markets: What You Need To Know

By Susan E. Matthews, Everyday Health Staff Writer MONDAY, September 30, 2013 — Congress may still be debating particulars …

Important healthcare benefit information for federal employees

  Federal Employee Health Benefits and Healthcare Reform As it stands today only those federal employees who are members …