Saturday, March 5, 2011

Saturday Quickie

A couple of things caught my eye that I thought I should share.

First, although Republicans blame increased insurance costs on health reform, the insurance companies themselves say it's the cost of health care and increased utilization that drives the cost of insurance. In fact, in the rate filings I've seen, only 1-2% of the increases are attributable to health reform. Remember -- the law hasn't fully kicked in yet. And we had huge increases before health reform was passed. So I tend to believe the insurers are right this time.

The nomination of Donald Berwick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services appears to be dead. He's currently serving under a recess appointment, for which he did not need Senate approval. But he has to get full approval by the end of 2011 to stay in office, and that appears to be impossible since 42 Republicans have signed a letter in opposition. This is a terrible shame. Don Berwick is a health care visionary whose service to the country could have been remarkable. Politics gets in the way of merit once again.

More on the controversy over chronic fatigue syndrome.

And that's it until Monday. Have a good one. Jennifer

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