Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday Themes

New study -- 1/4 of millionaires pay lower tax rates (not less taxes, but at a lower rate) than some in the middle class. So they are paying a smaller share of their income on taxes. What does this have to do with health care? It's all about the supercommittee and what will be cut -- Medicare, Medicaid -- as opposed to taxes that may be increased. We have little information about what the supercommittee is doing -- but we know enough to be worried. Here's a little more conjecture.

What would Mitt Romney do to health reform? Waivers to states who want out from under some of the requirements, but not a full repeal. My only question is this: can we require insurers to cover pre-existing conditions if we do not have a mandate? That's all. Because it's coverage of pre-existing conditions that is the do or die for me, with subsidies coming in a close second.

Medicare free wellness visits are going unused.

Health insurers want to put poor disabled and elderly into managed care plans. These are the so-called dual eligibles -- people eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare. This is the most expensive portion of the Medicaid/Medicare population. Their care and financing is poorly coordinated. But the claims that managed care would save money are undermined by the experience of states like Connecticut, which tried managed care and found that it cost way more than administering the program on their own.

Interesting piece on a doctor who got stuck with a needle, got Hep-C, and spent the rest of his life working towards a cure.

California Gov Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would require doctors to tell their patients if they have dense breast tissue, making mammogram less effective.

Andrew Cuomo, Gov of New York, will reform agencies dealing with the disabled. Too many stories of neglect and abuse, "startling" the Governor and driving him to make changes.

Ginger may lower the risk of colon cancer.

And that's today's news. Have a great day. Jennifer

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