Health Insurance / HMOs
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Dec 02, 2013 As Hospital Prices Soar, a Stitch Tops $500
QUOTE: A day spent as an inpatient at an American hospital costs on average more than $4,000, five times the charge in many other developed countries...Rising costs of drugs, medical equipment and other services, and fees from layers of middlemen, play a significant role in escalating hospital bills, of course. But just as important is that mergers and consolidation have resulted in a couple of hospital chains — like Partners in Boston, or Banner in Phoenix — dominating many parts of the country...
New York Times Nov 14, 2013 Obama Moves to Avert Cancellation of Insurance
QUOTE: President Obama, trying to quell a growing furor over the rollout of his health care law, bowed to bipartisan pressure on Thursday and announced a policy reversal that would allow insurance companies to temporarily keep people on health plans that were to be canceled under the new law because they did not meet minimum standards.
New York Times Oct 29, 2013 Cancellations, modifications coming for many Americans in individual health consumer market
QUOTE: according to an insurance industry source with knowledge of the implementation of Obamacare, is that many Americans, especially those with high deductible, catastrophic care policies will see drastic changes. As new minimum requirements for their plans take effect next year, modifications and even cancellations may become necessary for those and other consumers...
CNN (Cable News Network) Oct 05, 2013 No way to run a country: The Land of the Free is starting to look ungovernable. Enough is enough
QUOTE: ...Republicans are setting a precedent which, if followed, would make America ungovernable. Voters have seen fit to give their party control of one arm of government—the House of Representatives—while handing the Democrats the White House and the Senate. If a party with such a modest electoral mandate threatens to shut down government unless the other side repeals a law it does not like, apparently settled legislation will always be vulnerable to repeal by the minority. Washington will be permanently paralysed and America condemned to chronic uncertainty.
Economist Oct 05, 2013 A Federal Budget Crisis Months in the Planning
QUOTE: interviews with a wide array of conservatives show that the confrontation that precipitated the crisis was the outgrowth of a long-running effort to undo the law, the Affordable Care Act, since its passage in 2010 — waged by a galaxy of conservative groups with more money, organized tactics and interconnections than is commonly known.
New York Times Jun 07, 2013 Fine Print and Red Tape in Long-Term Care Policies
QUOTE: Many Americans now in their 80s and 90s who are collecting benefits — or trying to — bought their policies decades ago when the policies were more restrictive than now. On top of that, many insurers have since left the business after mispricing the policies and failing to judge the economics of the industry, which has made collecting payments even more difficult.
New York Times Mar 23, 2013 Tackling Concerns of Independent Workers
QUOTE: Today, the Freelancers Union is one of the nation’s fastest-growing labor organizations, with more than 200,000 members, over half of them in New York State....the Obama administration recently awarded Ms. Horowitz’s group $340 million in low-interest loans to establish cooperatives in New York, New Jersey and Oregon that will provide health coverage to freelancers and tens of thousands of other workers.
New York Times Dec 27, 2012 Hobby Lobby faces millions in fines for bucking Obamacare
QUOTE: Craft store giant Hobby Lobby... opposes providing some contraceptives to employees through its company health care plan on religious grounds, saying some contraceptive products, like the morning after pill, equate to abortion. Hobby Lobby and affiliate Mardel, a Christian bookstore chain, sued the federal government for violating their owners' religious freedom and ability to freely exercise their religion.
CNN (Cable News Network) Oct 15, 2012 Death by Ideology
QUOTE: Even the idea that everyone gets urgent care when needed from emergency rooms is false. Yes, hospitals are required by law to treat people in dire need, whether or not they can pay. But that care isn’t free — on the contrary, if you go to an emergency room you will be billed, and the size of that bill can be shockingly high. Some people can’t or won’t pay, but fear of huge bills can deter the uninsured from visiting the emergency room even when they should. And sometimes they die as a result.
New York Times Jul 25, 2012 Are cruise lines 'dumping' sick passengers?
QUOTE: I asked Royal Caribbean about its policy on dropping off passengers and whether the Claussens could have done anything differently. It declined to answer. Walker says that cruise lines keep their policies on emergency care confidential.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer Jun 22, 2012 Getting Lost in the Labyrinth of Medical Bills
QUOTE: With the exception of Medicare and Medicaid, experts say, the amount paid for services — or the price your insurers pay — is based on the market power of the insurance company on the one side and the hospitals and providers on the other, and the reimbursement agreements they ultimately reach. So large insurers that command a lot of market power may be able to negotiate lower rates than smaller companies with less influence.
New York Times Feb 10, 2012 N.Y. Law on Contraceptives Already in Place, and Catholic Institutions Comply
QUOTE: Some New York Catholic institutions...chose to self-insure rather than pay for contraception after New York State adopted a requirement in 2002 that any insurance policy with a prescription drug benefit provide coverage for birth control. The requirement has a narrow exemption that applies to policies provided by houses of worship, but not to most other religiously affiliated employers. But some Catholic institutions now offer health insurance plans that include contraceptive drugs among the services they cover for employees and students, though with caveats.
New York Times Aug 12, 2011 Health Law Is Dealt Blow by a Court on Mandate
QUOTE: The provision in President Obama’s health care law requiring Americans to buy health insurance or face tax penalties was ruled unconstitutional on Friday by the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta. It was the first appellate review to find the provision unconstitutional — a previous federal appeals court upheld the law...
New York Times Aug 02, 2011 Reaping Millions in Nonprofit Care for Disabled
QUOTE: [Young Adult Institute Network] and the Levys have earned many admirers in the field for the quality and range of their programs...But their spending is seldom scrutinized, and, even when state officials turn up questionable expenses, there are few consequences.
New York Times Jul 13, 2011 Book Challenges Obama on Mother’s Deathbed Fight
QUOTE: The White House on Wednesday declined to challenge an account in a new book that suggests that President Obama, in his campaign to overhaul American health care, mischaracterized a central anecdote about his mother’s deathbed dispute with her insurance company.
New York Times Jul 11, 2011 Obama Administration Rolls Out Standards for Health Insurance Marketplaces
QUOTE: The regulations issued Monday, which provide a fair amount of latitude to states, were welcomed by consumer groups, patient advocates and some business lobbyists. But they may not satisfy liberals who argue that the exchanges should tightly regulate insurance and contract with selected health plans that offer the best deals. And they may not satisfy conservatives...
New York Times Jun 26, 2011 U.S. Plans Stealth Survey on Access to Doctors
QUOTE: Alarmed by a shortage of primary care doctors, Obama administration officials are recruiting a team of “mystery shoppers” to pose as patients, call doctors’ offices and request appointments to see how difficult it is for people to get care when they need it....In response to the drumbeat of criticism, a federal health official said doctors need not worry because the data would be kept confidential.
New York Times Jun 22, 2011 Medicare: Facts and Convictions (The Stone)
QUOTE: The moral of my story is that understanding and effectively taking part in a debate requires awareness of the level at which we and our opponents are operating at any given point...Once we’ve pushed the debate on Medicare or any other policy matter to the point where convictions become the sole basis of disagreement, it is time to vote.
New York Times Jun 08, 2011 Judges Weigh Limits of Health Law’s Powers
QUOTE: The law, the Affordable Care Act, enacted in March 2010, aims to insure 32 million Americans by mandating that most people obtain health insurance, subsidizing policies for the poor and requiring that insurers accept even those with pre-existing health problems....Among 31 separate legal challenges to the law, five cases have yielded decisions on the merits from lower-level district court judges.
New York Times Apr 26, 2011 House G.O.P. Members Face Voter Anger Over Budget
QUOTE: Attendees accused a Republican lawmaker of trying to dismantle Medicare while providing tax cuts to corporations and affluent Americans… An announcer says that a House-approved budget amounts to “ending Medicare so millionaires can get another tax break.”
New York Times Apr 17, 2011 The Middle-Class Tax Trap
QUOTE: Asking a population that’s increasingly brown and beige to accept punishing tax rates while white seniors receive roughly $3 in Medicare benefits for every dollar they paid in (the projected ratio in the 2030s) promises to polarize the country along racial as well as generational lines.
New York Times Feb 02, 2011 Senate Rejects Repeal of Health Care Law
QUOTE: "Senate Democrats on Wednesday defeated a bid by Republicans to repeal last year’s sweeping health care overhaul, as they successfully mounted a party-line defense of President Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement."
New York Times Feb 01, 2011 States Diverge on How to Deal With Health Care Ruling
QUOTE: in a few states that are party to the litigation, Republican governors and attorneys general declared the expansive health care law effectively null as a result of the judge’s ruling. They suggested they would suspend planning and implementation until appeals courts could rule...
New York Times Dec 25, 2010 Obama Returns to End-of-Life Plan That Caused Stir
QUOTE: When a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a political storm over “death panels,” Democrats dropped it from legislation to overhaul the health care system. But the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1.
New York Times Dec 16, 2010 Flirty Models Were Hired in Bid to Find Bone Marrow
QUOTE: the recruiters were actually flirtatious models in heels, short skirts and lab coats, law enforcement officials say, asking passers-by for DNA swabs without mentioning the price of the seemingly simple procedure. And the registry, Caitlin Raymond International, was paying up to $60,000 a week for the models while billing insurance companies up to $4,300 per test.
New York Times Dec 13, 2010 Judge Voids Key Element of Obama Health Care Law
QUOTE: The judge, Henry E. Hudson of Federal District Court in Richmond, said the law’s requirement that most Americans obtain insurance exceeded the regulatory authority granted to Congress under the Commerce Clause... “Neither the Supreme Court nor any federal circuit court of appeals has extended Commerce Clause powers to compel an individual to involuntarily enter the stream of commerce by purchasing a commodity in the private market.”
New York Times Nov 19, 2010 Planning for Temporary Home Care After the Hospital Stay
QUOTE: most insurers pay for home health care by skilled professionals only during the first, acute part of your recovery. Insurers do not pay for care provided by home care aides, often needed for both short and long recuperations.
New York Times Jun 10, 2010 Bringing Comparison Shopping to the Doctor’s Office
QUOTE: there has been no easy way for consumers to shop for the best deal on a colonoscopy or blood test. A start-up financed by prominent venture capitalists and the Cleveland Clinic, Castlight Health, aims to change that by building a search engine for health care prices.
New York Times May 09, 2010 Fight Erupts Over Rules Issued for ‘Mental Health Parity’ Insurance Law
QUOTE: Insurance companies and employer groups are lobbying the White House to delay and rework the rules on “mental health parity.” Insurers and many employers supported the 2008 law, but they say the rules go far beyond the intent of Congress and would cripple their cost-control techniques while raising out-of-pocket costs for some patients.
New York Times Apr 08, 2010 Colleges Skirt Rules on Health Plans, Cuomo Says
QUOTE: College-sponsored health plans often pay out far less in benefits than they collect in premiums, skirting state regulations and shortchanging students, according to an investigation by Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo’s office. Many plans also do not cover common situations that affect students...
New York Times Mar 23, 2010 In Health Care Bill, Obama Attacks Wealth Inequality
QUOTE: [over the past three decades] government policy and market forces have been moving in the same direction, both increasing inequality. The pretax incomes of the wealthy have soared since the late 1970s, while their tax rates have fallen more than rates for the middle class and poor. Nearly every major aspect of the health bill pushes in the other direction.
New York Times Mar 12, 2010 Deciding on Care for Elderly Parents in Declining Health
QUOTE: ...I offer guidelines and considerations that can help you make an informed — if not always easy — decision about what type of housing will support your parent’s needs, without bankrupting the family in the process.
New York Times Oct 16, 2009 Wellness Incentives Could Create Health-Care Loophole: Workers Who Fail Medical Tests Could Pay More
QUOTE: By more than doubling the maximum penalties that companies can apply to employees who flunk medical evaluations, the [new healthcare] legislation could put workers under intense financial pressure to lose weight, stop smoking or even lower their cholesterol,
Washington Post Oct 09, 2009 Should Medicare Benefits Start Later in Life? (Economix)
QUOTE: Instead of heeding the frightening messages emanating from self-styled “protectors” of Medicare, such as Ms. [Betsy] McCaughey, the elderly might search their souls on the moral platform for the political economy of sharing in a civilized society.
New York Times Oct 04, 2009 Discrimination by Insurers Likely Even With Reform, Experts Say: Economic Pressure Could Give Rise to New Biases Against Prior Conditions
QUOTE: simply banning medical discrimination [in health insurance] would not necessarily remove it from the equation, economists and health-care analysts say.
Washington Post Sep 26, 2009 In Canada, a move toward a private healthcare option
QUOTE: Hoping to capitalize on patients who might otherwise travel to the U.S. for speedier healthcare, a network of technically illegal private clinics and surgical centers has sprung up in British Columbia, echoing a trend in Quebec. In October, the courts will be asked to decide whether the budding system should be sanctioned.
Los Angeles Times Sep 14, 2009 Insurers Fight Speech-Impairment Remedy
QUOTE: Medicare and private health insurers decline to cover cheap devices like iPhones and netbook PCs that can help the speech-impaired, despite their usefulness and lower cost.
New York Times Sep 11, 2009 Joe Wilson aftermath: Illegals get scrutiny in health reform: Current healthcare bills don’t explicitly mention how illegal immigrants would be treated under some important provisions.
QUOTE: Republicans in general charge that since none of the [healthcare] bills contain enforcement mechanisms to check that recipients of government subsidies are legal, illegal immigrants would be able to sneak into the system and get US cash [for healthcare subsidies] anyway.
Christian Science Monitor Sep 08, 2009 When Your Insurer Says You're No Longer Covered: Firms Defend 'Rescissions' as Fraud Control
QUOTE: Rescission -- the technical term for canceling coverage on grounds that the company was misled -- is often considered among the most offensive practices in an insurance industry...
Washington Post Sep 07, 2009 Insured, but Bankrupted Anyway (Prescriptions)
QUOTE: The forecast for this year is that there will be 1.4 million to 1.5 million total bankruptcy filings. Our data say 62 percent of those will be medical.
New York Times Sep 05, 2009 Who Will Care for the Newly Insured? (Prescriptions)
QUOTE: 2013. That’s the year everyone would have to have health insurance under the House version of the health care bill. ...many experts say it’s not nearly enough time to beef up the supply of physicians necessary to care for the tens of millions suddenly entering the health care system.
New York Times Sep 05, 2009 Health Care Debate Revives Immigration Battle
QUOTE: During the summer recess, members of Congress faced persistent questions from constituents worried that health care changes could leave taxpayers footing medical bills for illegal immigrants.
New York Times Sep 02, 2009 The Fix Is In: The hidden public-private cartel that sets health care prices.
QUOTE: Fundamentally, the entire payment model of American health care drives medical centers, doctors, and hospital managers to push for more fancy procedures at the expense of primary care doctors.
Slate Aug 27, 2009 Dealing With Being the Health Care ‘Villains’
QUOTE: Humana workers and executives said the [insurance] industry tended to absorb blows that should be directed elsewhere.
New York Times Aug 18, 2009 The Most Outrageous U.S. Lies About Global Healthcare
QUOTE: Many of the most wildly inaccurate statements [about health systems] have been directed abroad -- sometimes at the United States' closest allies, such as Britain and Canada, and often at the best health-care systems in the world.
Aug 17, 2009 Alternate Plan as Health Option Muddies Debate
QUOTE: The White House has indicated that it could accept a nonprofit health care cooperative as an alternative to a new government insurance plan, originally favored by President Obama. But the co-op idea is so ill defined that no one knows exactly what it would look like or how effectively it would compete with commercial insurers.
New York Times Aug 06, 2009 Big Insurance, Big Tobacco and You
QUOTE: the insurance industry is taking these [consumer fraud, incorrect statistics] and other flim-flams straight from the tobacco industry's playbook.
PR Watch Aug 01, 2009 Talk Radio Campaign Frightening Seniors: Provision for End-of-Life Counseling Is Described by Right as 'Death Care'
QUOTE: A campaign on conservative talk radio has sparked fear among senior citizens that the health-care bill moving through Congress will lead to end-of-life "rationing" and even "euthanasia."....But on right-leaning radio programs, religious e-mail lists and Internet blogs, the proposal has been described as "guiding you in how to die," "an ORDER from the Government to end your life," promoting "death care" and, in the words of antiabortion leader Randall Terry, an attempt to "kill Granny."
Washington Post Jul 24, 2009 Buying a Hearing Aid? You’ve Got a Lot to Learn (Patient Money)
QUOTE: “Unfortunately, hearing aids are seen as one of those medical costs, like vision and dental, that doesn’t deserve full coverage,” said Gyl A. Kasewurm, an audiologist in St. Joseph, Mich.
New York Times Jul 15, 2009 College Athletes Stuck With the Bill After Injuries
QUOTE: . While some colleges accept considerable responsibility for [athletes'] medical claims, many others assume almost none, according to a review of public documents from a cross section of universities and interviews with current and former athletes, trainers, administrators and N.C.A.A. officials.
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