Benefit and provider mandates in health insurance plans drive up the cost of health insurance. Each state, through either statute or regulatory action, controls the number and type of mandates required in plans sold in that state. Not all mandates are created equal, however. Some add less than one percent to the overall cost of the plan, whereas others such as mental health parity can add 10 percent to the cost. On average, each mandate adds 0.5 to 2.5 percent to the overall price of the insurance plan.
Generic drugs and biosimilar drugs should not be considered equals. Typical drugs are made from small molecules and are chemical substances. Generics can be reproduced by simply replicating the chemical formula of the parent drug. Biologic drugs are made from living, large molecules and their biosimilar replication in form does not guarantee the same function as the parent drug.
Florida's Republican Governor Rick Scott has been a leading opponent of ObamaCare, yet this week he came out in favor of expanding Medicaid in his state through the Affordable Care Act. The reasoning is it is "free money" or "money left on the table if we don't expand" or a "job creator" or expansion will "hold down health care costs." These are all faulty reasons at their worst.
The bottom line is Medicaid expansion is a bribe from the federal government.
Medicaid began in 1965 as a government safety net for poor children and their families. It expanded over the past 47 years to include disabled individuals and patients needing long term care. In 1975, 10 percent of Americans were enrolled in Medicaid. This number increased to 20 percent last year.
The state health insurance exchanges are a big part of the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare. These exchanges will function as insurance brokerages to help customers purchase health insurance that will be subsidized by federal taxpayers. As of this writing, only 18 states, including the District of Columbia, have set up exchanges. The federal government is suppose to establish an exchange for any state unwilling or unable to set up its own.
The deadline for approval of a state exchange by the federal government was January 1, 2013.
This week, the ostensibly nonpartisan researchers at the Institute of Medicine released their latest paper on life expectancy in the United States. They found that the U.S. ranked seventeenth in the world as far as life expectancy was concerned.
Washington State Insurance Commissioner Kreidler has recently again proposed limiting the amount of financial surplus the non-profit health insurance carriers can have on hand. Premera and Regence now each have over $1 billion set aside to cover medical claims. Kreidler wants legislation to limit the amount of money the carriers can retain and wants fewer premium increases.
As reported by the Galen Institute, the AM&A, Resurgent Republic 1st Anniversary Survey of Likely Voters revealed the American public had considerable pessimism about the impact of ObamaCare. The country now has two years of experience with the law. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has increased the estimated cost of the legislation from the original $940 billion to a new ten year cost of $1.76 trillion. Unless taxes are raised to unacceptable levels, ObamaCare will definitely add to the federal deficit and national debt.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently published an updated cost of ObamaCare over the next ten years. The cost estimate is now $1.76 trillion, up from the original $940 billion when the law was passed in 2010. Funding for this $1.76 trillion comes from two sources - a $716 billion cut to Medicare and $1.05 trillion in new taxes.
The new federal health care legislation, ObamaCare, was signed into law in 2010. American opinion polls have consistently shown that voters do not like the law. Rasmussen polls, done on a regular schedule since the debate on ObamaCare began, have never dropped below a 49 percent disapproval rating and usually show that 52 to 60 percent of those polled favor repeal of the law. Even the liberal Kaiser Family Foundation poll now reveals a virtual split between opponents and proponent of ObamaCare.
Proponents of the new federal health care reform law, ObamaCare, are quick to point out the "benefits" in the law that Medicare patients will receive. Specifically, our seniors will now have the prescription drug donut-hole closed and will now receive a no-cost annual physical examination.
What the proponents don't mention is the $768 billion overall cut to the Medicare program over the next ten years. This huge cut will be in the form of reduced payments to providers. Here are the numbers from the nonpartisan Congressionsal Budget Office:
We now have 2 ½ years experience with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or as the President wants to call it, ObamaCare. Proponents told the American public to expect many benefits from the law during the debate in 2009.
ObamaCare, or the Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010. The law calls for 10 years of financial revenue starting in 2010, but only 6 years of benefits starting in 2014. Revenue of $900 billion in the original budget came from $450 billion of new taxes and $450 billion in cuts to Medicare. New budget estimates have now been made: