"Medicare for Everyone"

November 20, 2015 in Blog

The presidential candidate fields are narrowing on both the Democratic and Republican sides. The Republicans realistically have eight viable candidates and the Democrats now have two, Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders.

CO-OPs Continue to Fail

October 27, 2015 in Blog

Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, or CO-OPs, continue to fail. (here) As I testified before the Congressional Joint Subcommittees of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, CO-OPs were doomed from their creation in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare. (here)

Mixed Results with Accountable Care Organizations

September 22, 2015 in Blog

The United States spends more for health care than any other country. Last year, total costs were $3.15 trillion or 18 percent of the economy. For the past 30 years, health care payers, specifically the government, employers and insurance companies, have pursued ways to hold down health care costs.

Where Do the Presidential Candidates Stand on Health Care

September 18, 2015 in Blog

The Republican presidential candidates held their second major debate earlier this week. After the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in King versus Burwell this summer, many people assumed health care would take center stage in the campaigns. Obamacare, Medicare and Medicaid were barely mentioned during the debate.

However, several of the candidates have already taken a position on health care.

How Does Repealing Obamacare Add to the Federal Debt?

September 9, 2015 in Blog

Presidential candidates are starting to issue their health care reform proposals. Repeal or reform of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, is central to many of the plans.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), along with the Joint Commission on Taxation (JCT) weighed in this summer. (here) They found that for the period 2016-2025, repeal of the ACA would add $137 billion to the federal debt. This number would go up substantially for the following decades.

The Latest GAO Report Recommends More Federal Control of Medicaid

August 29, 2015 in Blog

Last month, the federal General Accounting Office (GAO) released its latest Medicaid report, which is detailed and relies on past reports for background.

CO-OPs Remain at Risk

August 17, 2015 in Blog

Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, or CO-OPs, were placed in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as an alternative to the public option. During the health care debate in 2009, proponents of more government control wanted a program that would compete with private insurance companies, hence the public option.

The Free Market at Work in Health Care

August 11, 2015 in Blog

Based on terrific business models and strong consumer demand, new companies such as Uber and Airbnb are flourishing. Similar companies are now taking off in the health care arena.

The Proposed Washington State Medicaid Pilot Project

August 7, 2015 in Blog

Washington state health care officials have begun traveling around the state to introduce a new Medicaid pilot project. (here) They have a 30 day window, ending August 23rd, for public comment on the plan.

Medical Homes are not as Effective as Obamacare Supporters Hoped

July 29, 2015 in Blog

One of the main goals of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, is to decrease rising health care costs. The ACA allocated $10 billion to establish the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, a government organization charged with centrally planning health care delivery.

A Win For Association Health Plans in Washington State

July 6, 2015 in Blog

Several weeks ago we wrote that Association Health Plans (AHPs) were under attack in Washington state.

Is Obamacare Really Working?

July 1, 2015 in Blog

After the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision on King versus Burwell, proponents of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, have not only claimed victory, but are telling the rest of the country to get over it and just accept the ACA as the law of the land. They claim that millions of people have health insurance through the ACA, that the uninsured rate is dropping and that premium price increases, at least in the individual market, are slowing.

Ruling in the Latest Challenge to the Affordable Care Act Released Today

June 25, 2015 in Blog

This morning the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled on the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare - the King v. Burwell lawsuit. You can read about the ruling here. This suit deals with the legality of people receiving subsidies in the health insurance exchange established by the federal government. Some 36 states elected to use the federal exchange rather than set up their own exchange. Washington state is one of the 14 that established a state exchange.

Health Insurance Companies Request an Average of 15.2 Percent Premium Increase in Washington State

June 2, 2015 in Blog

Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the premium requests for health insurance companies for 2016. The information applies to plans compatable with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, and those sold through the state and federal health insurance exchanges. CMS organized the requests on a state by state basis. Only requests of a 10 percent or more increase were required to be submitted.

Association Health Plans Under Attack in Washington State

May 28, 2015 in Blog

The Washington state legislature legalized Association Health Plans (AHPs) in 1995. The idea was to allow employers with 50 or fewer empoyees to buy high quality and affordable health insurance in the "large group market." Small employers could band together and form an AHP as long as they were in related industries.