Depending on your perspective – and stress level – every morsel of information about health care reform is either big news or not. But regardless of whether you perceive the information beginning to emerge as substantial or just more hints about what is to come, the good news is the information is coming. This post presents some odds and ends concerning health care reform along with some interesting resources readers may want to know about.
- USA Today has a short (surprise, surprise) article on upcoming key dates concerning health care reform.
- Publicly traded companies are required to disclose about possible risks to their future earnings and performance. When a number of large enterprises began reporting that health care reform would hurt their earnings, however, some lawmakers were, as the New York Times put it “skeptical.” Now that they’ve investigated the matter, however, the Times is reporting that “House Democrats have concluded that the companies were right to tell investors and the government about the expected adverse effects of the law on their financial results.”
- Health care reform will not lower the cost of health insurance for most Americans. In fact, given the taxes imposed on medical suppliers and carriers, restrictions on health plans ability to manage risk, the incentives for some healthy individuals to go without coverage until they need it, and a host of other provisions in the bill, it is inevitable that health insurance premiums are headed up – steeply and soon. Politicians will no doubt pound on carriers for this result, but serious lawmakers realize that the only way to restrain the cost of medical insurance is to restrain the cost of medical care. The New Hampshire legislature is showing signs of dealing with this reality. Bloomberg recently reported lawmakers in the Granite State are considering establishing a board to review hospital costs.
- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Office of the Actuary released their analysis on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The independent review is given great weight. Not surprisingly, however, what someone takes away from the report seems to reflect more about that someone than the data in the report. Just check out some of the comments about the CMS report gathered by the Kaiser Health News site. Given that no law delivers on all its promises, or on what critics fear it will bring, an objective view of the bill can’t help but provide ammunition to both sides. And the CMS report does just that.
- For those who need to atone for past sins, you can do penance by reading the two bills now known as health care reform.
- One group who will need to read the bill are insurance commissioners. They have substantial responsibilities for interpreting and refining the law. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners web site has a thorough library of information about the new reforms. It’s a great resource on various aspects of the reforms.
- One of the best resources around concerning health care reform is provided by the National Association of Health Underwriters to its members. If you’re a broker and not a member of Health Underwriters, you’re doing your profession a disservice. And you’re unable to get to NAHU’s resource page. Which is a shame because its definitely worth the price of admission.
There’s a lot more odds and ends out there. I’ll cover more in future posts. Hopefully, however, this is an interesting start.