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The Perils of Not Getting Insurance Reform Right

December 05, 2009
4:25 pm

A new study released on Thursday by the Oliver Wyman firm finds that health insurance premiums will be much higher under the Senate health reform bill than the Congressional Budget Office has estimated.  Premiums for individuals and families purchasing coverage on their own will go up 54 percent over five years, excluding the impact of medical inflation.

The increases in costs for individuals are attributed to the inclusion of new guaranteed issue rules without the support of a strong individual mandate to ensure that everyone gets and maintains health coverage.  According to the study this would translate into premiums for people purchasing new polices of $4,561 for single coverage and $9,669 for family coverage in today’s dollars – representing premium increases of $1,576 and $3,341, respectfully.

“Healthcare reform cannot be considered successful if it makes coverage more expensive, said Scott Serota, BCBS president and CEO, whose organization commissioned the study.  “This analysis illustrates that is exactly what will happen if new insurance market reforms in the individual market are not paired with effective mechanisms to ensure broad participation in the market.” Read more

“Show Me” The Facts on Medical Liability

December 02, 2009
3:20 pm

I was watching the U.S. Senate debate on health reform legislation this afternoon and had the opportunity to watch one senator making an impassioned speech about medical liability reform.  His message was that strong liability measures shouldn’t be included in the reform bill and that there is very little need for them anyway.

Missouri is just the latest state that would beg to differ.

New data released this fall by Missouri’s State Department of Insurance showed that just over 1,200 malpractice claims were filed in 2008, the lowest number since 1999.  It’s not at all a coincidence that, in 2005, the Missouri state legislature passed a tort reform bill that included a $350,000 cap on noneconomic damages and requirements that plaintiffs include an expert opinion or a certificate of merit with their filing to discourage frivolous suits. Read more

On The Air in OH

December 01, 2009
3:09 pm

I want to thank WFIN Radio of Findlay, OH for inviting me on the air yesterday morning to discuss health reform.  It was a good opportunity to talk about the current developments being debated in the Senate and how lawmakers must ensure they enact legislation that is centrist, sustainable and that achieves the true goals of health reform.  You can listen to the interview here.