Hair-raising news from Robert Pear of The New York Times about health-insurance premium increases: “MANCHESTER, N.H. — Workers at a circuit-board factory here just saw their health insurance premiums rise 20 percent. At Buddy Zaremba’s print shop nearby, the increase was 37 percent. And for engineers at the Woodland Design Group, they rose 43 percent.” More.
The comment thread for that article is pretty astounding, too. Here’s a sample, from vbering in Washington: “I have been a family doctor for 22 years. Pear, who actually is a pretty good health care reporter, quoted a truth. The driver of increases in the cost of health insurance is the cost of health care. Obama did not give us health care reform, rhetoric aside. He gave us health insurance reform, which is a very different thing.
More people will be covered. That’s great. But costs will continue to escalate until the ways in which health care is delivered in this country change. It will be hard. Accountable care organizations won’t do it. Pt centered medical homes won’t do it. Electronic health records won’t do it. What will do it? Fewer cardiac caths, few hip replacements, fewer MRIs, seeing nurse practitioner for the sniffles and doctors only for the serious stuff. Are you ready for that, America?” More.
A must-read perspective on health care from two economists, written in 2008 and still valuable: “Myths And Misconceptions About U.S. Health Insurance/Health care reform is hindered by confusion about how health insurance works. “
“Several myths about health insurance interfere with the diagnosis of problems in the current system and impede the development of productive reforms. Although many are built on a kernel of truth, complicated issues are often simplified to the point of being false or misleading. Several stem from the conflation of health, health care, and health insurance, while others attempt to use economic arguments to justify normative preferences. We apply a combination of economic principles and lessons from empirical research to examine the policy problems that underlie the myths and focus attention on addressing these fundamental challenges. By Katherine Baicker and Amitabh Chandra, Health Affairs, 2008. More.