Sunday, September 28, 2008

What I'm Telling the Health Care Business About the Future

Last week I did a post, The Chance for Major Health Care Reform in Either 2009 or 2010 Is Now Zero.I made the point that the bailout the Congress is now voting on is on top of a 2009 projected federal budget deficit that the White House has already estimated to be $500 billion. Add to that the $300 billion in deals the feds have done for the likes of Freddie, Fannie, and AIG. Then we have the $

Health 2.0 in San Francisco October 22-23

Matt Holt is getting ready for his upcoming Health 2.0 conference and asked that I pass along his personal invitation:The next Health 2.0 conference will be held in San Francisco, California from October 22nd - 23rd at the San Francisco Marriott. The theme will be a return to the focus that made our first conference a resounding success: Web 2.0 technologies, healthcare and all points between.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Chance for Major Health Care Reform in Either 2009 or 2010 Is Now Zero

A couple of weeks ago I did a post, The Pretend Presidential Debate on Health Care--The Health Care Press Needs to Force the Presidential Candidates to Get Real on Health Care "Change".In it I made the point that facing a $500 billion budget deficit next year, the sunset of the Bush tax cuts in 2010, fixing the alternative minimum tax problem once again, and the cost of the Freddie and Fannie

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

AIG and Regulation Versus Deregulation

As I posted earlier today, I believe the feds did the right thing in making sure AIG did not fall.But as the dust settles, that takes us to another big question--the question of more or less regulation generally and, more specifically for readers here, more or less regulation for the health insurance industry.The first thing to note is that the existing state regulation of the insurance industry

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

AIG--The Feds Did the Right Thing and Only They Could Have Done It!

There is that old saying: "There are the bears, the bulls, and the pigs--and the pigs get slaughtered."This past weekend I witnessed the most incredible thing I had ever seen in the insurance industry with the demise of the world's largest insurer--AIG. AIG was not just a company--it was a legend in the industry.Now, a couple of days later, that has been trumped--in spades--by the United States

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Pretend Presidential Debate on Health Care--The Health Care Press Needs to Force the Presidential Candidates to Get Real on Health Care "Change"

Let's pretend that either Senator Obama or Senator McCain will be able to implement their respective health care reform plans if elected. Should be easy--we've been doing it for months now.Or, we can get real and expect them to do the same.For all the arguments both are making that they are change agents, including over the candidates' competing health care reform proposals, is this dirty little

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"Lipstick on a Pig"--The McCain Campaign is Defining the Fight

The quickest route to a political loss is to let the oppostion define the fight.Anyone who listened to just 10 seconds of the Obama "lipstick on a pig" sound bite knows he wasn't talking about the Alaska governor.But what this whole dust-up tells us is that the McCain campaign is defining the debate and the Obama side can't get their message out.Not that long ago the Obama campaign was

Monday, September 8, 2008

Comparing John McCain's Health Care Plan to Barack Obama's Health Care Plan

Now that the political conventions are over we are in the final weeks of the presidential campaign. Here is my primer on both of the candidates' health care reform plans and the the big idea difference between them.Comparing Barack Obama's Health care plan to John McCain's health care plan:What's the Big Idea Difference?A Detailed Analysis of Senator John McCain's Health Care Reform PlanA

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Long-Term Viability of Medicare Advantage--Why Aren't the Analysts Asking for the Numbers to Add-Up?

I have been struck by the optimism regarding private Medicare presented by health plan executives during the recent earnings season and the analysts failure to press them on just how their numbers will add-up to sustain the long-term viability of a private Medicare strategy.The typical private Medicare health plan operates on a medical cost ratio in the mid-80s. Let's assume 86% for medical costs

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Cost of the Massachusetts Health Insurance Law is "Less Than Expected"

That was the conclusion in a recent New York Times editorial, not to mention the growing spin coming out of Massachusetts, regarding the state's new health plan.As I have said before on this blog:Massachusetts finally took a first big step in health care reform--something no one else has been able to do in Washington, DC or elsewhere and that is to be commended.The Massachusetts Health Insurance

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Do Certificate of Need Programs Reduce Costs? Governor Palin Says "No" But Lots of Data Say "Yes"

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin hasn't done a lot on the health care policy front during her short time as Governor but one thing she has called for is an end to Alaska's Certificate of Need (CON) program requiring preapproval for any new health care facility.CON programs are about government management of health care capacity and it should be no surprise that a conservative