Sunday, January 22, 2012

Obama on the Health Train

(AP)

Some say;

This is the year that will make or break the health care law  States were supposed to be partners in carrying out the biggest safety net expansion since Medicare and Medicaid, and the White House claims they're making steady progress.

However, Three out of four uninsured Americans live in states that have yet to figure out how to deliver on its promise of affordable medical care.

It reveals a patchwork nation. If it continues, it will mean disparities and delays from state to state in carrying out an immense expansion of health insurance scheduled in the law for 2014. That could happen even if the Supreme Court upholds Obama's law, called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

 

About half the states are suing to overturn the law. The Obama administration says uninsured patients have nothing to fear. Steve Larsen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the federal Department of Health and Human Services.says “"The fact of states moving at different rates does not create disparities for a particular state's uninsured population,"

That's because the law says that if a state isn't ready, the federal government will step in. Larsen insists the government will be ready,

Easier said than done.  It’s complicated. Some of the necessary steps follow.

Someone has to set up health insurance exchanges, new one-stop supermarkets with online and landline capabilities for those who buy coverage individually. Many states have refused to do this.

A secure infrastructure must be created to verify income, legal residency and other personal information, and smooth enrollment in private insurance plans or Medicaid.(this sounds like a lot of duplication and paperwork. It also  raises the specter of the IRS and State taxation agencies providing data to the HHS or State Health Departments. (or send your W2s to the State HIE, and then they will cross check with the IRS….That sounds very ominous but should be no surprise seeing how Congress passed NDAA and almost did the same with SOPA. note: Secure infrastructure? Does this sound like health care and/or health insurance?

Over half the states are suing the federal government, which will be heard by the Supreme Court this spring. Not much will take place at the state level until there is a decision regarding constitutional issues.  It is pitiful that the states had to resort to quoting the constitution when there are so many other good reasons for not enacting this financially irresponsible mandate..

The startup, re-organization and continuing maintenance of these new bureaucracies will undoubtedly devour any ‘savings” predicted from ACOs, revisions of payment methodology based upon better outcomes and improved quality of care.

The final coup d’ etat  is the state of the economy where job production is poor. These added responsibilities will not foster new businesses, nor jobs.

So be insured, and remain unemployed. Does it have to be one or the other?

How about some sensible moderation and common sense? Is anyone listening in Washington?

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