Presidential Leadership in US Health Reform February 19, 2024 President’s Day is an opportune moment to reflect on the great moral potential of the presidency. Lincoln’s fine example, told by a historian, looms large. The role of presidents in health care reform, summarized by ChatGPT, is impressive but piecemeal, shy of the ultimate moral and practical victory of universal comprehensive insurance.
No Surprises Act has Unpleasant Surprises for Providers & Patients February 16, 2024 The No Surprises Act is a bipartisan law to protect patients from high medical charges for unavoidable out-of-network care, while providing providers with fair payments. Its implementation suffers from insurer-tilted rules, another example of “regulatory capture”.
Reminders that Private Insurers Use Shady Tactics to Manipulate and Deceive Us February 8, 2024 “Free” preventive services that cost patients hundreds of dollars. A Medicare enrollment “choice” that defaults to Medicare Advantage. These are two newly highlighted devious maneuvers that favor benefits for shareholders over benefits for the public.
Value-Based Care Failed, Let’s Admit it and Progress to Real Reform February 4, 2024 The Congressional Budget Office found that CMS experiments in value-based care payment schemes have cost us billions over 10 years, and will continue to do so. A prominent health foundation leader says, let’s double down. We say: time to admit defeat and advocate for a single payer system.
Who is most efficient in health care? Surprise, it’s the VA January 25, 2024 This new study finds that in the Veterans Health Administration (VA) 22.5% of personnel are administrative or clerical, vs. 29.3% for the rest of the health care system. If non-VA insurers and providers echoed VA staffing, they would need 900,000 fewer administrators and clerks, sharply reducing administrative costs. Single payer efficiency gains would be even greater.
Financialization – Structural Harm to US Health Care January 13, 2024 An excellent commentary in NEJM defines and describes the role of financial actors and actions in US health care. Increasingly, insurers and providers are purchased by financial organizations or adopt financial strategies. The focus on health care is disrupted.
HJM AI-Assisted 2023 Review January 1, 2024 2023 was another year of deteriorating US health insurance performance, especially as post-COVID protections lapsed, and continued modest gains toward single payer. For the annual summary, we set up a ChatGPT-based artificial intelligence bot on the HJM website to allow natural language interaction with HJM content – called HJM Ai-Chat. Check it out! Let us know what you like about it and any suggestions. Below are sample queries and responses. (The new HJM website is beta, we’re refining visual presentation and adding content … official launch in early 2024.)
Building the Democratic Party By Helping the Middle Class December 14, 2023 George Packer reviews recent books which propose that for the Democrats to achieve stable power, they must provide economic assistance to the struggling middle class, not fight cultural battles. Single payer’s economic stability can foster progressive cultural norms.
British National Health Service Crippled by Privatization & Austerity Funding December 8, 2023 A NY Times opinion video lays it out vividly: The British NHS is an adored public institution, now 75 years old. In recent years it has stumbled … sabotaged by UK leaders who starve budgets and foster ill-advised private initiatives.
PPO becomes PP-No: Providers Refuse Medicare Advantage December 2, 2023 Hospitals and provider systems are increasingly opting out of Medicare Advantage (MA) networks, frustrated by low payment rates and rising payment denials. Even “preferred provider” MA plans, which should cover any Medicare provider, are being declined by prestigious health systems.