A couple weeks ago I walked the streets of Lincoln, Nebraska, talking to men and women about whether they thought Washington was listening to their economic concerns. Jeff Melichar manages his family’s Phillips 66 gas station on the city’s main street, and one of his big financial problems happens to be health insurance. The more we talked, the more I realized what a jam he could be in down the road because of a loophole in the health reform law, which has received almost no press coverage or public discussion: If you have health insurance from your employer, you may have to keep it whether or not it’s adequate or affordable. Buying less expensive or better coverage from one of the state “exchanges” or shopping services will be off limits. So despite all that talk about consumer choice, for many like the Melichars, there may be no choice.
Melichar’s wife is eligible for health insurance from the optical company where she works. But the family waited until this fall to enroll when the firm offered coverage they finally could afford. Their premium is Read more »
GOP hardliners soon to be in control of the House have made repeal of the detested healthcare reform law a cornerstone of their agenda, despite the impossibility of actually being able to repeal it, politically, at least until an election or two has passed, and despite the fact that their ascent to power had more to do with the terrible economy and high unemployment than any mandate to repeal the law.
It seems that, finally, there may be movement towards increased public support for the law. A new McClatchy poll shows a majority of Americans now in favor of the law:
A majority of Americans want the Congress to keep the new health care law or actually expand it, despite Republican claims that they have a mandate from the people to kill it, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.
The post-election survey showed that 51 percent of registered voters want to keep the law or change it to do more, while 44 percent want to change it to do less or repeal it altogether.
Driving support for the law: Voters by margins of 2-1 or greater want to keep some of its best-known benefits, such as barring insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. One thing they don’t like: the mandate that everyone must buy insurance.
Of course, it is the mandate that makes the whole thing hang together. And it’s hardly news that people like the individual provisions and protections found within the law. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Movin' Meat*
Like most kids who grew up in the 1960s, I spent many a night watching the adventures of Fred, Wilma, Barney and Betty, the coolest cavemen ever (sorry, GEICO). It is hard to explain the appeal of the Flintstones, which [recently] celebrated the 50th anniversary of its first broadcast. Its animation was primitive, the stories campy and cliché, and it was horribly sexist — but the characters were lovable, the dialogue funny, and who couldn’t love the way it depicted “modern conveniences” (like washing machines) using only stone-age technologies (bones, stones and dino-power?)
What does Fred Flintstone have to do with healthcare? Not much, really, although Fred was the victim of a medical error. According to Answers.com: “A 1966 episode had Fred can’t stop sneezing, so he goes to the doctor for some allergy pills. The prescription gets mixed up with another package of pills which, when taken, transform Fred into an ape! Only Barney witnesses this metamorphosis, and naturally he can’t convince anyone what is happening … until a fateful family outing at the Bedrock Zoo.” (Of course, this all might have been prevented if they had e-prescribing in those days.) Read more »
The Kaiser Family Foundation has produced an informative and entertaining short animated movie that explains the problems with the current health care system, the changes that are happening now, and the big changes coming in 2014.
Narrated by newscaster Cokie Roberts (a member of Kaiser’s Board of Trustees), the nine-minute animation explains plainly how health care hadn’t worked in the past, addresses the controversies surrounding its passage, and outlines what will happen in the near future and in 2014.
One of the more effective criticisms of the health reform law (Affordable Care Act, or ACA) is that it hurts Medicare. It also is wrong.
Effective, in that it has been widely reported that seniors are more likely to express negative views of the ACA than other age groups. (Although the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Drew Altman, citing the group’s most recent tracking polls, writes that seniors’ opposition to health reform “is at least somewhat over played.”)
Effective, but wrong: The ACA actually helps Medicare in three important ways. Read more »
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