This Week in Health Care Reform

There has been a lot of news this week regarding Health Care Reform, much of it focusing on upcoming legislation, and health care costs.

Legislative Efforts

News is breaking that we should expect to see a new legislative proposal on Monday, in advance of Thursday’s Health Care Reform Summit. The New York Times advises that the new legislation should be posted Monday morning, but points out “congressional Democrats…have not yet seen the proposal or signed on.” 

In theory, the prospect of a new bill should please Republicans, who have stated through the week that the existing legislation should not be the starting point.

Will we see something new? Can it break the impasse?

Controlling Costs 

No one should see the Anthem rate increases in California as an isolated event; the same story is playing out across the country for both individuals and fully insured groups.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is critical of the rate increases; the Washington Post reports that she has accused insurers of “taking excessive profits.” AHIP pushed back; pointing out that insurance companies are battling to manage rising medical costs.

The AP ties these strings together, contending that the Obama Administration “has seized on” Anthem’s increases “as exhibit A to make his case for sweeping change…”

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…there is too much political posturing, and not enough objective review of the many layered issues facing health care reform. I hope that Monday’s new legislation reflects this, but I won’t be making any bets.

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Filed under Health Care Reform, Health Care Spending, Legislative Updates

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