Bloggers look at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s role in the health care overhaul, whether employers may drop health insurance under the new law and if an individual mandate is necessary. Others are focusing on new studies and proposals unrelated to the health overhaul.
Matthew Green of the Monkey Cage attempts to objectively examine whether Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was as influential in passing health reform as many claim. Green concludes: “[S]he clearly is an influential speaker: her leadership was critical to the final outcome (whether you agree with that outcome or not) and was impressive enough to be included in future histories of Congress and public policy. Nonetheless, her actions should be evaluated in comparison to what other speakers have done, and are expected to do, as part of their job; and in this respect, I do not think they were themselves sufficient to put Pelosi on a list of the greatest speakers in history.”
Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey looks at new survey of employers and how they think the new health overhaul law might affect their businesses, including whether they might stop offering coverage. Morrissey writes: “Two years ago, dumping employees out of health-care plans would have been unthinkable for competitive reasons. The Obama administration and Democrats in Congress have made it not just thinkable, but downright rational. Unfortunately, the positive outcomes of eliminating the employer link to health insurance will not be partnered with a free-market insurance environment, but a top-down government-control system that will force insurers out of business. It means that we are heading quickly into a single-payer system, thanks to ObamaCare.”
John Goodman argues that “there is nothing that can be achieved with a mandate to buy health insurance that cannot be better achieved by a carefully designed system of tax subsidies. Beyond that, a requirement that everyone obtain insurance (as ObamaCare dictates) creates problems greater than the problem it is designed to solve.”
The New Atlantis’ James Capretta takes a critical eye to budgetary estimates for the health overhaul bill and also focuses on the impact of current proposals before Congress to fix Medicare reimbursements for doctors. Capretta writes, “The truth is the president and his allies in Congress worked overtime to pull together every Medicare cut they could find — nearly $500 billion in all over ten years — and put them into the health law to pay for the massive entitlement expansion they so coveted. They could have used those cuts to pay for the ‘doc fix’ if they had wanted to, as well as for a slightly less expansive health program.”
The Atlantic’s Megan McArdle says, “I had a conversation with someone non-crazy who thinks there is a not-insignificant chance that the Supreme Court will overturn health care reform, or at least the individual mandate. … Mind you, this person was not suggesting that the chances were, say, 85%; more like 25%.” McArdle explores the various scenarios that would evolve from such a ruling, but writes, “My hope is that in this unlikely event, it would open the way for something more like what I’ve proposed: catastrophic income insurance for everyone (i.e., the government will cover health care costs above some fairly high percentage of your income), with less support for first-dollar coverage.”
Health Affairs’ Chris Fleming posts several recent articles from Sherry Glied, President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the Department of Health and Human Services.
The New Health Dialogue’s Joanne Kenen notes that a new study found one in three hospital patients in California are readmitted within a year. The new health overhaul ”addresses preventable readmissions, with Medicare penalizing hospitals with very high readmission rates for certain specific conditions starting in October 2012. Medicare and Medicaid will also be experimenting with new payment and care models that may bring down the avoidably high rates by creating more continuity and accountability of care.”
A few bloggers are examining new studies and proposals.
Health Beat’s Maggie Mahar looks at an FDA proposal to increase transparency between the agency, pharmaceutical companies and device makers and says it “deserves attention because it signals that … this administration is serious about regulating those who have a stake in our $2.6 trillion health care industry.”
And Brad Wright discusses a new study on shows patients have a preference for doctors who have the same race or ethnicity as the patients. Wright says, “Given the disproportionately low number of African-American and Hispanic physicians vis-a-vis their proportion of the patient population, more work needs to be done to bolster minority presence in the workforce.”