Bloggers found a lot to occupy their thoughts today–ranging from conservative beliefs about government health care spending to the future of health savings accounts and a study that found increasing out-of-pocket spending among the insured. One blogger even talks to an author about her novel that uses terminal illness and high medical bills to advance the plot.
Avik Roy writes an article for The National Review Online (titled “The Conservative Healthcare Conundrum”), about a ” contradiction that dogs many Obamacare critics: if we are opposed to Sarah Palin’s death panels, are we simultaneously for unlimited government health spending?” Roy says there is a ”contradiction that dogs many Obamacare critics: if we are opposed to Sarah Palin’s death panels, are we simultaneously for unlimited government health spending? … Here is the basic problem. If the state pays for our health care, then the state has a responsibility to ensure that it is paying for cost-effective treatments; otherwise taxpayer dollars are wasted. It is precisely because politicians are afraid to say no to seniors that companies can overcharge Medicare.”
National Journal’s Marilyn Werber-Serafini asks her experts, “What does the future hold for consumer-directed health plans?” Responders so far include Michael Cannon, Paul Fronstin, Paul Ginsberg and John Goodman.
On a similar note, Cato’s Michael Cannon says the new law contains price controls that could affect certain types of plans, elaborating: ”As premiums for comprehensive plans spiral upward (ultimately causing comprehensive plans to disappear) and as ObamaCare proves more costly than projected, supporters will be desperate for new revenue. They will call for the elimination of both HSAs and high-deductible health plans on the grounds that those products — not the price controls, mind you — are causing the market to unravel. …HSAs allow young and healthy consumers to avoid the raw deal that ObamaCare offers them. And that’s precisely why ObamaCare’s supporters will try to kill HSAs. We will end up repealing one or the other.”
ABC News’ Eleanor Hall interviews author Lionel Shriver about her novel, So Much For That, which is both a harsh critique of the U.S. health system and an exploration of how a family copes with terminal illness. Hall explains, “the start of each chapter in her novel is an account showing the central character’s declining bank account. So there is no way the reader can miss the message about the financial cost of dying in the US. But [the story] also takes an uncompromising look at the emotional toll as well.” Shriver tells Hall of the health overhaul law President Obama advocated, “As well-intended as I believe he was, I’m worried that what this legislation means is that as far as the American public is concerned, we have now addressed this issue and we won’t come back to it for another 20 years. In the meantime, the cost of medical care in the United States is going to continue to go through the roof.”
The Wall Street Journal’s Kathleen Hobson reports: “Sen. David Vitter sent a letter to HHS head Kathleen Sebelius, asking her to remove from the agency’s website the controversial breast cancer screening recommendations issued last fall by the United States Preventive Services Task Force.” Hobson continues, “We were a bit confused by the letter – does the health-care overhaul bill require HHS to take down the recs? Well, no, explains Vitter’s communications director, Joel DiGrado, in an email to the Health Blog, but Vitter wants them taken down anyway.”
And the Heritage Foundation made a new video “timeline of taxes” under the health law. Hannah Sternberg writes in an accompanying blog post, “many of the law’s new costs and limitations are still scheduled to kick into effect years down the line, when Congress hopes voters aren’t paying attention anymore.” Video below: