April 24, 2014 |
DURHAM, Ore. - Oregon officials are poised to vote Friday on whether to jettison their troubled health insurance exchange and become the first state in the country to switch to the federal version, which had its own rocky start before righting itself. At a Thursday meeting, Cover Oregon's technology advisory committee announced that it had recommended that the agency scrap its local exchange because there was neither the time nor the money available to fix it. The Cover Oregon board will vote Friday.
April 22, 2014
Re "Patients lose in insurers' games," Column, April 18 David Lazarus tells of the ordeal a young female patient and her doctors went through to have breast reduction surgery covered by insurance, only to be denied. In the 1980s, I worked in a unit that reviewed appeals of medical claims denied under the group policies issued by my company. Many of the denied claims were for breast reduction. We reviewed these appeals carefully, as we recognized that the term "illness" included physical pain or limitation caused by something other than disease or injury.
April 21, 2014 |
WASHINGTON -- President Obama's job approval ratings have improved, if only slightly, from a low point during the winter, a trend that potentially could help embattled Democrats in key Senate races this fall. The size of the change varies from poll to poll , but they tell the same overall story: Obama's ratings took a slide in the fall as the public saw his HealthCare.gov website flounder. More recently, with the website fixed and the news about the president's healthcare law focusing on millions of people enrolling, his approval numbers have recovered.
April 20, 2014
Re "Obamacare enrollments top 8 million," April 18 As a physician devoted to the care of the indigent, I applaud President Obama's initiative to provide healthcare insurance for uninsured Americans. That reporting enrollments in a federal program is considered front-page news underscores the troubled history of this program. Of far deeper concern is that these are just enrollments. In other words, the hard work has not even begun. With the most expensive healthcare system in the world by an order of 10, and one that has many Byzantine contortions to stymie patients and providers alike, providing cost-effective care to those previously considered uninsurable will certainly stress the system in unforeseeable ways.
April 17, 2014 |
Dr. Theodore Corwin, a plastic surgeon in Thousand Oaks for the last 30 years, has had run-ins with insurers before, but never one so aggravating - and pointless - as this. A 26-year-old woman recently came to his office complaining of back, neck and shoulder pain, as well as numbness in her hands and arms, resulting from her unusually ample bust. She's 5-foot-6, not overweight, Corwin said. She wanted a breast reduction. "There seemed to be no question that her pain and numbness was caused by her carrying this excessive weight," Corwin told me. "It seemed like a straightforward diagnosis.
April 16, 2014 |
The first open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act ended this week with roughly 7.5 million people obtaining policies through the new state insurance exchanges, including more than 1.3 million at Covered California. That's an amazing and welcome result, considering how badly many of the exchanges stumbled when sign-ups began in October. Nevertheless, it's far too early to judge the success or failure of the healthcare law, given that key tests of the program's sustainability have yet to be passed.