September 11, 2012
Re "Know what cutting Medicaid would do," Sept. 9 Michael Hiltzik makes some good points, but there is a larger issue. The battle over our commitment to Medicaid is part of the war over our nation's healthcare system. Today, our patchwork system of Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance (including PPOs, HMOs and indemnity plans) has imposed extraordinary administrative requirements on healthcare providers, with physicians being the most affected. Their time is increasingly devoted to administrative demands at the expense of patient care; escalating healthcare costs result.
September 9, 2012 |
Of the nation's major social insurance programs, Medicaid tends to be the one that gets the least respect. The reason is not because it's small - with some 53 million enrollees, the federal-state program is slightly smaller than Social Security but larger than Medicare - but because it serves the poorest and sickest Americans, those with the fewest healthcare options. Yet Medicaid (or Medi-Cal, as it's known in California) may also have the greatest economic impact of those programs, not only on its recipients but also on the hospitals and clinics in many ill-served communities.
September 6, 2012 |
Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention, Bill Clinton put on a master's clinic on how to fight a political campaign. It may not have made Democrats wish he was back in the White House (at least not every Democrat), but they sure long to see him out on the campaign trail. The former president took the stage to nominate the current president -- "I want to nominate a man who is cool on the outside, but burns for America on the inside" -- and found a way to turn every vulnerability of Barack Obama's candidacy into a strength.
August 20, 2012 |
Health insurance giant Aetna Inc., trying to capitalize on growing enrollment in Medicare and Medicaid, has agreed to acquire Coventry Health Care Inc. for about $5.7 billion in cash and stock. The nation's third-largest health insurer, based in Hartford, Conn., said the Coventry deal will enable it to add more than 5 million new members, many of them in faster-growing Medicare Advantage and Medicaid managed-care plans. Federal and state officials are increasingly turning to private insurers to run government-financed health programs in hopes they can better control rising medical costs.
August 7, 2012 |
The Congressional Budget Office recently estimated that 30 million Americans still will be left without health insurance in 2022, after the U.S. Supreme Courtruling that largely upheld President Obama's healthcare plan. The part of the plan that was not upheld by the high court, however, contains the key to lowering that number. The issue revolves around what it means to be covered by health insurance, and who decides. Before the Supreme Court's ruling, the answer was unambiguous.
August 5, 2012
Re "GOP's push to cut Medicaid is shortsighted and just plain mean," Column, Aug. 3 Just as slumlords have been sentenced by courts to actually live in the hovels they own, I'd like to see Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.), who is sponsoring a bill to freeze Medicaid spending, be denied his plush congressional healthcare policy in favor of the Medicaid he claims coddles the unfortunates forced to depend on it. Put your health where your mouth is, representative, or shut up. Spencer Grant Laguna Niguel Since when is a spending freeze considered a cut?
August 2, 2012 |
Republican leaders are determined to protect rich people from paying higher taxes. Now they also want to reduce health coverage for the poor. You've really got to wonder about these guys. My colleague Noam N. Levey reported this week that conservative politicians at the state and federal level are laying the groundwork to scale back Medicaid if the GOP takes control of Congress and the White House in November. Some Republican governors are already cutting coverage for low-income people, arguing that Medicaid has grown ineffective and unaffordable.
July 25, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - As states consider whether to expand their Medicaid insurance programs for the poor under President Obama's healthcare law, new research indicates the decision may have life-and-death consequences. A study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that residents of states that expand coverage will likely live longer, be healthier and have better access to medical care. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health - who compared states that voluntarily expanded their Medicaid programs over the last decade with neighboring states that did not - found mortality rates were more than 6% lower in states with more generous coverage.