Everyone has an angle or bias. Here is mine: I want to take this complicated topic of healthcare reform, and distill it down so you can understand to what it means to you. I’m finding that much of the information I’ve been sharing has come as a surprise to many of my readers, and I think I now know why-
The major media is not covering the story. Here’s some of what you may have missed.
Major Tax Repealed
33 Senate Democrats joined 45 Republicans in voting to repeal a 2.3 percent sales tax on medical equipment. This law would not only have been damaging to medical equipment makers, but it would have raised medical costs for us all. According to the Media Research Center, ABC, CBS, and NBC all chose not to cover this
Sebelius Admits that Premiums May Rise
Secretary of Health and Human Services admitted that many people will be paying higher premiums on the new healthcare plans that begin in 2014. This is the first time that an administration official has admitted that premiums will go up, not down, on at least some policyholders. This was also not covered by any of the big 3 networks.
Society of Actuaries Release Study Predicting 32 Percent Rate Increase
This study estimates rates will rise as high as 80 percent on some policyholders (young males, likely). This membership and educational organization of nearly 17,000 actuaries was formed in 1889, and regularly releases research analyzing public policy issues. Once again, there was no mention of this study by the 3 major networks.
Group Health Insurance Exchanges Being Delayed Until 2015
In a move that may portend what is going to happen in the individual market, the administration announced that this system of exchanges will not be ready in time to implement for 2014. They are still planning on moving forward with individual exchanges, though.
At a recent conference we were at, Henry Chao, heading up the technological implementation of the individual exchanges, expressed great doubt that they would be ready. “Let’s just make sure it’s not a third-world experience”, he said.
All of this is bad news for the healthcare reform law. But I have a feeling we’re in for a much more dramatic – and visible – mess, as we get closer to 2014.