Obamacare cannot deliver the impossible (even if it were good public policy— and it isn’t). In their operations to date, only about half of the Medicare accountable care organizations (ACOs) have yielded savings. The best that can be said, thus far, is that the jury is still out on the Affordable Care Act delivery reforms.
Not all prescribing that drug ads promote is valuable, yet they encourage some helpful and appropriate care. Collectively, every $28 spent by drug companies per year on ads resulted in one more visit to a doctor that led to a prescription. When it comes to depression, a randomized controlled trial showed that drug requests led to more appropriate care, though not always with pharmaceuticals. Another way drug ads can help patients is by encouraging them to continue with medication they’ve already been prescribed.
In 2013, the U.S. spent far more on health care than these other countries. Higher spending appeared to be largely driven by greater use of medical technology and higher health care prices, rather than more frequent doctor visits or hospital admissions. Despite spending more on health care, Americans had poor health outcomes, including shorter life expectancy and greater prevalence of chronic conditions.
The most serious health care problem faced by most Americans is affordability. Only national security ranked higher among Americans’ concerns. This post examines the affordability problem and offers suggestions for tackling it that combine approaches in the ACA with proposals by the law’s detractors.
Nearly three in four people who lacked health insurance last year were exempt from the penalty under ObamaCare, according to data from the tax-filing software TurboTax. The two most common exemptions were related to the cost of coverage. The other common exemptions were related to a recent eviction or the death of a family member.
Although premiums for private insurance have grown relatively slowly in recent years, they have usually grown faster than the economy as a whole and thus faster than average income. CBO and JCT expect them to grow at similar rates over the next decade—by about 5 percent per year, on average, or about 2 percentage points faster than income per capita.
The Washington State Health Care Authority said the information includes consumers’ Social Security Numbers, dates of birth, client ID numbers and private health information. “While we have no indication that the client files went beyond the two individuals involved, Important privacy laws were violated and we are exercising caution and due diligence given the nature of the information,” HCA Risk Manager Steve Dotson said. Both employees have been “terminated,” officials said.
The number of uninsured people in Washington state has been cut in half since health care reform took effect, but there are still about half a million uninsured people in the state, the insurance commissioner’s office reported Wednesday. Adults who don’t have insurance this year- through work or Medicaid or the individual market – will face penalties of at least $695. Families could be asked to pay more than $2,000 in fines.