Here are all the articles I've written about Health Care Reform. Enjoy!

August 22nd, 2017

Truth or (do you) Dare?

Thank you for coming back!  This is our final and MOST IMPORTANT segment for our blog series, Are YOU ready for Single Payer?  The whole reason we dove into this topic was because of SB 562, the Healthy California Act.

On 6/23/17, CA Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) shelved the proposal saying it is “woefully incomplete” and has postponed any further legislative action until 1/18/18.

At the very least, this will give the CA Senate and Assembly time to address some of the serious flaws in SB 562, including the lack of a funding mechanism, zero public accountability and no way to control or manage medical care and costs.

While this bill is off the table for now, it will be sure to zombie.  If it IS resurrected next year, you might not get a chance to vote on this bill.   But YOU will pay for it.

As it was written, SB 562 estimated an annual price tag of $460 BILLION – and that’s just to start.  The current healthcare budget is $60 billion.  That’s QUITE an increase.

  • Proponents don’t really balance the books when it comes to the tax burdens which could be put on all of us. When it costs too much, employers will start the lay-offs… that means you!   And there’ll be no more $$ going into the unemployment trust fund… so you’ll be on your own.
  • SB 562 – like the ACA — doesn’t have any language addressing the cost of getting medical care (which, let’s face it, is already out of control!)

The Insurance Mom is worried about you.  She wants everyone to have easy access to medical care.  The Insurance Mom thinks SB 562 is alarming. Why?  Well, I’ll tell you!

Under this proposed bill, you will be forced to give up whatever …

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August 11th, 2017

The Truth About Single Payer

Thank you for tuning in and educating yourself about Single Payer!  This is part seven in our series, “Are YOU ready for Single Payer?”

The Insurance Mom wants you to know all sides of the insurance equation and really understand that “FREE MEDICARE FOR ALL” is very misleading and all political spin.   There’s nothing “free” about it.

“If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.”  — P.J. O’Rourke

Let’s unpack the potential pitfalls and hidden risks for moving to a Single Payer system, shall we?

  • RATIONING health care will be the new norm.   To repeat… that means you won’t get to go to any old doctor whenever you want.  You’ll likely have to wait a VERY LONG TIME to see a doctor, and even longer to see a specialist.  The CA government will be rationing your care.  You’ll get used to waiting lists before ever getting into the waiting room.  WHA!?
  • RX restricted accessibility for advanced and expensive prescriptions
  • TAXES Boy, will they increase.  For all of us.  In the proposed SB 562, personal income taxes could go up by $9200 for everyone, and increase every year. If CA continues to fight for single payer, it will need you and I to hand over at least $179 BILLION in new state taxes to pay for a health care system run by the State of California.  Remember too… no more Medi-Caid / Medicare.  So we’re counting on the Feds to give CA all that money too… and none of THAT is guaranteed.
  • LOSS OF DOCTORS Doctors who don’t get paid well by a Single Payer system, will probably leave CA… why bother staying?
  • LACK OF ASSISTANCE  And if you need help with your coverage, your only call will be
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August 7th, 2017

Public impressions vs. reality

Welcome to our sixth in the series, “Are YOU ready for Single Payer?”

 

 

Check out the above eye-opening graphic.  Words matter, don’t they?  While each of these things are different slightly (as we covered last week), the concept is the same.

CA Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) shelved SB 562 on 6/23/17 until January 2018, but that doesn’t mean the conversation is over.

The Insurance Mom wants you to understand socialized medicine for the future.  Don’t shrug… it’s inevitable that this will come to a vote one day, be it in CA or nationwide.

Here’s the skinny… similar programs in Oregon and Vermont failed, and shut down within 2 years (most recently in 2014).   Last year, Colorado voted down Single Payer by an overwhelming 85% vote.    Why?  It all comes down to money, honey.

Tune in next week where we break down the dollars when it comes to the systems proposed in the now-sleeping-but-not-dead SB 562.          

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July 28th, 2017

What the heck IS single payer?

Thanks for tuning in to The Insurance Mom’s blog on Single Payer.  Last week, we opened the convo by talking about California’s SB 562, aka Healthy California.    Two State senators are proposing a single-payer system.  But let’s unpack what that really means.

Single Payer = “Rationed” Medical Care

ICYMI, the CA Senate advanced a bill to the Senate.   SB 562 – The Health California Act, aka Single Payer (SP).  And then… On Friday, 6/23/17, CA Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) shelved the proposal saying it is “woefully incomplete” and has postponed any further legislative action until January 2018.

What does single payer mean?    The government will run your health care AND impose higher taxes on all of us.

It will be illegal for a doctor to perform services not included in the state’s Single Payer Plan.

It will be illegal for an insurance company to sell policies which duplicate any services covered under the state’s proposed Single Payer plan.

Single-payer advocates believe, on principle, that health care is best when it is “free to the patient at the point of care.” On the back end, of course, you still pay for it in higher taxes, and in between, the government decides whether or not you should be allowed to have that knee replacement or that mammogram. This is what we call rationing.

“Socialism is fine until you run out of other people’s money.”   — Margaret Thatcher…

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July 17th, 2017

Pack your bags – we’re goin’ on a trip around the world!

The Insurance Mom mentioned in last week’s post that there seems to be a huge misunderstanding of how America’s health care delivery system compares to those of other countries.   The divine Michael Lujan, shares his expertise:

The UK Model – In this mostly single-payer model, healthcare is provided and financed by the government through taxes. Except for small co-pays for prescriptions, there are no co-pays or deductibles as health care is delivered as a public service, like fire and police. With Britain’s National Health Service, most doctors and hospitals are owned by the government and patient wait times can vary by region or treatment type. As the sole payer, the government controls what doctors can do, and what they can charge. Our Veterans (VA) system is a close example. They also have private insurance options.

The Canadian Model – With this “National Health Insurance model”, the providers are private but the payer is a government-run insurance plan everyone pays into. Our Medicare system is a close example of this model. The private insurance plans are non-profit and manage their costs by limiting or delaying care.  Canada’s decentralized health system (coincidentally called “Medicare”) is technically a multi-payer system with slight differences for each of their ten provinces and three territories; some provinces/territories have co-pays at the point of care and others don’t.

The German Model – In this multi-payer system, providers and payers are private and largely funded through employer-based payroll deductions. Patients have co-pays at the point of care. The world’s first national health system (established around 1883) offers citizens 135+ private insurance plans called “sickness funds”. These private insurers negotiate prices with private hospitals and providers. Patient wait times are shorter than U.S. patients typically experience. This is the system most familiar to most Americans and might be …

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July 7th, 2017

Is Health Care A Right or a Privilege? (more brilliant comments from the amazing Michael Lujan)

Inspired by the great Michael Lujan and his post on LinkedIn.

At the center of the debate is this simple but loaded question. Every other developed nation has answered the question and enacted some form of universal health coverage (UHC). Proponents of the bill often make comparisons to the Canadian or the UK health systems. These comparisons are inaccurate, deliberately misleading, or possibly uninformed. The term “single-payer” refers to the financial arrangement; meaning one entity (the government) collects the funds (usually in the form of taxes) and this “single payer” also pays the providers. In a single-payer model, the providers can be private or government-owned. The government replaces the insurance company role and instead of paying premiums, Californians would pay for health care through higher taxes.

“When you look at all the different health care systems around the world… They are not all single-payer… and most are less socialized than America’s.” – T.R. Reid

Visit us next week when The Insurance Mom shares a comparison of four health care models around the world.…

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June 30th, 2017

What a difference a week makes! SB 562 Update

Thanks for tuning in for our series on single payer!  What a difference a week makes; big update on SB 562.

On Friday, 6/23/17, CA Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) shelved the proposal saying it is “woefully incomplete” and has postponed any further legislative action until January 2018.

“If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you use what it costs when it’s free.”  – P.J. O’Rourke

The Insurance Mom’s colleague, Michael Lujan (one of CA’s best-known expert insurance legislative analysts) offers this in his amazing post on LinkedIn:

Single Payer (SP) would:

  • Replace all forms of private and public health insurance in California with a state government-run health system.
  • Would eliminate an estimated half million insurance, health care administration and related jobs, tripling our current unemployment rate. And without payroll contributions going into the system, there will be no money to pay unemployment benefits.
  • Could make California a health care destination for anyone seeking “free healthcare” as neither citizenship, nor permanent residency is required to use the SP system.
  • Requires massive tax increases. The additional 15% payroll tax would make California the highest taxed state in the country.

If enacted, The Healthy California Act (SB 562) would be the largest tax increase in California’s history. The entire state general fund is $183 billion. As proposed, the bill would cost an estimated $400 billion for the initial year and unknown costs for subsequent years. While that may seem like a deal-killer, the bill moved forward to the State Assembly and should not be ignored (when it resurfaces in 2018).

While this bill may be dead in the water, single payer / universal healthcare / socialized medicine / Medicare-for-all have been floating around the brains of the public.  The Insurance Mom wants her kiddies well-informed about …

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June 23rd, 2017

What’s going on with healthcare today!?

Are YOU confused?  We all are!  There are some VERY big things being discussed right now regarding health insurance.   But we read all the articles and boil it down into an easily digestible stew.  Here’s the inside scoop from The Insurance Mom!

While a lot is happening in Washington, there’s even more urgent things happening here at home in CA.

SB 562 — The Healthy California Act — is working its way through Sacramento right now.   You probably won’t get to vote on it.

State Senators Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Sen. Toni Atkins ((D-San Diego) say they know what’s best for their constituents.   They say… “all Californians will have one plan, more choice.”  Huh?  What does that mean??

Welcome to Our Blog Series

The Insurance Mom wants her insurance family to be informed, insured, and inspired to engage in the future of health care.  That’s why I’ve written a blog series about Single Payer Health Care.  Tune in next week for some truly EYE-OPENING info on our insights of these concepts.…

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May 11th, 2017

Are AHCA concerns making you sick? Pre-existing conditions and MacArthur and more….

Holy cow, folks!  What a crazy time for health insurance!

Politics aside, The Insurance Mom wants you to be really, totally clear about what’s happening in the wacky world of health insurance.

The first thing most clients ask me these days is about pre-existing conditions.  What if I have an illness before I buy health insurance?  What if my sick child loses coverage?  “What-ifs” all over the place!

All we can do right now is breathe.  We don’t know what’s going to happen with this bill (it’s not a law yet!).  But I did want to shed some light on the latest MacArthur Amendment.

The LA Times did an EXCELLENT article on just this issue here:  http://www.latimes.com/business/lazarus/la-fi-lazarus-gop-healthcare-macarthur-amendment-20170504-story.html

Here are a couple of excellent quotes… but the whole article is awesome.

“And it protects people with pre-existing conditions much as starving people may be welcome at a restaurant, but only if they order the most expensive dishes on the menu.”

“This much is clear: Republican lawmakers have provided a textbook example of how not to enact major legislation.  They’re aiming to radically overhaul the $3-trillion U.S. healthcare system yet have shunned the input of major stakeholders such as medical organizations, hospitals and patient-advocacy groups, which are uniformly against the measure.”

What do YOU think, my lovely peeps?  Do you believe everyone should help pay for the sick?  Did you like the old way of doing things before the ACA?  Do you benefit from Obamacare?  Do you hate Obamacare (aka ACA)?  Tell The Insurance Mom your every little thing!…

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April 18th, 2017

Have You Heard? BIG changes coming to health insurance in 2018! BEWARE – BE AWARE!!

In 2018, if you’re buying individual health insurance for you and the fam (not through an employer),  PAY ATTENTION!
Open enrollment is scheduled to start NOVEMBER 1, 2017 (for new coverage starting January 1, 2018)
NEW RULE:  
Open enrollment will ONLY be for FORTY-FIVE days, ending December 15th.  That’s half of what it’s been in prior years.  YES!!!  No kidding.  PAY ATTENTION!!  
Health insurance will be harder to buy – or change —  in 2018. So The Insurance Mom wants you to really PAY ATTENTION!!  Outside of Open Enrollment (after 12/15/17) you’ll have to seriously PROVE that you’re eligible to buy health insurance or make changes to your plan.  It’s called a Qualifying Life Event.
 
MORE CHANGES:
  • The new rule could reduce the amount of federal subsidies that currently make premiums more affordable for low- and middle-income people
  • The new rule could allow insurance companies to offer even skinnier networks
  • The new rule could make coverage skinnier, too
PAY ATTENTION!   New regulations do NOT require Congressional approval… just the signature of a President.  If you’re not happy with the way things are going and are worried that you could lose the coverage you have, The Insurance Mom encourages you to contact your Members of Congress.
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