Thursday, January 29, 2015

Public on King vs. Burwell Supreme Court Case re Financial Aid +

This issue focuses on Kaiser's tracking poll reaction to Supreme Court King vs Burwell case; but also has articles on Medicaid variations, Retiree benefits, Results-Focused Care; 9 million enrollees

1) From Kaiser Family Foundation: Health Tracking Poll. Lots of very useful information

Majority of Public Says Congress Should Act to Close Gaps if the Supreme Court Bars Financial Help for Purchasing Insurance in States Relying on; Most in Potentially Affected States Want Their State To Set Up Its Own Marketplace if Needed

Here are a few key charts. Many more in the article.

Figure 1


Figure 3

Figure 4

The following is not surprising but bad news

Figure 14

2) The Goal Was Simplicity; Instead, There’s a Many-Headed Medicaid

3) Ruling Could Send More Retirees Seeking Coverage To Exchanges

4) The New York Times: Industry Group to Back Results-Focused Care 

This complements what HHS just announced as its plans.  I have long advocated for this.

5)  More Than 9 Million Choose Obamacare in Latest Round - NBC

Report by a nearby neighbor

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Complex: Premium Credits and Cost-Sharing Reductions; Latinos

1) Reporting Changes in Circumstances:  How Changes in Income and Household Size Affect Premium Credits and Cost-Sharing Reductions

CBPP hosted a webinar on 1/21 on the above topic.  This is a very complex topic and CBPP presented a very useful analysis of this complex but very important topic. 

Other webinars by CBPP can be found at CBPP: Health Reform - Beyond the Basics 

The 1/21 webinar guides navigators and consumers on how to make comparisons between plans on premiums, deductibles, copays, etc.  What I had not realized is that there are so many variables that one must consider in making such comparisons.  I think this is very hard to do for a navigator let alone a consumer.  I feel that a tool needs to be developed to make such comparisons easier for all and that it takes into account a consumers individual  or family needs. I recommend that you review this webinar.  Very well done but raises lots of concerns for me. 

On Friday, I received the following from Washington Consumer Checkbook in answer to my concerns.  

CHECKBOOK's Help for the New Health Insurance Marketplaces

This is the perfect answer to my concerns. Checkbook has been doing this kind of analysis on Federal Health Plans for many years and they have always provided extremely useful analyses.  I am very grateful to them for this latest product.  

2) Latino Enrollment Is Obamacare Priority

Efforts Intensify to Sign Up Hispanics for Health Care
3) Parents earning more than $3,760 are ‘too rich’ to qualify for Medicaid in Texas

5) Pay-For-Performance Schemes That Use Patient And Provider Categories Would Reduce Payment Disparities

6) Big Data In Health Care: Using Analytics To Identify And Manage High-Risk And High-Cost Patients

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Venture Capital and HealthPlan Finder Website

Here are several articles about Healthcare IT and Venture Capital.  These provide suggestions for investments.  Welcome comments on the merits of these investments. 

Health-care IT investment boom: Who's the next winner?

I am interested in advice on Venture Capital Firms that can assist in marketing Steve Morse's website. Perhaps as discussed in the NY Times article below.  Please suggest Health IT Venture Capital firms to I plan to write 

to some of the companies mentioned in the articles above.  

Steve Morse has developed a website that helps consumers select the best health insurance plans, which participate in the Affordable Care Act to meet their needs.  

Here is his website

Here are some of my blog posting about his site.  They reference two articles from two of the top news sources in the health policy field.  

Morse's site is lead article in CQ HealthBeat  A great comparison healthplan shopping site.  [CQHealthBeat is published by Congressional Quarterly]

 Zeke Emanuel in Politico:  Whoneeds  Easy to use planfinder sites.   Zeke Emanuel was a  key player in developing the Affordable Care Act. 

The following article suggests ways in which Morse's site can be of particular use.  

By way of background, I spent 26 years working at the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (see my resume at
on my blog) and have spent the last 5 years as a volunteer with the ACA in various capacities.  Several Health Connectors in Maryland have found Morse's site extremely useful. 

I have also written about investments in the health care field. See  Investment implications of the ACA – expanded

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Medicare at 50: Origins and Evolution

Medicare at 50: Origins and Evolution  Part I in New England journal of Medicine

Here is what I said previously.

So does Medicaid!!

For their 25th anniversary, I was on detail to the House Aging Committee and wrote a report for Committee's hearing.  

Medicare and Medicaid's 25th anniversary - much promised, accomplished, and left unfinished : a report presented by the chairman of the Select Committee on Aging, House of Representatives, One Hundred First Congress, second session. 
We had quite a party after the hearing with Burt Lancaster, John Rockfeller, and Gail Wilensky. 

The above report and a few other of my publications can be found at

My CV can be found at this site as well as on the side of this blog.  30 years at USDHHS, 26 of which were at CMS.