Congress stalls important health care improvement work.

With or without health care reform and 30 million newly-insured Americans, everyone agrees we need more primary care physicians, more physician assistants, and more skilled health care workers. Everyone seems to agree there should be a coordinated [...]

De-funding health care reform could derail Medicare Advantage and Drug plans.

The Republican strategy to kill the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) could have some unintended consequences. The House recently approved a bill (HR1) that would bar using government appropriated funds to pay workers or contractors to implement [...]

600,000 young adults get health insurance through Obamacare

Kaiser Health News reports that 600,000 young adults took advantage of a provision in the Affordable Care Act that allows people under 26 to remain on their parents’ employer health insurance. Wellpoint, the largest health insurer in the [...]

Ryan plan would double health care costs for seniors on Medicare.

Health care expenditures would double for the elderly in every state by 2022 if the Republican plan for Medicare is implemented. This is the finding of a detailed analysis of the Ryan plan for turning Medicare into a voucher program where the [...]

Medicare is key to Democrat’s upset win in NY congressional race.

How did a Democrat win a Congressional seat in a district that always votes overwhelmingly Republican?  Medicare is the answer.  The Associated Press described the results: The Democrat rode a wave of voter discontent over the national GOP’s [...]

Obamacare: Does your health insurance have a lifetime limit?

I got a call last week from a woman who has a health insurance policy with a $100,000 lifetime coverage limit. This means the insurance company won’t pay any more than $100,000 in insurance claims for this lady, who is 61 years old.  When [...]

$120 Billion in Savings For Medicare From the Affordable Care Act

Medicare is in trouble, and the only way to save it is to reform the program and cut costs. But how to do this? It turns out the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) provides some answers to this vexing question. The Affordable [...]

Help With Medicare and Drug Costs

There are two ways for seniors to get help with their Medicare premium and Part D drug costs. Medicare beneficiaries with monthly income below $1,246 (individual) or $1,675 (couple) can apply to the state of Arizona for help.  Seniors with [...]

Brand Drug Costs Overwhelm Medicare Part D Budget

In 2008, Medicare spent $68.3 billion dollars on drugs purchased through Part D plans.  This is too much money! Seventy-five percent of the $68.3 billion was spent on brand name drugs like Lipitor, Plavix, and Nexium. Generics used to treat [...]

Medicare, Customer Satisfaction, and Hospital Bills

Kaiser Health News reported on Medicare’s plans to change the way it pays hospitals.   Here are some excerpts from the story. Medicare took its broadest step yet in moving away from its traditional hospital payment method, finalizing [...]