The biggest lie in Trump’s State of the Union speech

“The bad news for people with preexisting conditions is that this “ironclad pledge” is a lie. Trump and his administration have fought hard — in all three branches of government — to strip people with preexisting health conditions of the protections they enjoy under the Affordable Care Act. Indeed, if Trump has his way, those protections will cease to exist.”

” In 2018, for example, it handed down a rule expanding the use of short term insurance plans to that do not cover many services, and that may exclude people with preexisting conditions.

The mere existence of these plans can drive up premiums for people with expensive preexisting conditions, because these skimpy plans will lure healthy consumers away from more generous plans.”

“In Congress, meanwhile, Trump supported legislation seeking to repeal Obamacare or drastically water down its protections. One bill backed by Trump, the American Health Care Act, would have allowed many insurers to charge higher premiums — potentially prohibitively high premiums — to patients with preexisting conditions.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration is currently asking the courts to repeal Obamacare almost in its entirety. If the courts ultimately embrace the administration’s position, that will mean that all of Obamacare’s protections for people with preexisting conditions will be struck down.”

We finally have a new US maternal mortality estimate. It’s still terrible.

“the 2018 maternal mortality rate was 17.4 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births — meaning 658 women died in 2018. The figure includes deaths during pregnancy, at birth, or within 42 days of birth.

The rate once again put the US last among similarly wealthy countries”

“If you compare the CDC figure to other countries in the World Health Organization’s latest maternal mortality ranking, the US would rank 55th, just behind Russia (17 per 100,000) and just ahead of Ukraine”

Unlike Rivals, Buttigieg Health Plan Reduces Deficit And Covers 30M

““The four leading candidates would all spend money to expand coverage and they would all raise taxes to help cover the costs,” Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget senior vice president Marc Goldwein said in an interview Friday. “We estimate only one candidate would actually raise enough to assure their plan doesn’t add to the national debt.”

With the higher price tags come lower out-of-pocket costs for millions of Americans under the Warren and Sanders plans.”

The viral video of Mike Pence being grilled by an ER doctor about Medicaid cuts, explained

““Cutting Medicaid — yeah,” Davidson said. “The head of CMS [the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] announced the plan to let states file for waivers so they could get block grants, so that would essentially cut the amount of money going to states. So that would cut federal Medicaid funding.””

“”I think it comes down to that for the people I take care of all the time,” responded Davidson. “People I see in the emergency department that can’t get primary care doctors, [but] once they got Medicaid they could get primary care doctors. They stay out of the ER, they actually work more, they actually contributed to our community more.”

“Now, if you tell those people, ‘Sorry, you don’t get your health care’ — that’s going to be a real negative in their lives,” Davidson continued.”

Sorry, Bernie Sanders: Taiwan’s Single Payer System Isn’t an Argument for Medicare for All

“Sanders’ Medicare for All bill calls for no copays and no premiums and effectively outlaws private insurance as we know it. It is substantially more generous than Taiwan’s system, which means it would be substantially more expensive.”

Healthcare.gov glitches almost ruined the end of open enrollment. Is there a better way?

“In the Netherlands, people who don’t sign up for their universal private coverage during the annual enrollment period are automatically enrolled in a plan and have to pay a premium 20 percent higher than what they would have paid if they signed up voluntarily. The Dutch have achieved 99 percent coverage under such a system, which shares other features with Obamacare (like subsidies and the ban on preexisting conditions).”

A CT scan costs $1,100 in the US — and $140 in Holland

“for medical services, other wealthy countries are often paying half the price — or less — as private insurers in the United States.

The Netherlands, consistently ranked as one of the best health care systems in the world by advanced metrics, spends a quarter of what American insurers do on hip and knee replacements. A CT scan costs $1,100 in the United States and $140 in Holland. There are only a handful of isolated instances — childbirth in the United Kingdom, an angiogram or cataract surgery in New Zealand — where the cost of a particular service even approaches the US price.”

“The US is still the wealthiest country in the world. It’s home to the world’s leading biopharmaceutical industry. It tends to have the most cutting-edge treatments. All this contributes to higher prices here than elsewhere. But one big and unavoidable culprit is the lack of price regulation.

Private insurers, which cover more than half of Americans, negotiate with private providers and drug companies to set their prices. They do have some leverage (by denying a provider or drugmaker access to their patients) but it is more limited than in other countries. There is certainly significant price variation within the United States (with CT scans, for example, can cost anywhere from $250 to $1,500 depending on the location), but on average, prices for US private insurance are significantly higher than those seen under other kinds of health systems.

In some of the countries studied by the Health Care Cost Institute, like the UK, the government actually employs doctors and owns hospitals. Others, like Australia, have a universal public insurance program.

Even the Netherlands, which has a fully privatized insurance scheme, has placed more government controls on prices than the United States. Insurers there use global budgets, also common in single-payer systems, to pay providers, capping the amount they’re willing to pay per year to cover all of the services their customers need. It’s a hard limit on health care spending for the coming year, and then providers and payers negotiate prices for individual services based on that budget cap. It’s very different from private insurance in the United States, which is generally open-ended depending on how much medical care is used in a given year — and the price for those services.

Because of America’s high prices, there is a $3.5 trillion industry invested in the status quo.”