It’s Time for Single-Payer Health Care

Photo by courtneyk/iStock

I frequently travel around the country meeting and speaking with business groups about issues affecting their companies. The business groups I speak to are located in places like Montana, Ohio, Nebraska, and Texas. Many of the attendees are farmers, manufacturers, distributors, and service providers. Most of them don’t live in big cities. And yes, like me, the majority of them lean to the right. Some even fall over.

Of course, health care is a major part of those discussions. And you know what I’ve found? We right-leaning conservatives actually have a whole lot in common on that issue with our left-leaning friends. OK, not with Lena Dunham. But more than you may realize. Read more »

A Humble Suggestion for Fixing America’s Health Insurance Problems

Photo by LPETTET/iStock

Photo by LPETTET/iStock

A few days ago, I was spending my lunch hour at work filling out an online form to make an appointment with a doctor I’d never been to before. I had my ducks in a row: calendar, check. Insurance card, check. Normal impatience: tightly reined in. Doctor forms always ask so many questions. And the plain truth is, I’m no longer sure of the exact date on which I had that hernia operation back in 1996. I do know when I had my two caesareans, though. Those are my kids’ birthdays.

Insurer’s name? Too easy. ID number? I got that, even though the tiny type and the five zeroes in a row — or is it four? — don’t make it easy to read off my insurance card. Then the form asked for group number. Um. I looked at the card, then turned it over. Nope, nothing that said “group number.” Somewhere in the far distant reaches of my brain, I felt a little tingle. I had the vaguest recollection of my ordinarily even-tempered husband railing about how he couldn’t find the goddamn group number for the health insurance anywhere — when? A year ago? Two years? Five years? I seemed to recall that he finally found it, somehow, and told the kids and me to write it down someplace safe for when we needed it again. Read more »

Wharton Prof: Trumpcare Could Mean Aromatherapy-Only Insurance

Huntsman Hall - Wharton School

Huntsman Hall, the main building of the Wharton School at 38th and Walnut Streets in West Philadelphia

A Wharton School health and management professor says that insurance plans that cover only aromatherapy could be the result of one of the proposed healthcare revamps currently under consideration by Republicans in the House of Representatives.

Mark Pauly tells the New York Times that the proposals to strip Obamacare provisions that force insurance companies to cover certain essential health situations in their plans, combined with a tax credit to pay for insurance, could lead to a bunch of plans that don’t really cover much.

“If they’re going to offer a tax credit for people who are buying insurance, well, what is insurance?” he said. “You have to specify what’s included.” He told the paper insurance that covered only aromatherapy and not hospital care. Read more »