Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Thursday, July 06, 2017


Trumpcare for kids

by Tom Sullivan

Source: Georgetown University

If policymakers are not focusing on quick fixes, they are fixating on the the wrong problems. Politico this morning examines how the focus on lowering insurance premiums misses the still-growing overall cost of health care: prescription drugs, hospital stays, deductibles, co-pays, etc. Even if Republicans were to somehow rein in premiums, the overall costs are going to pop out somewhere else, like putting your thumb on a blob of mercury from a broken thermometer.

Growing premiums made a tight, sound-bite issue to run on last fall:

“Too many in the GOP confuse adjustments in how insurance premiums are regulated with bringing competitive pressures to bear on the costs of medical services,” the American Enterprise Institute’s James Capretta wrote in a recent commentary for Real Clear Health. “They say they want lower premiums for consumers, but their supposed solution would simply shift premium payments from one set of consumers to another.”
Republicans claim their plans for replacing Obamacare will cut the federal government's health care expenditures — $800 billion less on Medicaid over a decade. But that will only shift the burden elsewhere.
Many Republicans predict that limiting federal payments to states would force Medicaid to be more efficient. Democrats says the GOP bill would basically thrust those costs onto the states and onto Medicaid beneficiaries themselves, who are too poor, by definition, to get their care — often including nursing homes — without government assistance.

The CBO gave a mixed assessment of what would happen to premiums under the GOP proposals. They’d rise before they’d fall — and they wouldn’t fall for everyone. Older and sicker people could well end up paying more, and government subsidies would be smaller, meaning that even if the sticker price of insurance comes down, many people at the lower end of the income scale wouldn’t be able to afford it.
The Kaiser Family Foundation believes it is the overall cost of health care the public feels more than premiums.

The Los Angeles Times considers what $800 billion less spent on Medicaid will mean to children in rural areas such as Fayette County, West Virginia where voters overwhelmingly supported Donald Trump. Five percent of children nationwide are without health coverage today, down from 14 percent two decades ago. Cutting Medicaid puts them at renewed risk:
“There is just no way to cut Medicaid on the scale that they are talking about and avoid hitting kids,” said Dr. Traci Acklin, who grew up in Fayette County and now runs the only pediatrician’s practice in Montgomery, out of the first floor of a community hospital founded a century ago to care for sick miners.

“Without the health insurance, kids aren’t going to get the immunizations and the checkups. There are going to be more lost days of school. More trips to the emergency room.... It would be food or healthcare for a lot of these families.”
Medicaid expenditures for children yield improved health, reading scores, and reduced dropout rates as well as higher future earnings according to research cited by the Times:
Overall, the Senate GOP legislation would slash more than a third of federal Medicaid funds over the next 20 years and nearly double the ranks of the uninsured by 2026, according to recent analyses by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Budget analysts and many state governors, including some Republicans, predict such a retrenchment will have a devastating impact, including on children, as some 45 million low-income children rely on Medicaid and CHIP nationally.
The vast majority of counties where those children on Medicaid or CHIP reside — 622 of the 780 counties — have populations under 50,000, the report continues. "Most of the counties are overwhelmingly white, with the exception of predominantly African American counties in the Mississippi Delta and heavily Latino counties in New Mexico and along the Rio Grande Valley in Texas." In Arkansas, Mississippi and New Mexico, a majority of children in three-quarters of the counties count on two or more taxpayer-supported plans.

If the current Republican plan(s) for Obamacare reform pass, more is at stake for adults as well, writes Anna Maria Barry-Jester at FiveThirtyEight:
There’s little doubt that reducing the program’s federal funding by $772 billion over the next 10 years would alter who Medicaid covers and what services enrollees can receive. Medicaid covers more people than any other entitlement program in the country, so any changes would affect a lot of people. The program is responsible for 62 percent of nursing home residents in the U.S. and covers nearly half of all births. It also insures people who are in particularly dire need of health care: children with complicated, chronic conditions and people with HIV, for example. And that costs a lot of money. Medicaid is one of the federal government’s largest expenses, after Social Security, defense and Medicare. It’s the second-largest expense to states, after education.
What a shame the richest country in the world can no longer afford Americans. It will shed blood to defend them, but it won't spend money to heal them.

Well. The holiday is over. Time to get back (myself included) to making sure our electeds don't get an extended one.

Update: NC Senators faxed.