What’s in a name?

So now it is health insurance reform, the President changed his words last night no doubt in an attempt to tap into the anti insurance company message.  He also pointed out that the cost of Medicare is a drag on the economy.  He is right about that, but unfortunately, the reform proposals do not control costs, at best, they shift them around.

The President’s focus is on spending by the federal government, not the overall economy.  They are missing the point in all this, it is that simple.  Saving money on Medicare by shifting costs to the private sector whether it is via health care or in taxes does not solve the problem.

To save money, we must reduce the per unit cost of services, reduce the number of services provided and reduce the services provided to the least intensive and costly possible.  The President alluded to that, but I doubt Americans get the message of what that all means.


  1. Payments by the federal government to the employer to reimburse for certain early retiree claims within dollar limits, I think, but not sure, between $15,000 and $60,000 or there about.


  2. Yes, this section refers to the so called reinsurce for certain retiree claims for people under age 65.

    But it gets worse, there are pending amendments that would require maintenance of effort for retiree benefits. One states that changes to retiree coverage can only be made if they are also made to active converage, a complete lack of understanding that the retiree coverage may not even be the same as active coverage.


  3. Don’t know if you saw it, but I think the new house bill includes the first “maintenance of effort shot across the bow” – perhaps the start of the process where Congress will try to foreclose any savings from inuring to benefit employers/plan sponsors:

    “(3) USE OF PAYMENTS.— Amounts paid to a participating employment-based plan under this subsection shall be used to lower the costs borne directly by the participants and beneficiaries for health benefits provided under such plan in the form of premiums, co-payments, deductibles, co-insurance, or other out-of-pocket costs. Such payments shall not be used to reduce the costs of an employer maintaining the participating employment-based plan.”


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