Wednesday, December 18, 2013
The head of Minnesota's health insurance marketplace resigned Tuesday after facing criticism over the troubled rollout and a questionably timed vacation in Costa Rica.
April Todd-Malmlov submitted her resignation during an emergency closed session of the government board of MNsure, Minnesota's version of the insurance exchange that's tied to the federal health care overhaul. She had been under increasing pressure over insurance sign-up problems and failed to get a vote of confidence from Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton last week.
A top official from the Minnesota Department of Human Services will be the new leader at MNsure.
Assistant Commissioner for Health Care Scott Leitz will serve as the interim executive director for MNsure until the agency can find a permanent replacement for Todd-Malmlov.
MNsure's technological problems coincided with ongoing political fallout from Todd-Malmlov's decision to go on a two week international vacation at the end of November with her partner, James Golden -- the state Medicaid director, who has been working on the rollout of MNsure.
Probably smarter to have just stayed on the beach in the sun with that partner than face families now without Health Insurance in a bleak Minnesota winter.
"Insurers privately tell Bob Laszewski that they think more people will have lost insurance by January 1 than the number who have signed up for Obamacare by January1.
"'I was out making some client calls this week with a number of different carriers and they know exactly how many policies they canceled and how many who reupped. And they know how many people have come in through the exchange,' says Laszewski. 'And I didn't find one of them who thought they were going to be net ahead on January 1. They all think they're going to net behind on January 1. That's where it's trending so far.'
"So far, at least 4.8 million Americans have received insurance cancellations notices, but Laszewski predicts that the total Obamacare enrollment will be less than half that number on January 1.
"'My guess is that we'll have somewhere around a million and a half people signed up for Obamacare on January 1 in the states and in healthcare.gov,' he says. The big question then, he adds, is 'why have we gone through this whole dislocation of the American health insurance system if only a million and a half to two million buy health insurance?'"
Maybe we’ll make up some of the gap with Medicaid. But at the current pace of enrollment, it would be a big hurdle to make up all the losses. Which means that we may well start the year with fewer people insured than we had in January 2013. There’s reason to think that that may be what the administration is seeing in the latest enrollment numbers.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Monday, December 16, 2013
Another can kicked down the road in Illinois.
Friday, December 13, 2013
.....asking insurers to pay claims for consumers who haven't paid their premiums, to treat out-of-network doctors and hospitals as though they were in-network, and to pay for prescription drugs not actually covered by the plans they offer.
The move also puts HHS in the position of playing the role central manager of the American health-care system—telling private insurers to do various things that have nothing in particular to do with the law, as though they work for the government. It is an eerie prefiguration of where the administration would like to get with this system, but it's also surely something they didn't want to be doing so publicly at this stage.
Almost at though Obama's Nationalized the Carriers but without paying anything for them. Just issuing the orders now on how they'll do business.
Via Modern Healthcare,
About 365,000 people have bought insurance through an insurance exchange in the first two months that the marketplaces were operational. That number—far below projections—may increase, but Fitch is still "somewhat suspect" that the coverage expansion will mean greater profitability, LeBuhn said.
He added that the majority of plans expected to be sold will be "silver" or "bronze" plans—which means they'll have significant cost sharing, which could lead to increased bad debt for providers.
Moody's Investors Service last month also affirmed a negative outlook on the not-for-profit healthcare sector, for the sixth straight year.
Rating agencies tossing sand in the eyes of the Healthcare System Engineers behind the Affordable Care Act. Engineers who thought more coverage would bring more profitability. Instead the risk falls on the patient and the bad debt will fall on the Hospitals and Providers.
Gay marriage activist Stephen Bona says the messages he left on State Rep. Jeanne Ives' (photo right) voice mail this past March weren't really threats, and believes the charges against him should be dropped. The first voice mail Ives reported to Wheaton Police said:
Your Tea Party brethren Sarah Palin put up a map that included the names, locations, and faces of Democratic candidates and put them in the cross hairs of a gun...perhaps we should do the same for you. We know where you live. There's no longer a ban on assault weapons. Think about that before you speak next time, (expletive).
Bona doesn't say he's sorry. He doesn't express remorse. He just wants us to think he didn't mean what he said. Can't do the time Bona, don't do the crime. He ought to get the book tossed at him.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Thousands of riot police carried out a co-ordinated crackdown on protest barricades in Kiev during the night. Columns of riot police closed in on Independence Square, hub of the protests that erupted after President Viktor Yanukovych pulled out of an association pact with the EU
Follow the link above for some good photos.
But amid the rush to enroll as many people as possible by the Dec. 23 deadline , there's a huge caveat that isn't getting much public attention: For coverage to take effect on Jan. 1, enrollees must pay their first month's premium on time. (The deadline varies somewhat by state and by insurer.)
That's slow going, according to consultants and some insurers, raising the prospect that actual enrollment will be far lower than the figures HHS is releasing.
I thought Rauner went a bit overboard with some of his Union comments but if he keeps it focused on public Unions and Karen Lewis, who's managed to become of the face of public Unions in Illinois, Rauner just might pull it off against Quinn in the General.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
I'm not one to call foks RINO's, or lay out Conservative tests, or raise the decibel level over who's got the purest beliefs. I've always like JBT; although I think she's long overstayed her time in Illinois Politics. (The run against Blagojevich should have been it.)
Maybe if I would have spouted off some though, she would would have kicked me a few points too?
It's a strange state our Illinois.
Monday, December 09, 2013
Very bad development and the US not paying attention.