HR Benefit Ideal – Time For Change

Tom Emerick

Posted 2/14 on Cracking Health Costs

The Human Resources notional view of health care benefits needs to change and do so quickly.

At one time the view of health benefits was one of satisfying/motivating employees, closely coupled with a notion that health benefits were a great way to attract and retain top talent.  Truthfully, that was never really the correct notion of health care reimbursement models.

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There is No Free Lunch and There is No Free Contraception

Robert Laszewski

Posted 2/10/12 on Health Policy and Marketplace Review

The otherworldy Obama Administration solution to the contraception firestorm might work politically but it makes no sense in the real world. The President, hoping to quell a growing political firestorm, today announced a new policy that no longer requires religiously affiliated organizations to provide employees with contraception coverage in health-insurance plans. Under the new policy, insurance companies will be required to offer free contraception for their employees and dependents. The administration’s idea is to shift the onus for the coverage from the employer to the insurer. Catholic leaders, and lots of other people, had objected to the requirement, which exempted churches but not hospitals, charities and universities with religious affiliations. So, let’s just play a game here. The religious organization just pretends that it has nothing to do with it but the insurance company pays for it anyway. Hey, the insurance companies are rich. Continue reading “There is No Free Lunch and There is No Free Contraception”

Coffee in the Garden of Eden

Dov Michaeli

Posted 12/22/11 on the Doctor Weighs In

“Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers”

Genesis, 2, 10-14

Incredulous Dov
Adam and Eve, by Hendryk Goltzius (who could get away with this "pornography" as long it was biblical)

Quick: what fruit did Eve offer to Adam? All of you who answer “apple”, are (drum roll…) WRONG! As the bible says, the fruit came from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. And that’s it;  the common  perception that it was an apple is unfounded.

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Private Insurance Is Public, Too

Jim Hufford

First published 4/14/11 on Organon

There are lots of ways to set up a system of health insurance. You can involve the government to varying degrees in regulation and payment, and to the extent that the government takes it upon itself to bear the population’s major health risks, you have a system of public insurance. To the extent you allocate risk through market mechanisms, you have a system of private insurance. But either way, at bottom the concept of insurance is about distributing risk through a population. That’s what gives insurance its social utility, and it’s the reason people buy insurance. And so in an abstract sense, all insurance is public insurance. It is people pooling money through premiums or taxes to cover their collective health risk.

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The Time Has Come To End The Health Care Tax Exclusion

Merrill Goozner

First published 4/11/11 on Gooz News

President Obama on Wednesday will unveil his counteroffer for bringing the nation’s budget deficit under control. Last week, the Republican plan authored by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., chairman of the House Budget Committee, focused public attention on cutting health care subsidies for seniors and low-income people. Will the president go after the bloated health care sector, too?

Here’s one way he could raise a half trillion dollars in the next four years from health without touching seniors or the poor. The plan would win plaudits from tax purists and deficit hawks. And it would make a major contribution to holding down the growth in health care costs, while testing Ryan’s claim to back putting tax expenditures on the table.

The president should propose eliminating the income tax exclusion for health care benefits.

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Mandated insurance coverage means mandated cost. What do we really want to pay for?


Originally published here on 9/08/10 on the Health As Human Capital Foundation Blog

Have you ever tried to purchase cable television with just the channels you want to watch, and been told that you need to buy the ‘whole package’ to get service? Sound like your cell phone plan?

We often see private companies ‘bundle’ services to boost revenue or maximize their profit margins, and as consumers, we have to decide if we’re willing to purchase these sorts of arrangements. But what would happen if the government were to require the public to purchase a service, and then mandate a very expensive bundle of services without giving consumers a choice about what’s included? Welcome to healthcare.
Continue reading “Mandated insurance coverage means mandated cost. What do we really want to pay for?”