The War on Health Care Fraud Needs a Champion

Merrill Goozner

Posted 1/09/12 on Gooz News

My regular readers know how much importance I attach to the war on waste, fraud and abuse in the Medicare and Medicaid programs (see posts here and here). Anyone who cares deeply about providing health care for all our citizens needs to make this a high priority, since taxpayers won’t long support those in need if the programs that deliver services aren’t protected from theft. That’s why Roy Poses over at the Health Care Renewal blog has done us a big favor by digging up this report from a 2007 Boston Globe profile on Mitt Romney.

Bain Capital’s 1989 purchase of Damon Corp., a Needham medical testing firm that later pleaded guilty to defrauding the federal government of $25 million and paid a record $119 million fine.

Continue reading “The War on Health Care Fraud Needs a Champion”

Romney Jumps on the Waiver Bandwagon–And Creates Even More Uncertainty Over the New Health Care Law

Robert Laszewski

Posted 10/26/11 on Health Policy and Marketplace Review

Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney has pledged to end “Obamacare.” Upon taking office, he would immediately begin the process by granting the states waivers from having to implement it:

“I’ll grant a waiver on Day One to get repeal started. On Day One, granting a waiver for all 50 states doesn’t stop it in its tracks entirely. That’s why I also say we have to repeal Obamacare, and I will do that on Day Two, with a reconciliation bill [requiring only 51 votes in the Senate] because as you know, it was passed by reconciliation with 51 votes.”

Romney appears to be on thin ground in making his waiver promise and his promise to use reconciliation to stop “Obamacare” could lead to chaos in the market and among consumers.
Continue reading “Romney Jumps on the Waiver Bandwagon–And Creates Even More Uncertainty Over the New Health Care Law”

The Lightweight Romney Health Plan

Robert Laszewski

First published 5/12/11 on Health Policy and Marketplace Review

Mitt Romney has outlined his new health plan. He outlined five key steps in an op-ed in USAToday. Here is a summary:

Step 1: Give states the responsibility, flexibility and resources to care for citizens who are poor, uninsured or chronically ill.who are poor, uninsured or chronically ill.

Step 2: Reform the tax code to promote the individual ownership of health insurance.

Step 3: Focus federal regulation of health care on making markets work…For example, individuals who are continuously covered for a specified period of time may not be denied access to insurance because of pre-existing conditions. And individuals should be allowed to purchase insurance across state lines, free from costly state benefit requirements. Finally, individuals and small businesses should be allowed to form purchasing pools to lower insurance costs and improve choice.

Step 4: Reform medical liability. We should cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice litigation.

Step 5: Make health care more like a consumer market and less like a government program. This can be done by strengthening health savings accounts that help consumers save for health expenses and choose cost-effective insurance.

Continue reading “The Lightweight Romney Health Plan”