HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Krugman: "Health Ref...

Fri Apr 4, 2014, 11:01 AM

Krugman: "Health Reform Has Won!"

Krugman: "Health Reform Has Won!"

by TomP

In his column this morning, Paul Krugman urges supporters of expanded health care for the uninsured to celebrate because heath reform has won:

So my advice to reform supporters is, go ahead and celebrate. Oh, and feel free to ridicule right-wingers who confidently predicted doom.

Clearly, there’s a lot of work ahead, and we can count on the news media to play up every hitch and glitch as if it were an existential disaster. But Rube Goldberg has survived; health reform has won.


<...>

He identifies the biggest threat to the Affordable Care Act's success ("Obamacare" to have been the complexity required to create a system that kept employer heath insurance and insurance companies. He understands that while single payer is much simpler and better, it was not political possible to enact it:

But it wasn’t politically possible, for a couple of reasons. One was the power of the insurance industry, which couldn’t be cut out of the loop if you wanted health reform this decade. Another was the fact that the 170 million Americans receiving health insurance through employers are generally satisfied with their coverage, and any plan replacing that coverage with something new and unknown was a nonstarter.

So health reform had to be run largely through private insurers, and be an add-on to the existing system rather than a complete replacement. And, as a result, it had to be somewhat complex.


<...>

Thus there was some complexity, and it was that which provided the biggest risk to success:

It’s a system in which many things can go wrong; the nightmare scenario has always been that conservatives would seize on technical problems to discredit health reform as a whole. And last fall that nightmare seemed to be coming true.

But the nightmare is over.

<...>

So celebration is called for. The dreaded "welfare-state" has been expanded. The Reagan war on the New Deal is beginning to be turned back.

There is much to do regarding a reduction in economic inequality and climate change, but change is possible and we can do it. Keep hope alive!

go ahead and celebrate. Oh, and feel free to ridicule right-wingers who confidently predicted doom. ... health reform has won
.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/04/04/1289593/-Krugman-Health-Reform-Has-Won

"feel free to ridicule right-wingers "

OK:

Hey Fox News! This graph says it all (LOL!)
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024770859

It's a BFD:

Bernie Sanders' recent statement on the ACA: “This is a big, big deal.”
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024765617

Obama: 'There Are Still No Death Panels. Armageddon Has Not Arrived.' 'Time To Get Over It'
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024765888

Obamacare Cuts Kentucky's Uninsured Rate By 40 Percent
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024764635

Covered California enrolls 416,000 in March
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024776189

A Brief History: Universal Health Care Efforts in the US
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024755799

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised - The Obamacare Photos the MSM Doesn't Want You to See
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024761330





5 replies, 766 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 5 replies Author Time Post
Reply Krugman: "Health Reform Has Won!" (Original post)
ProSense Apr 2014 OP
cthulu2016 Apr 2014 #1
ProSense Apr 2014 #2
ProSense Apr 2014 #3
Donald Ian Rankin Apr 2014 #4
ProSense Apr 2014 #5

Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Apr 4, 2014, 11:31 AM

1. Very shrewd observation here:

the 170 million Americans receiving health insurance through employers are generally satisfied with their coverage, and any plan replacing that coverage with something new and unknown was a nonstarter

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 4, 2014, 11:42 AM

2. True, but

the 170 million Americans receiving health insurance through employers are generally satisfied with their coverage, and any plan replacing that coverage with something new and unknown was a nonstarter

...eliminating fear is one of the features of the law. In addition to all the benefits afforded all Americans, they no longer have to fear losing their health coverage when they lose their jobs:

Krugman: Insurance and Freedom

In fact, the real, lived experience of Obamacare is likely to be one of significantly increased individual freedom. For all our talk of being the land of liberty, those holding one of the dwindling number of jobs that carry decent health benefits often feel anything but free, knowing that if they leave or lose their job, for whatever reason, they may not be able to regain the coverage they need. Over time, as people come to realize that affordable coverage is now guaranteed, it will have a powerful liberating effect.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/08/opinion/krugman-insurance-and-freedom.html


Obamacare Enrollment Is Far From Over
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024764970

With the recent closure of the initial enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there is enormous jockeying around interpreting the number of enrollees in state and federal exchanges. Proponents and opponents of the law are interpreting the preliminary numbers in the way that best makes their case. But what neither side is emphasizing enough is that enrollment in the ACA is far from over now that March 31st has passed. This is because millions of individuals will lose their insurance during 2014 – and Obamacare will be there to catch them.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Apr 4, 2014, 12:30 PM

3. Kick! n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Apr 4, 2014, 01:15 PM

4. Not really. Free-at-point-of-use is not on the table. The deckchairs are just better arranged.


Eight years ago there was appetite in America for some form of healthcare reform.

That momentum has successfully lead to some healthcare reforms that are undeniably an improvement on what came before, but the American system of state support for healthcare funding is still a travesty (albeit to a slightly lesser extent).

Arguably, that momentum couldn't have been parlayed into more significant improvement - I don't think there was any realistic chance of free-at-point-of-use coming to pass, sadly.

But "we probably couldn't have hoped for much more" is not the same as "we won".

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Donald Ian Rankin (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 4, 2014, 01:33 PM

5. That's simply

"Not really. Free-at-point-of-use is not on the table. The deckchairs are just better arranged."

...simply an attempt to minimize significant progress.

Eight years ago there was appetite in America for some form of healthcare reform.

That momentum has successfully lead to some healthcare reforms that are undeniably an improvement on what came before, but the American system of state support for healthcare funding is still a travesty (albeit to a slightly lesser extent).

Arguably, that momentum couldn't have been parlayed into more significant improvement - I don't think there was any realistic chance of free-at-point-of-use coming to pass, sadly.

But "we probably couldn't have hoped for much more" is not the same as "we won".

We won because Obamacare is here to stay. We won because of the impact it will have (see comment 2) and on more progress.

The Single Payer Movement Expands
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024757591

As I noted in that thread...

Even as the Affordable Care Act is in its nascent stages, some states are already looking toward 2017 when they can request waivers to opt out of the healthcare exchanges. And a small, but persistent, movement has popped up toward a single payer system as an alternative to participating in the exchanges.

<...>

Robin Lunge, Vermont’s director of healthcare reform, said that Vermont’s goal is to move the issue of healthcare completely away from the employer. Vermont’s single payer system, she said, would be similar to the one state employees are already on. It would be financed through an employer and individual tax as well as the premium tax credits and subsidies provided through the exchanges.

<...>

The state’s Medicare, Medicaid and Veteran’s Administration programs would continue to operate as usual under a plan similar to Vermont’s. In Vermont’s potential single payer system, the system would act as a supplement to government insurance and cover everyone who is uninsured or part of the current state health exchanges.

... that Obamacare is providing the impetus.

Vermont single payer move has been fully funded by Obamacare.

Lessons from Vermont's Health Care Reform

By Laura K. Grubb, M.D.
The New England Journal of Medicine, April 4, 2013

In May 2011, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed legislation to implement Green Mountain Care (GMC), a single-payer, publicly financed, universal health care system. Vermont's reform law passed 15 months after the historic federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law. In passing reforms, Vermont took matters into its own hands and is well ahead of most other states in its efforts to implement federal and state health care reforms by 2014. The Supreme Court decision last June to uphold most of the ACA left many states scrambling, since they had postponed reforms pending the judgment. Although Vermont is a small state, its reform efforts provide valuable lessons for other states in implementing ACA reforms.

<...>

Finally, Vermont policymakers are maximizing federal financing and have projected cost savings. In January 2013, the state released a 156-page financing plan for its single-payer arrangement; the plan outlines federal financing sources and the anticipated generation of savings. Vermont has been awarded more than $250 million in federal funding for its state exchange — the fifth-highest amount among the states, although Vermont has the country's second-smallest state population. “We feel strongly that the exchange is not the answer to all of Vermont's health care problems,” Shumlin remarked, explaining that “the exchange is helpful to Vermont to bring us federal dollars to achieve our single-payer goal.”3 In fact, state exchange development will be 100% federally funded.4

- more -

http://www.pnhp.org/news/2013/april/lessons-from-vermonts-health-care-reform

For everyone who has a problem with ACA--
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024747402

The OP piece also mentions the VA and drug pricing.

Obamacare improved the Medicaid drug rebate program, which is one of the best.

Issue Brief - Medicare Drug Negotiation and Rebates

<...>

Best Price. A third argument is that it makes sense for Medicare to receive the best price available for prescription drugs, just like Medicaid and the VA. In Medicaid, the drug manufacturer provides the federal government discounts for drugs, which are shared with the states. The discount is either the minimum drug amount or an amount based on the best price paid by private drug purchasers, whichever is less. Current law requires drug companies to charge Medicaid 23 percent less than the average price they receive for the sale of a drug to retail pharmacies. Drug companies also must provide another discount if a drug’s price rises faster than the rate of inflation (Thomas and Pear, 2013)...Medicaid rebates, if applied to Part D, would save the federal government money. According to a 2011 study conducted by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Medicaid rebates were three times greater than the discounts negotiated by Part D for 100 brand name drugs. In 68 of these drugs, Medicaid rebates were twice as high as rebates granted by the drug companies for Medicare drugs (OIG HHS, 2011; Hulsey, 2013). Similarly, a 2008 study of drug pricing information by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform found that Part D paid, on average, 30 percent more for drugs than Medicaid (Hulsey, 2013).

- more -

http://www.ncpssm.org/PublicPolicy/Medicare/Documents/ArticleID/1138/Issue-Brief-Medicare-Drug-Negotiation-and-Rebates


The ACA increased the Medicaid rebate percentage.
http://www.medicaid.gov/AffordableCareAct/Timeline/Timeline.html

Medicaid Drug Rebate Program

<...>

The Medicaid Drug Rebate Program is a partnership between CMS, State Medicaid Agencies, and participating drug manufacturers that helps to offset the Federal and State costs of most outpatient prescription drugs dispensed to Medicaid patients. Approximately 600 drug manufacturers currently participate in this program. All fifty States and the District of Columbia cover prescription drugs under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, which is authorized by Section 1927 of the Social Security Act.

The program requires a drug manufacturer to enter into, and have in effect, a national rebate agreement with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in exchange for State Medicaid coverage of most of the manufacturer’s drugs. When a manufacturers markets a new drug and electronically lists it with the FDA, they must also submit the drug to the Drug Data Reporting (DDR) system. This ensures that states are aware of the newly marketed drug. In addition, Section II(g) of the Rebate Agreement explains that labelers are responsible for notifying states of a new drug’s coverage. Labelers are required to report all covered outpatient drugs under their labeler code to the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program. They may not be selective in reporting their NDC's to the program. Manufacturers are then responsible for paying a rebate on those drugs each time that they are dispensed to Medicaid patients. These rebates are paid by drug manufacturers on a quarterly basis and are shared between the States and the Federal government to offset the overall cost of prescription drugs under the Medicaid Program.

http://www.medicaid.gov/Medicaid-CHIP-Program-Information/By-Topics/Benefits/Prescription-Drugs/Medicaid-Drug-Rebate-Program.html

The reality is the massive expansion of Medicaid, a single payer system, along with the option for states to replace their exchanges with a single payer system will speed the arrival of single payer in this country.

When Vermont's system is up and running, I expect the dominoes to fall, finally.

A Brief History: Universal Health Care Efforts in the US
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024755799

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread