Sebelius Gives Green Light to States to Cut Medicaid Benefits

By: Friday February 4, 2011 10:03 am

I continue to think that the greatest threat to the coverage expansion in the health care law is the resistance from state governors to the expanded Medicaid requirements. Even though the federal government will pay for virtually all of the costs of expansion, governors in cash-strapped states don’t want to maintain their current level of [...]

HHS Delivers Incentive Payments to States for Enrolling Low-Income Children in Health Insurance Plan

By: Monday December 27, 2010 8:03 am

It’s a sad state of affairs that you have to bribe state governments to get them to give health insurance coverage to children, but that’s where we are in this new cruel version of America. So bribe the states we must, and we will. The Obama administration plans to announce Monday that it will make [...]

2014 Perhaps Too Soon for State-Based Exchange Management

By: Monday August 2, 2010 7:25 am

When the Affordable Care Act passed, many on the left were exercised by its long implementation time. The fact that most of the benefits of the law didn’t come until 2014 seemed to drain it of its political utility. Many made the point that Medicare came into being less than a year after passage. But [...]

Sebelius Seeks Public Input for Defining the Medical Loss Ratio

By: Tuesday April 13, 2010 12:32 pm

One very concerning part of the Affordable Care Act, and a good example of the potential pitfalls in implementation, is the medical loss ratio. We don’t have a good sense of how the MLR, which measures the percentage of insurance premiums that go to actual medical care, will be administered. Insurance companies are already trying [...]

Insurance Industry’s Long Game On Pre-Existing Conditions

By: Tuesday March 30, 2010 6:43 am

After a week of wrangling, the health insurance trade group AHIP announced that insurers would agree to covering all children regardless of pre-existing conditions, though they added in the same breath that they could have to increase rates to accommodate such a change. This exposes the poor drafting of this late-to-the-game regulation, because without some [...]

Sebelius: “Conversations Will Continue” With Stupak On Abortion Language

By: Sunday March 7, 2010 2:02 pm

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on ABC today that the “conversations will continue” aimed at trying to find a compromise with Rep. Bart Stupak and his cadre on abortion funding in the health care bill. Here’s the full transcript between Sebelius and former Bush campaign aide Matthew Dowd: DOWD: One very important, [...]

President Crashes Insurance Company Meeting, Invites Skeptical Dems To WH For Arm-Twisting

By: Thursday March 4, 2010 10:11 am

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius revealed on a conference call that the President walked in on a meeting she was having with insurance company representatives and state insurance commissioners, and his argument to the representatives there will probably mirror the argument he’ll be making later today to House members as he attempts to [...]

The Reconciliation Surge – Leadership On Board

By: Friday February 19, 2010 7:17 am

After weeks without clarity, it appears the top leadership in the Democratic Party is committed to using the budget reconciliation process to make changes to the health care bill so it can pass both chambers of Congress. And the White House supports the action as well. President Obama, House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader [...]

HHS Continues Attack On Insurance Premium Hikes

By: Thursday February 18, 2010 9:46 am

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released a new report showing that Anthem Blue Cross’ proposed rate hike in California was no fluke. Multiple state insurers have proposed double-digit rate hikes over the past year, even while the parent companies collect record profits. From the report: Anthem Blue Cross isn’t alone in insisting on [...]

Anthem Blue Cross’ Rate Hike Alibi, State And National Lawmaker Options

By: Friday February 12, 2010 10:32 am

Yesterday, Anthem Blue Cross sent a letter blaming their proposed 39% rate hike for California subscribers in the individual market on the sluggish economy and the changing demographics of their risk pool. Financial woes have pushed healthier people to drop coverage or buy cheaper plans, the company argued to Sebelius, who had demanded an explanation [...]

National Democrats Investigate Anthem Blue Cross of California’s 39% Rate Hike

By: Wednesday February 10, 2010 10:18 am

The news that Anthem Blue Cross will hike premium rates in California by as much as 39% hits pretty close to home. Before getting married last year I was an Anthem Blue Cross subscriber on the individual market, precisely the profile of those who will get dinged with this rate increase. I had a very [...]

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