Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More On (Moron?) Those Exchanges

Even as Ohio voters look to shield the state from it, our new Governor has announced that "plans are moving forward to create a statewide marketplace or exchange for health insurance, as mandated by [ObamaCare©] ... the state has received federal money to plan for building an exchange."

Um, John: what part of the word "No" don't you understand?

But it gets worse:

"Taylor, who also heads Ohio's Department of Insurance, is to apply soon for a second round of federal cash."

Um, Mary: same question.

This is really maddening; it's okay to leave money on the table if the purpose of said funds is counter to the wishes of the people. It's also okay when the end result will be less choice, less competition, and higher costs, as the Exchanges will, in fact, produce:

"Health and Human Services Department released draft regulations telling the states how they must run these organizations, which are the core of the new entitlement and are where people will receive heavily subsidized coverage ... HHS, unsurprisingly, envisions the exchanges as 50 (or more) new regulatory agencies designed to let politics run health markets."

Spot on.

Oh, you doubt that last bit?


But surely the Exchanges will "afford States substantial discretion in the design and operation of an Exchange," right?

Well, no:

"This is the exchange model that prevails in Massachusetts, where Mitt Romney's "connector" has become a tool for controlling the insurance industry and picking health-care winners and losers."

And we've seen how well that's worked out.

No surprise there, of course. The truth is, the gummint is competent to run a select, specific group of programs. But it is run, after all, by human beings (really!), and we humans are not immune to corruption, greed and failure.

Okay, Henry, that may be true, but what evidence is there to support that claim as regards health care?

I'm so glad you asked:

"For the second time, a federal audit has charged the Louisiana state health agency with mismanaging a $50 million post-Hurricane Katrina grant intended to restore health care access to the New Orleans region."

This wasn't a national program. This wasn't even a state-wide effort. It was focused, laser-like, on one city, and they couldn't even get that right. Earlier today, Bob asked (as regards "waste, fraud and abuse") why in the world we do "we need a new law or program to take care of something that SHOULD BE standard operating procedure?" The answer, of course, is that we don't. What we do need is protection from "our betters."

And just to pile on, HHS Secretary Shecantbeserious sent out new "proposed" rules for the Exchanges. What caught my eye is this (from a Cigna email):

"The regulation does not address all the requirements of Exchanges. Additional guidance is expected later this year regarding:

Standards for individual eligibility to purchase Exchange coverage, including premium subsidy information


The process for receiving an exemption from the individual mandate


The definition of essential health benefits

So, um, about those subsidies: how're those working out so far?

I can guess about how one receives an "exemption from the individual mandate."

And those "essential benefits?" One can safely assume.

[Hat Tip for Ohio item: FoIB Holly R]
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