Medicare versus Medicare Advantage
While this is a topic I tried to keep below my radar for years, it has become an issue to be dealt with and elucidate for others! Long ago my late husband, an internist, would rant about all the headaches caused by Medicare Advantage (MA) and similar ‘insurance’ plans. They interfered in the doctor patient relationship, delaying needed care while creating headaches for his office billing staff. I took note, but didn’t understand the full picture until Medicare became my insurer. Thanks to an honest insurance broker who reminded me of my late husband’s hatred for the MA plans, I was happy to get a supplement to Medicare which even covers me when traveling abroad. While I understand the ‘scene’ better, I can say I do not fully understand this ‘market’ as it is utterly complex and the rules keep changing on both sides of the ‘game.’
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Happy Birthday, Medicare!
July 30, 2021, marks Medicare’s 56th birthday, the federal program implemented with bipartisan support to provide health insurance to people over 65 regardless of income or medical history. When President Johnson signed the bill into law in 1965, the goal was to expand access to health coverage and move toward the goal of a single payor national health system.
Medicare for All - Why Aren't We There Yet?
At our previous Zoom webconference, Drs. Cecile Rose and Rick Bieser, Co-Chairs of the Physicians for a National Health Program Colorado Chapter, gave outstanding presentations.
For those of you looking for Dr. Bieser's slides, download a copy by clicking here.
COVID-19 Impacts and Medicare For All
During the HCAC Annual Meeting on June 6, 2020, HCAC Board Member Pamela S. Parks, MD gave two presentations related to COVID.
Copies of those presentations may be downloaded here.
1. COVID-19 Recession and Job Loss
2. COVID-19 and Medicare For All
H.R. 5010 - State-Based Universal Health Care Act of 2019
The HCAC Denver Chapter meeting in February included a presentation by
HCAC Board Member and former Senator Jeanne Nicholson,
an Analysis of Ro Khanna's Bill, H.R.5010, State-based Universal Health Care Act of 2019
HCAC supporters may access and download a copy of the presentation here.
2020 Caucus Resolutions
On Saturday, March 7th, both Colorado Democratic and Republican Parties are holding their party caucuses. The caucus process is how the grassroots informs the party of what issues are important to them. At caucus precincts, resolutions are proposed and voted upon. Resolutions with significant support make their way into County and State party platforms. Improved Medicare for All has been consistently prominent in past years within the Colorado Democratic Party Platform, but there's no reason to stop now! We believe in the benefits of health care for all regardless of party. Health needs do not discriminate based on party affiliation. Given the strong support for universal health care among Republican voters as well, we'd love to see our Republican and Republican-leaning Independent voters promote resolutions in the GOP caucus as well!
The Colorado Public Option
Last session, HCAC supported legislation that required the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) and the Division of Insurance (DOI) to develop and submit a proposal to the General Assembly concerning the implementation of a state option for health care coverage, HB19-1004.
The final report, based on meetings with stakeholders from across the state and including extensive written public comments, was submitted in November 2019 with a preliminary actuarial analysis. The final actuarial analysis will be completed in February 2020.
Colorado Board looks to previous report that demonstrated a Single Payer plan is the only way to save money and the only way to cover everyone
HCAC supported the Health Care Cost Savings Act of 2019 that passed the Colorado Legislature last year with bipartisan support. Several members of the HCAC board testified in front of committee in support of this legislation. The bill allows for an analysis to compare how we would pay for different universal health care systems in Colorado. The 15-member state task force, including bill sponsor Rep. Emily Sirota and author T. R. Reid have begun their work.
A perspective on the Colorado Public Option
In 2019, the Colorado Legislature passed HB19-1004, A Proposal For Affordable Health Coverage Option. The result was a Health insurance Public Option proposal developed by the Colorado Division of Insurance and Colorado's Health Care Policy and Financing Department, which has been published along with significant public comment.
What does the Proposal look like? What would have to happen to enact it? What decisions are still left up to the state legislature this year as they review the proposal?