The Rural Patriot

November 19, 2006

Another Reason for Health Care Insurance Reform

Filed under: Federal Government,Health Insurance,New York State,Poverty — theruralpatriot @ 12:21 pm

From the Buffalo News:

Number of uninsured children in state up 17%

ALBANY – The number of children in New York State without health insurance grew by 17 percent last year, marking the first time that it has gone up in nearly a decade, according to a report released Tuesday.

The spike marks a turnaround after years of steady progress in reducing the ranks of uninsured children in the state. Between 1998 and 2004, the number of uninsured children in New York was cut nearly in half, according to the Children’s Defense Fund of New York, which produced the report.

(more…)

November 17, 2006

Medicare Part D News Items

Filed under: Bush Administration,Federal Government,Health Insurance,Medicare D — theruralpatriot @ 7:01 pm

Many Democratic campaign platforms included the promise to pass legislation that allows negotiation of Medicare Part D drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. Apparently, the Bush Administration still does not think that this is a good idea:

(more…)

October 13, 2006

Medicare Privatization Report Released Today

Filed under: Federal Government,Health Insurance,Medicare D — theruralpatriot @ 6:08 pm

The group, Families USA, released their 16 page report: Medicare Privatization: Windfall for the Special Interests. They analyze the impact of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA).

But now, nearly three years after passage of the MMA, the move to privatize Medicare has resulted in windfalls for the drug and insurance industries and huge costs to both taxpayers and beneficiaries.
(snip)
…This report analyzes three aspects of Medicare that were affected by the MMA: 1) payments to the private managed care plans that participate in the Medicare Advantage program; 2) special funding provided by Congress to promote regional Medicare PPOs; and 3) the cost implications of offering the new drug benefit through private plans rather than through the Medicare program. In all three areas, our analysis found that Medicare is overpaying the drug and insurance industries for products and services that Medicare could provide directly for far less. Overpayments to Medicare Advantage plans and regional PPOs could easily cost more than $60 billion over the next 10 years. Billions more will be spent on overpriced prescription drugs.

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September 20, 2006

Citizens’ Hearing on Health Care – Part 2

This past Saturday, September 16, a “Citizens’ Hearing on Health Care” was held at the Allegany-Limestone School.  Below the fold are my notes from the hearing.  Because of the length of the transcription, I have decided to post in two parts.

Testimonials were given so local legislators and candidates would hear first-hand accounts of how complicated and inequitable today’s health-care system is with bureaucratic layers that make it difficult to afford or access.

Those giving testimony told hearing panel members that health reform is critical. Furthermore, the U.S. needs to join other countries and provide a national single-payer health system that will cover everyone.

The hearing panel comprised: state Assemblyman Joe Giglio, R-Gowanda, of the 149th District; state Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, of the 57th District; Cattaraugus County Legislator Linda Witte, D-Olean, who’s running for the 149th Assembly District seat; and Eric Massa, a Democratic candidate in the 29th Congressional District. The elected officials and candidates agreed the health-care system needs substantial improvement and they supported many of the recommended changes.

Part 1 – Testimonials
Part 2 – Candidates’ Comments/Q&A

(more…)

September 19, 2006

Citizens’ Hearing on Health Care – Part 1

This past Saturday, September 16, a “Citizens’ Hearing on Health Care” was held at the Allegany-Limestone School.  Below the fold are my notes from the hearing.  Because of the length of the transcription, I have decided to post in two parts.

Testimonials were given so local legislators and candidates would hear first-hand accounts of how complicated and inequitable today’s health-care system is with bureaucratic layers that make it difficult to afford or access.

Those giving testimony told hearing panel members that health reform is critical. Furthermore, the U.S. needs to join other countries and provide a national single-payer health system that will cover everyone.

The hearing panel comprised: state Assemblyman Joe Giglio, R-Gowanda, of the 149th District; state Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, of the 57th District; Cattaraugus County Legislator Linda Witte, D-Olean, who’s running for the 149th Assembly District seat; and Eric Massa, a Democratic candidate in the 29th Congressional District. The elected officials and candidates agreed the health-care system needs substantial improvement and they supported many of the recommended changes.

Part 1 – Testimonials
Part 2 – Candidates’ Comments/Q&A

(more…)

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