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Don’t Blame Medicaid for Rise in Health Care Spending

Health care spending growth has moderated in recent years, but it’s still putting tremendous strain on state and local governments. A recent analysis by The Pew Charitable Trusts revealed that it consumed 31 percent of state and local government revenue in 2013, nearly doubling from 1987.
By Austin Frakt, New York Times
August 3, 2015


Medicare moves into its second half-century more important than ever

According to my friend, Bernice Bonillas, it’s only warm bodies that drive movements. And so it was that I found myself returning from Los Angeles July 30 on a bus filled with other Bakersfield citizen activists, returning from a rally celebrating the 50th anniversary of Medicare.
By Patsy Ouellette, The Bakersfield Californian
August 6, 2015


As Medicare and Medicaid Turn 50, Use of Private Health Plans Surges

As Medicare and Medicaid reach their 50th anniversary on Thursday, the two vast government programs that insure more than one-third of Americans are undergoing a transformation that none of their original architects foresaw: Private health insurance companies are playing a rapidly growing role in both.
By Robert Pear, New York Times
July 29, 2015


Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Medicare Part D pays needlessly high brand-name drug prices compared with other OECD countries and with U.S. government programs

As this policy brief will show, by using previously unavailable data comparing U.S. brand-name drug prices with those of all other countries members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Medicare Part D needlessly pays significantly higher prices than any other comparator countries. Moreover, even in comparison to other U.S. government programs such as Medicaid and the Veterans’ Benefits Administration (VBA), significantly higher prices are paid by Medicare Part D.
By Marc-André Gagnon, PhD. and Sidney Wolfe, MD.
Carleton University, School of Public Policy and Administration and Public Citizen, July 23, 2015


Paralyzed by Gunfire, but Denied Care

There’s no video of the altercation between Monroe Bird III, a 21-year-old sitting in a car with a friend, and Ricky Leroy Stone, 56, a security guard who found them one night in the parking lot of an apartment complex in Tulsa, Okla….Three months later, as he lay in the hospital hooked to a ventilator, Mr. Bird’s insurance company declined to cover his medical bills. The reason? His injuries resulted from “illegal activity.”
By RONI CARYN RABIN, The New York Times
July 21, 2015


Out-of-network costs lurk even at in-network hospitals

Lorena Martin’s 18-year-old son, Robert, hurt his ankle playing football one recent Friday evening. He was in pain and unable to walk, and she was concerned that he’d done real damage. Both her doctor’s office and the nearby urgent care center were closed, so with no other options, she took him to the emergency room. The hospital was in her health plan’s network — she’d made sure of that.
By Lisa Zamosky, Los Angeles Times
July 17, 2015


The Choice Ahead: A Private Health-Insurance Monopoly or a Single Payer

The Supreme Court’s recent blessing of Obamacare has precipitated a rush among the nation’s biggest health insurers to consolidate into two or three behemoths.The result will be good for their shareholders and executives, but bad for the rest of us — who will pay through the nose for the health insurance we need.
By Robert Reich, Huffington Post
July 6, 2015


Unauthorized immigrants prolong the life of Medicare Trust Fund: JGIM study

Harvard and CUNY researchers find unauthorized immigrants generated surplus contributions of $35.1 billion from 2000-2011, prolonging the Trust Fund’s solvency
By Leah Zallman, M.D., M.P.H., et. al, Journal of General Internal Medicine
June 18, 2015.


Study: ‘Underinsured’ population has doubled to 31 million

One-quarter of people with healthcare coverage are paying so much for deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses that they are considered underinsured, according to a new study.
By Sarah Ferris, The Hill
May 20, 2015


Court case shows how health insurers rip off you and your employer

If you think you’re paying too much for employer-sponsored health coverage, you might want to forward this to the HR department. It’s possible, maybe even likely, that your health insurer has been ripping off both you and your employer—to the tune of several million dollars every year—for decades.
By Wendell Potter, The Center for Public Integrity
May 11, 2015


DMHC Slams Aetna for ‘Unreasonable’ Small Business Rate Increase

On Wednesday, California Department of Managed Health Care officials called Aetna’s 19.2% rate hike for small businesses “unreasonable” and “unsupported,” the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
California Healthline
May 7, 2015


JOIN US FOR LOBBY DAY 2015

Thank you everyone who joined us! Here is the list of conference powerpoints: Movement Building toward Health4All, The California Endowment – Marlon Cuellar Inequality in Our Healthcare System – Sarah de Guia, JD Next Steps in Health Reform: From #Obamacare to #Health4All and Beyond – Anthony Wright Immigrants & Healthcare in CA Costs to being […]


Join us! Annual Pasadena Doo Dah Parade!