by James GelfandThis morning's "Newsweak" story by Joel Schectman berates limited benefit health plans (which offer very limited coverage for a very small cost to workers), while also beating up on the Administration. Here is a short excerpt:
"This puts the administration in an awkward position as
Randy Johnson and James Gelfand write on The Daily Caller:
Americans have long been fascinated—and often disgusted—by how Congress passes laws. Many citizens became irate when they learned that most members of Congress hadn’t even read the health care bill, which clocked in at about 2,300 pages. S
My latest on the National Journal Health Care Experts Blog, in response to the questions "What's Next To Change In The Health Reform Law?" Click through for supporting links.
The 1099 paperwork burden needs to go for many reasons - not only will it hurt businesses and cost jobs at a time when we ca
// Below is my National Journal Health Experts answer to "Will New 'Public Option' Fare Better?"
It's almost as if they want to give the GOP an excuse to make the election even more about health care than it's already going to be... maybe they really do believe that the bill is going to be a net po
Over at the National Journal Meghan McCarthy asks:
Should Congress or new authorities created by the law take additional steps to reduce the deficit through policy changes? Should certain provisions be abandoned, even if it means less federal savings?
The Congressional Budget Office last week rele
Over on the National Journal I talk grandfathering:
If you are a business, especially a small business already struggling to keep up with the costs of providing health insurance to employees, you want to keep the plan you have – you want it to be grandfathered. Grandfathered plans are exempt from
[Reconciliation Bill] SEC. 1005. IMPLEMENTATION FUNDING.
(a) IN GENERAL.—There is hereby established a Health Insurance Reform Implementation Fund (referred to in this section as the ‘‘Fund’’) within the Department of Health and Human Services to carry out the Patient Protection and Affordab
Today the Chamber held an event, and released this booklet, "focusing on the issues and timeline surrounding businesses complying with the new health care law." C-SPAN was there:
Now that both the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (PPACA) and the reconciliation “fixer” bill, the “Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act” have been signed into law, employers must take a new look at the offering of health insurance benefits. Yesterday we looked at "To Offer, or
Now that both the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (PPACA) and the reconciliation "fixer" bill, the "Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act" have been signed into law, employers must take a new look at the offering of health insurance benefits. This below is not legal advice, but
On March 10th David Plouffe, President Obama's former campaign manager and current White House advisor, sent out an email with a set of facts on behalf of Organizing for America about the "President’s Proposal" for health reform – which is, in actuality, a proposal for the House to pass the same bi
After months of posturing, the President has made it clear: the Senate bill is the final bill. The bill that narrowly passed the Senate on Christmas Eve by a partisan vote (prior to the election of Republican Scott Brown from Massachusetts), will more or less be the final bill. The only way the mas
This morning the White House released their proposed plan for health reform. Unfortunately, instead of building a new moderate, limited plan, the White House instead endorsed the Senate-passed bill, with a few changes. This is the same Senate bill that was pushed through on Christmas Eve.
The National Journal asks the experts "Scrap Health Care Reform?" the answer to which is (a qualified) no. We need reform and we need to control costs. As James Gelfand tells Congress, it's time to "Scrap Your Bills, Back to Basics"
The people have spoken, clearly. Congress should not pretend they
Scott Brown won the Massachusetts election just last night and already the entire DC establishment is in rapid-fire spin-mode to explain away what happened. Finger-pointing between the Coakley campaign and the White House and DSCC is rife, with some Senators coming to the exact wrong conclusions. I
And all it took was a massive recession! My latest on the National Journal regarding health care reform legislation:
I am stunned by the implication that the cost estimates for the current legislation are somehow overestimated, based on the recent CMS report that health spending slowed slightly d
Many are claiming that the Senate health care bill is "the largest deficit reduction plan in a decade" and long-term deficit reductions of "more than a trillion dollars." It is true that CBO says the bill will reduce the deficit by $132 billion over the next 10 years. However, the predictions of l
Chart with the Budget Committee’s estimate of the score of the Reid bill after 10 years of full implementation. Interesting to note that because the bill pushed back implementation of the major provisions until 2014, the true cost of 10 years of implementation—$2.5 trillion. (as a PDF)
"Chamber Of Commerce Solicits Money For Economist Who Will Give Bad Review Of Health Care Bill" screams the headline on The Huffington Post, a scream dutifully echoed by its progressive minions on Twitter and elsewhere. But the best thing about Huffington Post stories is how often they self-rebut,
I answer that question over on the National Journal:
Texas Governor Rick Perry last night made some important comments on Fox Business Network about this. Essentially, "opt out" is not a real "opt out", unless you enjoy taxing citizens and businesses in your state to pay for a program that only op
Health reform is critical to the business community – businesses voluntarily pay over $500 billion every year for employees’ health insurance, and cannot afford the cost increases. We support reforming the health system with a simple three-pronged approach:
1) Get costs under control. Use an all-of
A few days ago when we pointed out that the word “compete” deserved no place in a question about the creation of a government-run health insurance plan one of our commenters complained that we were using a slippery slope argument -- that such a plan could eventually lead to single-payer government-
It is not often that these words appear here on ChamberPost, but Harold Meyerson is right:
one way to help Americans get the best deal for health coverage is to establish insurance exchanges where consumers can compare plans online.
and then wrong:
the way to ensure true competition is to create
There has been a lot of talk about misinformation in the health reform debate – fishy emails, conflicting statements by politicians, allegations. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce provides the following information to shed some light on the business perspective on the probable effects of the Affordable
Today the White House rolled out their "Reality Check" web site for health reform (trying again to rebrand it health insurance reform) which they claim is intended to "mythbust" detractors’ criticisms of health reform legislation. The web site, however, does not bust any myths – in fact, it perpetu
A recent email purportedly sent by a Dr. Stephen Fraser, an anesthesiologist located in Indiana, made a number of claims about H.R. 3200, the House Democrat health reform plan. A number of organizations have issued responses that claim Fraser’s email was inaccurate. Therefore, Chamber staff have in
As befits a major piece of legislation which affects all Americans and a nice chunk of our economy, Speaker Pelosi had planned to jam the Affordable Health Choices Act through the House as quickly as possible. The plan worked, on purely partisan votes in the House Ways and Means and Education and L
Just the facts, a breakdown of the new burdens on employers in H.R. 3200, the cuddly-named "America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009"
All employers with total payroll over $250,000 will be required to provide “Qualified Health Benefits” for their employees and their dependents or pay a pay
by James Gelfand The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has just passed the "Affordable Health Choices Act", a bill that is not affordable for the country and may severely restrict patients' and doctors' choices. The bill may lead us to government-run health insurance, will hurt
The Politico Pulse reported this morning that:
SECRETARY SEBELIUS will be sending this e-mail to the nearly 20,000 activists and others who have signed up at healthreform.gov: "Friends … If you believe that the health care status quo is unacceptable, share this report with your friends and family.
by James Gelfand
While our own Randy Johnson was testifying before the Senate yesterday on health care, the President held a town hall in Green Bay, Wisconsin, to discuss the importance of reforming the nation's health care system -- a commitment the U.S. Chamber shares. Although there were numerou
There is a lot of debate right now about how we will pay for health reform – no easy task considering cost estimates of the yet-to-be-revealed legislation range from $1.2 trillion, to $1.5 trillion, to more than $1.7 trillion! We have now seen a bit of a sneak peek, via two interesting developments
In a recent piece (Health-Care Hardball) in the Manhattan Institute's City Journal, David Gratzer writes about the dangers Democrats will face in trying to pass health reform through the reconciliation process, which would require them to get only 50 votes, instead of the usual 60 needed to break a
An editorial this week from the Washington Post (not exactly a conservative publication) does a good job of laying out the reasons why a "public option" (code word for government-run health plan) should be left out of health reform. They even recognize that the public option is a backdoor way to br
According to John Vandeventer on the SEIU’s blog, it is imperative that we have a new "public" (read: government-run) health plan in order to reform the health care system. To demonstrate this, Vendeventer makes two points:
Senator Chuck Schumer says it’s a good idea and it will be a fair competi
In an April 2nd op-ed in the New York Times, Philip Howard, who is the chairman of Common Good (a legal reform group), talked about creating health courts. The Chamber has for some time been intrigued by the idea of reducing the randomness of medical liability cases by removing them to special cour
Fresh off posts on single-payer Fabians and the Bay State Bait and Switch; James Gelfand opens the discussion on: "Employer mandates, a staple of Democratic health care reform proposals..." at the National Journal:
On the national level, it is imperative that we have real reform, not just lock in
The Wall Street Journal had an excellent editorial about the Massachusetts health reform plan, and what we are learning from that undertaking. They seized on the extreme cost overruns the state is now facing:
"They're trying to manage the huge costs of the subsidized middle-class insurance program
Earlier this week, on the National Journal Health Care Expert Blog, Marilyn Werber Serafini asked:
Should the federal government tackle major Medicare reform this year, separate from the general health care reform legislation Congress is working on?
and I responded, both to the question and the ot
A few weeks ago, in defending Medicare's proposal to not pay for virtual colonoscopies, the New York Times opined that: "Eliminating unproven procedures and reducing needless costs is necessary if the nation is to improve the quality and lower the cost of care over all...Even if Medicare decides th
Over at Cato Doug Bandow reviews and recommends Sally Pipes’ book "The Top Ten Myths of American Health Care", while we don't agree with all of Pipes' points -- efficient prevention and Health IT programs would reduce costs -- it is a good read, here are some bits:
For instance, government health
Marilyn Werber Serafini asks "Is Health Reform Still Possible this Year?"
The worsening economic situation and the withdrawal of the Daschle nomination appear to have slowed down momentum for health care reform. Do you think there still is enough time to complete health care reform this year?
Marilyn Werber Serafini asks: "Barack Obama and key members of Congress say they want to jumpstart efforts on health information technology by including it in the stimulus package. The idea is to bypass budget rules that would make it harder to spend the money later...What do you see as the pros or
Marilyn Werber Serafini asks "What's Wrong With COBRA?" Here is part of my response:
There are some serious problems associated with expanding and subsidizing COBRA coverage, and we should consider them carefully before including such provisions in a stimulus package....By encouraging more people
HHS Secretary Leavitt makes some important points in this Washington Post piece today. The over-arching takeaway should be that simply rushing to pass some kind of health information technology bill is not enough -- we need to be careful, and we need to be precise. The wrong legislation could do mo
An editorial today in the Boston Globe gushed over the possibilities presented by a new reform proposal developed by Americas Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the trade association that represents private health insurance plans. It isn't that the Globe supports that particular plan, but rather, they
This afternoon the Chamber sent a key vote letter to the full House of Representatives indicating that policymakers who support the irresponsible House mental health parity legislation may be judged on it in our annual How They Voted publication. We expect that H.R. 1424 will be voted on tomorrow.
American Psychiatric Association President James Scully appeared on The Hill's Congress Blog yesterday to complain about employers who voluntarily offer health benefits to their employees. He claims they offer less coverage for mental health conditions than for other conditions – which in some case
Today’s Wall Street Journal (or read it here) contains a strong criticism of individual health care mandates – forcing everyone to buy health insurance – penned by the Hudson Institute’s Betsy McCaughey. She points out that individual mandates create artificially lower health insurance costs by rip