Gene therapy is the new moon shot. And the space race of the 60s is a lot like the race for new vaccines, medicines and prescription drugs of today. Developing these new treatments and in some cases, outright cures, that the U.S. is known for takes a lot of work, a lot of risk and a lot of money. Read more
Note from Mike: Yeah, I know there was an election this week. We are waiting for the final results and I’ll be back soon with my take. In the meantime, remember that, no matter the outcome, health insurance for 2021 is not changing. Read the post below for more on your options next year.
You ever wake up and feel like you’ve got a bullseye on your back? Like there’s so much going against you that the most prudent course of action would be just to get back under the bed covers. Like, life’s going to just gang up on me again today so why bother? Read more
A little over 10 years ago, I was sitting in a tiny hotel room in Washington, D.C., waiting for a phone call from a friend who is a lobbyist for our Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. It was Christmas Eve 2009, and we were awaiting the final vote of the U.S. Senate on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). I remember very clearly thinking that there was nothing to stop the then-Democratic majority from passing the ACA. Certainly, they had put a ton of work, time and effort into the law. But — they put much less time into gaining the trust of the opposition.
One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about working here at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is the freedom we enjoy as a not-for-profit company. I spent some time in the for-profit, Fortune 500 world earlier in my career, and although I could probably have made more money there, I could never enjoy the freedom to act in the best interest of LOUISIANA that I have here.
In a typical publicly traded company, where everybody is hyper-focused on the stock price, constant consultation goes on between the company’s leaders and their “advisers” on Wall Street. In those situations, analysts and well-meaning outsiders have a huge amount of influence on the way companies behave, and at the end of the day, their primary responsibility is to their shareholders, not to their customers or employees. Read more
One of the more interesting things the Affordable Care Act did to the private health insurance business was to tell health insurance companies that the Feds were now in control of their profit margins. What does that mean?
Imagine you are the CEO of your own health insurance company. In fact, let’s call it Your Own Health Insurance Company, or YOHIC for short! How do you think you would feel if YOHIC collected $1 billion in premiums over a year, but only had to pay out $500 million in healthcare costs? Sounds like YOHIC is doing really well, turning a 50% profit. Does YOHIC get to keep the rest of the premiums for its own payroll and profits?
Since 2010, the answer to that question is a resounding NO! Read more
It’s the eve of your 26th birthday, you must take your first steps into this alien world alone. For 25 years, you’ve lived in safety on the Mother Ship, er, your parents’ health insurance plan. PPOs, HMOs, cost shares and deductibles weren’t even on your radar.
What should you (or your kid who is turning 26) do? Healthcare Economist Mike Bertaut explains your options. Read more