Thursday March 25, 2010 | Healthcare Legislation & You

March 24, 2010 at 9:11 am | Posted in Coming Up | 22 Comments

Join us for a conversation about what the new healthcare legislation means for all of us. We’ll talk about what happened and what is really in the legislation and we’ll hear from experts about what it means for healthcare providers, patients, insurance providers and more.
Dr. Michael Dulin
– Carolinas Healthcare, Inc.
Dr. Bill Brandon – Health Policy expert, Political Science at UNC Charlotte
Michael Burg – Founder and President of Edge Health Marketing

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  1. What happens now with HSA/MSAs and other upfront cost-containment constructs? In two years? In five?

    It certainly looks like that they are on the way to essentially being outlawed. The state of Indiana is has frozen its MSA program already, with the governor saying folks will just be dumped onto Medicaid.

    The law we just passed seems to view anyone who uses a MSA and a catastrophic health care insurance to provide health care for themselves and their family with suspicion, if not contempt.


  2. Mainly just a comment and perhaps a bit off topic…

    I support the health care bill for many reasons. However, I’m disappointed that neither the bill nor the administration seems to want to get to the fundamental problems with Americans’ health; namely consumption of heavily-subsidized industrially-grown “food” and lack of promotion of active lifestyles. Do the panel think the current administration will even recognize these deficiencies and begin to address these problems through policy initiatives? I would LOVE to see incentives for locally grown food or for businesses to promote healthy lifestyles for their employees (e.g., through gym memberships or other stress reliving techniques).


    • Jason: Don’t forget the sorry state of our polluted environment and the diseases it causes. Externalities abound in every policy. Goat fever has broken out among the Dutch because of so many goat farms there, so it is not always industrial. Add to that the stress and resulting cortisol effect from our predatory jobs and budgets. The truth is that most people lack the means to assert healthy living. It has to be a collective structural solution, but we also lack the educational means. Do you garden, Jason?

      • As a geologist, I’m quite familiar with environmental issues. true, there isn’t a simple answer but, I would definitely start with education. And yes, I do garden!

  3. Larry Kissell says that under this HCR act home health care for Medicare is being cut. If true, how would this affect me if I have a parent that becomes bedridden or terminally ill?

    • (Medicare) Reimbursement rates for providers are being lowered and tightened up. There has been some bloating and fraud in the system. I expect some doctors might turn Medicare patients away as many now do those on Medicaid. Kissell, being a cautious politician and no policy wonk, will never see the truck until it runs over him. A statesman would be planning ways to improve the new healthcare law.

      • It’s not just “tightened up”. There is 500 billion in cuts. Real cuts not just the slowing of the rate of growth Newt was vilified for. My mother was very worried about the cuts until I reminded her she lives in Florida. She doesn’t need to worry because Bill Nelson sold his vote to exempt his state. Too bad for the rest of the country. Obama spends the 500 billion elsewhere so it’s not saved as the liar claims.

  4. At one time there was a “public option” that some said was a “government takeover”. If I am not mistaken this was dropped. So why are these people still calling it “socialism?”

    • Because these people repeat corporate propaganda. I think we will have to accept real socialism when this capitalist friendly program fails.

      • “Capitalist friendly”!? “Corporate propaganda”!?

        Are you nuts?

  5. MIke,

    Fear not, this is not rocket science. I have been communicating with employees about their benefits for over 25 years. Information will be provided in a manner you can understand. This will not be the mess that Medicare Part D was.

    Just remember the objective is to get as many people as possible covered and using their insurance for things like preventative and routine chronic disease care. It is most unlikely that the Obama Administration that worked so hard to get this passed would drop the ball on implementation.

    By the way, the CEBS stands for Certified Employee Benefit Specialist.

    • Anybody who thinks implementation will be smooth is “certifiable.” Look at Mass..

  6. Who cares if there are not enough primary care doctors. My children have seen nurse practitioners exclusively for primary care since birth. The few times that the MD has seen my kids (usually for an unplanned sick visit), the doctor is always rushed and I don’t feel like I’m getting the benefit of his extra medical knowledge.

    Give incentives for more nurses and physician assistants to enter the medical profession…they will fill the gap in the number providers available to take care of everyone.

    • Sherry: The family doctor should be a traffic cop is finding the most appropriate specialists and therapies. Specialist tend to bill at an astronomical rate and sell their services (say surgery) to patients who may not benefit. Medicine is properly an art (of healing) that applies science and technique in a skilled caring way. The nurse practitioner and the PA are a weak match when it comes to specialists, hospitals, pharmaceutical firms and insurance providers. They need terrific primary care physician on their team to make things work. Saying they are adequate alone is akin to saying that a veterinarian is is good enough for your family. But then, maybe someone has worms or fleas.

  7. Thank you for the program today, an intelligent, open discussion of the new policy without the shouting, attacking and unhelpful rhetoric or what is disguised as rhetoric in the streets and in the media.

    • Mike is the best Lorraine, but I wish he could get better guests.

  8. How much impact will this bill have on the US’s disgracefully high infant death rate, a rate above all other wealthy nations and some not-so-wealthy ones like Cuba? How soon are the effects likely to be seen?

  9. Please inform your Doctor guest that the human beings he referred to as illegal aliens are in fact illegal immigrants.

  10. The word is preventive. There is no such word as ‘preventative’

    • The English language is extremely flexible, fluid, and ever-changing. “Preventative” works just as well as “preventive.” We aren’t splitting the atom here.

      I was an English/linguistics major and I’ve got a bit of advice for you: nobody likes grammar Nazis.

  11. There’s not enough money in the world to supply each citizen with the health-care promised in the bill.

    If it’s such a good bill, why is the govt. hiring 16,000 new IRS agents to enforce provisions in the bill.

    One of the main reasons that we do not have a manned base on the Moon or Mars is Medicaid and Medicare. One can predict, with this new entitlement, that we shortly will not have a space program. And we will have to pull the military out of Europe and Asia because of money.

    • “And we will have to pull the military out of Europe and Asia because of money.”

      As we should. Why are we still in Germany and Japan over 60 years after WWII ended? The U.S. military isn’t meant to be the police force of the world. Let Europe and Asia step up and provide for their own defense.

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