Health Care: Yes, we have no bananas

It’s up to over 1,000 entities that have acquired a waiver from adhering to President Obama’s national health care law. One is the entire State of Maine, whose motto, Dirigo or “I lead,” could be prophetic as other states look to do the same.
Meanwhile, the unintended, but predicted, consequences (h/t) of this hurried health care reform are coming to fruition.

Patients are demanding doctors’ orders for over-the-counter products because of a provision in the health-care overhaul that slipped past nearly everyone’s radar. It says people who want a tax break to buy such items with what’s known as flexible-spending accounts need to get a prescription first.
The result is that Americans are visiting their doctors before making a trip to the drugstore, hoping their physician will help them out by writing the prescription. The new requirements create not only an added burden for doctors, but also new complications for retailers and pharmacies.
“It drives up the cost of health care as opposed to reducing it,” says Dr. Chung, who rejected much of a 10-item request from a mother of four that included pain relievers and children’s cold medicine….Some doctors, irked by the paperwork and worried about lawsuits, are balking at writing the new prescriptions. Pharmacists and retailers say the changes mean they have to apply a personalized label on some 15,000 different everyday products for customers paying with certain debit cards.

Read the whole thing for more, just on that issue. Aside from that, there are other things:

Health-policy experts predicted that new insurance pools for high-risk patients would attract so many expensive enrollees that funding would be quickly exhausted. In fact, enrollment is running at just 6% of expectations, partly because of high premiums.
A provision preventing insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing health conditions prompted insurers in dozens of states to stop selling child-only policies altogether.
And a piece of the law designed to centralize patient care by encouraging health-care providers to collaborate is running into antitrust concerns from regulators.

It’s amazing that this could have happened, isn’t it?

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12 years ago

How could this be happening??? All of the big, mean insurance companies should just sit still and accommodate all of these new (expensive) regs!
If you’ve got a law to which you’ve handed out ten waivers, never mine one thousand, it is obviously a complete non-starter, both in the practical and in the legal/constitutional sense.

12 years ago

“Prepare for unforeseen consequences.”

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