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Thursday, October 15, 2015

"Political Interference" in Health Coverage and Rate Setting for State Employees and Retirees

Perhaps designed to let lobbyists know more directly which politicians they need to BUY!

February 17, 2016 ... 

State to seek bids on self-insurance for state workers

A consultant has said Wisconsin could save $42 million a year through self-insurance, in which the state would pay medical benefits for nearly 250,000 state workers and family members directly instead of buying insurance from 17 HMOs.  ...
But another consultant said the move might cost $100 million a year. Some legislators and the Wisconsin Association of Health Plans, which represents 12 of the 17 HMOs, said the change could threaten the stability of the state’s regional health care system. Many of the HMOs are owned by providers around the state.

@#$%^&* -> October 15/2015 ... Legislature note ... evidently considering dramatically changing the structure of the Wisconsin Group Insurance Board to allow more direct "political interference" in coverage and rate setting for state employees and retirees ... need to find out more!!!???  There was a quick brief note on WPR this morning.

This seems to be the latest ....

Oct 15, 4:32 PM EDT Budget committee to consider bill giving panel oversight of state health insurance decisions BY TODD RICHMOND Associated Press

.... "We're concerned about costs, quality and access," Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, a committee co-chair and one of the chief authors of the bill said during a brief hearing on the proposal. "That's why we want an oversight role."
The Group Health Insurance Program covers tens of thousands of state and local public employees, their spouses and retired public employees. It makes up 14 percent of the entire commercial health insurance market, according to the Wisconsin Association of Health Plans, which represents 12 plans available through the program. A board within the Department of Employee Trust Funds made up of appointees chosen by the governor and attorney general and members of the governor's cabinet run the program.
DETF contracted with Segal Consulting to examine potential changes to the program, including moving to a self-insurance model, in which the state would pay benefits and assume the risk of cost overruns directly rather than the HMOs participating in the program. Segal reported to the board in March that the move could lower administrative expenses, eliminate some fees under the Affordable Care Act and eliminate most of the premium tax, resulting in potential savings of $50 million to $70 million annually.
The agency's previous actuary reported in 2012 that shifting to self-insurance could result in annual savings of $20 million or increased costs of around $100 million or more each year. ...

WRS ... this is where/how #HiddenAgenda Walker will strike next ? WI Retirees be alert!

Market Economy versus Market Society: Inequality and Civic Decisions - TED - Michael Sandel

Here's a question we need to rethink together:
 What should be the role of money and markets in our societies?

Michael Sandel: Why we shouldn't trust markets with our civic life

He makes the very important distinctions between Market Economy and Market Society!

Over the past three decades, we have lived through a quiet revolution. We've drifted almost without realizing it from having a market economy to becoming market societies. The difference is this: A market economy is a tool, a valuable and effective tool, for organizing productive activity, but a market society is a place where almost everything is up for saleIt's a way of life, in which market thinking and market values begin to dominate every aspect of life: personal relations, family life, health, education, politics, law, civic life. (bolding added)

Sandel gives two reasons for being worried about letting a Market Society come about.  I agree with him that we have been letting this happen.  One reason has to do with "inequality", e.g., a small group of people have a lot more money or wealth than most, by far the majority, of the people. ...

Step #1 - Privatize HealthCare #2 Eliminate Heath Coverage as too expensive # 3 Everyone loses

Step #1 - Privatize HealthCare #2 Eliminate Heath Coverage as too expensive # 3 Everyone loses  & #Inequality rises

WI 1848 Forward" #Political Interference" in #Health Coverage & Rate Setting for State Employees & #WRS #Retirees

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