Will greed doom Big Pharma?


At this point, one can only hope.

The recent deal announced by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to in effect leave the United States for the purpose of evading corporate taxes calls into question why Congress continues to protect this industry.

Many in Congress, particularly Republicans, have resisted efforts to permit Medicare and Medicaid to negotiate for bulk pricing for drugs Americans need. The system is broken and we’re all paying for it.

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Finally some health care sanity: End of life planning to be covered by Medicare


Sarah Palin has become a joke for most people of the years, but there was a time when her stupidity was taken seriously by millions of Americans. Probably the worst example was her popularization of the term “death panels” in response to the rational proposal to reimburse doctors for end of life planning with their patients.

Now, six years later, it appears that sanity has won out and Medicare will finally begin to cover such critical services.

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Obamacare costs less than expected

Obamacare will cost $104 billion less over the next ten years according to the Congressional Budget Office. This is the latest in a string of good news for the Affordable Care Act, which now has signed up over 7.5 million Americans.

The launch was disastrous, but now we’re seeing important progress.

Disappointing launch for

female worker typing at keyboard fingers

Calling the rollout of the website for the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, is probably an understatement. It’s incredibly disappointing to hear the stories of problems with the website, as it’s so important to so many to have this access to affordable health insurance. Also, regardless of your political opinions, the law is here and for many people having this access will be critical. Don’t let the political hype dissuade you from trying it out.

Still, it’s now likely that many people won’t try it, at not for a while, with all of the much-publicized problems with the website. Hopefully this update from HHS is a sign that they are serious about fixing the problems. They need to fix the problems, and then be diligent in letting people know as the site improves. Fortunately, the media is all over this, so if they finally get it right people should hear about it.

Good news on Obamacare premiums

ID-100139012 doctor and patient
Free image courtesy of

We’re finally getting close to the point where people can start buying insurance policies in the Obamacare exchanges, and all of the bluster about “rate shock” is running into reality. The bottom line is that the health care plan will be affordable for many people.

The main takeaway from an exhaustive new study of premiums on the Obamacare health insurance marketplaces: They’re generally going to be lower than expected, undercutting the persistent claims of “rate shock” by conservatives.

Marketplaces premiums are coming in below initial estimates, said the nonprofit, nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation in a new report released Thursday.

The expected monthly premium for a 40-year-old adult purchasing a silver-level plan (the baseline, which covers 70 percent of costs) on a marketplace had been $320, according to previous projections from the Congressional Budget Office. But in 15 of the 18 regions studied by Kaiser, the average premium will be below that — thus the study’s conclusion that the prices are going to be lower than anticipated.

“While premiums will vary significantly across the country, they are generally lower than expected,” the authors wrote.

In some states like Wisconsin, Republican administrations are trying to push the notion that premium prices are rising, but the information they are putting out there excludes the subsidies available to many people.

The key for everyone is to actually go into the health care exchanges once they are open and see for yourself what is available.

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