The Future of Healthcare Reform

It’s been quite a week for politics and it would be remiss of us to end it without addressing the Democratic party’s loss of a Senate seat in the election in Massachusetts and the impact on healthcare reform. A January 21 article in the Wall Street Journal by Janet Adamy and Naftali Bendavid reports that Congressional Democrats are working to scale down their healthcare bill to widen support and are focusing on increased regulation of health insurers. It cites House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying Congress must prevent insurers from denying policies to people with pre-existing health conditions or dropping people’s coverage once they become sick. Pelosi is also calling for a repeal of the industry’s anti-trust exemption and for the imposition of new caps on health insurers that limit their profits. Both these provisions are part of health bills already passed by the House and Senate, according to the WSJ. Meanwhile over at Managed Care Matters blog, Joe Paduda takes a grim look at the prospects for healthcare reform in two aptly named posts. In An epitaph for health reform, Paduda opens: “Ten months of effort was blown away yesterday by an unprecedented electoral upset, a most unlikely end to health reform.† And in the second post, Why health reform is dead, Paduda concludes: “No, reform won’t happen this year, and isn’t likely in 2011. What does this mean for you? Family insurance premiums of $30,000 in ten years.† Something to think about.

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