Health Insurance Tax Helped Drive Health Spending in 2018

December 10, 2019

Health care spending grew last year but shrunk as a portion of overall spending. A new analysis published in Health Affairs by Micah Hartman, a statistician in the CMS Office of the Actuary, finds that national health care spending increased by 4.6 percent in 2018 to $3.6 trillion, or 17.7 percent of the overall economy. That’s down from 17.9 percent the previous year. Read More

Californians Aren’t Getting the Mental Health Care They’re Legally Guaranteed. Why Not?

December 10, 2019

State Sen. Jim Beall is angry. Four times now, he has introduced legislation to better enforce state and federal “parity” laws, which require equal treatment of mental and physical health problems. Four times, that legislation has failed. As he enters his final year in the Legislature, the San Jose Democrat plans what he calls a “full-frontal assault”. “I’m going to put even more effort into next year,” Beall said, “because I’m madder than hell about it.” California’s parity mandate was signed into law in 1999, and a federal parity law followed in 2008. But the state has struggled to ensure those laws work‚ which helps explain why parity feels like an empty promise to so many Californians. More than half believe that most people with mental health conditions can’t get the services they need, according to a poll conducted last year by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the California Health Care Foundation Read More

Website Errors Raise Calls For Medicare To Be Flexible With Seniors’ Enrollment

December 10, 2019

Saturday is the deadline for most people with Medicare coverage to sign up for private drug and medical plans for next year. But members of Congress, health care advocates and insurance agents worry that enrollment decisions based on bad information from the government’s revamped, error-prone Plan Finder website will bring unwelcome surprises. Read More

Trump Pulled Into Feud Between Top Health Officials

December 10, 2019

President Donald Trump has personally tried to settle the long-running feud between his two top health appointees, telling his health secretary to fix the relationship with his Medicare chief, said three individuals with knowledge of the situation. Read More

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