Tuesday, March 1, 2011

California Healthline interviews Kim Belshé -- former secretary of HHS and 1 of 5 Board members (2 yet to be appointed) on the exchange. Video here: http://bit.ly/hGapBi

One of the most critical, yet greatly misunderstood, aspects of PPACA is the creation of exchanges. In short the California exchange is going to be an active purchaser of health insurance. One of the keys to success will be its ability to "bend the cost curve" and design health insurance products for individuals and small businesses in California that will attract and retain enough healthy individuals to offset those who will naturally migrate because the plans offered are guaranteed (little underwriting) and subsidized.

There are a number of very great resources that provide insight to the work being done "behind the scenes" while politics, screams of repeal and generic inflammatory topics are promulgated throughout mainstream news sources. What I mean, regardless of your position on health reform, is that health care costs are out of control. There is a need for change that we are all responsible for. There is also a need for cooler heads to prevail.

If you read the history of reform efforts both Republicans and Democrats have fought for many of the exact same provisions more than they have disagreed. Typically, however, it ends up being the party that is in office at the time that is against reform working. Don't take my word for it.

A very independent ProCon has a terrific analysis here that will give you a great overview on the most heated debate going on now; the individual mandate. Bottom line is that both parties have gone back and forth on this for years. More on that later.

For now, here are a few of my favorite sites that will provide you some objective and educated insight to the work it is going to take if we have any hope of bringing costs down;

ITUP - insure the uninsured - probably some of the most brilliant minds in the state working on tough issues
ProCon Health Reform - unbiased, makes you think
Alan Katz Health Reform Blog - Alan blogs frequently, provides good topics and has typically focused on the brokerage community

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