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View Diary: Health Series: Bingaman Video Exclusive (Edited by LoE) (70 comments)

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  •  I am not sure why he opposed (7+ / 0-)

    Rockefeller's public option. He has in fact been consistent in his strong support of the public option.

    He voted against a version of it at one point because it included a mandate to buy into it rather than offering a choice to buy into it. I can find out from his staff what their objection was to this particular version. Once the advocates of single payer in NM understood the reason for his vote, they actually thought he had done them a favor. He is actually pretty well liked by Health Securities for New Mexicans, which is our main advocacy organization for single payer health care.

    I am also not sure why he opposes use of the MLR. This is a very new proposal. I live and work in NM. At one point, NM used MLRs to judge the effectiveness of non-profits. My particular program showed an MLR of zero although we were actually providing more in the way of services than required, and thus should have had an MLR of 110% or more. The problem was that, due to a quirk in the state's IT system, we could not register any of our clients. A rather ignorant state official announced to the newspaper that we were taking money but not providing services. There was a huge bruhaha and eventually we were vindicated.

    I doubt Bingaman's response is related to that particular incident, but the state department of health did have a terrible time managing MLRs. Eventually, they dropped it as an evaluation measure. As far as I know it wasn't really applied to insurance companies who were far more sophisticated than either the state or non-profits and local governments and would have easily gamed the system.

    Senator Bingaman fought hard to remove the Medicare subsidies Bush awarded to insurance and pharmaceutical companies and to return those subsidies to the beneficiaries. He's definitely not in the pocket of insurers.

    I blog on healthcare issues for Tikkun Daily as Lauren Reichelt.

    by TheFatLadySings on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 07:07:23 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  What is a MLR? (1+ / 0-)
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      TheFatLadySings
      •  Medical Loss Ratio. (0+ / 0-)

        It is the amount of money awarded for service delivery divided by the amount of money spent on service delivery (or the other way around). In other words, it is a figure that represents the percentage of revenues actually spent on health care.

        At least in theory. Shit happens. But if accurate tracking mechanisms exist, it could be a good measure.

        I blog on healthcare issues for Tikkun Daily as Lauren Reichelt.

        by TheFatLadySings on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 03:01:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not if you realize that insurance hold the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TheFatLadySings

          premium money that we pay in and invest it. Usually that makes them a substantial amount of money. Except for last year when the market tanked. UHC had a $5 billion dollar lost in investment income for 2008.

          That's how they can pay out 85% of the premium dollar and still have 25% for administration costs and profit.

          We are in a time where it is risky NOT to change. Barack Obama 7-30-08

          by samddobermann on Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 01:50:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Good point. (0+ / 0-)

            I just know that I really got slammed in the papers and elsewhere for an incorrectly calculated MLR. It doesn't work very well if the gov's IT system is not up to the task.

            I blog on healthcare issues for Tikkun Daily as Lauren Reichelt.

            by TheFatLadySings on Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 08:57:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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