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Uwe Reinhardt – Why health reform critical for family making $70,000 a year

Last Friday, Uwe Reinhardt of Princeton University, one of the most prominent and respected health care economists in the world, gave a presentation on health care reform. In it he ran the numbers on costs and showed that health reform isn’t just critical for lower income people. Even for people in higher income brackets, costs are exploding in a way that simply isn’t sustainable. Give Professor Reinhardt three minutes and he’ll show you why:

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6 Comments

  1. Doug Gibson

    June 29, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Adam, this is off-topic, but where did you get your 3.7 million covered by BC/BS figure?

    (http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2009/06/18/senator-kay-hagan-rumored-to-be-holding-up-health-reform-in-key-committee/)

  2. Adam Searing

    June 29, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    doug – it’s from their website under “about us” – http://www.bcbsnc.com

  3. Doug Gibson

    June 29, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Thanks. I ask because of this 2007 AMA study that seems to peg BC/BS’s share of the private insurance market at 53% – that is, they found that 53% of HMO and PPO customers are covered by BC/BS:

    http://www.ama-assn.org/ama1/pub/upload/mm/368/compstudy_52006.pdf

    Also, at the link you provided, BC/BS mentions that the 3.7 million includes “900,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans.” Take 900k out of 3.7m, and you get a roughly 56% share of the private market in North Carolina, which could easily be BC/BS’s share three years out from the AMA study.

    Or is there a segment of the private insurance market that would lie outside of HMO’s and PPO’s? And understand I’m just asking to make sure I have my facts straight.

  4. Adam Searing

    June 30, 2009 at 9:43 am

    No, I understand. I don’t exclude the 900,000 because those are people who are in private health insurance, using BCBSNC’s network, have BCBSNC cards, etc. BCBSNC is making a profit off of them just like they make a profit off of people they cover in self-insured plans – it’s just that someone else is bearing the risk. So, I think if they feel justified in boasting they cover 3.7 million people and they are making profit off of all those people, I think they count.

    The most comprehensive look at BCBS’s role in the NC insurance market was done about seven years ago by the NC Department of Insurance when BCBS wanted to convert to a for-profit. I’ll look that stuff up and post – even back then Blue’s share of the small business and individual market was amazingly high – 80-90% I think.

  5. Doug Gibson

    June 30, 2009 at 10:41 am

    I guess I took “other blue plans” as meaning they were managing plans out of state. But if the entire 3.7 m is in-state, then they’re currently covering about 74% of people who have coverage outside of government plans, which was the number I was double-checking. Thanks!

  6. Adam Searing

    June 30, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Doug – you prompted me to dig through the current DOI data – so here’s more proof for your number from NC’s dept of ins (and I’ve posted it as well):

    http://www.ncdoi.com/Industry/StatisticalData/2008/Volume%20IV%20-%20Accident%20and%20Health%20Business/2008_P5_Accident%20and%20health-Domestics.pdf