Minnesota health insurance exchange done wrong

  • Article by: Jim Abeler
  • Updated: March 20, 2013 - 11:36 AM

When Minnesota listens to all of its voices, it does better work. On this most crucial of projects, it listened to just a few and ignored the rest.

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jbpaperMar. 19, 13 8:20 PM

It would be nice if someone who helped put this exchange together could come out and tell us what is so great about it. How is this going to offer us better (cheaper) policies than what are already available?

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goferfanzMar. 19, 13 9:17 PM

Healthcare chaos is coming. It will be expensive, frustrating, and painful. It will start with the lack of American trained physicians--and end with patients paying top dollar---> for services that are hard to access or understand. The circle of chaos will be complete as doctors dealing with unhappy customers will be sure to practice massively defensive (aka expensive) medicine in America's lottery-like tort system. If your think the Education or Post office systems are stunning failures....you aint seen nothin' yet ;o) The trillion$ will bleed from this system like little raindrops.

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hermajestyMar. 19, 13 9:40 PM

Not having anyone from the insurance industry is a GOOD thing. It is regrettable that Obama kow-towed to them when planning his bill and put in only things that the insurance industry would ACCEPT. Gee, I wish I could have laws that covered me crafted so that they would be what I liked.

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hermajestyMar. 19, 13 9:44 PM

goferfanz: If there's a shortage of doctors in the U.S. it's because the AMA will allow only a certain number to be trained every year. The aim is to keep doctors scarce and incomes high. That's why small towns have to import doctors from overseas. An acquaintance who used to live in Israel told me that they have so much limits and make sure to produce enough doctors so that the ratio of doctors to patients never falls below a certain level. This solves the scarcity problem. Furthermore, medical school in Israel is free, so that the doctors don't have student loans to pay off and don't feel entitled to charge high prices. Everyone is covered by a basic government health care policy and can buy insurance for extras.

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ronniereaganMar. 19, 13 9:48 PM

Yet another story in which there is never any comment about the primary cost driver of health care........the patient!! When does President Obama or any other leader holder the patient accountable for preventable costs? Please do not give me the non-sense that we need to "educate" people into preventative care. People KNOW what to do- they simply are not doing it. I would bet every thing I own that Obamacare will massively increase health care spending. You simply cannot force more coverage to this extent without any form of utilization or rationing to control cost. Just like every other government spending prediction- massively over budget. Don't believe me- ask Mass. or Britain.

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goferfanzMar. 19, 1310:42 PM

"""it's because the AMA will allow only a certain number to be trained every year""".....the AMA is a member organization that has no control over training positions. Like any organization, it can lobby the federal or state govts, but the AMA has been plagued by declining membership in recent years as many doctors view it as more political (AGW, abortion etc) than pro-doctors. There is a doctor shortage due to many reasons-->an aging population, poor projections of school slots needed, a new generation of doctors unwilling to work 80 hour weeks, AND the large demo of female doctors who invariably have families and go part-time (ie 20 hours) from the very start of their careers.

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chuckdancerMar. 19, 1311:55 PM

We don't need these health care insurance companies to have a health care system in this country. All this money should be going into health care for people.

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texas_technomanMar. 20, 13 4:07 AM

Nice editorial Jim; bit it sounded a bit whiney. Lots of comments on what's bad...no suggestions on what would be better. As a retired exec, when folks came into my office whining about a problem; but offered no suggestions on how to fix it, I sent them away. BTW, experts say that too many choices on an exchange is just as bad as too few. The panel will have to figure this out. And to the commenter that's concerned about a shortage of doctors...I rarely see my Dr., physician's assistants are more accessible and will spend more time with you. Try it.

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brokenclockMar. 20, 13 5:22 AM

Minnesota will rue the day it got into the exchange business. Looking at it from a systems standpoint, the size and complexity of this project is breath taking. Think Travelocity on steroids. There is no way this thing is going to be ready to go on October 1. It will actually have to be up and running well before that so the thousands of people needed to run it can be trained. I pity the folks who have to work on this thing and I feel even worse for the customers who are going to have to use it. It's going to be a FUBAR nightmare. We'll probably see the number of uninsured go up as they are foiled and frustrated by a complex, unproven and unforgiving system. In the end, we'll all pay more for less insurance and lower quality health care. We're the government and we're here to help.

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Willy53Mar. 20, 13 6:19 AM

Jim Abeler has, of course, just misrepresented everything about the ACA and the new Minnesota health care exchange. As a VP of a 40 million dollar a year business with just 12 employees we're delighted that next year our risk pool will grow from 12 to a million as our small business enters the new statewide risk pool as mandated by the ACA. That means our rates will not be impacted dramatically if one of our employees becomes ill. The changes Abeler and his party tried to make were entirely for the benefit of insurance industry profits. Contrary to Abeler's assertions the exchange will create a level playing field with transparency and real competition for the first time in history. No obfuscation of policies to confuse the buyer and minimum requirements will ensure that citizens actually receive health care that is worthwhile and actually helps them stay in good health. Placing anyone active in the insurance industry on the board would have been simply helping create a place where more insuranc fraud and profit gouging would take place. Republicans have fought worthwhile changes in health care and offered nothing but obstruction and aid for the insurance industry. There are many benefits Minnesotans will realize next year through the exchange and the ACA. It's unfortunate the so many people don't understand what they are and have been hoodwinked and misinformed by industry protectors like Abeler. I suggest going to Consumer Reports web site and actually finding out what is offered in the ACA and when certain provisions will take effect. The last person to tell you facts about this law is Jim Abeler.

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