Schafer: Exchanges have been tried, and worked

  • Article by: LEE SCHAFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 3, 2013 - 6:40 AM

Champions of health insurance exchanges like the brand-new MNsure say that buying coverage will be as easy as booking travel on Orbitz.com.

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comment229Oct. 3, 13 6:35 AM

I quit reading when I got to the part that said something to the effect that you will realize the problem when you try to visit a specialist outside the network..... the author of this article may not believe it, but he lives in a very privileged world and if that is his main complaint, he has it pretty darn good. Many of us with catastrophic insurance which is all we can afford, find it almost beyond our means to go see a doctor for any reason. The receptionist at the desk takes one look at your insurance card, and stops short of giggling, knowing full well that she will submit the claim and get nothing..... and then send you the bill.... so then you try negotiate a cash price for the visit.... ever try that one? The doctor, if you see one, now asks if you want him to contact the pharmacy via computer, for you to get a prescription, and when you say you want it on paper, like the old days, he then says "you're just going to throw it away aren't you?" The author and I live in different Americas. Welcome to the world of self insured Americans.

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chuckdancerOct. 3, 13 7:01 AM

I believe the writer is correct about exchanges. Over time they will evolve and be much easier to use. The big differences probably between these two exchanges is that in the private exchange everybody using it has a job, is relatively healthy as they are able to work, and is receiving an employer subsidy to make their purchase. MNSure was created because all people need health care even when they have none of the things users of the private exchange have. The MNsure exchange is an exchange of insurance plans plus part of the safety net of our society and thus far more complex.

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jaytee1Oct. 3, 1310:31 AM

Lee: what you and most other commentators and analysts say about "Obamacare" is incorrect. The Affordable Care Act is insurance reform, NOT health care reform. One leg of the health care stool but just one leg. Simply expanding health insurance does not expand access or improve care. As we will all soon find out, there is a serious shortage of health care professionals today and the deficits worsen as we age and retirements increase. So, as "Obamacare" expands the pool of insured, the pool of professionals from which they must seek care is contracting. What will happen is that care networks will begin closing the door to new patients and those of us who can afford it, will begin to pay more upfront to guarantee access. This is a serious outcome which no one is talking about and will take a very, very heavy lift from government to fix.

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Mrs.JackJonesOct. 3, 1312:55 PM

My clinic will probably close as the number of Medicaid ,Medicare. patients increase. The ACA cuts back the pay per claim. My advice to the readers is check with your local Doctors. I did.

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swmnguyOct. 3, 13 5:23 PM

Interesting that the new talking point is that all the newly insured patients will swamp the medical provider system. This is what used to be called a business opportunity, except it doesn't really exist. I had this talk with a relative who is an MD in a private practice. He has recently been specializing in Medicare and Medicaid patients, as he believes the nation's ongoing Depression will force us to put everyone on Medicare sooner rather than later. He compensates for the lower payments by reducing overhead and paper-pushing. He told me of a local colleague who had been very loud about the threats of "Socialized Medicine" to the point of rejecting all but wealthy cash clients. That doctor has recently taken a job at the V.A., and no longer appears at his longtime lunch spot downtown, as he doesn't want his peers to watch him eat his words.

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YoganaziOct. 4, 13 5:29 AM

Medica was too busy implementing their exchange when they should have been processing veterans claims!

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orvestaOct. 4, 13 6:18 AM

The exchanges will work. People will love the ACA. And once again, GOPTea members will be caught having lied their way into a deep dark hole. The GOPTea has demonstrated with their votes (or lack of them) that they do not want to solve the nation's healthcare problems. Period. Votes speak louder than words, especially when the words are worthless GOPTea words.

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sek2undrstndOct. 4, 13 3:11 PM

Psst... Mr. Schafer. If you keep writing articles such as this one, you are likely to be called a socialist.

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