• Obamacare and October 1st: Healthcare Triage #1

    I’m excited to announce my involvement in a new YouTube channel, Healthcare Triage. It’s going to be an ongoing series about health care, research, and policy. The topics will all be of significant interest to readers of TIE. In fact, you’ll probably recognize many of them from past posts. But now they’ll be even more accessible! I can’t wait to do the episode on survival rates versus mortality rates.

    I’m getting to work with some amazingly talented people:

    Not only that, the videos are going to be pretty fun. John Green will stop in regularly to have his hypochondria soothed by Aaron’s clear and engaging explanations. Healthcare Triage is made by the people who make Crash Course, mental_floss video, and The Art Assignment.

    You probably remember John Green from this post. That video of his now has more than 3.7 million views! If you don’t know what Crash Course is, you’re missing out on something special. Mental Floss is similarly awesome. I’m sure The Art Assignment is going to be a winner, too.

    But back to my channel! The “pilot” episode was just posted, right in time for October 1:

    If you want to see more like this, we need your support. Please subscribe to the channel! You can also follow the show on Twitter at @HCTriage. I’d also appreciate your spreading the word through social media, email, etc. This has the potential to bring our love of research and policy to a much larger audience!


    • Now more than ever we need this. The fear and ignorance
      machine is outspending the reality situation 5 to 1.

    • Great debut, I look forward to the rest of the series.

    • Well done, Aarron…Looking forward to following this…

    • This is great. A sorely needed clarification of what Obamacare is and is not done through a medium that is easier to grab the attention of a wider audience than blogging alone.

      Would you also consider a video clarifying how much Obamacare is expected to cost and who will pay for it? Obviously people will be paying premiums or penalities, but where does the money for the subsidies come? Are there new taxes? If so, on what?

      Many individuals, unduely influenced by people they trust, believe Obamacare is unafforable or unfair or likely to lead to inappropriate care rationing or a reduction in the quality of care provided to them or their loved ones.

      These are all honest, though perhaps misguided, concerns. You have well thought out, reasonable answers supported by the evidience we’ve accumulated to date. Now you have an even broader platform to inform those who are interested. Good luck, I hope people are wise enough to tune in.

    • In concept I support the Affordable Care Act. But even the best laid plans can falter if there is poor execution. Here are the issues we need to follow up on next year as we assess the performance of the new exchanges:

      1) What is happening to access to care? What about those narrow provider networks offered by the plans participating in the exchanges that we recently heard about? Are the limited number of specialists a deliberate attempt to discourage enrollment by sicker patients, or do they actually reflect a limited number of specialists overall?

      2) Why aren’t the exchanges making greater use of the community clinic network, which seems well suited for the low income population in the exchanges? Is it because many such as FQHC’s are guaranteed a minimum payment under Federal law that insurance companies refuse to pay?

      3) Why did so many insurance companies decide not to participate in the exchanges? This dampens competition. Aside from the government guaranteeing to cover their losses, what can be done to attract more insurance companies to participate?

      4) What if the Affordable Care Act fails to slow the increase in the per unit cost of health care? As noted in the video, health care premiums are already very high and growing faster that personal income. At what point does the ACA become an onerous, unbearable law that forces people to purchase insurance they simply cannot afford?

      5) Will the high co-pays in the Bronze plans be prohibitive, discouraging utilization of preventative services and causing sicker individuals to forego care until their condition becomes acute and costly to treat?

      6) The US Census Bureau has admitted that the methodology used to calculate the Federal Poverty Rate is outdated and understates the true cost of poverty. In particular it fails to account for differences in the cost of living, understating poverty in high cost regions such as Coastal California and the Northeast corridor. Does this mean that the subsidies for millions of Americans will be insufficient?

    • Great Post, though i have a question. What are the repercussions for failing to purchase health insurance and refusing to pay the “fine,” “tax,” “penalty” or whatever it’s being called now?