Episode Information

WWL: Advocating for Health Care
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
Aired:
11/05/2009
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What if Connecticut gets to “opt-out” of a federal health plan?

 

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Episode Audio

29:59 minutes (14.4 MB)
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The ongoing health care debate in Washington is drawing the states back in. What if Connecticut gets to “opt-out” of a federal health plan?

The Opt-out language in the latest “public option” bill is just one possible way Washington is punting to the states when it comes to remaking health care…another plan would have a “trigger” mechanism, that would allow government-run coverage in states where private insurers don’t offer “affordable” plans.

Today, where we live, we’ll talk to State Health Care advocate Kevin Lembo about reform plans – and what he’s hearing from residents. We’ll also talk about a new plan for Husky patients that presents an alternative to HMO-run care.

 


 
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Listener Email from Gary

As I see it, all one has to do is limit the amount that a lawyer can take from a settlement. It should not be a percentage. Amounts for pain and suffering should be limited as to how much the victim gets while the balance is to go to a non-profit group associated with the type of injury. The decision for which group should go to a jury not associated with the case. The layer should not get anything from the pain and suffering part of the settlement

Listener Email from Richard

State regulation of insurance seems to me to just be another layer of bureaucracy, more expense and more administrivia that physicians and hospitals must deal with. Would it not be more cost efficient to have one set of rules and regulations that covers all? I’d appreciate hearing the arguments for and against state regulation of healthcare insurance. // Richard, Southbury, CT

State vs. Federal Regulation of Insurance Carriers

Richard,  To be honest, I go back and forth on this one.  Based on my comments, you know I think a dual solution is best (federal minimum standards + state oversight and addition, with clear delineation of responsibility).  I don't support joint oversight (that's confusing and leads to venue shopping), but do think that state regulators can be the best monitors as long as they're told clearly WHAT to monitor.

I arrived at my position after thinking through the list of regulations that CT imposes and checking to see how likely they were to be adopted in other states.  The leap in reason being, that if other states don't/won't offer strong regulation and their Congressional delegation dug-in on a national vote against a regualtion, we'd end up with a least common denominator law that reflects the standards in the least regulated state.

On the other side of the argument, you're right -- there is an increased likelihood that you'll have state and federal regulators banging into each other and adding expense to the system.  I believe we can draw bright lines of authority to avoid some of that, but who knows.

In the end, I like being able to drive to Hartford to bang on the state regulator's door if things aren't going well, but also like the idea that there would be a federal regulator helping to hold states accountable to the people.  Belt and suspenders?