Uninsured drive through

By Denis Storey


“Rein in costs.”

President Obama sounded that clarion call early on in his legislative offensive for health reform. And Pelosi parroted that mantra faithfully — despite a clear grasp of whatever else might be tucked into that legislation.

So can someone please explain to me how is it exactly that killing off limited medical benefit plans — the only access to the system for millions of lower-income and Americans — will help there?

Sure, carriers are collecting the waivers like so much candy (or desperate housewife meds). But, as we’ve already reported, without any real relief on the medical-loss ratio front, it won’t make a damn bit of difference.

And the new MLR regulation HHS just handed down doesn’t help, despite its weak attempt at reprieve. Why do I have a feeling this is going to turn into another one of those rules that keeps getting pushed off, like Medicare reimbursement cuts?

Bottom line is, either way, pulling the plug on minimeds will do nothing but throw millions more onto the great, unwashed uninsured. In fact, a new study suggests that number could be as high as 2 million, with something like 100,000 alone coming out of the Golden Archs.

And who do you think will be on the hook for those emergency room visits that will suddenly become primary care providers for this nation’s low-wage, seasonal and part-time workers?