Monday, September 23, 2013

Reaping Profit After Assisting on Health Law
...That means boom times for what might be called an Obamacare cottage industry, providing work for dozens of former administration and mostly Democratic Congressional officials whose immersion in health policy minutiae, and friendships, make them invaluable to private business.

Dr. Dora Hughes, for example, has a medical degree from Vanderbilt and a master’s in public health from Harvard and never envisioned joining a law firm. But Dr. Hughes, a former Obama administration official, has something Washington lawyers and lobbying shops covet: an insider’s understanding of the new health care law.

After nearly four years as counselor to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, she left government last year to work for Sidley Austin, which represents insurers, pharmaceutical companies, device makers and others affected by the law. She is not a registered lobbyist, but rather a “strategic adviser,” although some call that a distinction without a difference. ...

...Liz Fowler, a onetime executive with WellPoint, the insurer, helped draft the legislation as the chief health counsel for the Senate Finance Committee and later joined the administration. Now she runs global health policy for Johnson & Johnson, the medical equipment and pharmaceutical giant, which strongly backed the health bill and stands to benefit from it. ...

Ads urge college students to 'opt out' of Obamacare with 'Creepy Uncle Sam' performing pelvic exam, prostate check
Herman Cain calls them 'must watch' videos, and Buzzfeed has already made its own quasi-newsy animations.So the pair of anti-Obamacare ads unveiled Thursday morning by a conservative millennials' group are clearly making the rounds.

The twin videos show the horrified expressions of a young man and woman after they undress for intimate medical checkups, and find a creepy-looking Uncle Sam character getting ready to examine their nether regions.

The implied message about the Affordable Care Act is unmistakable. 'Don't let government play doctor,' the ads intone...

Lower Health Insurance Premiums to Come at Cost of Fewer Choices
WASHINGTON — Federal officials often say that health insurance will cost consumers less than expected under President Obama’s health care law. But they rarely mention one big reason: many insurers are significantly limiting the choices of doctors and hospitals available to consumers.

From California to Illinois to New Hampshire, and in many states in between, insurers are driving down premiums by restricting the number of providers who will treat patients in their new health plans.

When insurance marketplaces open on Oct. 1, most of those shopping for coverage will be low- and moderate-income people for whom price is paramount. To hold down costs, insurers say, they have created smaller networks of doctors and hospitals than are typically found in commercial insurance. And those health care providers will, in many cases, be paid less than what they have been receiving from commercial insurers. ...