Ask Jesse the Artist

October 25, 2008

Instead of focusing on Joe the Plumber and his tax phobia’s, perhaps the presidential candidates should talk to Jesse the Artist and ask him or her about health insurance.  On Sunday, October 19th, I visited the Bethesda Row Arts Festival in Bethesda, Maryland.  I did just that.  In a very unscientific survey, I talked to a number of the artists about their health insurance.  

Why should anyone else be interested in artists?  Because they are small business people.  They are also very creative.  It is this creative entrepreneurship of small businesses that candidates like to support because it is the economic engine  that drives the American economy. Read the rest of this entry »

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A game of Old Maids

October 18, 2008

Approximately six months ago our office began receiving stacks of paper claims for prescription drugs.  The drugs originated in various Veterans’ Administration medical centers around the country.  They were for drugs that members in our Plan had received at VA medical centers. 

It was obvious that there had been some sort of new policy at the VA that required the VA to obtain payment from other payers when veterans had other coverage.  The problem in this case is that our Plan had just changed pharmacy benefit managers effective January 1, 2008. 

So think about this.   Read the rest of this entry »


The Amazing US Health Care System

October 14, 2008

Amazing seems a most appropriate word to describe the financing and delivery of health care services in the United States of America.

According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 9th Edition (OK, I have an old dictionary) amazing is derived from a French word meaning “to confuse”.  Obsolete meanings include consternation, bewilderment and perplexing.

Yes, health care in the US is truly amazing.  Rube Goldberg could not have invented a more illogical maze of non-systems.  Lewis Carroll’s might have added an additional chapter on Alice’s efforts to get those pills that made her big and small.  Kafka might imagine a special Penal Colony for those responsible for this maze.

I should be careful on this last point, since I am part of that system. Read the rest of this entry »