The February 2004 issue of Health Care News launches a series of articles describing how community rating and guaranteed issue have destroyed the individual insurance markets in eight states. New Jersey--“where people with individual health insurance routinely pay more than $12,000 a year for premiums and can spend as much as $263,904 a year”--is the first state in the series.
This issue also offers extensive coverage of the ongoing debate over prescription drug importation. We reprint, for example, an open letter to Congress drafted by Nobel economist Milton Friedman and signed by more than 100 professional and academic economists and policy analysts, who warn “American consumers would get the short-term windfall of lower prices, but they would end up unnecessarily suffering and living shorter lives--because promising new therapies would be delayed or not even developed.”
Also in this issue: lessons from the flu vaccine shortage; polls show seniors are wary of Medicare reform; a new report documents the financial instability of Tennessee’s troubled TennCare Medicaid program; the Supreme Court agrees to take up patients’ rights; how the new health savings accounts might “fit” into current employer health plans; how the new Rx discount cards lay the groundwork for future prescription drug reform; and efforts to promote “best practices” in medicine generate controversy and opposition.
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