Saturday, May 3, 2008

Gorman and Donze LTEs in the Rocky Mountain News

The May 3, 2008 Rocky Mountain News printed Linda Gorman's LTE debunking false information from Families USA:
Yet another bogus Families USA story
Linda Gorman, Director, Health Care Policy Center, Independence Institute, Golden

On April 22, Rocky Mountain carried "Report ties Medicaid cuts to job losses". The story simply repeated the substance of a press release from Families USA.

In fact, the Bush administration has not proposed Medicaid budget cuts. Its FY 2009 budget proposal increases Medicaid spending by $12 billion to $13 billion over expected spending in FY 2008. This is in addition to FY 2005-2007 spending increases of about 10 percent. What the Bush administration is proposing is a slightly smaller budget increase, about 7.1 percent rather than 7.4 percent. The 2009 budget numbers are available on Page 61 at 09budget/2009BudgetInBrief.pdf.

If Families USA were a real family making $50,000 a year, these budget numbers would be the equivalent of having an expected windfall of $53,700 reduced to $53,550.

Families USA is known for approaching health care with a well-defined ideological slant and for producing lousy numbers on all manner of health-care issues. One hopes that, next time, the Rocky will take the Families USA reputation for inaccuracy into account, and that it will check before it unquestioningly reproduces their press releases as news.
The May 2, 2008 Rocky Mountain News posted the following LTE by Terry Donze on the government's role in rising health insurance costs:
Legislature has made health insurance so high
Terry W. Donze, Wheat Ridge

RE: Fair Act, HB-1389, RMN, 04-24 and 25-08 Regarding Colorado’s health insurance, Representative Morgan Carroll asks, "Why are our premiums higher?" All she needs to do is get the plank out of her eye and look in the mirror.

The legislature has mandated so many items (40+ and counting) for the health insurance industry to cover, what does she expect? They have run several health insurance providers out of Colorado over the past several years, such that it is extremely difficult to find affordable individual coverage because of limited competition.

Yet more regulation as proposed by her will only add to the costs, not only in higher premiums but also in higher taxes to pay for yet more government.

If she is really interested in bringing costs down, instead of more regulation Carroll should be demanding rescission of the mandates already on the books.