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Walt Bernard Podgurski,  Editor,  440-773-1108, 

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Editorial Mission Statement: The goal of this publication is to provide readers a broad selection of what is being written about the insurance industry and related issues. Some articles may have a “tilt” towards a particular perspective one way or another. Inclusion in this newsletter is not an endorsement of any views or content; but report the various and differing views appearing in media.
  Friday, 02/23/18

Leading liberal policy group unveils 'coverage for all' plan (Medicare Extra for All)
WASHINGTON (AP) - A leading liberal policy group is raising the ante in the health care debate with a new plan that builds on Medicare to guarantee coverage for all.
Called "Medicare Extra for All," the proposal Thursday from the Center for American Progress, or CAP, would provide a path toward universal health care coverage.
But in a nod to political pragmatism, the plan would preserve roles for employer coverage and for the health insurance industry. Employers and individuals would have a choice of joining Medicare Extra, but it would not be required.
That differs from the more traditional "single-payer" approach advocated by Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, in which the government would hold the reins of the health care system.
The plan's authors acknowledge that the plan would require significant tax increases.
Even though it has no chance of passing in a Republican-controlled Congress, center president Neera Tanden said, "there is consensus on the progressive side that universal coverage should be the goal and health care is a right."
As Democrats shift leftward, Republicans are saying the CAP plan shows Democrats are turning on "Obamacare."

Life / Health / Employee Benefits

Are Democrats Now Working to Repeal and Replace Obamacare?
Michael Rainey / The Fiscal Times / Yahoo Finance
The Center for American Progress – “a think tank that is the closest thing to a Democratic government-in-exile,” according to Paul Waldman of The Washington Post – released a universal health care plan Thursday.
The document starts with a broad statement of principle – “Health care is a right: No American should be left to suffer without the health care they need” – before moving on to the nuts and bolts of how the proposed universal health care system would work in the U.S.
Here are 5 key features of the proposal, which CAP refers to as "Medicare Extra for All":
The plan would be open to everyone, but no one would be forced to join. Workers with private insurance could stick with their existing plans, although employers could opt in and provide health insurance through the new system.
Newborns would be automatically enrolled, resulting in steady movement toward a single system.
Preventative care and generic drugs would be free. Prices for other services would be determined on a sliding scale, starting at zero and increasing with higher income.
Medicaid and CHIP would be folded into the new plan.
Premiums would be paid only by those earning more than 150 percent of the poverty line, with a cap at 10 percent of income.
One important thing missing from the plan: a cost estimate. But at this point, the politics of the proposal probably matter most. As Axios notes, the proposal suggests that the mainstream of the Democratic party is now firmly behind the idea of universal health care, in a way that goes beyond Obamacare. "It is in some ways 'repeal and replace,' but from the left rather than the right," said Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Why Trump’s new insurance proposal may put essential health benefits at risk
by Laura Santhanam / PBS
Republicans in Congress may have failed to gut the Affordable Care Act last year, but that does not mean that Obamacare is safe.
For months, the Trump administration has been moving to weaken the law. This week, it released a proposal for “short-term” health care plans that would allow insurers to skirt many ACA requirements, including a mandate to offer essential health benefits. These are fundamental services, like maternity and newborn care and access to mental health and substance use disorder. Here’s a look at why the 2010 law requires insurance companies to offer essential health benefits, and what losing them might mean for your insurance plan.

Legal Club has entered into a partnership with U.S. Legal Forms, Inc., the nation’s leading online publisher of state-specific legal documents. US Legal Forms will provide over 85,000 forms to Legal Club's millions of members. Most of these forms are ready to use without additional review by an attorney.
“Our downloadable legal forms are a perfect addition to the offerings that Legal Club provides its members,” said US Legal CEO Frank D. Edens. “We are excited about our partnership and the opportunity to help more Americans better organize their legal affairs.”
“This is a great addition to our program. This benefit provides our members access to a comprehensive selection of free self-service forms that may be downloaded and completed to create legally valid documents,” explained Donald Rowe, Vice President of Employee Benefits at Legal Club. Rowe further stated, “These forms are available to members online at www.legalclub.com.”

11 ways the Amazon-Berkshire-Chase Health Partnership Could Impact Healthcare as Much as the ACA
Dave Chase / Creator HealthRosetta. Author, CEOs Guide to Restoring the American Dream. EP, The Big Heist. Natural habitat: Mountains
"Your margin is my opportunity.” - Jeff Bezos
Amazon has proven again and again that Bezos and team can bring fundamental change to multiple industries. Adding one of the world’s most respected and trusted business figures in Warren Buffett and the leader of one of the largest financial institutions who led it through the 2008 financial crisis in Jamie Dimon and healthcare’s long overdue overhaul may be upon us. Not since I wrote Health Insurance's Bunker Buster nearly eight years ago have I seen anything that has the potential to bring a brighter future for all Americans.
In this article, I refer to my book, The CEO’s Guide to Restoring the American Dream. You can get it on Amazon or download it for free here. For simplicity, I’ll refer to the Amazon-Berkshire Hathaway-JP Morgan Chase as “ABC.”
The slide below is a very rough breakdown of where each dollar into the U.S. healthcare system goes. Shockingly little makes its way to the value-creators—primarily nurses, doctors and other clinicians. As I laid out earlier this week in 10 Mistakes Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and J.P. Morgan Must Avoid to Make a Dent in Healthcare, conventional employer-led efforts have failed to change healthcare. Few would call Bezos, Buffett, or Dimon conventional thinkers and they collectively bring more weight than most of the world’s developed economies. Given that the U.S. healthcare industry would be tied with Germany as the 4th largest economy in the world, the potential of their influence becomes clear.

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