NC's fight over the health plan pricing occurred in Montana

The organized opposition to NC Treasurer Dale Folwell's effort to control health care costs looks very similar to what happened in Montana.

Montana's insurance plan had been paying some hospitals a whopping 600% of what federal insurance for the elderly, Medicare, pays for the same treatment.
After crunching the numbers, Bartlett suggested hospitals would get paid somewhere around 220 to 250 percent above Medicare. Way less - but still a healthy profit.
Bartlett: The hospital industry was adamant against it. They then started lobbying with the governor. They lobbied heavily, but they couldn't tell me anything that would fit with our goal of lowering healthcare costs. And so we had the hospitals very, very upset with us. We had some legislators upset with us. You know, it's interesting, legislators that were hammering on me during the 2015 legislature to get costs down I didn't realize that many of them sit on the boards of directors of these hospitals. And so they're kind of playing both roles too and that caused problems. And we had the insurance companies against us.

As Treasurer Folwell has explained, "the fees charged for medical services are not provided to the Plan or its members despite the fact that there are state and federal guidelines that demand transparency."

Getting a handle on health care costs has to start with an accounting of the costs.

 

Pete's Prep: Tuesday, March 19, 2019

  • State Senator Jim Davis (R) has introduced a bill to allow betting on sports at Harrah's Cherokee Casino. The News & Observer has that story.
  • Remember that old woman who
  • The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that the local elderly disabled protester who accused (and later walked back) an elderly disabled man leaving a Trump of punching her, is now suing James O'Keefe's Project Veritas for libel.

Pete Kaliner

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