Here’s a terrific idea from the great state of Tennessee (“The Volunteer State” and wow, I think I’m about to finally understand irony!): “Two nights a year, Tennessee holds a health care lottery of sorts, giving the medically desperate a chance to get help.”
That’s right: employing a strategy long-used by morning drive-time DJs to give away Cheap Trick tickets (because who would go to Cheap Trick concerts otherwise and DON’T YOU DARE TELL ME), Tennessee has created one of the worst systems for healthcare coverage other than simply dying publicly in the streets.
And actually, it’s not at all like those Cheap Trick tickets because at least with the morning drive-time DJs, if you’re the fifth caller, you get the tickets. With Tennessee, if you’re one of the lucky callers, you only get access to an application that might get you healthcare coverage. Of course, “Applicants have to be elderly, blind, disabled or the “caretaker relative” of a child who qualifies for Medicaid, known here as TennCare. Their medical debt has to be high enough that if they paid it, their income would fall below a certain threshold. Not many people end up qualifying, but that does not stop thousands from trying.”
College Kids Already Pretty Much Know Everything Anyway: “A Tuesday symposium at Wright State University aims to push the health care industry in a greener direction.” That’s all well and good, don’t get me wrong, but what if we just got healthcare in a working direction first?
Oh, Shut Up, Paul Bedard: “The 61-page online Obamacare draft application for health care includes asking if the applicant wants to register to vote, raising the specter that pro-Obama groups being tapped to help Americans sign up for the program will also steer them to register with the Democratic Party.”
Science Will Save Us!: “A wireless personal health monitoring system using smartphones to upload data via the Internet will revolutionize the U.S. healthcare industry, its pioneering creators say.” But what were they going to say? “This? Nah, it don’t work well. But we keep applying for grants anyway. Who wants to do a keg stand?”
Journalists Feeling/Fighting Healthcare Costs: “Angered over years of concessions, buyouts, lost pension, and sacrificed pay raises, the unionized reporters are organizing to fight steep increases in their health-care costs.”
Healthcare and Data Security: “It’s a fascinating time to be in the healthcare field, watching and participating as technology changes to make a real difference in the cost and quality of patient care. Whether you’re a person who needs access to quality healthcare services, a member of the healthcare team helping to provide them, or an IT expert, you’re probably rooting for meaningful improvements, and hungry for stories that illustrate how the huge push towards EMR (electronic medical records) is worth it.”
Even Large Companies Are Looking at High-Deductible Healthcare Plans: “Historically, one of the perks of working at a big company has been generous health benefits with modest out-of-pocket costs. But increasingly, large companies are offering their employees only one option: a plan with a relatively high deductible linked to a savings account for medical expenses.”