Former Treasury secretary Larry Summers wants to get rid of the $100 bill. But I think he has it exactly backward. I think we need to restore the $500 and $1000 bills. And the reason is that people like Larry Summers have done a horrible job.
IT WAS DURING the financial crisis that Andrew Lo had his epiphany: The way to save health care from ever-rising costs is by bringing in the banks. Specifically, by packaging drug development costs into securities to be bought and sold by Wall Street—the very, um, mortgage-bundling technique that blew up the economy in 2007. “The reason the financial crisis happened is not because securitization didn’t work. It happened because it worked way too well,” says Lo, a professor of financial engineering at MIT. Securitization injected a huge pool of money into mortgages—what if you could inject that pool of money into a worthwhile cause and, ahem, do it responsibly?
In November, UnitedHealth abruptly reversed its previously sunny take on Obamacare and said that the company would have to pull out of the government-run exchanges if market conditions didn’t improve. The problem: People signing up during “special enrollment” (the majority of the year that falls outside of the annual open enrollment period) were much sicker, and paying premiums for much less time, than the rest of the exchange population. The result: Those policies were losing a ton of money. UnitedHealth’s bombshell raised the specter, once thought safely in the grave, of the “adverse selection death spiral,” the phenomenon where sick people are more likely to buy insurance, which raises the average expenditure, which means higher premiums, which makes insurance a worse deal for the healthiest members of your insurance pool, which means they drop out, which means your pool is even sicker and average expenditure goes up even more … and there goes the insurance market.
Well, I altered the linked article's headline. It was appropriate. Are these sweetened plans or sweetened lies? The thing about it that I have umbrage with is the fact that NOTHING IS FREE. That's for starters--it MAY be immediately, apparently free for YOU. However, as is often the case, such sweetened plans may, in fact, simply be a semantic deception to encourage consumer adoption.
Hackers already managed to compromise the health records of nearly 80 million Anthem customers in a high-profile breach earlier this year, but now analysts expect 1 in 3 patients will be similarly affected in 2016. Cyber attacks will continue to strike the health care industry next calendar year, IDC’s Health Insights group predicts in a new report, and the research firm expects around one-third of patients will be impacted as a result.