Post Tagged with: "health care"

FEEDBACK:  Jury out on pharma middlemen; More rural scholarships needed

FEEDBACK:  Jury out on pharma middlemen; More rural scholarships needed

Steve Skardon Jr., Mount Pleasant: “I was surprised by your [op-ed] piece on pharmaceutical benefits managers.  PBMs are the middlemen in the purchasing of pharmaceuticals from drug companies, that then oversee their pricing, distribution and sales through pharmacies, government health programs and health insurance carriers.  Their purpose originally was that of an advocate for states and their citizens in keeping drug prices reasonable for their citizens.

“However, PBMs eventually became 800-pound gorillas in the Big Pharma world, lacking transparency or serious accounting to anyone except their stockholders who were thrilled with their double-digit annual growth and rising stock prices. “

by · 10/27/2017 · Commentary, Feedback
MY TURN:  PBMS will save $10 billion in S.C. drug costs over 10 years

MY TURN:  PBMS will save $10 billion in S.C. drug costs over 10 years

By Dr. Edmund J. Pezalla, special to Statehouse Report |  There is so much rancor and finger-pointing these days over prescription drug prices that consumers are often left to wonder: who is fighting on their behalf? The answer: Pharmacy Benefit Managers, or PBMs.

Companies and public programs providing prescription drug coverage hire PBMs for their expertise, and ability to reduce drug costs by negotiating for rebates and discounts from big drug companies and drugstores. It would be too expensive and complicated for employers, or other payers, to match PBMs’ ability to reduce drug costs, while providing access.

Though drug makers continue to raise prices out of proportion to increases in value, PBMs are doing their job by keeping drug costs down. In fact, PBMs will save patients and payers in South Carolina $10.3 billion over 10 years.

MY TURN:  Repairing Obamacare won’t fix our health care mess  

MY TURN:  Repairing Obamacare won’t fix our health care mess  

By Lynn Bailey, special to Statehouse Report  |  The most recent sign we weren’t going to fix our health care system was the flame out in the U.S. Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in July.  After seven-plus years of chanting “Repeal Obamacare,” Congress just couldn’t do it.  The reason is simple: health insurance is the WRONG way for a complex modern economy to finance and manage health care services for people!  It is a 70+ year-old business model which is no longer sustainable. 

The United States is the only modern economically-developed nation using an employer-based private insurance system with a parallel public health insurance scheme to finance health care.  Other developed nations have long recognized health as a public service sector requiring a robust public-financing mechanism. Some nations do use insurance but it is not like America’s. …

Photo by Ted Eytan from Washington, DC, via Wikimedia Commons

NEWS: Higher health premiums could have dire S.C. consequences

By Lindsay Street, Statehouse correspondent  |  A health care economist says federal policy could make insurance unaffordable in South Carolina, which could trigger a jump in unemployment and tank the state’s economy.

If the Trump administration does not fund a $7 billion Affordable Care Act program that subsidizes health insurance policies for low- and middle-income earners, then insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs could face double digit increases for many policyholders in the state — whether they buy their insurance through the individual market or through an employer program.

With South Carolina already ranked at the bottom of the pack for health measures, the state’s economy could be crippled by people unable to work due to untreated illnesses and by hospital closures that might result in layoffs and health deserts.

by · 08/11/2017 · News
KIRBY: S.C. deserves better than proposed Obamacare overhaul

KIRBY: S.C. deserves better than proposed Obamacare overhaul

By Thornton Kirby, special to Statehouse Report  |  As CEO of the South Carolina Hospital Association, my friends and neighbors often come to me with questions about how the country’s health care system works.  The dynamics surrounding the cost of care and access are so complex that it’s easy to understand why so many Americans are confused about healthcare reform.

Watching Congress debate changes to our health insurance markets – and seeing the public’s reaction to those proposals – has led me back to two key observations about how we expect our country to work.  First, each of us expects to be treated fairly and equitably.  And second, although our country’s values are rooted in the protection of individual rights, I think most of us agree that we’re collectively better off when we recognize that we’re all in this together.

BRACK: People are #waitingfor2018, thanks to health care mess

BRACK: People are #waitingfor2018, thanks to health care mess

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | If you think Obamacare is a disaster, get ready for whatever it is that the Congressional Republicans passed to fix the Affordable Care Act as the political cluster that could be the mother of all nightmares

Why? Because instead of making something that’s a policy and political mess less messy, it’s going to be even messier, particularly after the U.S. Senate gets it.

“Don’t know what’s in it; waiting to see if it’s a boy or a girl,” U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., joked before the House vote. “But any bill that has been posted less than 24 hours — going to be debated three or four hours, not scored — needs to be viewed with suspicion.”

by · 05/05/2017 · 2018, Andy Brack, Commentary
MY TURN:  Focus on health care, not just police, with opioid crisis

MY TURN: Focus on health care, not just police, with opioid crisis

By Elaine Pawlowski, special to Statehouse Report | I am thankful that it has been announced that more than 10 bills are filed to address the S.C. opioid epidemic. Although legislative steps are needed, I would say that the devil is in the details on whether the legislation will reduce the overdose rate.

If legislators look at their own and other states’ legislation, they will see that poorly-written laws have increased the use of illegal drugs, increased HIV and Hepatitis C rates, added more children to the foster care system, broken apart families and increased rates of death from mixed drug poisoning. Continuing to expand law enforcement while blocking access to medication and treatment options has proven to be counterproductive.

by · 03/24/2017 · Commentary, My Turn
FEEDBACK: Letters on health care, state priorities

FEEDBACK: Letters on health care, state priorities

Fred Palm: “South Carolinians will know that Gov. [Nikki] Haley is all grown up when she brings the uninsured into the medical universe of the treated with adequate medical care and when she brings in the uninsured by exercising her option of enrolling S.C. into the Medicare option of the Affordable Care Act.”

by · 01/15/2016 · Feedback