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April 2011

Illinois Insurance Chief Sees Market Becoming More Concentrated — The KHN Intervew

From: Kaiser Health News

By J. Duncan Moore, Jr.

Apr 27, 2011

Michael T. McRaith, the Illinois director of insurance since 2005, was named last month by the Obama administration to become the country’s first director of the Federal Insurance Office, a post created through the Dodd-Frank financial reform act passed last year to protect against another financial meltdown.

McRaith was for many years an attorney in private practice, working at the intersection of financial services, insurance and consumer protection. He used his tenure with the state to beef up consumer safeguards in Illinois and to prepare the way for the health care overhaul. He will remain in his Illinois post until the end of the May.

The Other Medicare Cutters

From: Wall Street Journal/Review & Outlook

Obama’s plan relies on a politically insulated board of experts.

The debate over Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform ideas has largely been healthy, even amid the liberal distortions. But why has there been so little scrutiny of President Obama’s new Medicare proposal? Anyone worrying about more individual choice and responsibility in health care might be interested to learn that the alternative is turning every one of these decisions over to a 15-member central committee.

Nebraska left with no child-only insurance policies

By Martha Stoddard

LINCOLN — Jennifer Piatt normally isn’t much of a gambler.

But the Creighton University law student has been forced to take a chance on her 9-year-old daughter’s health this year.

The reaction of private insurers to the 2010 federal health reform law has kept Piatt from finding insurance for Isabelle.

“I’m just hoping she doesn’t get sick,” said Piatt, who added that she can afford and was willing to purchase a private policy for Isabelle.

Piatt’s plight stems from a provision of the federal law that bans insurance companies from denying or limiting coverage of children with pre-existing health conditions.

Health-care options: Solvency through vouchers

From: The Economist

 by W.W. | IOWA CITY

LAURENCE KOTLIKOFF, a professor of economics at Boston University, warns that fiscal doomsday is rapidly drawing nigh

CBO’s baseline budget updates suggest the date for reaching what Carmen Reinhart, Kenneth Rogoff and other prominent economists believe is a critical insolvency threshold—a 90 percent ratio of federal debt held by the public to gross domestic product—has moved four years closer, in just nine months!