Thermodynamics and Health Care

Megan McArdle has a post up on Sticker Shock for Some Obamacare Customers. Now that real world cost data is available, insurers are asking for rates that allow them to at least break even on Obamacare coverage. Maryland’s largest insurer is asking for a 30 percent increase.

It’s a basic principle of Thermodynamics that there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. That applies to health care too.

That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

Running Out of Other Peoples’ Money

At the end of 2016, the unaffordable Affordable Care Act requires that the state-run Obamacare exchanges operate without any federals subsidy. The Hill reports that states are now trying to find ways to keep the schemes solvent.

A number of states are quietly considering merging their healthcare exchanges under ObamaCare amid big questions about their cost and viability.

Many of the 13 state-run ObamaCare exchanges are worried about how they’ll survive once federal dollars supporting them run dry next year.

Read the whole thing.

An Update on Mrs. Hoge

Mrs. Hoge’s back is healing very nicely from her surgery. She has very little residual pain, but she still has some restrictions on her activity. She is also recovering well from the side effects of the radiation treatment for her cancer.

She’s about half-way through the course of chemotherapy prescribed by her oncology team. She’s experienced all of the usual side effects, including hair loss. Last week, she shaved off the last remnant of the hair on her head, but, rather than be simply bald, she had a henna artist do a floral wreath design on her scalp.

We’re both thankful for your continued prayers and good wishes.

Bonus Prevarication Du Jour

The Cabin Boy™ isn’t even a good concern troll.SRN201503112246ZAs Team Kimberlin has been pointing out, I am 67 years old. I’ve been enrolled in Medicare for over two years.MedicareI use one of the low end insurance plans available at work as a “Medigap” policy. However, because Mrs. Hoge is several years younger than I am, she has been separately insured since I turned 65. My employment (including the income stream it provides) has no effect on her health insurance.

Prevarication Du Jour

SRN201503071953ZThe team of physicians and other medical professionals treating Mrs. Hoge’s includes faculty members of a major university school of medicine. They are aware of, and in some cases are principal investigators of, various research programs, including some funded by the NIH. Additionally, there are several physicians in our extended families, some of whom practice oncology or related fields.

I’ll be blunt. Mrs. Hoge has a great deal of confidence in our family members and others currently engaged in the practice of medicine and their ability to make recommendations for treatment options. She has no confidence in an admittedly-demented former PR flack with a stale Rolodex of bureaucratic connections.

She has been making her treatment decision based on the advice of those professionals, and I believe that she has been choosing wisely.