Just the facts

In a recent column, Mark Weisbrot chastised private insurers as “the biggest source of waste” in the U.S. healthcare system (“Pro: Health care law is a hopeful step forward,” Dec. 30). The facts suggest otherwise.

 

In 2010, fraudulent or otherwise improper Medicare payments totaled $48 billion, according to the Government Accountability Office. That’s quadruple the combined profits of the 10 largest health insurance companies — and represents nearly 10 percent of what Medicare spent that year.

At the same time, Medicare and Medicaid underpay legitimate healthcare providers by as much as 20 percent. To compensate, hospitals and doctors charge patients with private insurance more. In fact, the average family pays an extra $1,500 in premiums annually thanks to such federally induced cost shifting.

Janet Trautwein

Executive Vice President and CEO

National Association of Health Underwriters

Washington, D.C.

CONTACT US

  • Switchboard: 907-586-3740
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-586-3740
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Business Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-523-2230
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES

SOCIAL NETWORKING

 

More

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 06:23

Thank you, Sen. Murkowski

I have always been proud to be from Alaska, and you reinforced that feeling with your vote against opening debate on the health care bill.... Read more

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 06:23

Remember compassion

An image I will never forget came from a documentary showing a little Jewish girl of about 8 standing on a street holding a doll... Read more

Juneau’s future leaders need you

I am Jane Button and I live on the Inian Islands, near Elfin Cove. This past March, I traveled into Juneau for doctor and dentist... Read more

Message to Sen. Dan Sullivan

Senator, as a former military man I am sure that you have great admiration, respect, and gratitude, as we all do, for the more than... Read more