Medical Loss Ratios and the (Partial) Restoration of Sanity

Despite an abundance of news and analysis available online, polls show Americans are confused about health care reform.

I have to admit, I haven’t been able to entirely wrap my head around the health care reform law and what it’s designed to do. I have the high-level talking points. I might have a bit more insight than the general public with regard to technology. But like most Americans, I haven’t been able to grasp a whole lot more.

This is a shame, because it’s made the reform efforts an easy target for negative publicity. It seems like there’s just enough information out there to tweak ideological noses, and not enough to explain the detailed benefits. I try to research it, but it’s complicated and I find the best I can do is to watch for information regarding how reform is being rolled out.

Last week turned up a nugget. As a former journalist, I love PR Watch, the online child of the non-partisan media and consumer watchdog group Center for Media and Democracy. Wendell Potter — you remember him, that Cigna PR exec-turned-whistleblower – wrote an important article that educates the general public on how the quest for profits continues to affect patient services and how health care reform is implemented.

I urge you to read it. Not only will you likely learn something about the inner workings of the insurance industry (think medical-loss ratio), but it will give you a boost knowing that there are political bodies (in this case, state insurance commissioners) out there trying to do the right thing despite tremendous market pressures.

I needed that boost. And yes, as the title indicates, I’m off to DC this weekend to a rally that promises to make me laugh — I need that too.

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