Tuesday, October 6, 2009

WA insurance commissioner's office to lawmakers: Preserve strong state regulatory role in whatever health reforms emerge

Barbara Flye, the senior health policy advisor for Washington's insurance commissioner's office, spoke recently before a state senate committee. Among her points: That health-insurance reforms should retain a strong tradition of state-by-state regulatory authority to ensure that things run smoothly. Here's a clip:

Civil-rights groups launch health insurance reform ads

More in the debate on health insurance reform: A coalition of civil rights groups is trying to mobilize African-American and Latino voters with TV ads in key states. Here's an example:

News re: Green River flood threat update

The Associated Press reports that work to strengthen a reservoir wall has reduced the threat of catastrophic flooding in the Green River Valley this winter from an earlier estimate of 1 in 3 to about 1 in 4.

Also: the Washington Military Department's Emergency Management Division, meanwhile, has put up several flood-related pages, which they're updating frequently.
-A main page with a map of the area
-An extensive page with background on flooding and flood insurance
-A very good page with "myths and facts about the National Flood Insurance Program." (For example, it's NOT true that the program won't cover anything in a basement. NFIP insurance will cover many things down there, such as furnaces, water heaters, sump pumps, stairways, some drywall, cleanup, and washers and dryers among other things.
-and a page and links to home-protection info, including sandbagging and how to protect a home from sewer system backups during a flood.

Reading with your morning coffee...

U.S. Losing Ground on Preventable Deaths: The Washington Post's Ceci Connolly reports on a new study:

Although the United States now spends $2.4 trillion a year on medical care -- vastly more per capita than comparable countries -- the nation ranks near the bottom on premature deaths caused by illnesses such as diabetes, epilepsy, stroke, influenza, ulcers and pneumonia, according to research by the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund published in the journal Health Affairs.
  White House lobbies for Public Plan in Final Bill (Seattle Times)
Democrats Try to Balance Cost and Coverage in Health Plan (also in the Seattle Times)

Health Insurance Exchanges: Will They Work? (NYT)
Counterpoint: How a Mandate Could Cost Employees Their Company Insurance (NYT)

What's Missing From Health Care Reform (Forbes)