Thursday, April 23, 2015

Questions That Should Be Asked in the Upcoming HHS Secretary Nomination Process

As a public service, the Population Health Blog is pleased to offer up some questions that may or should arise in the course of Senate confirmation process for HHS nominee Ms. Burwell. 

If she can address the inquiries in these key categories, the PHB suggests she'll be more than prepared for the job:

The Clinton years: Supporters of the Affordable Care Act say "it is now the law of the land."  Based on your extensive experience in the Clinton White House, how would you define "is?"

Signing up young people: Do you credit the last-minute surge in sign-ups on the individual exchanges to Mr. Obama, Mr. Galifianakis or to the Two Ferns?  How will you use that insight to increase individual enrollments in 2015?

Use of social media: Since the Population Health Blog began on-line publication more than 5 years ago, health care cost inflation has moderated significantly. Please explain how Medicare's actuaries will factor this into their future projections.

Doing your part for the 2015 mid-term elections: Will you advocate that the "essential health benefit" be broadened to include coverage for global warming?

To test your awareness of the employer mandate: If Peter Baelish hires 47 part-time seasonal service employees in KIng's Landing for more than 120 continuous days in the first quarter of 2015 without a profit sharing provision, what is the number of FTEs and what would the "4980H penalty" be if it were calculated in Gold Dragons?

And finally, tort reform:  Suppose Iva Pannus buys taxpayer subsidized insurance but also participates in a workplace weight reduction program. If Iva's girth paradoxically increases and she develops sore knees, should she sue in state court to recover her out-of-pocket "bronze" plan expenses and should HHS assert a lien if there is a jury award?

Image from Wikipedia

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