Thursday, October 22, 2009

Insurance news: MN governor calls on all governors to sign compact for cross-border insurance sales, Travelers doesn't need its umbrella so much, and skinny toddler gets her health insurance

Let's start with the New York Times, which details Congress' efforts to ratchet up the pressure on insurers.

The paper also makes the case that a vote on a Medicare bill has “become a proxy for larger issues in the debate over legislation to overhaul the health care system" -- and bodes ill for quick passage of a health reform bill.

Also from the Times comes this factoid of the day: Paul Krugman says that Medicare and Medicaid -- i.e. the government -- pay for 70 percent of the hip replacements in America.

In Minnesota, Gov. Pawlenty is trying to get other governors to sign onto his plan to set national health insurance standards and then let people buy policies from anywhere in the country. (Insurance is sold -- and largely regulated -- on a state-by-state basis now.)
In North Carolina, Travelers saw a jump in profits for the third quarter. It cited lower severe-weather losses and a rebound in its investment portfolio.

Fox News reports that some Senate moderates are uneasy about a public plan.

Lastly, the case of the toddler too skinny to get health coverage: UnitedHealth Group, the nation's largest insurer, apparently knows bad PR when it sees it. Within hours of little Aislin Bates' parents going on national TV and being bannered across internet sites, UnitedHealth reversed its earlier decision not to cover the 22-pound 2-year-old.

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