Friday, May 11, 2018

End o'the Week ThoughtLinks

For your intellectual consideration:

� From FoIB Randy G:

"Louisiana's Department of Health is preparing to send eviction notices to about 37,000 nursing home and other long-term care residents who could lose Medicaid coverage under the current budget."

Turns out, the Pelican State Governor is looking for some significant budget cuts from state legislators, and this is one of the various tools he has available to pressure them to  make good.

Or is it?

Another FoIB, Michael Bertaut (one of our favorite health care economists) lives and works in Louisiana, and offers this counterpoint:

"Actually, those notices are required under federal law anytime a legislative budget stream is within 90 days of being exhausted. Everyone here knows a special session is less than a month away and it will all be fully funded. The letters are simply a CMS requirements."

Imagine that!

� Next up, this item from FoIB Steve Downey (we are truly blessed to have so many friends):

"A new study finds that health insurance premiums have been undermeasured, which possibly helps explain at least part of the reason why wage growth has been so paltry with unemployment so low."

That is, there seems to be a correlation between the fact that, although unemployment is at an historic low, our paychecks don't seem to have been keeping pace.

As I pointed out to Steve, this is #OldNews - our readers have known this for a very long time:

"When Joe was hired, his employer budgeted $60,000 for Joe's compensation; $50,000 is paid to Joe as wages, and the other $10,000 is sent to the insurance company and various government agencies," etc.

When health insurance premiums eat up increasingly large fractions of that budgeted amount, Joe's going to feel that directly in his wallet.

� I had lunch yesterday with some old (well, long-time) friends, one of whom is already retired (lucky her!) and one who's getting close. The talk turned, of course, to Social Security; Pam had recently consulted an outfit that counsels folks (for a fee, of course) on how best to "tune" their Social Security timing and amounts. As it turns out, she'd met with the folks at Social Security Solutions. You can read about them here (Hat Tip: Cornerstone).

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