Sunday, August 2, 2015

A Preview to Obamacare? Puerto Rico's Health Care System is Headed for an All-Out Crisis

Even NYT notices:
The first visible sign that the health care system in Puerto Rico was seriously ailing was when a steady stream of doctors — more than 3,000 in five years — began to leave the island for more lucrative, less stressful jobs on the mainland.

Now, as Puerto Rico faces another hefty cut to a popular Medicare program and grapples with an alarming shortage of Medicaid funds, its health care system is headed for an all-out crisis, which could further undermine the island’s gutted economy.

On an island where more than 60 percent of residents receive Medicare or Medicaid — an indicator of Puerto Rico’s poverty and rapidly aging population — the dwindling funds have set off outpourings of concern among patients and doctors, protest rallies and intense lobbying in Washington...

In January, the federal government is supposed to cut payments to Medicare Advantage plans in Puerto Rico by 11 percent. The plans, offered by private companies, are a popular alternative to Medicare, often providing extra benefits and accessibility.

Three-quarters of the Medicare population on the island is enrolled in Advantage, and patients, many of them poor and chronically ill, worry about the impact of the cuts on costs and benefits.

The cuts are expected to lead to higher co-pays for medication and hospitalization, among other things, said Dr. Richard Shinto, the president and chief executive of InnovaCare, an insurance company with three Advantage plans in Puerto Rico..

The Medicaid program, which relies on both federal and commonwealth funds, could run out of the grant money as early as the end of 2016, three years earlier than anticipated...his could mean that 900,000 people will have to be dropped from the program.

Read the above along with this analysis of the current mainland situation: A Warning from the Medicare Trustees: Medicare’s Current Cost Growth Rate is Unsustainable.



  1. Why is everyone so sick? That the US spends 17% of GDP on "health" care. Soon to be 20%. Or more.

    Could it be all of those GMO frankenfoods that Libertarians like to support? I don't know if this site supports GMOs, but Quasi-Libertarians like John Stossel think GMO foods are just GREAT! Hey, we can "feed more people!"

    And in the meantime, the "more people" are sicker than ever.

    Does anyone see this disconnect?

    Very few ...

    At least, I do. I just started making my own mayo, with coconut oil. It takes 5 minutes. Literally. At a cost less than a commercial bottle of mayo. EVERY commercial mayo is made with soybean oil, a true killer.

    But then, I'm so far off the plane of "normality" feel free to ignore me. I am 60, I just want to live another 20 years, healthy. Which means eating well and avoiding the Medical Industrial Complex.