The final day of the World Health Care Congress focused on the Bush administration's plans for reforming the health insurance market. Both Treasury Secretary John Snow and healthcare point man Allan Hubbard pushed the notion of high-deductible plans coupled with HSAs, although Hubbard admitted that there were significant challenges making them work for the chronically ill whom he said accounted for two to five percent of the population. Refreshingly, he invited disagreement from the audience in his call for price transparency, and got it from at least two physicians. One was an anesthesiologist who argued that no system of quality ratings could cope with the variation in different patient populations that physicians deal with. Expect to hear much more about that from physicians as the transparency movement grows.
- read my report in The Health Care Blog
PLUS: Veteran Democratic healthcare leader Pete Stark (D-CA) said that current divisions among house Republicans would make it very unlikely that any further healthcare legislation would pass before the election. Blog