Five Things you should know today, August 17, 2012

1. Jones-Patrick Care kills state’s most affordable MassHealth plan

In of all places, the Blue Mass Group front page, we find this story about how the capitated managed care plan in Mass Health costs 33% more than the fee-for-service plan.  You’ll remember that a capitated, managed care plan is what the Jones-Patrick health cost control law will bring us.  Here’s a snippet of the story.  You really should read it.

In an ironic (possibly intentional?) act of timing, just three days previously the State’s Inspector General released a report showing that the state pays 33% more on average for enrollees in MassHealth’s managed care plans – which are capitated – than for its enrollees in MassHealth’s fee-for-service plan.

In short: MassHealth has been instructed to rapidly phase out its cheapest health care payment plan in favor of plans that are more expensive, but at the center of a national policy fad.

The rhetoric around abolishing fee-for-service revolves around reducing the overuse or “overutilization” of care. However, the Inspector General’s report concludes “While it is theoretically possible that the [managed care] program produces enough savings in utilization to outweigh the large differentials in reimbursement rates, there is little evidence to support that possibility. In fact, studies of the private market have indicated that managed care savings come primarily from price reductions and not from decreases in utilization.”

Nah, it wasn’t intentional to not give people information before they vote, it never is.  The vote on this “Soviet-style” health payment reform will go down as a defining moment in the conservative movement in Massachusetts.  

2. Dinesh D’Souza is President Obama’s brother’s keeper.

You know how President Obama loves to say, “we are all our Brother’s keepers”.  It has been demonstrated before that he’s not even his own brother’s keeper… but you know who is? Dinesh D’Souza.  

D’Souza writes about the strange events that led to his taking care of Barack Obama’s brother George.

No wonder President Obama despises George, doesn’t want him around, doesn’t care to hear George’s views circulated in America, and won’t lift a finger to help him even when George’s son is in the hospital.

So that’s why George Obama felt he had to call me.  He had no one else to call.  He reached out to me in his time of need because he felt he couldn’t call on his real life sibling living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

That’s how I got to be, if only metaphorically and for a short time, George Obama’s “brother.”

Powerful stuff.

3.  Gaming Commission sets out to promulgate new rules

Our favorite haven for the morally depraved, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is finally lookng to promulgate rules, just not on gaming, but on Horse Racing.

The state’s new gaming commission – thrust into oversight of the complex racing industry earlier this year – has called for an audit of racetrack cash and is overhauling rules, including calling for better drug testing of horses and licenses for track judges, officials said.

“People have to believe that when they’re going to a racetrack, that it’s a fair race,” said Massachusetts Gaming Commission member Gayle Cameron, a former New Jersey state trooper who will head the board’s enforcement division. “Our regulations haven’t been changed in many years, and a lot has changed in the racing industry.”

Ms. Cameron, do people also have to believe that their gaming commissioners won’t just rely on the word of alleged child rapists that settled with their accusers for over $250K?

4. Today is the last day to register to vote for the primary

If you are not getting a government handout, you may not know what the registration deadline is for the September primary.  For those of you who did not get a letter from Liz Warren’s daughter, paid for by the government, the deadline is today. So get ye to a town hall and register, especially if you’ve moved recently.

5. Rob Eno turns 39 this weekend, join in the party

I’m turning 39 this weekend, yes I know I don’t want to talk about it.  But I do want you to come and celebrate it with me.  To that end, festivities will start in Gardner at about 8PM and run until the wee hours of the morning.  

Here’s the facebook invite…

August 18th South side Grille and Margarita Bar

Gardner (the Moncton of Massachusetts)

Carl Ayotte and his Band Start after 9

The Southside Grille and Margarita Factory

242 West Broadway, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440

About Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno