Saturday, December 19, 2009

"Broccoli" with a "no" at the end

Be sure to check out the latest edition of the podcast “And Then There's That”. Those guys really do a great job with that show. The guest this week was Vic Broccolino who, among other things he does in the community, is the CEO of Howard County General Hospital. So natch, the topic centered on health care. One of the items discussed was the Healthy Howard Access Plan, of which Mr. Broccolino is a Board Member.

Allowing me to engage in some confirmation bias for a second, one of the reasons I think the HHAP is so popular nationally is because people do not understand it, and they assume it's something it is not. They think it's insurance, when in fact it is no such thing. That's why I was unsurprised when one of the co-hosts of the show called Healthy Howard an organization that “aims to provide health insurance to those that aren't insured”. Mr. Broccolino quickly corrected him. (Side note: Since HHAP is not insurance, I am a little confused as to why their audit shows that they incurred $75,000 in incurred but not recorded (IBNR) expenses, which is an insurance industry term. Maybe someone who knows more than I do about the insurance biz can fill me in).

Mr. Broccolino himself had one minor misunderstanding with respect to HHAP. He thought that the computer program that determines if potential HHAP enrollees are eligible for government subsidized insurance was provided by the Federal government. In fact, the program was purchased from a private California company for $68,000.

One of the things that surprised me about the recent budget meeting is that not one person showed up to lobby for more funding to HHAP (at least the newspapers did not mention it). Also, I am waiting to see what state tax consequences there will be from the folks that HHAP is funneling into subsidized insurance plans. I am sure there will be some higher taxes or cut services somewhere else.

Anyway, the show is pretty cool so check it out. The next guest (Jan 8th) will be Parks Director Gary Arthur. That should be interesting as well.

It's snowing!!!