August 19, Kim Bellard
You might have missed it amongst all the headlines about the U.S.P.S., the 2020 elections, and, of course, that little thing we call the pandemic, but Fortnite got kicked off Apple’s App Store (and subsequently Google Play). Meanwhile, health care still works in your grandfather’s economy and uses your parents’ Internet. But health care hasn’t even gotten to the platform stage, much less platforms with open standards, interoperability, “healthy competition at every point,” and real time collaboration, eventually in 3D space. Kim makes the analogy between Apple/Google’s fight against the Metaverse, stifling open innovation and competition, health care’s eventual first real platform—and the fight for opening up the system.
August 18, Ken Terry
In the strangest health care business story of 2020, the major health insurance companies are thriving despite—or because of—the pandemic. As the second quarter reports of United, Anthem, Cigna and other insurers reveal, their COVID-19-related costs were outweighed by the sharp drop in claims for other health care services. Where will all of this lead? Eventually, if health care financing becomes more unstable, the number of uninsured people rises, and there’s a stampede to the public plan, there will be an overwhelming demand for Medicare for All.
August 17, Michael Turpin
COVID-19 has resulted in some of the lowest loss ratios on record, and while insurers will squirrel away as much of the surfeit as they can, they are proposing large increases to their exchange premiums citing more risk. Michael argues that insurance regulators are completely missing the boat approving large increases to ACA individual exchange insurers – particularly non-profit Blues who are sitting on massive reserves of Risk Capital – when they could be forcing those same insurers to run down those reserves to more normal levels and drive down the cost for those in the exchanges as well as employers seeking more moderate increases.