Saturday Six Pack: Al Felgar, CEO of Frisbie Memorial Hospital
1. You have disputed the claim that Obamacare will keep prices down by increasing competition. Why don't you believe that? It's called the "Affordable Care Act," after all.
Only one insurance company's plans are offered. There is no price competition-more companies in the insurance exchange would help. And, providers were not given the opportunity to compete on price. Anthem excluded 10 hospitals and their doctor networks without ever discussing their interest in participating or pricing.
2. What do you see as the largest driver of health care costs, and how well does the Affordable Care Act address that problem?
Demand for medical services by the public. US "costs" are high in part because Americans want lots of medical care (MRI's, CT's, Hip replacement, etc). The ACA will not impact that very much.
3. If not Obamacare, how would you change health insurance system to increase access to care and lower costs?
New Hampshire needs to change laws on underwriting to encourage more insurance companies. Fifteen years ago we had many more insurance companies. More insurance companies would mean they would have to compete to sell their products to employers. In order to compete, they would need to lower the premiums.
4. Would you prefer to see the state expand Medicaid eligibility or try for an alternative, and why?
Expanding Medicaid is a two-edged sword: it would help Frisbie (less bad debt), but expanding Medicaid will obligate N.H. state government to future financial obligations.
Where will this money come from? More taxes?
5. Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future if Obamacare is not changed?
Pessimistic. Ten hospitals and their doctors networks are excluded from the program. Access will be greatly restricted.
6. Most people hear "Frisbie" and think of the flying disc. Can the hospital cash checks written to Frisbee Memorial Hospital, and to your knowledge have you ever admitted a child with a serious Frisbee injury?
Appreciate your sense of humor. I will ask a few ER docs regarding the injury question.
READER COMMENTS: 14
- Drew Cline: GOP missed opportunities could mean trouble on Tuesday - 10
- Drew Cline: Two weeks before the election, no one is talking about guns - 26
- Drew Cline: In New Hampshire, 'hope and change' has become 'duck and run' - 26
- Drew Cline: Bill Gardner knows that voter fraud happens in New Hampshire. - 13
- Drew Cline: When Republicans turn off Republicans - 22
- Drew Cline: A few takeaways from Tuesday's Republican primaries - 4
- Drew Cline: Small sleights of hand in Republican primaries around NH - 3
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Police obtain warrants for suspect wanted in Dover, Manchester bank robberies - 0
- Abby Dion, 9, records a 10 in gymnastics meet - 0
- St. A skaters fall to Norwich - 0
- Monarchs lose in OT; win streak stops at 6 - 0
- Police searching for person stealing from cars in Manchester - 1
- College Football: Maine seniors want the coveted musket - 0
- College Hockey: Ice-making problem postpones UNH-PC - 1
- Pinkerton backfield a combination of power and speed - 0
- John Habib's City Sports: State Legion rejects Post 79’s request for senior team - 2
Jury acquits Mont Vernon driver, who was checking text, in death of former Amherst fire chief
Offend someone? To jail with you!
Obama to illegals: Come out of shadows
Plaistow town planner arrested
Driver acquitted in Amherst ex-chief’s death
A kinder, gentler House Speaker?
College Football: Wildcats are CAA champs
College Hockey: Providence blanks UNH