"Lesson Is Seen in Failure of Law on Medicare in 1989".
The year was 1989, and the law was the MedicareCatastrophic Coverage Act, which was supposed to protect older Americans from bankruptcy due to medical bills. Instead it became a catastrophe for Democratic and Republican lawmakers, who learned the hard way that many older Americans did not want to be helped in that particular way.
Seventeen months after President Ronald Reagan signed the measure with Rose Garden fanfare, a series of miscalculations and missteps in passing the law became painfully evident, and it was unceremoniously stricken from the books by lawmakers who could not see its demise come quickly enough.
The tortured history of the catastrophic-care law is a cautionary tale in the context of the struggle over the new health law, the Affordable Care Act. It illustrates the political and policy hazards of presenting sweeping health system changes to consumers who might not be prepared for them. And it provides a rare example of lawmakers who were willing to jettison a big piece of social policy legislation when the political risks became too grave.
"Insurers restricting choice of doctors and hospitals to keep costs down".
As Americans have begun shopping for health plans on the insurance exchanges, they are discovering that insurers are restricting their choice of doctors and hospitals in order to keep costs low, and that many of the plans exclude top-rated hospitals.