AHIP Is A Four Letter Word For Lying

  • by: |
  • 07/10/2014
The incessant mistatement of facts about the value of medical innovation continues to drip out of AHIP like an incontinent drunk.   I imagine that AHIP's new hired gun Brendan Buck (who has ducked my request to have anyone from AHIP debate me, Scott Gottlieb and a cancer survivor) thinks that repeating a twitter hashtag #timeforaffordability will somehow hynoptise people into believing that health plans would just love, love, love to not jack up the cost of lifesaving drugs (generics and innovator) by 250 percent and not have to limit access to therapies by forcing people to 'fail' (i.e.  get sicker and closer to death) but they can't because all these drugs are so gosh darn expensive.  

Let's ignore the fact that health plans have calculated, down to the penny, that they make more money discouraging people with chronic conditions from using new medicines or enrolling in their plans than they do in performing the mission they claim they pursue: maintaining health and preventing disease.   The claims about drug costs skyrocketing are lies.  Don't take my warped word for it.. Here's the headline from a news release put out by the IMS Institute for Health Informatics..

IMS Health Study: Cancer Drug Innovation Surges As Cost Growth Moderates..

From the study:  U.S. market for oncology drugs has grown at a 3.5 percent CAGR over the past five years, reaching $37 billion last year.  

Total revenues of US health plans in 2013 are estimated to be $432 billion.   In 2008, total revenues were $346 billion.     That's nearly 6 percent a year increase.

Prescription drugs are 15 percent of total health care expenditures paid for by health plans.   They are 13 percent of revenue.   In 2008, Rx was $46 billion.  In 2013 Rx costs were about $56 billion.   That's a 4.3 percent increase.

I know how you are feeling after reading that..  my heart weeps for AHIP too...

Meanwhile, back on planet Earth,  HIV organizations and the National Heath Law Program are suing four health plans for discriminating against people with HIV.   From Brianna Ehley's article in The Fiscal Times:

Obamacare Insurers Hit High-Cost Patients with High Drug Prices

Some insurance companies are finding ways to get around one of Obamacare’s most popular provisions that requires everyone to be covered equally—regardless of any pre-existing condition.

The anti-discrimination rule was meant to guard against insurers who historically charged higher premiums to sick people. But some insurers are still charging certain patients more by passing the extra costs on in the form of higher drug prices.

Meanwhile, the results of a 3 year study show what dozens of others have demonstrated.  Use of new drugs reduce other health care costs.. by a lot.

Changing Physician Incentives for Affordable, Quality Cancer Care: Results of an Episode Payment Model

I'll have more on this study later as well as the befuddlement of the authors who can't believe the results clash with the AHIP propaganda...

AHIP's hashtag should be #AHIP4letterwordforlie. 


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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