End Times and Current Events
December 02, 2022, 11:03:04 am
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." John 5:39 (KJB)
 
  Home Help Search Gallery Staff List Login Register  

The true cost of Obamacare

Shoutbox
August 08, 2018, 02:38:10 am suzytr says: Hello, any good churches in the Sacto, CA area, also looking in Reno NV, thanks in advance and God Bless you Smiley
January 29, 2018, 01:21:57 am Christian40 says: It will be interesting to see what happens this year Israel being 70 years as a modern nation may 14 2018
October 17, 2017, 01:25:20 am Christian40 says: It is good to type Mark is here again!  Smiley
October 16, 2017, 03:28:18 am Christian40 says: anyone else thinking that time is accelerating now? it seems im doing days in shorter time now is time being affected in some way?
September 24, 2017, 10:45:16 pm Psalm 51:17 says: The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
September 20, 2017, 04:32:32 am Christian40 says: "The most popular Hepatitis B vaccine is nothing short of a witch’s brew including aluminum, formaldehyde, yeast, amino acids, and soy. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin that destroys cellular metabolism and function. Hundreds of studies link to the ravaging effects of aluminum. The other proteins and formaldehyde serve to activate the immune system and open up the blood-brain barrier. This is NOT a good thing."
http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-08-11-new-fda-approved-hepatitis-b-vaccine-found-to-increase-heart-attack-risk-by-700.html
September 19, 2017, 03:59:21 am Christian40 says: bbc international did a video about there street preaching they are good witnesses
September 14, 2017, 08:06:04 am Psalm 51:17 says: bro Mark Hunter on YT has some good, edifying stuff too.
September 14, 2017, 04:31:26 am Christian40 says: i have thought that i'm reaping from past sins then my life has been impacted in ways from having non believers in my ancestry.
September 11, 2017, 06:59:33 am Psalm 51:17 says: The law of reaping and sowing. It's amazing how God's mercy and longsuffering has hovered over America so long. (ie, the infrastructure is very bad here b/c for many years, they were grossly underspent on. 1st Tim 6:10, the god of materialism has its roots firmly in the West) And remember once upon a time ago when shacking up b/w straight couples drew shock awe?

Exodus 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
View Shout History
Pages: 1 ... 9 10 [11] 12 13   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: The true cost of Obamacare  (Read 22616 times)
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #300 on: June 02, 2014, 10:12:03 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/doctors-lean-more-left-political-donations-show-204143566--politics.html
6/2/14
Doctors lean more left, political donations show

CHICAGO (AP) — Once strongly aligned with the GOP, American physicians are leaning more left, an analysis of campaign contributions over two decades shows.

The first rigorous look at donor doctors also finds they've become increasingly generous, with political contributions surging to almost $200 million in recent years.

An increase in female doctors — who more often than men donated to Democrats — and a decline in physicians working on their own or in small practices occurred during study years. Those changes likely contributed but reasons for the political shift are unclear, said study co-author David Rothman, a social medicine professor at Columbia University's medical school.

"We've got to stop thinking of physicians as a group as 'solidly Republican.' They are polarized, almost equally divided between Republicans and Democrats," Rothman said.

The study focused on donations of $200 or more to presidential and congressional candidates or political organizations from 1991 through 2012. At the beginning, almost 3 percent of U.S. doctors made contributions, rising to almost 10 percent by the end of the study.

Doctor donations to Republican candidates peaked in the mid-1990s, when almost 75 percent of all MD contributions went to the GOP. Those donations mostly declined after that, to about 50 percent in 2011-12. The exception was in 2009-10 during emergence of the Affordable Care Act, when Republican donations briefly increased.

Donations from non-physicians also increased and tilted more Democratic during the study, but the authors say the MD findings are remarkable for two reasons: they defy the historical image of doctors as a conservative, right-leaning bunch, and political contributions from doctors increased at a greater rate than among the general public.

Political alliances also differed by medical specialty: Surgeons, dominated by men, were the strongest GOP supporters while pediatricians — more than half of whom are women — were most likely to contribute to Democrats.

By the end of the study, 24 percent of women who donated gave to GOP candidates versus 52 percent of the men.

Women comprise almost one-third of the nation's 1 million physicians and almost half of medical school graduates, according to 2012-13 data from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The study was published Monday in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine. The researchers analyzed data from the Federal Election Commission; a political contributions database created by Stanford political scientist Adam Bonica, the lead author; and health-care provider directories.

Doctors' right-leaning reputation dates back at least as far as 1965, when the American Medical Association strongly opposed the passage of Medicare, the study authors say.

The AMA has since lost sway — less than one-third of U.S. physicians are members — but it remains the nation's largest doctor group and a powerful lobbying presence in Washington. It also has moved more to the center, including voicing support for the Affordable Care Act.

For the 2012 elections, the AMA says reports to the FEC show it contributed $2 million to campaign committees, with recipients including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Republican National Committee.

A journal editorial says the study provides an unprecedented, though largely predictable description of doctors' campaign contributions. The author, Dr. Arnold Relman, a professor emeritus at Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital, also questioned whether the study represents all physicians since contributions totaling less than $200 weren't included.

Rothman said it's unlikely the smaller contributions would have changed the results.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #301 on: July 02, 2014, 11:12:27 am »

Please read the first 3/4 of this article before you read the latter part of it - I think we have a good idea where some of this is going, ultimately...

http://us.cnn.com/2014/07/02/politics/scotus-hobby-lobby-impacts/index.html
7/2/14
Hobby Lobby ruling much more than abortion

Washington (CNN) -- A Supreme Court ruling that involves abortion, followed by raucous reaction on both sides of the nation's most divisive social issue.

This week's Hobby Lobby decision had a familiar sense of partisan frenzy surrounding it, but the long-term impact extends far beyond abortion law.

Demonstrators on both sides sought to influence the continuing evolution of policy and legislation involving religious expression, corporate rights, health care and even same-sex marriage.

Monday's 5-4 high court ruling allowed some family-owned or other closely held businesses to opt out of a federal requirement to pay for contraceptives in health coverage for their workers.

Anti-abortion

Owners of Hobby Lobby and another company argued the mandate in President Barack Obama's health care reforms forced them to violate deeply held religious principles because they believe some of the contraceptives amount to abortion.

The high court's five conservative justices agreed, saying the government had alternatives for ensuring the workers got the full coverage protested by their employers.

Afterward, supporters of the ruling hailed it as a victory for religious freedom.

"The court reaffirmed that American families don't give up their constitutional right to religious freedom just because they open a family business," said Lori Windham, the attorney for Hobby Lobby.

For their part, women's rights groups called it a blow against equality under the law.

"I think immediately, tens of thousands of women who are employees of these companies will either be out of their birth control or will absolutely have to double pay, because we already pay and that adds up at the end of the month," said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choise America.

Partisan divide

Exacerbating the distress of opponents was the political affiliations of the voting justices, with five who made the ruling appointed by Republicans while the four opposing it -- including all three women on the high court -- were appointed by a Democratic president.

"This is an ideological divide," noted Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University. "I know people have been talking about the gender of the justices. But this is more ideological than chromosomal divide. These are people who are following well-established philosophies."

Reaction in social media also reflected that divide. Angry opponents of the decision fired off insulting tweets to SCOTUSblog.com, mistakenly thinking it was the high court's website rather than an independent website that covers it.


"You worship the God of money, and you dishonor the robe in the process," one Twitter post said.

Comments on news websites also devolved into bitter attacks.

On CNN's website, a message from the handle Matt McConnell said Hobby Lobby "hates people who make different choices" than the fundamental Christianity of its owners.

"Nice version of morality. Sharia Law Tea Party Style," the post said.

"If you want to run a huge company in a free country, accept the fact that you will hire people, not slaves," it went on. "And, as horrific as it may seem, some of those people may have different beliefs. Crazy huh? Wild. Insane. Wacky. Nuts, Bananas."

In response, a message from the handle qualityrkc agreed that workers weren't slaves, saying they could go elsewhere if they didn't like Hobby Lobby's stance.

"Give freedom a chance"

"You need to develop a greater respect for freedom of association, ownership rights, and freedom from the fed forcing you to violate your principles," the post said. "Give freedom a chance dude."

Meanwhile, advocates on both sides argued the broader stakes involved.

Republican Rep. James Lankford of Oklahoma, the home state of the Hobby Lobby chain of more than 570 outlets, said the core issue was individual religious expression.

To a business owner, the high court ruling means "you have the opportunity to be able to live out your faith, not just have a faith, but to actually practice that faith as well," he told CNN.

Critics, however, said the decision increased already expanded rights for corporations provided by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision in 2010 that unshackled corporate political spending.

"What this ruling does is it moves in the direction this court has been moving already, which is talking about corporate personhood -- really treating corporations like people, saying that the corporation has a religion itself and that should be imposed on its employees," said Emily Tisch Sussman of the liberal Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Some also warned of a multitude of new legal challenges based on the same principle of deeply held religious beliefs by owners of closely held corporations, which comprise the majority of American businesses.

Gay marriage next?

"I'm guessing it's now inevitable that we'll see lawsuits from religiously owned companies saying, 'The owners of this company have a deep religious objection to paying health benefits for a same-sex spouse; that's against our religion,' " said Jonathan Rauch, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, in an interview posted on the organization's website. "Based on this decision, that lawsuit will get traction. So I think gay marriage is going to come up very fast."

A longer-range impact could involve the further evolution of government-provided health care in America.

Ezekiel Emanuel, a former health care adviser to Obama, told CNN that the Hobby Lobby ruling raises awareness among Americans of the challenges and limitations in having most people get their health insurance through their employer.

Obama's health care reforms introduced the public to government health insurance exchanges, and now people might be more open to other options instead of depending on their employer for health coverage.

"There does become, I think, an increasing argument that, look, the best thing is for individuals to decide how they get their health insurance now, without employers telling them what's on the services being covered and the services not being covered," said Emanuel, the brother of Chicago mayor and former Obama top aide Rahm Emanuel.

"I think this adds one more pebble to the balance between is it better for employers to continue to cover or is it better for people to, say, get a voucher or a defined contribution from their employer and shop in an exchange on their own, so they're not restricted by their employer as to what they can buy and what they can't buy," he told CNN.

Despite the chorus of reaction, Rauch of Brookings said Monday's ruling launched a debate on limits of policies and legislation rather than reinterpreting the Constitution.

"The bottom line is nobody should hyperventilate about this ruling," he said. "It's the beginning of a conversation about where to draw these lines, not the end of a conversation."
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #302 on: July 02, 2014, 12:25:27 pm »

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/07/02/232113/hobby-lobby-ruling-fuels-political.html
7/2/14
Hobby Lobby ruling fuels political and legal uncertainty

 WASHINGTON — Across the country, women, employers, insurers and health care advocates are trying to adjust to the new legal landscape created by the Supreme Court’s decision allowing some for-profit corporations to deny contraceptive coverage to employees, based on the owners’ religious faith.

As the real-life impact of the controversial ruling Monday slowly begins to play out, questions about its breadth, scope and meaning continue to be debated.

In the 5-4 decision, the high court ruled that two family-owned corporations, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, did not have to cover birth control on their employee health insurance plans as required under the so-called “contraceptive mandate” provision of the Affordable Care Act.

In the majority ruling, Justice Samuel A. Alito wrote that it would violate a corporation’s rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to force a business owner to provide coverage for contraceptives if it went against his or her faith.

Monday’s decision was the first time the high court ruled that closely held corporations have religious rights, like individuals. As defined by the Internal Revenue Service, a closely held company is one with only a handful of shareholders that is not tailored to personal services.

While 90 percent of U.S. companies qualify as closely held, 85 percent of those businesses had already covered contraceptives before the Affordable Care Act became law. For the 52 percent of American workers employed by a closely held corporation, therefore, it is unlikely many will lose contraceptive coverage as a result of Monday’s decision.

Following the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case that attached free speech rights to companies when it comes campaign contribution, the Hobby Lobby case was another instance where the court viewed corporations in the same legal light as it does individual when it comes to certain rights.

“The problem that I think jumps out of the Hobby Lobby case is where do you draw the line and how do you decide what corporations believe,” said Steven Wells, a partner at the Minneapolis office of Dorsey & Whitney, an international law firm. “Many corporations have the wherewithal and power that far exceeds that of a human. And to afford them the same kinds of rights can create inequities.”

It didn’t take long for the ruling to be felt. Within hours, the 11th U.S. Court of Appeals exempted the Eternal Word Television Network, a nonprofit Catholic TV network in Alabama, from fines for not complying with the health law requirement that they cover various types of birth control.

And late Monday night, the Supreme Court temporarily barred enforcement of the health law’s contraceptive coverage mandate on behalf of Wheaton College, a nonprofit religious school in Illinois.

In Utah, the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of Catholic nuns, is one of about 50 nonprofit religious organizations that have filed similar suits seeking exemption from the contraceptive mandate.

But as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg argued in her dissenting opinion, the ruling has prompted outrage from women’s groups and health care advocates who say the decision could establish a precedent for companies to demand religion-based exemptions for all sorts of health services.

“The fact that the court doesn’t see that the same analysis could be applied to immunizations, anti-depressants and blood transfusions is actually one of the most troubling aspects of this because the court seems to be 20 years behind science and evidence,” in thinking “that contraception is not basic health care,” said Elizabeth Taylor, executive director of the National Health Law Program, which advocates for low income and under-served people.,

Taylor also worried that other types of corporations, like nonprofit organizations, could challenge certain coverage requirements in the health law, citing religious objections, as well.

“The potential ramifications of this decision are broad,” she said. “Although the court emphasizes that these are closely held corporations and this is only about certain contraceptives, the court’s analysis would apply to publicly traded corporations.”

The White House is hoping Congress will amend the religious freedom act or pass legislation that would allow employees affected by the ruling to access all types of birth control through their insurance. But if that doesn’t happen, President Barack Obama will consider a range of options to address the problem, said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

“We’re still reviewing the decision,” Earnest said Tuesday. “We’re still reviewing how large the group of people is that’s affected by the decision. Once we have determined how large that group is, we’ll be able to better assess where they live in the country, what sort of health plans they’re covered by. And that will allow us to sort of drill down on what kind of policy solution we can put in place to address this problem.”

But Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life America, a youth organization that opposes abortion, said in a statement that birth control should be a personal choice.

“As a woman, wife, mother and business owner,” she said, “I am perfectly capable of making my own decisions about birth control without having an employer buy it for me or being forced to provide it against my will to my employees. I control my life, not bossy bureaucrats.”
« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 12:30:05 pm by BornAgain2 » Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #303 on: July 03, 2014, 01:38:37 pm »

Yet another agenda potentially coming from this...the single payer system coming soon...

http://news.yahoo.com/best-option-sidestepping-hobby-lobby-doesnt-insurers-143629383.html
Hobby Lobby Doesn't Work for Insurers
7/2/14

The Supreme Court ruled against imposing the contraceptive mandate on for profit religious companies in part because there's a less religiously "burdensome" alternative in place for non-profits: the insurer foot the bill and the government reimburses them. The justices suggested that President Obama should just make that accommodation available to the Hobby Lobbys of the world. Unfortunately, that accommodation only works smoothly on paper.

According to Bloomberg's Alex Wayne, under the current system the administrator of a religious non-profit's health plan pays for objectionable forms of birth controls, and the government reimburses them. The third-party administrators say the government doesn't have a way to pay them back yet.

Here's how it should work: the third-party administrator would either find an insurer to cover the cost of the birth control, or pay for it themselves and find a partner insurer through the exchange. Then, the government reimburses the insurer and, if necessary, the insurer reimburses the administrator. But administrators who aren't tied to insurance companies haven't been able to get insurers to agree to that deal and the Department of Health and Human Services says they don't have the legal authority to pay the administrators directly.

The problem doesn't affect all administrators, but there are 300 of them across the country looking at paying millions of dollars. As we explained earlier this week, the Supreme Court heavily implied that Obama should make that same accommodation available to for profits. Mike Ferguson, the chief executive officer of a trade group that represents insurance administrators, told Bloomberg he's worried that would only make things worse for them. "If that is the accommodation the administration chooses, then it would create the same problems, in our view, that are currently in play for the nonprofit religious organizations," he said.

That is still an "if." Even though the Supreme Court pushed the president towards an executive action, he's said that "Congress should act to address the concerns of the women who are affected by this decision." Given how productive Congress has been, it's possible that this will get dragged out as long as possible for political purposes. That's great news for third-party administrators, but not for women.

This article was originally published at http://www.thewire.com/politics/2014/07/the-best-option-for-sidestepping-hobby-lobby-doesnt-work-for-insurers/373835/

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As it's well known - not that I endorse these "birth control" pills, slowly but surely they ARE becoming available OVER THE COUNTER at CHEAP prices(and it's inevitable when ALL of them will be available so).
« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 01:43:14 pm by BornAgain2 » Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #304 on: July 08, 2014, 11:24:54 am »

http://www.forbes.com/sites/danmunro/2014/07/06/does-hobby-lobby-signal-the-end-of-employer-sponsored-health-insurance/?partner=yahootix
7/6/14
Does Hobby Lobby Signal The End Of Employer Sponsored Health Insurance?

The headline question above is simply one of many that cascade quickly from the Supreme Court’s majority decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby last Monday.

Even if the Supreme Court avoids the minefield that Justice Ginsburg referenced in her dissent, the controversial decision has definitely thrown open Pandora’s proverbial box. If not legally, certainly in the mind of public opinion.

Perhaps the biggest single fault line is the accident of American history ‒ Employer Sponsored Insurance (ESI). Even President Obama has openly acknowledged this artifact of legislation dating back to World War II.

“It’s a historical accident that in this country health care is attached to employers.” President Barack Obama  ‒ Clinton Global Initiative Conference ‒ September, 2013

Some of the other questions appear loaded with galvanizing political opinion and dissent ‒ especially as it relates to personal choice around reproductive health. By some accounts, this issue does appear to favor the Democrats ‒ especially in the upcoming elections cycles.

It was a revealing convergence Monday when the five-member conservative Supreme Court majority delivered the Hobby Lobby contraception decision even as President Obama announced that House Republicans had officially shelved immigration reform.  Both disputes reaffirmed the GOP’s identity as the champion of the forces most resistant to the profound demographic and cultural dynamics reshaping American life ‒ and Democrats as the voice of those who most welcome these changes. And both clashes captured a parallel shift: While Republicans took the offense on most cultural arguments through the late 20th century, now Democrats from Obama on down are mostly pressing these issues, confident that they represent an expanding majority of public opinion. Veteran pollster Stanley B. Greenberg captures this almost unprecedented Democratic assurance when he declares flatly: “Republicans are on the losing side of all of these trends.” Ronald Brownstein ‒ Why Democrats Are So Confident ‒ National Journal

Some of the other questions uncovered by Hobby Lobby are mechanical. Who pays for mandated health coverage that can now be excluded and what are the resulting HR obligations around disclosing religious beliefs?

In this category, Monday’s decision became even murkier by Thursday when the Supreme Court granted injunctive relief to Wheaton College. Wheaton’s objection was submitting the requisite 2-page (EBSA 700) form that simply acknowledges an employers intent to take a religious exemption from reproductive health coverage as mandated by the Affordable Care Act.

Here, similarly, the filing of the self-certification form merely indicates to the third-party administrator that a religious nonprofit has chosen to invoke the religious accommodation. If a religious nonprofit chooses not to pay for contraceptive services, it is true that someone else may have a legal obligation to pay for them, just as someone may have to go to war in place of the conscientious objector. But the obligation to provide contraceptive services, like the obligation to serve in the Armed Forces, arises not from the filing of the form but from the underlying law and regulations. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor ‒ Wheaton College v. Burwell ‒ On Application for Injuction (page 12)

Beyond the simple filing of the EBSA form are the unfolding HR implications ‒ some of which were posed by former corporate litigator Victoria Pynchon in her article ‒ 5 Questions Every Employer Must Answer After Hobby Lobby:

* Should you declare your religion in the hiring process?
* Should you declare your religion to your existing employees and customers?
* Might your group insurance rates increase if you decide to deprive your female employees of comprehensive reproductive health care?
* Are you prepared for pregnancy related attrition?
* Can you now refuse to hire or serve gays?

While these are all valid questions, the larger issue remains the role (and individual exposure) of that historical accident ‒ Employer Sponsored Insurance. While ESI wasn’t legislation itself, it was the direct consequence of the Economic Stabilization Act of 1942 which was enacted during World War II.

Today, the battle lines that appear to be forming around ESI aren’t just employers with strong religious convictions either. Many employees are equally frustrated by personal privacy issues and cost-shifting that are now attached to their employer’s health benefits.

Earlier this year, a cashier filed suit against CVS for requiring a “wellness review” which required (among other things) personal health information about weight and sexual activity. Failure to participate resulted in a $600 annual premium penalty.

Last year, Penn State withdrew their wellness program after a firestorm of protest by faculty. The program ‒ called “Take Care of Your Health” ‒ had similar questions around personal health and resulted in a $1,200 annual premium penalty for failure to participate (or $2,400 annually for employees with a covered spouse or domestic partner on the plan).

What’s more, they argued, the online questionnaire required them to give intimate information about their medical history, finances, marital status and job-related stress to an outside company, WebMD Health Services, a health management firm that operates separately from the popular consumer site, WebMD.com. On Campus, A Faculty Uprising Over Personal Data ‒ The New York Times ‒ September, 2013

If health benefits aren’t involved ‒ the high-cost of healthcare has been openly linked to reductions in other employee benefits like retirement plans.

“Two things that happened in 2012. We had two AOL AOL -3.42%-ers that had distressed babies that were born that we paid a million dollars each to make sure those babies were OK in general. And those are the things that add up into our benefits cost. So when we had the final decision about what benefits to cut because of the increased healthcare costs, we made the decision, and I made the decision, to basically change the 401(k) plan.”  AOL’s Tim Armstrong Responds to 401(k) Controversy in Internal Memo to Employees – CNBC (video here)

The issue of the employers role in health benefits was also highlighted by Aetna's AET -1.47% CEO Mark Bertolini who described the “iron triangle of health” earlier this year during his keynote at the major healthcare IT event of the year ‒ HIMSS.

So I want to talk about the infamous iron triangle in healthcare – access, quality and cost. The problem with this thing as you can see is that between consumers and employers it’s all about cost and access, between employers and providers it’s about quality and cost and between providers and consumers it’s about access and quality. It’s impossible to solve this equation.

Well the way to solve an equation with too many variables is to eliminate some of those variables. So here’s my new definition of keep what you have. It’s about the individual and its their doctor and their hospital. It’s not about the employer, it’s not about the health plan – it’s about this relationship. It’s about access and quality – and if we do access and quality right – we’ll take care of cost. This is the new model. This is really the only model that works. Mark Bertolini ‒ Aetna CEO ‒ HIMMS 2014 Keynote

As court cases and consequences unfold, the accidental artifact of World War II – Employer Sponsored Health Insurance – does seem poised for more of a national debate.

And what kind of health “insurance” have Americans gotten under this strange arrangement? Once again, uniquely in the industrialized world, it has been ephemeral coverage that is lost with the job or changed at the employer’s whim. Citizens in any other industrialized country have permanent, portable insurance not tied to a particular job in a particular country. The Illogic of Employer Sponsored Health Insurance ‒ Ewe Reinhardt ‒ The Upshot, July 2014
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #305 on: July 08, 2014, 11:38:25 am »

Just ignore the feminist-rhetoric here, and you'll see the big picture...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lincoln-mitchell/how-hobby-lobby-undermine_b_5561501.html
How Hobby Lobby Undermines All Americans' Freedom
7/6/14

The Supreme Court's recent decision in the Hobby Lobby case demonstrates that the court, at least the five justices who voted in favor of Hobby Lobby, has little concern for, and probably little understanding of, women's health care. By ruling that corporations, on the grounds of the alleged religious views of their owners, can deny women access to some forms of contraception, the court set a horrible precedent that if followed will endanger the health and lives of many American women.

The Hobby Lobby ruling may at first seem like a victory for the minority of Americans who think that both abortion and contraception should be illegal, and for those who believe that the U.S. should operate more as a theocracy than a country where state and church are separate. However, the ruling not only is terrible news for women seeking a guarantee of good health care through their employer, but also for anybody who believes in personal freedom.

In the U.S., where health insurance is linked to employment, health insurance is part of the compensation package. When most Americans are about to start a new job, or choosing between two or more jobs, one of the first questions they ask is about the quality of the health insurance they will get. In most cases, health insurance varies because some companies offer plans with lower co-pays, better dental care or things like that. Firms that deny dental care are doing it because of concerns about costs, not because they have an ethical or religious problem with healthy teeth. Hobby Lobby is doing something different, denying women access to some forms of health care because of the personal beliefs of the people who run the company.

This decision raises the question of whether the Supreme Court will next rule that employers can tell workers how to spend the money they earn at their jobs. This sounds a bit extreme, but in a very real way that is precisely what the court just did. By limiting how workers can use some of their compensation, the court, despite its own assertions that it was not setting a precedent, opened the door for further limitations. If Hobby Lobby can tell people how they can or cannot use their health care benefits, why can't they also tell people they can't, for example, use their salaries to donate to pro-choice political candidates or pro-marriage equality causes? The answer, one would think, would be obvious, but the recent court decision makes it considerably less clear.

The Republican Party has long, if not always sincerely, repeated a mantra of individual freedom, but the Hobby Lobby decision, in which all five justices who formed the majority were appointed by Republican presidents, undermines that. A central belief of all Republican politicians is that Americans should have a right to do what they want with, and keep as much as possible of, their hard-earned money. The Supreme Court made a big move against that idea this week, but the outrage from the Republican side has been absent.

Conservative opposition to health care have consistently argued that decisions about health care should be made by patients and doctors, not by the government. The death panel hysteria that Sarah Palin unleashed on the American people a few years ago took that point to a nutty extreme. After last week, conservatives who support Hobby Lobby should probably change their position and argue that health care decisions should be made not by a patient's doctor, but by a patient's employer. Similarly, for supporters of the Hobby Lobby decision, the new mantra of individual freedom should now be that Americans should be allowed to do whatever they want with their hard-earned money, as long as their boss approves, but somehow that seems an unlikely campaign slogan for Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio.

The Hobby Lobby decision is about women's health care and individual freedom, but it is also another sign of the consolidation of power by big corporations in the U.S. It is now legal for corporations to deny workers important medical services, and redefine their compensation packages, simply because, religious claims aside, they want to. During a very tenuous recovery in which real wages have not recovered, unemployment remains high and economic uncertainty on the part of working Americans is an enormous problem, the Supreme Court just gave more rights to corporations while taking wealth, as health care benefits are a form of wealth, out of the hands of working Americans.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #306 on: August 08, 2014, 12:41:51 pm »

http://hotair.com/archives/2014/08/07/oh-by-the-way-90-of-people-without-insurance-wont-have-to-pay-obamacares-mandate-penalty-after-all/
8/7/14
Oh, by the way, 90% of people without insurance won’t have to pay ObamaCare’s mandate penalty after all

Another reminder that when the economic realities of this boondoggle collide with Democrats’ political priorities, the economics ultimately must bow. The first hard lesson in that was the “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” fiasco. It was never true that people could keep their old plans if they liked them under O-Care, as even Barney Frank admits. The whole point of the law was to cancel low-cost existing plans and steer healthy people to new plans with “comprehensive” benefits that many don’t really need. That’s how you justify squeezing them for the added revenue needed to cover medical treatments for people with preexisting conditions in the same new plan. But Obama had lied too many times on camera to escape political damage from the “if you like your plan” nonsense being exposed. So, to contain the political fallout, he created an economic “fix”: Insurers would be allowed, if they so chose, to bring back plans that had already been canceled. That’s nutty from a revenue perspective — the last thing you want is healthy people bailing out of the new risk pool and buying an old, cheaper plan instead — but it made jittery Democrats feel better and that’s what’s important.

Second verse, same as the first. The feds were expecting a certain amount of revenue from uninsured people opting to pay the individual mandate penalty instead of buying insurance. But the mandate is unpopular, and since the people who are most likely to end up paying it are core Democratic voters, i.e. young adults, it might be especially dangerous electorally for the White House to be sticklers about collecting the money. Politics versus economics once again.

Which do you suppose won this round?

    Almost 90% of the nation’s 30 million uninsured won’t pay a penalty under the Affordable Care Act in 2016 because of a growing batch of exemptions to the health-coverage requirement…

    The Obama administration has provided 14 ways people can avoid the fine based on hardships, including suffering domestic violence, experiencing substantial property damage from a fire or flood, and having a canceled insurance plan. Those come on top of exemptions carved out under the 2010 law for groups including illegal immigrants, members of Native American tribes and certain religious sects

    Patrick Getzen, vice president and chief actuary at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, said he saw more “older and sicker people” enrolled in 2014 than projected. He attributed some of that to the weakened mandate. “With a stronger penalty and less broad exemptions, that would be better for the risk pool.”…

    Critics have assailed one exemption for people who “experienced another hardship obtaining health insurance” as too broad. That exemption asks for documentation if possible but doesn’t require it.

Two years ago, CBO estimated that six million uninsured people would fail to qualify for a hardship exemption and be forced to pay the penalty, producing $7 billion in revenue. Today we’re down to four million who fail to qualify and $4 billion in revenue. What happened in the interim? You already know: Late last year, HHS quietly added a “temporary” hardship exemption for anyone who’d had their old insurance plan canceled, even though canceling old plans was the whole point of ObamaCare. As Ezra Klein put it, the feds were now treating ObamaCare itself as a hardship worthy of an exemption. (That’d make a dynamite attack ad for the GOP if the law wasn’t too complicated to explain in 30 seconds.) Then, four months ago, HHS went a step further for good measure and added the catch-all hardship category described in the last paragraph of the excerpt above — with no requirement that the applicant provide proof that they were really suffering from a hardship. In other words, we’ve gone from Obama waging a legal war before the Supreme Court to protect the mandate to Obama handing out exemptions essentially as a matter of right, no questions asked, to anyone who wants one. It’s de facto repeal of the mandate, albeit on a case by case basis. (Not unlike his approach to immigration, in which he’s going to repeal parts of U.S. immigration law de facto in the guise of exercising “prosecutorial discretion” towards each individual illegal.) It’s also a $3 billion hit to the federal coffers, but so what? It makes jittery Democrats feel better before the midterms and that’s what’s important.

Incidentally, the rule extending these hyper-broad mandate exemptions is due to expire in … October 2016, one month before America chooses a new president. What do you suppose are the odds that it’ll be extended beyond that date before then?
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #307 on: August 14, 2014, 10:21:09 pm »

http://money.msn.com/business-news/article.aspx?feed=AP&date=20140813&id=17854755
Deadline to clear up health law eligibility near

August 13, 2014 3:13 AM ET

WASHINGTON (AP) - The clock is ticking for hundreds of thousands of people who have unresolved issues affecting their coverage under the new health care law.

The Obama administration said Tuesday that letters are going out to about 310,000 people whose citizenship or immigration details don't match what the government has on file.

These consumers need to send in their documentation by Sept. 5. Otherwise their coverage will end Sept. 30.

Of the 8 million people who signed up for private coverage through President Barack Obama's law, more than 2 million at one point had discrepancies of some sort that affected their eligibility. That number has been greatly reduced — but the remaining cases are proving difficult to resolve.

People living in the country illegally are not allowed to get coverage. Officials at the Health and Human Services Department said the letters will notify consumers with unresolved citizenship and immigration issues that they can upload their documents to the HealthCare.gov website, or mail them in.

Most haven't responded to repeated outreach efforts, officials said. Hispanics, who historically have lagged in health insurance coverage, may account for a big share of the group.

Indeed, two states with large Latino populations top the list of unresolved cases. Florida has 93,800 cases, while Texas has 52,700. Georgia, Virginia and Pennsylvania round out the top five. The letters are being sent in English and Spanish.

The next five states are North Carolina, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey and Louisiana.

The new policy affects the 36 states where the federal government has taken the lead in running online insurance markets created by the law. It's unclear how it will apply in places like California and New York, which are running their own insurance exchanges.

Some supporters of the law worried that eligible consumers might lose coverage due to record-keeping problems on the government's part, or because of something as mundane as letters getting lost in the mail.

"Many of these people have issues because government files are incomplete," said Ron Pollack, executive director of the advocacy group Families USA. "Many may feel that they have fully complied with what is necessary to get health coverage."

The number of problem cases was a lot larger only a few months ago, prompting criticism from congressional Republicans that the administration was signing up people ineligible under the law.

In May, there were nearly 970,000 people with citizenship or immigration problems. About half those cases have now been closed, officials said, and another 20 percent are being worked on actively. Officials have previously said that the overwhelming majority of cases are resolved in favor of the enrollee.

Consumers who have unresolved discrepancies over their incomes will get notices at a later date.

The new health law provides subsidized coverage to people with no access to health insurance on the job. More than 80 percent of those signed up are getting subsidies to help with their premiums and, in some cases, their copays and deductibles as well.

But those taxpayer subsidies are contingent on meeting a host of requirements. The amount of a consumer's premium tax credit can vary by income, family size, hometown and other factors. That can make getting covered through the law feel somewhat like doing your taxes.

The letters that started going out Tuesday won't be the final attempt to reach those with unresolved issues. HHS will try to contact each consumer two more times by phone and once via email. The administration is also working with local organizations to try to reach people directly in their homes.

Consumers can also contact HealthCare.gov's call center at 800-318-2596 to see what documents they need to submit and see whether their information has been received.

The notices affect this year's coverage only.

The open enrollment period for this year is over. Open enrollment season for 2015 coverage doesn't start until Nov. 15. At that point, consumers will be able to renew or make changes in their coverage, and new customers can find out whether there's a plan that's right for them.

Under the law, most Americans are required to have health insurance or risk fines.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #308 on: September 16, 2014, 01:36:49 pm »

http://news.msn.com/us/more-than-100000-enrollees-are-likely-to-lose-obamacare-coverage-1
9/15/14
More Than 100,000 Enrollees Are Likely to Lose Obamacare Coverage

More than 100,000 Obamacare enrollees are set to lose their new insurance coverage at the end of the month because they have not verified their legal status in the United States.

There are currently about 115,000 individuals who signed up on the federal marketplace who have not provided paperwork to resolve discrepancies between their citizenship or immigration status indicated on their insurance application and what the federal government has on record, the Obama administration said Monday.

Individuals must be legal residents of the U.S. in order to purchase insurance coverage through the health law's new exchanges.

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services had approximately 966,000 people with these discrepancies as of May. About one-third remained in August, and those 310,000 received notices from CMS requesting the additional paperwork.

While the majority have been resolved or are in the process of being resolved, 115,000 have not. If those enrollees do not provide documentation by Sept. 30, their coverage will be terminated.

"[For the 115,000 individuals], we're asking them if they have not sent us their documentation, we're asking them to do so, and reminding them [they will be eligible for] a special enrollment period to be reinstated," CMS Principal Deputy Administrator Andy Slavitt said on a press call. "If they are willing to pay premiums and are eligible, they will continue to get coverage."

Slavitt said he could not provide a breakdown of how many of the resolved cases were found to be ineligible for coverage.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #309 on: September 16, 2014, 04:17:14 pm »

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/concerns-raised-obamacare-abortion-coverage-25529450
9/16/14
Concerns Raised Over 'Obamacare' Abortion Coverage

 A nonpartisan congressional agency is raising new questions about compliance with a key compromise on abortion that allowed the federal health care law to pass in 2010.

The Government Accountability Office said in a report released late Monday that only 1 of 18 insurers it reviewed was separately itemizing a charge for coverage of elective abortions on enrollees' bills.

That detail is important because the original compromise that President Barack Obama sealed with anti-abortion Democrats stipulated that no federal funds would be used to pay for elective abortions. Instead, private health plans covering the procedure would collect a separate premium, which would be segregated from federal subsidies for other medical services.

Although abortion is a legal medical procedure, longstanding federal laws prohibit taxpayer funds from being used to pay for it, except in cases of ****, incest or to save the life of the mother.

The new GAO review did not address the fundamental question of whether federal subsidies under the health law are being used for elective abortions, but abortion opponents said the findings underscore their view that the compromise is an accounting gimmick.

In a written response, the Health and Human Services Department said it "acknowledges that additional clarification may be needed" when it comes to the health law's provisions on abortions.

The report also found that some insurers were unaware of a requirement in the law that they notify policyholders if they cover elective abortions. Abortion opponents have complained that it's very difficult for average consumers to determine whether or not their plan covers the procedure. Abortion supporters say they would also like clearer information.

Most health plans offered through employers routinely cover abortions. The health care law created new state insurance markets where people who don't have access to job-based coverage can buy a government-subsidized policy. The flow of taxpayer dollars to insurers in the new exchanges created another battleground for opponents and supporters of abortion.

The compromise on abortion allowed Obama to secure votes from a small group of Democratic lawmakers who traditionally voted in favor of restrictions on abortion funding. Their support was critical in the face of overwhelming Republican opposition to the legislation.

The GAO report focused on 27 states, plus Washington, D.C., that do not have laws restricting access to elective abortions in the new health insurance markets. Another 23 states restrict or bar coverage.

The GAO found that 1,036 plans in these 27 states covered elective abortions, while 1,062 did not.

The 18 insurers that the agency reviewed accounted for nearly one-fourth of the plans that covered abortion. Each insurer offered multiple plans. None of the companies or plans were identified in the report.

All but one of the insurers said the cost of providing abortion coverage averaged out to less than $1 a month across their entire group of policyholders. In some cases it was as low as 10 cents a month.

The one insurer that itemized the abortion coverage charge on its monthly bill said it describes it as being "for coverage of services for which member subsidies may not be used."

The report was released by Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #310 on: September 18, 2014, 03:30:34 pm »

http://washingtonexaminer.com/article/2553569
46 percent of doctors give Obamacare a 'D' or 'F'
By Philip Klein | September 17, 2014 | 5:04 pm

Forty-six percent of doctors give President Obama's healthcare law a "D" or an "F," according to a new survey from the Physicians Foundation. In contrast, just 25 percent of those surveyed gave the law an "A" or a "B."

The findings come from a survey that was emailed to "virtually every physician in the United States with an email address on record with the American Medical Association" this March through June as the law's major provisions were taking effect, and received more than 20,000 responses from doctors.

In their comments that were included (but kept anonymous) in the report, a number of doctors complained about the vast amount of bureaucracy that has been added to the medical profession.

"Get government OUT of healthcare," one doctor wrote.

Another wrote, "Repeal Obamacare."

Another comment read, "I'm a Canadian physician practicing in the United States. The politicians and policy makers need to understand that government involvement in healthcare never works."

One argued that "health reform would be better served by removing many thousands of pages of laws and bureaucrats rather than adding many thousands of pages of laws and bureaucrats."


Several doctors said they were planning to leave the profession, though it wasn't clear that it was necessarily due to the law.

"The system is broken and I am out of here as soon as I can. I am tired of being used, abused and lied to. Has anyone here woken up to the fact that we are always the last ones to be considered in the equation of change?" one asked.

Not all doctors quoted were opposed to the government playing a larger role in health care, as several expressed a desire for a single-payer system.

"We need a single payer system that provides better coordination of care, reduces overhead and management costs, reduces complexity of reimbursements, provides a single formulary," the doctor wrote. "We also need federal tort reform to reduce the cost of medicine."
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #311 on: September 24, 2014, 09:29:01 pm »

This is all by design...ultimately to put these draconian birth control pills over the counter.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/24/cvs-birth-control-charge-illegal_n_5875174.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592
9/24/14
CVS Caught Illegally Charging Women For Birth Control

CVS has been illegally charging women for birth control, violating an Obamacare provision that forces insurers to cover generic contraceptives at no cost to women.

Since learning of a price-coding error that erroneously charged approximately 11,000 women unlawful copays, CVS has moved to fix the problem and refund affected customers.

The issue was brought to public light by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) after one of her staffers was charged a $20 copay when trying to buy generic birth control at a CVS in Washington, D.C. Such a copay is illegal under the Affordable Care Act. Speier wrote a letter to Larry Merlo, the CEO of CVS, earlier this month.

"Although my staff member's issue was eventually resolved a week and numerous phone calls and pharmacy visits later, I am concerned that most women who are likely not familiar with their rights under the ACA may go without this essential family planning service that is supposed to be guaranteed to them under law," Speier wrote in a letter dated September 9.

On September 19, Sol J. Ross, CVS's head of federal affairs, responded to Speier, saying that the company was handling the issue.

"Refund checks will be [sent] to affected plan members by September 26," Ross wrote. "In fact, refund checks have already started to go out and all should be received by October 1."

CVS told The Huffington Post Wednesday that it had identified the glitch before receiving Speier's letter.

"We are committed to assuring that our customers receive the pharmacy benefits that are available to them and apologize for any inconvenience this issue may have caused," a CVS spokesperson wrote in an email.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, millions of women no longer have to pay for preventative health services and screenings, like an annual check-up, pap-smears and generic birth control. According to a recent study from the Guttmacher Institute, the percentage of privately insured women who no longer have to pay out-of-pocket costs for birth control is growing quickly.

In fall 2012, before Obamacare went into effect, only 15 percent of insured women got free birth control pills. Today, that number is nearly 70 percent. The reason not all women today have health insurance that includes no-cost birth control is that some people are still covered by plans that are temporarily allowed to disregard this provision and other Obamacare rules. Eventually, virtually all health insurance will include no-cost contraceptives.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #312 on: September 26, 2014, 01:27:53 am »

http://www.inquisitr.com/1496910/illegal-immigrants-enrolled-in-obamacare-by-the-thousands-senator-claims/
Illegal Immigrants Enrolled In Obamacare By The Thousands, Senator Claims
9/24/14

Illegal immigrants by the thousands have reportedly been able to enroll in Obamacare. The individuals who entered the United States illegally have also been able to enjoy taxpayer-funded subsidies to help cover the cost of their health insurance premium, according to Louisiana Senator David Vitter and a report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

A recent CMS report revealed that 115,000 individuals enrolled in Obamacare had not provided proof of citizenship by the September deadline, and will therefore be dropped from the program by September 30. But, those individuals with “immigration data-matching issues” will be allowed to keep their Obamacare coverage for six months.

The Obama administration is bending over backwards to give Obamacare to illegal immigrants but won’t protect hardworking American citizens who are losing their healthcare coverage,” Senator David Vitter told The Washington Times.

“The Obama administration has been granting deadline extensions, making excuses, and turning a blind eye to falsified documents by illegal immigrants. Enough is enough, and they need to provide answers to why they think illegal immigrants should be eligible for Obamacare,” the Louisiana Senator added.

The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) stated that Obamacare eligibility rules “sacrifice document standards, authentication assurance, and identification integrity” for the sole purpose of maximizing enrollment in the federal healthcare program as quickly as possible.

“Rapidly expanding health coverage to some 40 million people, coupled with relaxed ID and verification standards, only increases the likelihood of fraud and improper enrollment of ineligible people, including aliens. Furthermore, the combination of relaxed verification and documentation standards could enable certain identity fraud schemes to be developed,” a statement from the Center for Immigration Studies reads.

CMS Deputy Administrator Andy Slavitt had this to say in regards to the latest controversy whirling around the Obamacare program, “If people are willing to pay their premiums, and they are eligible for coverage, they will continue to get coverage.”

The federal government extended the mandatory deadline for enrollment for those members who did not comply with the residency documentation policy, but not for natural-born citizens struggling to pay their monthly premium or medical bills not covered until an extremely high-deductable kicks in. Approximately five million Americans lost their insurance coverage due to the Obamacare mandate.

Prior to Obamacare, independent contractors and small business owners could shop around for the best coverage and the best deal online. Although such searching is still permitted, it is nearly impossible to find a policy with less than a $1,000-per-month price tag. Many Obamacare family policies are also $1,000-per-month or higher, but taxpayer-funded subsidies decrease the out-of-pocket expense for some policyholders to around $300 or less each month.

Before Obamacare, my family had portable and affordable Anthem insurance. The monthly premium was $358-per-month with a $2,500 deductable. The policy evaporated, and a vaguely similar replacement was extremely expensive. Forced to enroll in Obamacare or risk a fine, we chose a “Bronze” family plan with a $1,0115-per-month premium and a $12,500 annual deductable. Has your health insurance and related medical expenses improved or declined since Obamacare became law?
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #313 on: September 30, 2014, 09:57:10 pm »

Don't be fooled by this - they're only intensifying the Hegelian Dialectic game(and ultimately usher in the one-payer system).

http://news.yahoo.com/federal-judge-rules-obamacare-subsidies-illegal-supreme-court-220821581.html

Federal judge rules Obamacare subsidies illegal. Will Supreme Court weigh in?

US District Judge Ronald White said the IRS lacked the authority to enact a regulation that allows the federal government to provide tax credits to qualified health care policyholders through health care exchanges.


9/30/14

A federal judge in Oklahoma on Tuesday struck down a key provision supporting the Affordable Care Act, in yet another judicial move that threatens to derail President Obama’s vision of national health care reform.

US District Judge Ronald White said in a 20-page opinion that the Internal Revenue Service lacked the authority to enact a regulation that allows the federal government to provide tax credits to qualified health care policyholders through health care exchanges in every instance.

At issue in the lawsuit was whether the IRS regulation conflicted with the clear language of ACA, also known as Obamacare, which appears to limit the provision of federal tax credits to only those policy holders enrolled in a health care exchange set up and run by a state.

Two federal appeals courts reached conflicting opinions on the same issue in July, and the plaintiff in one of those cases is asking the US Supreme Court to take up the issue.

Judge White’s decision may prompt the high court to take a closer look at the case and consider whether to take it up immediately or wait for pending appeals to conclude.

At issue is a dispute over whether the federal government is authorized to issue tax credits and enforce the ACA’s employer mandate when the applicable health care exchanges are setup and run by the federal government rather than the states.

Under the ACA, Congress said that the federal government must issue tax credits to policy holders working through health care exchanges set up by the states.

What the law apparently doesn’t do is explicitly authorize the federal government to issue tax credits to policy holders when the underlying health care exchange is set up by the federal government.

This would not have been an issue if the states had set up their own exchanges, as Congress anticipated. Ultimately, 17 states volunteered. Thirty-four others refused.


To fill the void, the federal government stepped in and set up its own exchanges in the 34 states. But that raised the question of whether tax credits could be issued through non-state exchanges.

The Obama administration was confronted with a choice. It could have returned to Congress and asked lawmakers for an amendment to clarify the statute. This option was not particularly attractive with a Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

Instead, the administration had the IRS enact a rule that requires the US Treasury to provide subsidies for health plan coverage purchased on any and all exchanges – not just those established by a state.

Opponents of the health care reform effort have seized upon the IRS rule, the tax credit provision, and its limiting language and filed multiple legal challenges charging an abuse of executive power.

The Oklahoma decision is important because it establishes another split in the lower courts, making Supreme Court review more likely.

But unlike the other two cases, the Oklahoma decision belongs to a trial court and is expected to be appealed to the 10th Circuit in Denver before any petition to the Supreme Court would be filed.

Tuesday’s decision stems from a lawsuit filed by the State of Oklahoma and Attorney General Scott Pruitt.

The central issue in the case was whether the IRS acted properly in writing its new rule or whether the agency usurped law-making authority the Constitution reserves to Congress.

White concluded that the IRS overstepped its authority. “This court holds that the IRS Rule is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion or otherwise not in accordance with law,” he wrote.

The judge said the agency acted “in excess of statutory jurisdiction, authority, or limitations,” or otherwise carried out an “invalid implementation of the ACA.”

By vacating the IRS rule the decision makes it impossible for the federal government to provide tax credits to participants in the federal exchange in Oklahoma and it also undercuts a key part of the enforcement provisions related to the mandate that large employers provide their workers with government-approved health care or face a tax penalty.

White stayed his ruling pending the outcome of an expected appeal.

“Today’s ruling is a consequential victory for the rule of law,” Mr. Pruitt, the attorney general, said in a statement. “The administration and its bureaucrats in the IRS handed out billions in illegal tax credits and subsidies and vastly expanded the reach of the health care law because they didn’t like the way Congress wrote the Affordable Care Act,” he said.

“That’s not how our system of government works,” Pruitt said.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #314 on: October 23, 2014, 08:11:56 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/us-announces-840m-improve-medical-care-172043793--politics.html
US announces $840M to improve medical care
10/23/14

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is announcing an $840 million grant program to help doctors and hospitals improve the quality of care delivered to patients.

Patrick Conway, Medicare's chief medical officer, said Thursday the goal is to identify ways of delivering care that improves results for patients, and then rapidly foster the spread of those ideas throughout the system. The administration also hopes at least some approaches will save money.

Doctors practicing together as a group, hospital systems, and professional associations can apply for the grant money, which is being provided under President Barack Obama's health care law.

The four-year program focuses on coordinating care to keep patients healthier, eliminating unneeded tests, preventing hospitalizations, and using electronic medical records to share information among clinicians.

It's called the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #315 on: October 29, 2014, 04:37:09 pm »

http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2014/10/29/359869750/mcconnell-concedes-gop-senate-will-not-mean-obamacare-repeal?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=politics
10/29/14
McConnell Concedes GOP Senate Will Not Mean Obamacare Repeal

Election Day isn't until next week, but Senate Majority Leader-in-Waiting Mitch McConnell is already warning Republicans who would like to repeal Obamacare and roll back environmental regulations about two key numbers: 60 and 2.

Sixty is how many senators are required to bring all but the most noncontroversial bills to the chamber floor. And two is how many more years Democratic President Obama still has in office.

"It would take 60 votes in the Senate. No one thinks we're going to have 60 Republicans. And it would take a presidential signature. No one thinks we're going to get that," McConnell said during a campaign-stop interview with Fox News.

The 12-minute exchange covered a range of topics, from the 2016 presidential field to Ebola to why McConnell put nearly $2 million of his own money into his re-election campaign.

But the comments that produced angst among his party's conservative wing were the ones that tried to temper GOP expectations as to what a Congress led by Republicans can realistically accomplish over the next two years.

"This is why nobody believes Mitch McConnell anymore," said Mary Vought, spokeswoman for the Senate Conservatives Fund, a group that has pushed Tea Party candidates in GOP primaries against establishment incumbents. "He says he wants to rip Obamacare out 'root and branch,' but then flips days before his election and says he plans to surrender."

Dan Holler, a spokesman for the political wing of the Heritage Foundation, Heritage Action, said Republicans have to explain to America what they're for. "That is not going to happen if they sit there and make excuses about [Senate Democratic Leader] Harry Reid or Barack Obama. They need to be proactive about putting out an agenda," he said.

McConnell said that with a full Obamacare repeal impossible, he would instead push to repeal the law's tax on medical devices — which a number of Democratic senators already support — and to narrow its mandate on which workers must be covered.

"I'd like to put the Senate Democrats in the position of voting on the most unpopular parts of this law, and see if we can put it on the president's desk and make him take real ownership of this highly destructive Obamacare," McConnell said.

Even on the issue of executive orders, McConnell said a Republican Congress would likely be limited to restricting funding to the agencies in question.

"He is the president of the United States, and he'll be there until January 2017, McConnell said. "I voted for Mitt Romney. I wish we'd taken a different direction. We're going to do what we can in Congress to try to restrain activities that we think are a mistake."

Should Republicans take control of the Senate with the 114th Congress, McConnell's margin of control is likely to be much smaller than the 55-45 edge Democrat Harry Reid currently holds. What's more, some of the new GOP senators will be replacing red-state Democrats who had already been voting with Republicans on many issues — meaning McConnell will get fewer votes on many bills than the numbers might suggest.

And perhaps most important: McConnell will immediately be facing a 2016 Senate map that's even worse for Republicans than the one Democrats are facing now, with seven Republican incumbents looking at re-election in states carried twice by Obama, and two more from states Obama won once.

Heritage Action's Holler said that tough map is all the more reason for McConnell to be aggressive. "If they're worried about how the Senate races come down in 2016, the best thing they can do is go on offense by putting out compelling policy solutions to the problems that are facing a lot of Americans," Holler said.
Report Spam   Logged
Mark
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 21754



View Profile
« Reply #316 on: November 07, 2014, 07:05:41 am »

29 senators who voted for Obamacare and won't be part of new Senate

On Dec. 24, 2009, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed President Obama’s healthcare law with a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority, triggering a massive backlash that propelled Republicans to control of the House the following year. On the Senate side, going into Tuesday’s elections, 25 senators who voted for Obamacare were already out or not going be part of the new Senate being sworn in on January.

To be sure, it isn’t fair to attribute all of the turnover in the chamber to Obamacare. Many senators voted for Obamacare and lost re-election battles in which they were hit hard for their support for the law, and other Democrats were forced to retire because they had no hope of getting re-elected given their support for the law. But in some cases — such as John Kerry leaving his seat to become secretary of state, or Robert Byrd passing away — Obamacare clearly had nothing to do with it.

Additionally, some outgoing pro-Obamacare votes were replaced by new Democratic senators.

That having been said, as of this writing, 15 Senators who voted for Obamacare either failed to win reelection or declined to run for reelection and had their seats turned over to Republicans. That number is likely to grow once the results are in from the Senate runoff in Louisiana, which Mary Landrieu is expected to lose.

The following is a breakdown of senators who have voted for Obamacare who will not be part of the next Senate.

Lost and replaced by a Republican:

Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska -- lost to Dan Sullivan, R

Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark. -- lost to Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo. -- lost to Rep. Cory Gardner, R- Colo.

Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C. -- lost to Thom Tillis, R

Russ Feingold, D-Wis.

Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark.

Arlen Specter, D-Penn.

Left Senate and replaced by a Republican:

Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V.

Max Baucus, D-Mont.

Tim Johnson, D-S.D.

Tom Harkin, D-Iowa

Ben Nelson, D-Neb.

Byron Dorgan, D-N.D.

Evan Bayh, D-Ind.

Left Senate and replaced by a Democrat:

Jim Webb, D-Va.

Joe Lieberman, I-Conn.

Herb Kohl, D-Wis.

Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii

Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M.

Chris Dodd, D-Conn.

Paul Kirk, D-Mass. (appointed to replace Ted Kennedy -- seat later held by Republican Scott Brown)

John Kerry, D-Mass.

Ted Kauffman, D-Del.

Kent Conrad, D-N.D.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.

Died in office:

Robert Byrd, D-W.V

Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii

Frank Lautenberg, D- N.J

Vulnerable pro-Obamacare Democrats still at risk in 2014:

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.

CORRECTION: This list was corrected to reflect that Kent Conrad was replaced by a Democrat, not a Republican.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/26-senators-who-voted-for-obamacare-wont-be-part-of-new-senate/article/2555721?custom_click=rss
Report Spam   Logged

What can you do for Jesus?  Learn what 1 person can accomplish.

The Man from George Street
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkjMvPhLrn8
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #317 on: November 07, 2014, 11:18:34 am »

That having been said, as of this writing, 15 Senators who voted for Obamacare either failed to win reelection or declined to run for reelection and had their seats turned over to Republicans. That number is likely to grow once the results are in from the Senate runoff in Louisiana, which Mary Landrieu is expected to lose.

Well, not that I endorse Mary Landrieu, but her GOP replacement(Cassidy) won't be any better b/c he's a physician who pushed a vaccination program in schools. And he also has a 17 year old daughter who's going to have a baby out of wedlock. Hate to say it, but he obviously hasn't kept his own house in order(and poisoning young children to boot).

Also - Landrieu is a Roman Catholic who's visited Baptist churches in Louisiana.

Quote
Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark. -- lost to Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.

Cotton is a Gen-X guy who went through the New Age, Harvard indoctrination. No thanks.

Quote
Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo. -- lost to Rep. Cory Gardner, R- Colo.

Udall backed off taking a stance against birth control pills, abortion, and sodomy marriage. No thanks.

Quote
Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V.

I'm not anti-woman, but he was replaced by a 53 year old woman.

Titus 2:3  The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
Tit 2:4  That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
Tit 2:5  To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.


Quote
Tom Harkin, D-Iowa

Replaced by a Gen-X woman. No thanks.


With that being said - how come this article didn't expose Republicans who voted AGAINST defunding Obamacare? For example - TX's John Cornyn did so(and he also supports illegal immigration) - how in the world did he get re-elected, and BY A LANDSLIDE?
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #318 on: December 02, 2014, 08:11:31 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/top-senate-republican-sees-possible-major-healthcare-legislation-195438508.html
Top Senate Republican sees possible major healthcare legislation
12/2/14

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The senior Senate Republican on Tuesday raised the possibility of Congress writing comprehensive healthcare legislation if the Supreme Court next year strikes down a subsidy provision of Obamacare.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who will lead the chamber starting in January, told reporters: "If the court would rule the way they might, we could be in a very large comprehensive revisitation" of U.S. healthcare policy.

The nation's highest court is expected to rule by the end of June on a conservative challenge to an important part of President Barack Obama's 2010 Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.

The Supreme Court last month agreed to hear arguments for and against tax-credit subsidies to help millions of Americans get health coverage under the law.

McConnell said it was difficult to outline what comprehensive legislation would look like, given that the Supreme Court ruling is likely months away.

But he ticked off a list of Obamacare provisions that Republicans have long railed against, including a medical device tax, the requirement that individuals purchase health insurance and a 30-hour work-week to define full-time employment under the law.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #319 on: December 27, 2014, 10:14:26 pm »

http://responseaction.com/Article/new-year-will-bringanother-obamacare-surprise
The New Year will bring...another Obamacare surprise

Obamacare Surprise for New Year
For those who have yet to purchase health insurance, there is yet another nasty Obamacare surprise (link is external) waiting for you in the New Year:

Consumers face a Feb. 15, 2015, deadline to buy insurance, after which those without coverage could be hit with fines of $325 per adult or 2 percent of family income, whichever is higher.

Naturally, some folks see this as an opportunity to scrouge up new customers:

One recent mass mailer from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield obtained by The Hill warned potential customers in the Washington, D.C., region that going without health insurance coverage would come with a steep cost.

“When you don’t have health insurance ... you put your financial security at risk,” the mailer states. “That’s because under the new Affordable Care Act legislation, millions of Americans will have to pay an increased penalty tax of at least 2 percent of their income in 2015 if they go uninsured.”

The “good news,” the letter said, is that CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield has “solutions” to help people avoid the penalty, including coverage that is “compatible with financial assistance or free money from the government that will help qualifying individuals pay for insurance.”

The company declined to comment on the mailer.

"Free money from the government." There is no such thing. But those who've read Bastiat's "The Law (link is external)" (which we reviewed here), will immediately understand the thinking behind this pitch. And Obamacare, too.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #320 on: December 29, 2014, 06:56:04 pm »

http://theadvocate.com/news/11205678-123/gov-bobby-jindal-blamed-for
During public hearing, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal blamed for increasing insurance costs; some call it a 'fiasco'
12/29/14

Gov. Bobby Jindal got the blame Monday for higher premiums and out-of-pocket expense coming for nearly 230,000 state employees, teachers, retirees and their dependents enrolled in state Group Benefits.

Speakers during a public hearing on the insurance program benefit changes claimed mismanagement emanating from Jindal’s office led to what several deemed the “fiasco.”

The hearing brought a sparse crowd, which some of the three dozen attendees blamed on the holiday timing and a feeling that they can do nothing to stop what was being thrust upon them.

Group Benefits members had to make a choice among a variety of new insurance plans by Dec. 7. The legally required public hearing to implement the new benefits plans came 22 days later.

“This thing is set in stone,” said retiree Ray Clement. “Carry a message to the man upstairs ... his capricious and unethical attitude toward the process is a slap in the face to every honest, hard-working individual in the state of Louisiana.”

Retiree Calvin Fair complained, “These decisions have been made a long time ago without any input.”


Group Benefits was working well with a $500 million surplus a little more than two years ago, said Fair — one of nine people who testified. Then, Jindal orchestrated changes “to destroy that,” Fair said. “I wish the Legislature had stood up to him.”

On Monday, the Legislative Auditor’s Office issued a report that said the Jindal administration’s decisions to reduce insurance premiums contributed to the $500 million reserve fund declining to $207 million within two years. The auditor said the premium cut came as medical and drug costs were increasing at a rate to 5 to 8 percent a year. State government and school systems generally pay 75 percent of the premium costs, so any reduction relieved budget pressure and dollars could be spent elsewhere.

“It’s bad management by the leadership of this state,” Fair said.

The administration pursued the overhaul of the insurance plan offerings to help shore up Group Benefits finances. In response to heavy opposition, the administration about a month ago revamped its original plan, relieving some of the financial stress on retirees and to a lesser extent on active employees. A new level of coverage was added to all plans that will allow individuals with one dependent, either a child or a spouse, to pay a lower deductible and out-of-pocket maximum than families. The revamped plan reduced out-of-pocket expenses in exchange for higher premiums. Premiums could go up nearly 11 percent beginning July 1.

Jindal spokesman Mike Reed issued a statement which said in part, that Group Benefits “has been negatively impacted by Obamacare and the rising cost of health care. That’s why we had to make some changes ... to maintain a fiscally responsible program and ensure members have access to the services they need.”

After the meeting, Group Benefits Chief eEecutive Officer Susan West issued a prepared statement in response to the complaints.

“While rising costs have made changes to health care unavoidable, we have taken the feedback of our members very seriously throughout this process. We worked with legislators and members to update the proposed 2015 plans in November to address the majority of the concerns of state employees and retirees,” West said.

Many of the changes came as a result of input received from Group Benefits enrollees and legislators during a series of meetings on the original proposal, she said.

The public hearing was scheduled to solicit comments on the specific plan changes. The legislative committees with Group Benefits oversight can also conduct a hearing. But none so far has been scheduled.

As criticism of Jindal rained down, West reminded speakers of the purpose of the hearing.

“Stay on point with the notice of intent,” said West.

But West’s caution did not stop speakers who, with one exception, continued to vent their frustration in general over what has happened.

“Everything has been thrown at us,” said Dianne Guillot, president of the Retired State Employees Association.

Guillot said retirees got some relief when the administration revised the original plan. “In the same process we left the active people hanging on a limb,” she said, referring to higher costs active employees will pay.


RSEA executive director Frank Jobert said retirees got a break because many live on fixed incomes. But he said active employees are in the same boat, going without pay raises for years and no pay raises likely in 2015 or 2016 because of the budget situation, including a projected $1.4 billion shortfall for the financial year that begins on July 1.

He said depletion of Group Benefits reserves was “clearly mismanagement - not on the part of the staff but the (Jindal) administration.”

“Once again Jindal has destroyed what was working well,” said retiree Vicki Picou. “Today’s hearing is indeed a charade.”

Retiree Stan Hurder complained that the changes set up a “two-tiered” system. “You need to go back to the drawing board and provide equal coverage for everybody.”

Hurder said the Legislature should reimburse Group Benefits for the dollars lost from the reserve fund because of administrative actions.

The only favorable comment came from Louisiana Retired Teachers’ Association executive director Graig Luscomb. He said concerns of retired teachers are “satisfactorily” addressed in the new plan changes.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #321 on: January 14, 2015, 12:15:05 pm »

Babylon has fallen!

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/irs-cuts-taxpayer-services-filing-returns-gets-harder-150035056--finance.html
IRS cuts taxpayer services as filing returns gets harder
1/14/15

WASHINGTON (AP) — The IRS is cutting taxpayer services to historically low levels just as President Barack Obama's health law will make filing a federal tax return more complicated for millions of families.

Callers who get through may have to wait on hold for 30 minutes or more to talk to a person who will answer only the simplest questions.

"As we enter 2015, we are deeply concerned that taxpayers are receiving markedly less assistance from the IRS now than at any time in recent history," said a report released Wednesday by agency watchdog Nina E. Olson.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen says budget cuts are forcing the agency to reduce taxpayer services and other functions. The number of audits will decline, technology upgrades will be delayed and the agency might be forced to shut down and furlough workers for two days later this year, Koskinen said.

"People who file paper tax returns could wait an extra week — or possibly longer — to see their refund," Koskinen said in an email to IRS employees this week. "We now anticipate an even lower level of telephone service than before, which raises the real possibility that fewer than half of taxpayers trying to call us will actually reach us."

"Those who do reach us will face extended wait times that are unacceptable to all of us." Koskinen added.

Congress cut the IRS budget by $346 million for the budget year that ends in September 2015. The $10.9 billion budget is $1.2 billion less than the agency received in 2010.

But the spending cuts could actually cost the government money, Koskinen said. Fewer enforcement agents will cost the federal government at least $2 billion in lost tax revenue this year, he said.

Republicans in Congress adamantly oppose Obama's health law, so some have been working to starve the IRS of funds just as its role in implementing the law ramps up.

Olson is the National Taxpayer Advocate, an independent office within the Internal Revenue Service. She released her annual report to Congress Wednesday, less than a week before the start of tax filing season on Tuesday.

She said taxpayers will suffer from service reductions.

"Without adequate support, many taxpayers will be frustrated, some will make potentially costly mistakes, others will incur higher compliance costs when forced to seek information and assistance from tax professionals," Olson wrote.

"Still others," Olson said, "will simply give up and not file."

For the first time, tax filers will have to report information about their health insurance during the previous year. For people who get health coverage through work or government programs like Medicaid, it will mean simply checking a box on their tax return.

Others who got insurance through state and federal marketplaces will have to file a new form, while people who received government subsidies to help pay premiums will have to provide more detailed information.

People who didn't have health insurance last year face fines unless they qualify for a waiver, which requires more paperwork.

The subsidies were based on projected family incomes, so families will need to check to see if their actual incomes were higher or lower. If their incomes were higher than expected, they might have to pay back some of the subsidy, either through a smaller tax refund or a payment.

If their incomes were lower, they might qualify for a larger subsidy, which would come in the form of a larger tax refund.

Taxpayers who get subsidies are supposed to notify the health exchanges during the year if their incomes change or if they have some other life event that changes their eligibility, said Kathy Pickering, executive director of the Tax Institute at H&R Block.

"If somebody got married or divorced, had a baby, got a job, lost a job, anything that changes their income, those consumers needed to go back to the marketplace and update their information," Pickering said. "Most people didn't know to do that or didn't think to do it."
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #322 on: January 16, 2015, 04:14:05 pm »

Report Spam   Logged
Mark
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 21754



View Profile
« Reply #323 on: January 16, 2015, 04:50:09 pm »

and the church AJ supports is the catholic church
Report Spam   Logged

What can you do for Jesus?  Learn what 1 person can accomplish.

The Man from George Street
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkjMvPhLrn8
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #324 on: January 21, 2015, 06:46:19 pm »

http://m.apnews.com/ap/db_289563/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=Py6rd7WO
Government health care website quietly sharing personal data
1/20/15

WASHINGTON (AP) - The government's health insurance website is quietly sending consumers' personal data to private companies that specialize in advertising and analyzing Internet data for performance and marketing, The Associated Press has learned.

The scope of what is disclosed or how it might be used was not immediately clear, but it can include age, income, ZIP code, whether a person smokes, and if a person is pregnant. It can include a computer's Internet address, which can identify a person's name or address when combined with other information collected by sophisticated online marketing or advertising firms.

The Obama administration says HealthCare.gov's connections to data firms were intended to help improve the consumer experience. Officials said outside firms are barred from using the data to further their own business interests.

There is no evidence that personal information has been misused. But connections to dozens of third-party tech firms were documented by technology experts who analyzed HealthCare.gov and then confirmed by AP. A handful of the companies were also collecting highly specific information. That combination is raising concerns.

Leading lawmakers on Tuesday asked the administration to explain how it oversees the data firms to make sure no personally identifiable information is improperly used or shared.

"This new information is extremely concerning, not only because it violates the privacy of millions of Americans, but because it may potentially compromise their security," Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, wrote to the administration.

Created under the president's health care law, HealthCare.gov is the online gateway to government-subsidized private insurance for people who lack coverage on the job. It serves consumers in 37 states, while the remaining states operate their own insurance markets.

A former White House chief information officer, Theresa Payton, said third-party vendors are a weak link on any website. She questioned both the number of vendors on HealthCare.gov and the specific details some of them are collecting.

"You don't need all of that data to do customer service," said Payton, who served under President George W. Bush. "We know hackers are just waiting at the door, salivating to get at this data."

The privacy concerns come against the backdrop of President Barack Obama's new initiative to protect personal data online. Separately, the administration is getting the health care website ready for the final enrollment drive of 2015, aiming to have more than 9 million people signed up by Feb. 15 for subsidized private coverage.

Administration spokesman Aaron Albright said outside vendors "are prohibited from using information from these tools on HealthCare.gov for their companies' purposes." The government uses them to measure the performance of HealthCare.gov so consumers get "a simpler, more streamlined and intuitive experience," he said.

The administration did not explain how it ensures that companies were following the government's privacy and security policies.

Albright said HealthCare.gov comports with standards set by the federal National Institute for Standards and Technology. But recent NIST guidance cautions that collecting bits of seemingly random data can be used to piece together someone's identity.

In a recent visit to the site, AP found that certain personal details - including age, income and smoking habits - were being passed along, likely without consumers' knowledge, to advertising and Web analytics sites.

Third-party outfits that track website performance are a standard part of e-commerce. HealthCare.gov's privacy policy says in boldface that "no personally identifiable information is collected" by these Web measurement tools.

Google said it doesn't allow its systems to target ads based on health or medical history information. "When we learn of possible violations of this policy, we investigate and take swift action," the company said in a statement.

Still, the outside connections surprised a tech expert who evaluated HealthCare.gov's performance for the AP.

"Personally, I look at this ... and I don't know what is going on between the government and Facebook, and Google, and Twitter," said Mehdi Daoudi, CEO of Catchpoint Systems. "Why is that there?"

Tracking consumers' Internet searches is a lucrative business, helping Google, Facebook and others tailor ads to customers' interests. Because your computer and mobile devices can be assigned an individual signature, profiles of Internet users can be pieced together, generating lists that have commercial value.

Third-party sites embedded on HealthCare.gov can't see your name, birth date or Social Security number. But they may be able to correlate the fact that your computer accessed the government website with your other Internet activities.

Have you been researching a chronic illness like coronary artery blockage? Do you shop online for smoking-cessation aids? Are you investigating genetic markers for a certain type of breast cancer? Are you seeking help for financial problems, or for an addiction?

Daoudi's company, Catchpoint Systems, came across some 50 third-party connections embedded on HealthCare.gov. They work in the background, unseen to most consumers.

The AP replicated the results. In one 10-minute visit to HealthCare.gov recently, dozens of websites were accessed behind the scenes. They included Google's data-analytics service, Twitter, Facebook and a host of online advertising providers.

"I think that this could erode ... confidentiality when dealing with medical data and medical information," said Cooper Quintin, a staff technologist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #325 on: January 23, 2015, 12:32:18 pm »

Luke 12:15  And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

http://woodtv.com/2015/01/22/study-small-businesses-dumping-employee-health-insurance/
1/22/15
Study: Small businesses dumping employee health insurance

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A new survey released Thursday by Grand Valley State University is showing that since the Affordable Care Act was implemented, more small businesses are deciding not to offer health insurance to their employees.

The survey, conducted by Assistant Professor of Economics Leslie Muller, focused on companies that have fewer than 50 employees. Companies of that size are not mandated by the ACA to offer insurance to employees.

“Small firms have faced, traditionally faced, higher costs so they’ve been strapped for a while. That doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the ACA it just has to do with the fact that health care costs have been raising it’s been particularly hard on the small firms,” Muller said.

The Survey found that of small businesses that offered health insurance over the past two years, only 40 percent plan to offer insurance in 2015 and only 28 percent in 2016.

“I’m not saying these escalating health care costs are due to the ACA. We just don’t know that. We don’t know what’s going to happen because it’s going to take a couple of years for the markets to play out, even out,” Muller said.

In fact, Muller says the survey suggests small business may be dropping their health insurance coverage because of the availability of the public health exchange.

68 percent of the small businesses that do not plan on offering insurance in 2015 are encouraging their employees to purchase health insurance on the public exchange.

“It just now gives them another option I think as to what they can do if they become particularly strapped in money for offering health insurance,” Muller said.

Muller said some workers may end up better off on the exchange, since individuals who earn up to 400% of the poverty level are eligible for federal subsidies, which they wouldn’t get if their employers offered them health insurance.

“Especially those people that pre-existing conditions, can now go out into this public exchange that the ACA put together and buy insurance and they are not discriminated against because of pre-existing conditions. That was not available before,” Muller said.

Other findings of the survey:

Of  those offering plans in 2014, 75 percent plan on offering insurance in 2015. Half of these firms plan on offering plans in 2016.
Sixteen percent of firms are uncertain as to whether they will offer insurance in 2015;  28 percent are unsure about 2016.
Of  those  companies  not  offering  plans  in  2015, 68 percent plan on sending employees out to the public exchange to buy individual health insurance.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #326 on: January 23, 2015, 07:26:34 pm »

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/23/bernie-sanders-universal-_n_6534526.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592
1/23/15
Bernie Sanders Got Republicans To Make His Argument For Universal Health Care

WASHINGTON -- In their ongoing efforts to roll back or hamstring Obamacare, Republicans probably weren't hoping that the first Senate hearing on the matter this year would feature a self-described "democratic socialist" getting GOP witnesses to back a key argument for universal health care.

Thursday's hearing of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions was devoted to the question of moving the full-time work standard under the Affordable Care Act from 30 hours a week to 40 hours, and whether more workers would be hurt by the higher or lower limit.

But to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has long supported the creation of a universal health care system, battling over that particular point began to seem absurd, and he opened his remarks by noting that in every other developed country, such a debate would make no sense at all.

"The argument of whether you provide health insurance to people who work 30 hours a week or whether they work 40 hours a week -- whoa," Sanders said. "In every major country on Earth, health care is a right of all people."

With that as his premise, he then asked three of the hearing's witnesses -- two business owners and a school superintendent -- whether their lives and daily endeavors would be improved if government lifted from them the burden of providing health care to their workers.

The panel's only Democratic witness, Joe Fugere, founder of the Seattle-area Tutta Bella Pizzeria chain, readily answered that it would.


And despite all the GOP's cries and criticisms of "socialized medicine" when the Affordable Care Act was making its way through Congress years ago, the two Republican panelists agreed nearly as readily.

"A question like that -- sure," said Betsy Webb, who runs the Bangor School Department in Maine. "But what is the reality?"

"The reality is that maybe it should not have to be the responsibility of the Bangor school district to provide health care, that maybe it should be a right of all of our people, whether they work at McDonald's in Bangor, whether they work for the school district, to have health care," said Sanders, before taking up the question with the next witness, Andrew Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurants, which runs the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's chains.

"If what you're saying, Senator, is that if we had a bill that was debated, that was vetted through congressional committees, and we looked at the health care system and really tried to come up with a more rational solution, I would say you're absolutely right," Puzder said.

He allowed that he and Sanders "might not agree on the ultimate solution," but when Sanders pressed Puzder on whether he would rather not have to worry about providing health care and instead focus on his products, the CEO was emphatic.

"From your lips to God's ear," he said.

Watch Sanders' remarks above.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #327 on: January 27, 2015, 04:48:30 pm »

I attended an all-day AARP workshop for tax volunteer today. Yes, Obamacare is going to be one BIG mess b/c there's over 5000 pages in this bill!(what I learned today made my head spin, and even the Client Facilitators/leaders still don't have a full understanding of it, despite attending a workshop of their own recently).

Anyhow - it's estimated that 50% of the population don't have health insurance. HOWEVER - 90% of this 50% DO qualify for an exemption(ie-financial hardships, death in the family, work for a religious org, etc). What does this mean? It means that insurance companies will end up increasing their premiums b/c of the great majority of those that qualify for exemptions(and don't have to apply for Obamacare)!

I don't know what this will lead to - but nonetheless this has been a train-wreck in the making, all by design - and will likely lead to the one payer/one world economic system.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #328 on: February 01, 2015, 03:52:25 pm »

Don't be fooled by what the "Christian" sect is doing here - they're only playing "good cop" to Obama's "bad cop".

IOW - Obama and the "Democrat Party" aren't the only ones in need of repentance here.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/01/opinion/sunday/onward-christian-health-care.html?_r=1
1/31/15
Onward, Christian Health Care?

WHEN Theresa Bixby, 63, learned that she had breast cancer four years ago, she reacted as many Americans do. “One of my first thoughts was, ‘will they pay?’ ” she said. But she wasn’t talking about a conventional insurance plan. She lost hers when she left her full-time position for part-time work at her church in Greenville, S.C. She was worried about the program that she had joined six months earlier: Christian Healthcare Ministries.

Christian Healthcare Ministries is not an insurance company. It is a nonprofit “health care sharing ministry” based in Barberton, Ohio. The cost of membership is far lower than the rates of traditional insurance policies — $45 a month for the cheapest plan — but the ministry makes no guarantees of payment. Members send their monthly “gift” to an escrow account, which disburses payments for eligible medical bills, excluding costs like routine physicals, continuing treatment for pre-existing conditions or procedures that members have voted to exclude, like care for pregnancies outside wedlock.

Each time Ms. Bixby visited her hospital for tests or chemotherapy, she explained that she was a self-pay patient and a member of a cost-sharing ministry. Sometimes the receptionist nodded; sometimes she got a blank stare. The hospital never denied her treatment, but “I was getting a two-inch stack of bills every month, and threats that they would take me to collections,” she told me.

Christian Healthcare Ministries assigned her case to a “member advocate,” who negotiated discounts on her fees. These counted toward Ms. Bixby’s $5,000 deductible, so she paid out of pocket only for office visits. In the end, the ministry persuaded the hospital to lop $220,900 off a bill of $301,540 and reimbursed or paid directly the remaining $80,640.

Despite stories like this, organizations such as Christian Healthcare Ministries claim a modest membership. The four main cost-sharing ministries in the United States have about 340,000 members. Regulators in several states have raised concerns that these ministries offer the illusion of insurance while sidestepping the Affordable Care Act’s baseline standards of coverage and skirting requirements that apply to conventional insurance companies, like minimum cash reserves. Nonetheless, membership in the ministries has been growing, particularly since the act granted them an exemption as one of the only ways to avoid the law’s mandate to buy insurance without paying a fine.

But the debate over consumer protections may disguise a more interesting question: Could this model scale up? These ministries seem to achieve a remarkable level of member satisfaction, even if they sometimes must portion out reimbursements when the bills outstrip monthly contributions.

The ministries’ appeal lies partly in their low fees, but also in their ideological boundaries. “This isn’t something that’s for everyone,” said Tony Meggs, the C.E.O. of the Florida-based Christian Care Ministry, which runs a health care sharing program called Medi-Share.

Christian cost-sharing ministries have been around for about 30 years. They claim that their true origins lie in the Book of Acts, the biblical account of how the first Christians “had everything in common” and “gave to anyone as he had need.” The ministries “show the world something that works, and works well, and is a reflection of the commandments of Christ,” Mr. Meggs said.

The resemblance to apostolic Christianity is debatable: After all, Jesus’ healing ministry didn’t take pre-existing conditions into account, and the early church offered aid to nonbelievers. The real precursors are the mutual aid societies of the 19th and early 20th centuries. In their heyday, organizations like the Odd Fellows and the Loyal Order of Moose pooled fees to provide insurance for huge numbers of working-class Americans. It is no accident that in our new Gilded Age, the model that prevailed during the first Gilded Age is enjoying a second life.

These aid societies did more than provide relief from doctors’ bills, lost wages or funeral expenses. They also divided the “deserving” poor from miscreants who suffered through their own fault. Their bylaws stressed “thrift, leadership skills, self-government, self-control and good moral character,” the historian David Beito has written. Lodges required members to hold an “honorable” job, banned women of “immoral or questionable behavior,” and limited the use of alcohol and drugs.

Today, Medi-Share requires members to “live by biblical standards:” no tobacco or illegal drugs and no sex “outside of traditional Christian marriage.” Samaritan Ministries, with headquarters in Peoria, Ill., requires a pastor’s approval of medical expenses (and refuses to cover treatment for S.T.D.s unless “contracted innocently”). Liberty HealthShare, based in Independence, Ohio, is the only Affordable Care Act-exempt ministry open to people of many faiths. It asks them to affirm that “it is my spiritual duty to God and my ethical duty to others to maintain a healthy lifestyle.”

Members say these rules are marks of the kind of community that government programs undermine. “This is a solution for those of us who see the A.C.A. as a problem,” said Daniel Alders, 28, a Samaritan member who lives in Nacogdoches, Tex., and has turned to the ministry to pay for the births of his two children. Samaritan members send their monthly share directly to another member with medical expenses. “When we receive money, nine times out of 10 there’s a note attached saying they’re praying for us and the health of the baby,” he told me.

“A community is an organically grown organism, so it can’t succeed if it’s pushed and enforced from the top level down,” he said. “You have to have a moral foundation, a reason to trust those whose needs you’re sharing.”

In a recent interview with NPR, President Obama acknowledged that many white working-class voters felt no such trust in the government. “They think: ‘I’m being left out. Nobody seems to be thinking about how tough it is for me right now,’ ” he said.

He’s not the first liberal to hope that publicly funded health insurance could win that trust. More than a century ago, the Progressive reformer Jane Addams admired the parades of mutual aid societies in Chicago’s Italian quarter, where members marched “with a brave showing of banners, celebrating their achievement in having surrounded themselves by at least a thin wall of protection against disaster.” She longed “to pour into the government of their adopted country all this affection and zeal, this real patriotism. A system of State insurance would be a very simple device and secure a large return.”

In fact, mutual aid societies fought compulsory insurance legislation that Progressive activists proposed in the World War I era, fearing that such laws would endanger Americans’ “spirit of self-reliance.” The legislation failed, but the societies’ days were numbered, too. The financial burdens of their aging membership sometimes became crushing. And they were no match for the growing political power of commercial insurance companies and organized medicine, or the I.R.S.’s ruling in 1943 to grant tax breaks to employers who paid for workers’ insurance.

In a way, Addams still got her wish. Persuaded by a new vision of solidarity, many of those Italian immigrants joined the New Deal coalition. In 1941, Franklin Delano Roosevelt advocated for the right to “security for those who need it,” including “adequate medical care.” Roosevelt wanted to surpass the model of the voluntary aid society by turning the social contract into a covenant that bound people who otherwise had little in common, that granted a basic level of economic security to people excluded by the market or mutual aid.

For a small, self-selected group of Americans, cost-sharing ministries make our broken health care system bearable. There is much to admire in their nonprofit structure and their tireless advocacy for members. The problem is that too often their proponents take them as proof that it’s “in the DNA of Americans to assist and help one another” and success comes “when the marketplace is given the opportunity to produce solutions on its own,” as Dale Bellis, Liberty HealthShare’s executive director, put it.

The truth is that Americans never enjoyed a golden age when local communities came together to solve social problems. In colonial times, villages “warned out” the aged, disabled and unmarried pregnant women, deporting their neediest residents to other towns.

The great insight of the New Deal reformers was that fetishizing a romantic idea of community is as perilous as making a false idol of the free market. Cost-sharing ministries nurture one kind of community, but only by opting out of the broader obligations of society. To make the Affordable Care Act stick, and to make it work, means convincing more Americans that they are not just their brother’s keeper.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #329 on: February 01, 2015, 03:54:59 pm »

Quote
Christian cost-sharing ministries have been around for about 30 years. They claim that their true origins lie in the Book of Acts, the biblical account of how the first Christians “had everything in common” and “gave to anyone as he had need.” The ministries “show the world something that works, and works well, and is a reflection of the commandments of Christ,” Mr. Meggs said.

Did they even bother to read this passage in Acts, much less Acts 2:37-47?

Acts 2:37  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
Act 2:38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Act 2:39  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Act 2:40  And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
Act 2:41  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Act 2:42  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Act 2:43  And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
Act 2:44  And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
Act 2:45  And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
Act 2:46  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Act 2:47  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

This was (somewhat of)a transition period going on.

So if they firmly the NT Church Age we're living in now believes in this - then does this mean we have to be water baptized to be saved too?(as this passage said at this specific time) Where are all the signs and wonders being done?

Or how about these pastors? Do they still get their comfy salaries, or are they sharing equally their riches with others? I doubt the latter.
Report Spam   Logged
Pages: 1 ... 9 10 [11] 12 13   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
Free SMF Hosting - Create your own Forum

Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy