Posts Tagged ‘insurance’
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, May 29, 2015
To The Reader:
If you are not a regular follower of Alabama politics, some, or perhaps most, of the items mentioned herein may very well be alien to you. Yet even if you are – even to a small extent – an adherent of the same, it very well may still be strange to you. It’s strange to most… save for those who wallow in such mire, namely, the Alabama Legislature and politicians in Alabama.
What I write herein this blog, and this entry in particular, contains fact, and opinion. It’s difficult to NOT have opinion when faced with facts… particularly when innocent lives are at stake. And innocent lives ARE at stake in Alabama.
I ask your indulgence.
From Day One of his first term in office (January 17, 2010) Alabama Governor Robert Bentley’s administration has been pockmarked with allegations of corruption, wrong-doing, violations of Federal Law, incompetence, lies, thefts, and deceptions.
I have written and opined about Governor Bentley’s bald-faced lies from his first campaign for governor (Alabama Governor Bentley Broke 20 Promises From 2010 Campaign), and his propensities and predilections toward falsehoods are well-documented in other news media from his campaign for a second term as governor, and after his re-election.
• 23-Felony Ethics Count indicted Rep. Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) re-elected GOP Speaker of the House
• Rep. Greg Wren (R-Montgomery) plead guilty to misdemeanor Hubbard-related ethics charge and resigned his House seat
• Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) charged with perjury and false statements related to Lee County grand jury in January in Hubbard case
• Moles in GOP Attorney General Luther Strange’s office attempting to corrupt Hubbard’s prosecution
• Prison rapes & long-term cover-up of criminal wrongdoing at Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women, and Alabama Department Of Corrections (ADOC)
• ADOC purchased on the black market medicines to be misused for execution, which the FDA seized
• ADOC neglected prisoners’ minor healthcare problems, which lead to their death
• Legislature reneged repayment on money “borrowed” from Alabama Trust Fund
Facing an immediate General Fund Budget shortfall of $250 Million, and a projected $750 Million long-term deficit, shortly after re-election to a second term, Governor Bentley reneged on a campaign promise to not raise taxes. The most fearfully pressing of the concerns remains the prospects of a Federal take-over of the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC). At 200% capacity, and grossly understaffed, the ADOC is still teetering upon the precipice of a Federal take-over by the Department of Justice. The DOJ took over California’s Prison System with with much less overcrowding, approximately 140%.
The DOJ sent Governor Bentley a 36-page “love letter” dated January 17, 2014 which was entitled Investigation of the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women and Notice of Expanded Investigation in which they detailed numerous counts of prisoner abuse, sexual abuse of prisoners, criminal activity by guards upon inmates, and other horrific crimes against humanity.
USDOJ Tutwiler ADOC Findings 1-17-14
Only today, Governor Bentley crowed about reaching a 65+ page Settlement Agreement with the DOJ in which ADOC and the State of Alabama promised to “implement all policies and procedures required by the agreement within nine months of the effective date of the Agreement,” and which “will terminate when Defendants have achieved substantial compliance with each provision of the Agreement, and have maintained substantial compliance for three consecutive Court-filed compliance reports.”
While there is a nine month implementation time line, there is a possibility of Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: ADOC, AL politics, Alabama, Alabama Department of Corrections, Bentley, cigarettes, coporation, corporations, deception, DOJ, education, false claims, falsehoods, felony, GOP, Governor Bentley, health, homeowner, indictment, insurance, Jennie L. Lancaster, Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women, landowner, lies, Mike Hubbard, monitor, multi-national corporation, politics, prison, prisons, Public policy, Republican, Revenue, Robert Bentley, schools, taxes, theft, timber, timberland, Tutwiler, United States Department of Justice, USDOJ, women | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, December 19, 2014
McD’s began rationing French Fries Wednesday morning, December 17, at it’s 3100 Japanese locations as an emergency airlift of 1,000 tons of spuds and an extra shipment by sea from the U.S. East Coast set sail.
Industrial Food Manufacturer McDonald’s continues to spread diet-related disease internationally.
The highly processed frozen spuds are deep-fryer ready, and a leading U.S. export. Folks in the Land of The Rising Sun love their French Fried spuds, and eat more than 300k tons of the imported American tuber annually, according to USDA figures. Of particular note, most of Japan’s locally grown potatoes are eaten fresh.
McD’s continually denies any responsibility, role or contribution to increased obesity, either in America, or abroad where they conduct business. But increased rates of Japanese obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, suggest not conspiracy, but wanton disregard for, if not flagrant violation of, Japan’s Ministry of Health 2008 ‘Metabo Law’ that requires men to maintain a waist line less than 33.5 inches and women less than 35.4 inches.
A McDonald’s in Japan
The American Fast Food Industry was introduced to Japan in the 1970’s, and since then, consumption of rice in the daily Japanese diet has decreased and been replaced by bread, meat, dairy products, hamburgers, French fries, milkshakes and doughnuts.
Similarly to America, one of the time-honored Family Values of enjoying freshly prepared food at home has declined, and consumption of Industrially Prepared Food, and use of video games has risen.
Even though the Japanese diet still includes much more fish having omega-3 fatty acids, the adoption of a more ‘Western Diet’ is causing health problems. O3FAs are thought to protect against heart disease, and on average, the Japanese eat much less food high in saturated fat than Americans.
The Japanese government has quickly acknowledged the damaging health effects of Industrialized Food Production, which is known as the Standard American Diet, and has moved to disincentivize their citizens from becoming obese like Americans.
Japanese people have historically enjoyed a high life expectancy, very nearly 80 years, although in recent years, their increase in longevity has slowed to 1.2%. The Japanese health care system provides Universal Coverage primarily through local government or employer insurance, and the system is foreseeing dire financial trouble because chronic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, high blood pressure, high glucose levels and cholesterol will significantly burden the system.
As the Japanese population ages and their health begins to deteriorate, the workforce will not be large enough to cover those health costs. The government sees an opportunity to cut costs by lowering rising obesity.
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Do you feel like we do, Dr. Who?, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: agriculture, America, business, Cholesterol, commerce, costs, diabetes, export, Family Values, farm, fast food, fat, Golden Arches, grease, health, health insurance, healthcare, heart, Heart disease, import, industrial food, insurance, international, Japan, McD's, McDonald's, Micky D's, obesity, phast phood, potatoes, spuds, Standard American Diet, trade, United States, Universal Coverage, USA, USDA | 1 Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, October 10, 2014
Pippa Abston, MD, PhD, is considered by many, to be the preeminent, board-certified general pediatric physician in the Tennessee Valley, and is author of the following commentary, written in response to a news item entitled “Ebola hasn’t surfaced in Alabama but state ready, Gov. Bentley says,” published October 08, 2014 at 9:03 AM, updated October 08, 2014 at 12:59 PM at http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2014/10/gov_robert_bentley_on_ebola_vi.html.
In his press conference, Governor Bentley said, “In the event that Ebola spreads to Alabama, we are ready and we are prepared to respond.”
Thursday, 9October2014, 6:18am
By Pippa Abston, MD, PhD
Alabama Governor, Dr. Robert Bentley, MD (a retired dermatologist) holds a Press Conference Wednesday, 08 October 2014 purporting to assert state readiness for the Ebola virus.
No, Dr. Bentley, we are in no way prepared.
First and most seriously, people lack insurance or have high co-pays/ deductibles, so they will delay going to the doctor or ER and expose others in the meantime.
Second, our public health infrastructure is underfunded and understaffed.
A couple of years ago I let the local HD (Health Department) know about a new viral syndrome I was seeing, which needed Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: ADPH, adults, AL, Alabama, Bentley, children, disease, doctor, ebola, epidemic, GOP, Governor Bentley, health, healthcare, hospital, insurance, kids, Medicaid, patients, public health, Q&A, Republican, sick, Texas, TX | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, July 2, 2014
This just gets creepier and creepier.
In light of these recent revelations, perhaps the SCOTUS might want to vacate their decision.
Hobby Lobby Funded Disgraced Fundamentalist Christian Leader Accused of Harassing Dozens of Women
Wed Jul. 2, 2014 6:00 AM EDT
For a decade or so, Hobby Lobby and its owners, the Green family, have been generous benefactors of a Christian ministry that until recently was run by Bill Gothard, a controversial religious leader who has long promoted a strict and authoritarian version of Christianity. Gothard, a prominent champion of Christian home-schooling, has decried the evils of dating, rock music, and Cabbage Patch dolls ; claimed public education teaches children “how to commit suicide” and undermines spirituality; contended that mental illness is merely “varying degrees of irresponsibility”; and urged wives to “submit to the leadership” of their husbands. Critics of Gothard have associated him with Christian Reconstructionism , an ultrafundamentalist movement that yearns for a theocracy, and accused him of running a cultlike organization. In March, he was pressured to resign from his ministry, the Institute in Basic Life Principles, after being accused by more than 30 women of sexual harassment and molestation—a charge Gothard denies.
The Institute traces it origins to 1964, when Gothard designed a college seminar based on biblical principles to help teenagers. The ministry says it was established “for the purpose of introducing people to the Lord Jesus Christ” and to give individuals, families, businesses, and governments “clear instruction and training on how to find success by following God’s principles found in Scripture.” The group, which operates what it calls “training centers” across the United States and abroad, says more than 2.5 million people have attended its paid events, which have brought in tens of millions of dollars in revenue. Gothard and the Institute have drawn support from conservative politicians, including Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, and former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue. The Duggar family, the stars of the reality show 19 Kids and Counting, have been high-profile advocates of Gothard’s home-schooling curriculum and seminars. (One of Gothard’s alleged victims has called on the Duggars to break with Gothard and the Institute.) Don Venoit, a conservative evangelical who has long been a critic of Gothard, contends that Gothard’s approach to Christian theology emphasizing obedience to authority creates a “culture of fear.” In 1984, Ronald Allen, now a professor of Bible exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary, observed that Gothard’s teachings were “a parody of patriarchalism” and “the basest form of male chauvinism I have ever heard in a Christian context.” He added, “Gothard has lost the biblical balance of the relationship between women and men as equals in relationship. His view is basically anti-woman.”
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: abuse, ACA, Affordable Care Act, AR, Arkansas, asshole, bigot, Bill Gothard, birth control, Can you smell the hypocrisy cooking?, contraception, contraceptives, creep, creepy, cult, dirtball, evangelical, fanatic, fundamentalist, fundy, geotag, geotagged, health, health insurance, Hobby Lobby, Hobby Lobby Store, Hobby Lobby Stores, hypocrit, IBLP, Institute in Basic Life Principles, insurance, lawsuit, Little Rock, millionaire, Nashville, Obamacare, oral, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, PPACA, Protestant, religion, reproduction, SCOTUS, scum, sexual abuse, sicko, Tennessee, TN, war on women, women | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, May 9, 2014
If Alabamians can’t work because they’re sick, and can’t get care because they’re poor, they can’t be productive citizens.
Should we just throw ’em to the wolves?
What will become of Alabama’s present, much less it’s future?
Alabama medical students argue for expansion of Medicaid
on May 07, 2014 at 9:39 AM, updated May 07, 2014 at 9:51 AM
By Swaroop Vitta and Davis Bradford
In medical school, our professors often show us maps of the U.S. illustrating where diseases strike hardest and where patient outcomes are the worst. Most of the time, Alabama is red, really red. Red is bad. So bad that over 600,000 Alabamians are uninsured and have limited to no access to health care.
Alabama is our home and this state’s spirit of compassion made us who we are. Every Sunday a small group of us with other medical students and volunteer physicians heads to a homeless shelter across from Regions Field that houses our free clinic. As we open our doors to many men and women that could not otherwise see a physician, we see first-hand what life without health insurance in Alabama is like.
Ms. C, a hardworking Alabamian, came into clinic with a terrible headache. It turned out that it was due to emergently high blood pressure. Ordinarily, this is easily treatable, but because Ms. C had gone without care for so long, she was now in danger of a stroke. Only the emergency room could provide relief. But for Ms. C, like so many others in Alabama, that relief was accompanied by a bill she could never pay with the risk of unsurmountable debt. Ms. C has since become our regular patient. While her health has improved, there is only so much a group of well-intentioned medical students can do.
Had Ms. C received medical care during the years before we saw her, her high blood pressure could have been controlled before it left her with permanent injuries. Despite treatment, the chronic issues from those years without care now leave her unable to work. And at 58 years of age, her options are running low.
Even when work was an option, Ms. C’s income was Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Do you feel like we do, Dr. Who?, - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know | Tagged: ACA, Affordable Care Act, Alabama, economy, governor, Governor Bentley, health, healthcare, heatlh insurance, hypocrisy, industry, insurance, jobs, law, Medicaid, medical, news, Obamacare, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, poor, poverty, PPACA, Robert Bentley, school, students, UAB, University of Alabama at Birmingham | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 14, 2014
It’s easy to talk about “the jobs situation” in Alabama. It’s especially easier to talk about it when it doesn’t affect you… directly. It’s like armchair quarterbacking.
There’s probably much truth to the statement that Alabama’s legislators aren’t directly affected by job loss in the state. They have jobs. As musician Steve Miller sang in his song “Take the Money and Run,” they make their “living off other people’s taxes.” That goes for Republicans AND Democrats. Such an observation, of course, is not to demean those who do “make their living off other people’s taxes,” because our military, public safety and others vital to our local, state and national well-being are among them. It is however, an acknowledgment of, and call to responsibility – not merely accountability – because accountability is the only remnant once responsibility has departed. And that is how the “Blame Game” is played.
In the previous entry entitled “Analysis – Examining the Record: Is Alabama Governor Bentley a “Jobs Creator” or a Drag on the State Economy?,” we looked at facts & figures about job loss & job creation during Governor Bentley’s administration.
In this entry, we examine some details on the extent of the damage done to families & individuals under his administration.
And so, let’s again refer to some previously-mentioned facts & figures, and introduce some new ones so that we can better understand the nature, scope and and extent of the situation, and corresponding problems Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Even MORE Uncategorized!, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: Alabama, Alexander City Alabama, Bentley, business, car, cooking, EBT, food, food stamps, GOP, groceries, health, healthcare, hospital, insurance, Jasper, jobs, List of Governors of Alabama, money, mortgate, New York City, population, rent, Republican, Robert J. Bentley, rural, SNAP, transportation, unemployment, United States, utilities, WIC | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, March 28, 2014
Here, all along, we’ve been made to believe that Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. – a privately held firm headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, which boasts themselves “as a major private corporation in Forbes and Fortunes list of America‘s largest private companies,” – objects on religious grounds (even though their owners are Protestant) to providing insurance coverage to their employees, which insurance includes coverage for female contraceptives.
Here is their attorney – Paul D. Clement, himself the 43d former Solicitor General of the United States – arguing their case:
Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
Docket Number: 13-354
Date Argued: 03/25/14 Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: ACA, Affordable Care Act, argument, Barack Obama, birth control, contraception, faith, Forbes, God, health, healthcare, Hobby Lobby, Hobby Lobby Stores, insurance, law, money, news, Obamacare, OK, Oklahoma City, oral, Paul Clement, politics, religion, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Supreme Court of the United States, United States, United States Solicitor General, women | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, December 20, 2013
Did you know? (No, you probably didn’t.)
In a report dated August 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG) conducted a criminal and administrative investigation and found that Alabama claimed, and was paid millions in unallowable performance bonus payments under the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIRPA).
This FRAUD was because of INCOMPETENCY in Alabama governance.
The HHS OIG found that the Alabama state agency overstated its FYs 2009 and 2010 current enrollment in its requests for bonus payments. The State agency overstated its current enrollments because, rather than Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: abuse, ACA, Alabama, Alabama Legislature, Associated Press, Barack Obama, Bentley, budget, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, children, CHIP, CHIRPA, CMS, Crimson Tide, defraud, federal, Federal government of the United States, fraud, GOP, government, governor, health, HHS, incompetence, incompetency, insurance, Medicaid, Mississippi, money, Montgomery Alabama, news, Obamacare, OIG, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, politics, PPACA, quiet, Republican, Robert Bentley, Robert J. Bentley, State Children's Health Insurance Program, United States, waste | 2 Comments »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, June 1, 2013
Recently, Moore, OK was devastated by a mile-wide twister.
Serves ’em right.
God hates fags.
Our government should do nothing.
Everybody knows, this is an act of God.
God is punishing Oklahoma for their wickedness.
This is purely a religious matter, and government should get out of the way.
This has NOTHING to do with climate change.
Insurance companies should cancel & deny coverage.
They have that right.
Suck it up.
The reader should understand, this is PURE SARCASM.
What is sarcasm?
Simply put, sarcasm is Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News, - Transfer: How do we get THERE from HERE? (Add a 'T'.) | Tagged: Activism, Alabama Baptist Convention, Baptist, Bob Dole, Boy Scout, Boy Scouts of America, Briarwood Presbyterian Church, climate, Climate change, climatology, environment, extremes, extremists, faith, First Baptist, Fred Phelps, Global Warming, God, GOP, Helena, Home insurance, insurance, irony, Kansas, Moore, Moore Oklahoma, news, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Organizations, Pelham, politics, radical, radicals, religion, Republican, right wing, sarcasm, Scout, Scout troop, Texas, tornado, truth, United States, weather, whacko, whackos | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, February 22, 2013
Realistically, what does that mean for you, your loved ones or friends if – God forbid – they’re hospitalized at Huntsville Hospital?
It means that when you, your loved ones’ or friends’ are a patient in the hospital, you or they could get an infection, or some other serious bug or problem while being treated for something else entirely different. And by so doing, it could make your stay more unpleasant, and in fact, could increase the risk of complications of your treatment – up to, and including your death – was well as increase the length of your stay, among other factors.
What does that mean for the Hospital?
Because insurance companies and Medicare/Medicaid have STOPPED paying for the treatment of preventable problems that are a direct result of hospitalization, it means that Huntsville Hospital will be stuck with the bill (the costs of treating their own mistakes upon you while you’re there)… and will try to pass the cost along to you to recoup the cost of the loss, which is a DIRECT result of their own sloppiness.
Huntsville Hospital has essentially become a monopolistic monstrosity of an enterprise, gobbling up numerous hospitals in the North Alabama region, including BOTH hospitals in Decatur, the only hospital in Athens, the only hospital in Red Bay, Helen Keller Hospital in Tuscumbia area of the Shoals, and the only hospital in Lawrence county.
Meanwhile, Huntsville hospital has fought tooth-and-nail to keep other hospitals OUT of competition in the Huntsville market, and spent untold millions of dollars in a protracted legal battle against Crestwood Hospital – and continues to spend millions to prevent Crestwood Hospital from offering services that would benefit the entire city and county.
Such anti-competitive practice has all been accomplished by and through the state of Alabama‘s Certificate Of Need Board.
The commentary of Mr. Burr Ingram – Huntsville Hospital’s official mouthpiece – which is contained in this article is entirely and wholly unwarranted, and weasel-like.
Not only that, but Huntsville Hospital is NOT a Nursing Magnet Hospital.
There are many things Huntsville Hospital is not.
And sadly, quality is one of them.
Watchdog Report: Consumer Reports gives both hospitals in Huntsville low safety ratings
Published: Thursday, July 12, 2012, 9:06 AM Updated: Thursday, July 12, 2012, 9:30 AM
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — Consumer Reports magazine ranked the two hospitals in Huntsville as the least safe in Alabama. But the magazine’s list of hospitals is far from complete.
“We were kind of perplexed at some of what it reported,” said Burr Ingram, spokesman at Huntsville Hospital. “When you think about it, it’s fashionable for everyone to rate hospitals. And Consumer Reports is the latest to use public data that is available.
“But at times, it’s difficult to know how these ratings come about.”
Huntsville Hospital, The Huntsville Times
The magazine’s August edition lists scores in four safety categories. Both Huntsville Hospital and Crestwood Medical Center received low marks for poor communication with patients and for high rates of infection. Both received mediocre marks for high rates of re-admission and unnecessary scans.
Yet the report ranked Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: AL, Alabama, battle, Burr Ingram, CEO, Certificate of Need, CMS, CON, Consumer Reports, court, Crestwood, Crestwood Medical Center, David Spillers, disease, doctor, fight, greed, health, Health Reimbursement Account, healthcare, hospital, Huntsville, Huntsville Hospital, Huntsville Hospital System, Huntsville Times, infection, insurance, law, legal, liars, MD, Medicaid, Medicare, money, monopoly, news, Nurse, patient, physician, publicity, reimbursement, RN, sick, sickness, sicko, spokesman, state, United States, wellness | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Some time ago, a friend shared an unsolicited comment about “ObamaCare” before all the ruckus over it had reached the SCOTUS. He had observed about a fellow he knew and described as “a snaggle-toothed Tennessee hillbilly,” whom had joined the United States Army. He observed that the fellow had some health needs, among them poor dentition and the need for corrective lenses. Upon his enlistment, he noted that the fellow was given proper healthcare, and all of his needs – food, clothing, housing, and healthcare – was provided by the United States government.
“Now, why did they do that?,” he asked rhetorically.
Answering his own question, he said quite simply, “because they know Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Uncategorized | Tagged: brethren, brother, business, Christ, Corrective lens, employment, enterprise, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, family, freedom, health, health care, healthcare, Holland, insurance, Jesus, model, Multinational corporation, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, policy, politics, prediction, risk, SCOTUS, Supreme Court of the United States, Tennessee, United States, United States Army, United States government, United States Supreme Court | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, December 9, 2012
12/04/2012 @ 5:18PM
by Rick Ungar, Contributor
Writing from the left on politics and policy.
LAS VEGAS, NV – APRIL 01: Papa Johns Pizza Founder John Schnatter arrives at the 47th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 1, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
It turns out that being a good corporate citizen is as important to selling pizzas as the thinness of the crust or the quality of the cheese.
If you don’t believe it, just ask Papa John CEO, John Schnatter.
As covered—and criticized—in this column in great detail, Mr. Schnatter decided to mix his politics with his pepperoni when suggesting that he would be cutting the work hours for Papa John employees in order to bring them below the 30 hour per week threshold that would require Schnatter to provide his employees with healthcare benefits.
It turns out, the pizza eating public did not approve.
Indeed, so serious was the reaction that Schnatter was forced to publish an op-ed piece where he sought to convince us that he never really intended to cut back worker hours but had simply been speculating on what he might do in response to the legislation.
According to YouGov BrandIndex, a leading marketing survey that measures brand perception in the marketplace (called “Buzz”), Papa John’s had good reason for concern as the pizza chain’s brand identity has plummeted from a high of 32 on election day, to a remarkably low score of 4 among adults who have eaten at causal dining restaurants during the past month.
Papa John is not alone in his anti-Obamacare misery.
Fast food server, Applebee’s, possessed a healthy Buzz score of 35 before Zane Terkel, CEO of one of the company’s largest franchisees, appeared on television to Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: Applebee, bad, Darden Restaurants, Fox Business Network, good, health, health insurance, healthcare, insurance, John Schnatter, left, LongHorn Steakhouse, news, Obamacare, Papa John, Papa John's Pizza, policy, politics, reform, right, wrong, YouGov | 1 Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, November 16, 2012
Not only are you, Governor Bentley, an embarrassment to the state and nation, but as a physician, you discredit the healing arts & profession, and contribute to sickness, disease and ill health of the people of the great state of Alabama.
By Kim Chandler | email@example.com
on November 16, 2012 at 12:07 PM, updated November 16, 2012 at 5:35 PM
Alabama Governor Dr. Robert Bentley, MD (R), adamantly refuses to help the state’s citizens by making a list of health insurance carriers, called an “exchange.” – (AP photo)
MONTGOMERY, Alabama — At the request of some GOP governors, the federal government is giving states another month to decide if they want to run a state-based health insurance exchange.
Gov. Robert Bentley is saying no thanks to the extra time, saying his decision stands to not set up a state exchange.
“The extension from HHS did not change the governor’s decision,” Bentley Press Secretary Jennifer Ardis said in an e-mail.
Bentley, as other GOP governors have done, announced Tuesday that he would not set up a state exchange under the Affordable Care Act.
Bentley made the announcement official in a two-sentence letter today to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
“This letter serves as official notification that Alabama will not be setting up a state-based health insurance exchange, nor do I intend to pursue a partnership exchange,” Bentley wrote.
Today had been the deadline for states to decide whether they want to set up and run their own state exchange, essentially a marketplace for people and businesses to shop for insurance with some people getting subsidies to offset their costs.
Sebelius sent a letter Thursday to Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia saying that deadline has been extended until Dec. 14.
The governors, on behalf of the Republican Governors Association, had requested more time to make a decision, according to the letter from Sebelius. Both Jindal and McDonnell have said they don’t plan to set up an exchange.
“We are confident Governors will have enough time to Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: Alabama, Bentley, Bob McDonnell, Bobby Jindal, exchange, GOP, governor, health, Health Insurance Exchange, healthcare, insurance, insurance exchange, Kathleen Sebelius, Medicaid, news, politics, Republican, Republican Governors Association, Robert Bentley | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Governor Bentley is pulling a George Wallace stand-in-the-schoolhouse-door redux.
What an ignorant ass he is!
It’s exceedingly sad that he – as a physician – ordered Alabama’s 67 Counties Departments of Public Health to STOP giving Tuberculosis tests, thereby jeopardizing the public health of everyone who eats at a public restaurant, works in healthcare, and more – and was done as super-virulent, drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis are emerging. Gee, thanks, Governor Dr. Bentley. NOT!
Thanks for nothing, you jack-legged nincompoop!
By your defiant actions, Governor Bentley, you will FORCE the Federal Government to do something TOTALLY against your opinion – and that is, to establish a Health Insurance Exchange in Alabama.
You, Governor Bentley, are a lazy, sorry, idiotic jerk, in addition to being a liar, thief, incompetent boob, and contemptuous good-for-nothing.
Pejoratives aside, more than anything, this places the solitary onus of responsibility upon the governor and legislature to 1.) Increase education,; 2.) Increase employment; 3.) Increase Corporate Income Tax rates; and 4.) Increase Personal Income Tax rates on the wealthiest Alabamians who already pay a well-documented rate that is significantly lower than the impoverished.
By increasing educational attainment in Alabama, the governor will be demonstrating a high-quality, high-yield investment in the state’s most precious resource – people.
But the governor – bless him – is ignorant, and it is quite painfully obvious that he just doesn’t understand such simple concepts. He should understand them, however, because he has said previously, that he used the G.I. Bill to complete his medical training after his enlistment ended.
In stark contrast, Tennessee’s Republican governor, Bill Haslam said, “I’ve always said from the very beginning that anything we [Tennessee] can run instead of the federal government, we are going to run it better and cheaper,” The simpler thing to do is to say, ‘Here, it’s your idea, you run it,’ but I’m not convinced yet that that’s what’s best for our citizens. There’s going to be an exchange and ultimately, our citizens — through their insurance companies — are going to pay for the costs of running that exchange. So who do we think can run it cheaper: us or the federal government? I’ll bet on us every time. But we have to be convinced that the flexibility they will give us is worth taking the risk of running it ourselves.”
For the benefit of the reader who may be unaware of what an Insurance Exchange is, the exchange is designed to allow uninsured people to compare and buy health insurance plans through a single Internet portal. Those who earn up to four times the federally designated poverty level will receive subsidies to pay for the coverage.
Essentially, it’s an Internet-based non-business (nobody is making any money), that creates a database of health insurance carriers that all adhere to certain guidelines for efficiency and coverage. The law allows states to join together to run multi-state exchanges – essentially, insurance across state lines – or to exclude themselves.
In essence, make a list of companies that sell health insurance in the state, make a comparison of their plans and prices, and provide a link to the company for folks to buy insurance from whatever company they want.
Not too difficult to figure out, eh?
Here’s a link to an informative flyer from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation about what Health Insurance Exchanges are, and what they do.
You may also be interested in reading the informative site http://healthreform.kff.org.
Gov. Bentley says Alabama won’t set up exchange, expand Medicaid
By Kim Chandler | firstname.lastname@example.org
on November 13, 2012 at 1:38 PM, updated November 13, 2012 at 5:19 PM
Bentley, in a show of continued resistance to the Affordable Care Act, said this afternoon that he will not set up a state health care exchange and he will not expand Medicaid under the federal healthcare overhaul.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley speaks at the Birmingham Business Alliance 2012 Governor’s Luncheon in Birmingham, Ala., Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012. (Tamika Moore | email@example.com) / Tuesday, November 13, 2012 1:17 PM
“I will not set up a state exchange in Alabama,” Bentley said during a speech to the Birmingham Business Alliance.
States have a Friday deadline to inform the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services if they plan to set up a state-run exchange, essentially a marketplace for people and businesses to shop for insurance. If states don’t set up their own exchange, either alone or in federal partnership, then the federal government will step in and design it.
Bentley said he has been in communication with other governors — including peers in Texas, Florida and Louisiana — about the exchange decision. He expected multiple governors to show a united front of resistance to the Affordable Care Act.
“If we stand together, I do believe Congress is going to have to look at this again,”Bentley said.
Bentley said he expected other governors to announce similar decisions.
“That will Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: Affordable Care Act, Alabama, Bentley, Bill Haslam, efficient, exhange, federal, GOP, health, Health Insurance Exchange, healthcare, incompetent, insurance, law, liar, Medicaid, Mike Hubbard, Obamacare, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Republican, Robert Bentley, Roger Bedford, Tennessee, thief, United States, United States Department of Health and Human Services | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, October 28, 2012
Brer Fox leapt out of the bushes and strolled over to Brer Rabbit. “Well, well, what have we here?” he asked, grinning an evil grin.
Brer Rabbit gulped. He was stuck fast. He did some fast thinking while Brer Fox rolled about on the road, laughing himself sick over Brer Rabbit’s dilemma.
“I’ve got you this time, Brer Rabbit,” said Brer Fox, jumping up and shaking off the dust. “You’ve sassed me for the very last time. Now I wonder what I should do with you?”
Brer Rabbit’s eyes got very large. “Oh please Brer Fox, whatever you do, please don’t throw me into the briar patch.”
“Maybe I should roast you over a fire and eat you,” mused Brer Fox. “No, that’s too much trouble. Maybe I’ll hang you instead.”
“Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please,” said Brer Rabbit. “Only please, Brer Fox, please don’t throw me into the briar patch.”
“If I’m going to hang you, I’ll need some string,” said Brer Fox. “And I don’t have any string handy. But the stream’s not far away, so maybe I’ll drown you instead.”
“Drown me! Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please,” said Brer Rabbit. “Only please, Brer Fox, please don’t throw me into the briar patch.”
“The briar patch, eh?” said Brer Fox. “What a wonderful idea! You’ll be torn into little pieces!”
Grabbing up the tar-covered rabbit, Brer Fox swung him around and around and then flung him head over heels into the briar patch. Brer Rabbit let out such a scream as he fell that all of Brer Fox’s fur stood straight up. Brer Rabbit fell into the briar bushes with a crash and a mighty thump. Then there was silence.
Brer Fox cocked one ear toward the briar patch, listening for whimpers of pain. But he heard nothing. Brer Fox cocked the other ear toward the briar patch, listening for Brer Rabbit’s death rattle. He heard nothing.
Then Brer Fox heard someone calling his name. He turned around and looked up the hill. Brer Rabbit was sitting on a log combing the tar out of his fur with a wood chip and looking smug.
“I was bred and born in the briar patch, Brer Fox,” he called. “Born and bred in the briar patch.”
And Brer Rabbit skipped away as merry as a cricket while Brer Fox ground his teeth in rage and went home.
Insurers Profit From Health Law They Fought Against
By Sarah Frier – Jan 5, 2012
Insurance companies spent millions of dollars trying to defeat the U.S. health-care overhaul, saying it would raise costs and disrupt coverage. Instead, profit margins at the companies widened to levels not seen since before the recession, a Bloomberg Government study shows.
Insurers led by WellPoint Inc. (WLP), the biggest by membership, recorded their highest combined quarterly net income of the past decade after the law was signed in 2010, said Peter Gosselin, the study author and senior health-care analyst for Bloomberg Government. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Managed Health-Care Index rose 36 percent in the period, four times more than the S&P 500.
“The industry that was the loudest, most persistent critic of this law, the industry whose analysts and executives predicted it would suffer immensely because of the law, has thrived,” Gosselin said. “There is a shift to government work under way that is going to represent a fundamental change in their business model.”
Health insurers contributed $86.2 million to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to oppose the law after Obama administration officials criticized the plans for enriching themselves by raising customer premiums.
“We remain very concerned that Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Did they REALLY say that?, - Do you feel like we do, Dr. Who?, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated | Tagged: Aetna, Brer Fox, Brer Rabbit, business, Cigna, Coventry Health Care, economy, enterprise, health, healthcare, Humana, insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, news, Obamacare, profitability, research, UnitedHealth Group, Wellpoint | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, October 3, 2012
At the time of publication of this report – September 2011 – the complete data was not in. However, initial results indicated that cost containment was well under way.
The news is good!
ObamaCare is WORKING!
However, much additional work remains to be done.
Latest survey finds health benefit cost growth for 2012 likely to be the lowest in 15 years
United States , New York
Publication date: 21 September 2011
Early responses from a Mercer survey still in the field suggest that the average growth in health benefit cost will slow to 5.4% in 2012, the smallest increase since 1997. Still, cost growth remains well above both general inflation and growth in workers’ earnings (see Fig. 1).
While this increase reflects cost-cutting changes employers will make to their current health benefit programs, such as raising deductibles or moving employees into lower-cost health plans, the preliminary survey findings released today by Mercer suggest that the underlying trend has slowed as well. Asked how much cost would rise if they made no changes to their current plans, employers reported an average increase of 7.1%. Over the past five years, this underlying health benefit cost trend has been running at about 9%.
The slower trend is good news for workers, because an employer’s first line of defense against a high initial renewal rate typically is to change plan provisions so that employees pay more out of pocket for health care. If the underlying trend is lower to begin with, employers will be likely to shift less cost. For the past several years, employers have reduced their initial renewal rate by about 3 percentage points on average; in 2012, they are planning to reduce it by about 2 points (Fig. 2).
These results are based on Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Do you feel like we do, Dr. Who?, - Even MORE Uncategorized!, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: Barack Obama, business, care, Consumer-driven health care, costs, Democrats, employment, enterprise, entrepreneur, health, health care, health insurance, health insurance reform, Health maintenance organization, Health Reimbursement Account, Health savings account, healthcare, insurance, Marsh & McLennan Companies, Mercer, Obamacare, POTUS, Preferred provider organization, responsibiity, United States | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, September 16, 2012
Can anyone say “Banksters”?
Highlights From Census Report on Income, Poverty and Health Insurance
September 12, 2012, 11:00 AM, By Ben Casselman
The Census Bureau today released its annual report on income, poverty and health insurance, the most detailed look at Americans’ household income. A few early takeaways:
Real income fell
Inequality rose. Income inequality, as measured by the Gini index, rose 1.6% in 2011 from 2010, the first annual increase since 1993. Other measures of inequality also increased. The top 5% of earners—those making $186,000 or more—received 22.3% of all income in 2011, up from 21.3% in 2010.
Urban residents took the biggest hit to income. Households in principal cities saw their inflation-adjusted income decline by 3.7% in 2011, versus a 2.2% decline for those living in metropolitan areas (including both cities and suburbs). Incomes for those living outside of metropolitan areas were broadly flat. But Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: Economic inequality, Gini coefficient, health insurance, Household income in the United States, insurance, Poverty threshold, United States, United States Census Bureau | Leave a Comment »