Posts Tagged ‘Medicaid’
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, August 6, 2015
UPDATE: Tuesday, 11 August 2015
In my first & earlier calculations, I inadvertently overlooked multiplying the Annual Medicaid Spending in Alabama figure (which is a TOTAL of $5,241,269,869) by 70%, which would represent the portion paid for by the Federal government. Alabama’s 30% share of that figure (the share paid for by the state) would be $1,572,380,960.70. It would also be reasonable to expect that Expanding Medicaid in Alabama to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level would increase total economic activity (through Medicaid spending) in the state at least 38%. So to Expand Medicaid, the baseline figure for TOTAL Medicaid spending (combined Federal and State funds) would approximate $7,232,952,419. According to the provisions of the law, Alabama’s sharing portion (if Governor Bentley chose to Expand Medicaid) would still be 2016-100%; 2017-5%; 2018-6%; 2019-7%; 2020 and beyond-10%. The corrections to the figures herein are dollar amounts only (based on the $7,232,952,419 total expanded figure), not the %ages. Data & figures are now also shown in table format.
Folks, it may (or may not) surprise you to know a sampling of the collective thoughts of our wrong-wing friends, and relatives on matters political in Alabama, especially as they pertain to Medicaid.
Here’s a verbatim excerpted sampling of what I came across today.
• No one want increased entitlements. Too much waste and abuse. get a job folks. no to medicaid
• Medicaid is a lifestyle
• scare tactic. nursing homes overcharge. working people of Alabama are tired of taking care of lazy people
• ask any hospital administrator or physician in private practice. Medicaid devalues services. Reject medicaid
I dare say, MOST are clueless about the genuinely tangible economic and public health benefits Medicaid provides to this state, and the revenue and jobs it creates. All they hear are the wails and moans of representatives and/or senators – mostly of whom, if not exclusively, are Republican.
Where does Alabama’s Medicaid money come from?
Where does it go?
Source: Alabama Medicaid Agency Annual Report – FY 2012
Medicaid is a Federal/State matching/sharing program which provides (pays for) healthcare services for the impoverished wherein states pay a minority matching portion, while the Federal Government through CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) pays the majority portion. Within reasonable guidelines, the states have broad discretion and liberty to operate Medicaid according to the way they see fit, and the needs of the residents they serve. There are, however, certain minimums standards to which every state must adhere.
Under the provisions of the OLD law, the states that do NOT Expand Medicaid pay a higher %age rate for their services than they would if they were to Expand Medicaid to provide services to those whom are at 138% of the Federal Poverty guidelines – which is what the PPACA provides. The PPACA is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act- though it’s more often called the ACA “Affordable Care Act,” and colloquially referred to as “ObamaCare.”
Under the provisions of the PPACA, states that choose to Expand Medicaid will have 100% of those costs paid-for by the CMS beginning 2014, until 2016. The incentive for expansion is based upon 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: Alabama, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, children, Children's Health Insurance Program, CHIP, CMS, Expand Medicaid, GOP, government, governor, Governor Bentley, healthcare, kids, legislature, Medicaid, money, politics, poverty, Republican, Robert Bentley, taxes | 2 Comments »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, May 17, 2015
Creativity is in short supply in Monkeytown, Alabama.
I refer, of course, to Montgomery.
And to be certain, there is a backstory on the nickname.
Seems the Montgomery Zoo was originally located in Oak Park, and then named Oak Park Zoo. The zoo also had an island of monkeys, which once escaped. Hence, the nick name.
For what it’s worth, the Montgomery City Planetarium, formerly known as Gayle Planetarium, is also located in Oak Park. I encourage you to go there, sometime! I have.
But back to the creativity thing.
Alabama is in dire straits fiscally. But, then again, that’s nothing new. Governor Bentley has promised (and broken) numerous pledges in his first & second campaigns. The one bothering most folks is the “read my lips… no new taxes” promise he unwisely made while campaigning for a second term.
It may not be the lie the second time around, as much as it is the entire deception thing from the get-go. Because he, the AL GOP, and the entire Legislature knew all about this well in advance. They knew there would come a day when the monies they “borrowed” from the Alabama Trust Fund must be repaid. That day has come… and is now gone. They’re essentially reneging on their promise, which not only makes them liars, but thieves as well, since money is involved.
So, you’re damn skippy the people are hopping mad!
Again, to be certain, Alabama is in a 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. | Tagged: ADOC, AL, Alabama, Alabama Medicaid, Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa River Basin, Atlanta, backstory, budget, Chattahoochie, Del Marsh, economic infrastructure, Expand Medicaid, GA, gangsters, Georgia, Goat Hill, Goergia, GOP, Governor Bentley, idea, infrastructure, Medicaid, Mike Hubbard, money, Montgomery, path, politicicians, prison system, problems, Republican, river, Robert Bentley, Speaker Hubbard, Tennessee River, TN River, troubles, war, water | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Opining upon the notion of Alabama State Senator Del Marsh’s casino gambling plan to fund Medicaid, someone wrote, “[It’s] The only voluntary tax I know of. If you don’t want to play don’t pay.”
The retort was, “I’m finding myself more open to this lately however; once someone loses their house, job, family etc., don’t come crying for taxpayers to take care of you.”
To which came this reply, “Those people are already finding ways to gamble their lives away. They don’t need a lottery.”
My response follows.
“Those people,” are the Legislators.
In this one thing, I share the Governor’s sentiment – which he ineffectually (no surprise there) communicates:
Lottery will NEVER remedy poor fiscal policy, with which Alabama is replete.
In almost every lottery situation, law demands that the proceeds from lottery are to be used to supplement – not supplant – existing revenue. And in this single instance authored by Senator Del Marsh (R, Anniston) it is being used to supplant – to replace – existing sources of revenue. And that is 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., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: AL, Alabama, bill, casino, Del Marsh, gamble, gambline, gambling, GOP, Governor Bentley, health, healthcare, lottery, Medicaid, money, Montgomery, news, policy, poor, poverty, Republican, Revenue, Robert Bentley, Senator, Senator Marsh, sick, taxes | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Yesterday, Monday, April 6, 2015, Alabama Governor Robert J. Bentley, MD signed Executive Order No.4 creating a 38-member “Alabama Health Care Improvement Task Force.”
Though the unspoken ostensible purpose of the task force is to likely make recommendations to the Governor for the expansion of Medicaid in Alabama, it’s being couched to the less-than-observant (or less-than-smart, take your pick), as a home-grown alternative to the big bad wolf of D.C. known as “ObamaCare.”
Again, for the benefit of the uneducated, in addition to decreasing fraud, waste and abuse, increasing efficiency, eliminating discrimination against women, children & people with “pre-existing” conditions, mandating numerous improvements to the quality of the delivery of healthcare from all states in order to receive payment (performance-based payment), the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (sometimes abbreviated as ACA, though popularly known as “ObamaCare”), contains a provision encouraging (but not requiring – that decision was made the U.S. Supreme Court) the state’s governors to expand Medicaid for their impoverished residents. The law provides for 100% payment for so doing, then gradually declines to 90%.
Governors in Kentucky and Arkansas have decided to Expand Medicaid in their states, and are already enjoying savings.
Currently, Alabama’s matching portion (the %age it pays to purchase Medicaid) is 32.4%; so to expand Medicaid, and have it ALL paid for, and then to pay a LOWER rate than is presently being paid is one of the smartest fiscal decisions the state could make.
Already, the Governors of Kentucky and Arkansas – both well-known Republican strongholds, with opposition to the ACA – have expanded Medicaid in their states, and are already reaping the rewards.
Here’s a chart showing the compensation plan to the states: Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: ACA, Affordable Care Act, AL, Alabama, Alabama Medicaid, ALpolitics, Bentley, budget, commentary, compensation, Confederate, Democrat, Expand Medicaid, flag, GAO, Government Accountability Office, Governor Bentley, healthcare, history, humor, irony, law, lawsuit, Medicaid, money, Obamacare, opinion, panel, plan, politics, rate, Republican, Robert Bentley, sarcasm, stupidity, task force, taxes, truth | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, November 29, 2014
It was one of the few times I have wept over others’ misfortunes – especially my patients.
I went into a closet to weep very bitter tears.
The thought of others seeing me so heartbroken was unconscionable, one which I simply could not bear.
Why? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Do you feel like we do, Dr. Who?, - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man? | Tagged: AL, Alabama, boys, cancer, Cervarix, cervical cancer, Christianity, Colonoscopy, disease, doctor, education, Expand Medicaid, faith, Gardasil, girls, governor, Governor Bentley, health, HPV, MD, Medicaid, men, Nurse, Oral cancer, ostomy, Physical examination, physician, poverty, religion, RN, Robert Bentley, sex, sexual health, sexuality, sick, surgeon, surgery, teens, throat cancer, Total Pelvic Exenteration, TPE, urostomy, vaccination, women | 1 Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, October 12, 2014
Open Letter to Governor Bentley
October 10, 2014 at 12:45pm
I need to go to the doctor. But I can’t. For some reason I still can’t understand you turned down Federal money set aside for people like me.
On June 24, 2014, on my way to see a doctor to determine disability benefits, I had a car accident. My car was totaled and my lip busted. I had hit the steering wheel with my face.
I still almost refused the ambulance ride because I was afraid of the bill. It took a street full of people to convince me to go. I had my lip sewn up, some scans done. I was sent home with a neck brace.
I have $12,000 in bills now, and my disability was denied. I am more disabled now than before the accident. I am waiting on an appeal with no medical care and no income. That hospital bill will never get paid. I wonder how many other people in this state are in the same situation. Sometimes I think 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?, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: AL, Alabama, Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition, cannabis, children, Christian, compassion, Expand Medicaid, faith, GOP, Governor Bentley, health, healthcare, low income, marijuana, Medicaid, medical, medicine, mother, pain, poor, poverty, religion, Republicans, women, work | Leave a 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 Friday, June 6, 2014
Official portrait, Parker Griffith, MD as freshman member of the United States House of Representatives, Alabama 5th Congressional District.
As a politician, Parker Griffith has been described as “maverick.”
To describe it diplomatically, he has been “somewhat unpredictable.”
To be blunt, he’s a loose cannon.
His most recent political aspiration includes 2014 candidacy for Alabama governor under the Democratic ticket, challenging first term Republican Robert Bentley (described as “wildly popular”), whom is similarly a retired physician, and former Alabama State House Representative from Tuscaloosa, whom has publicly announced his opinion that he will be re-elected during a tour of Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women, where sexual assaults, and abuses of innumerable kind have become so rampantly commonplace that Alabama’s prison system is verging upon federal takeover.
It was during his tour of that prison that “Our kindly country doctor governor toured Tutwiler in early March and quietly said, “we are probably going to have to build some new prisons in my second term.””
Griffith’s greatest obstacle is his past. More specifically, the greatest mountain he must conquer is his decision to switch parties (from Democrat to Republican) while in his first term in Congress, which abruptly ended his political aspirations.
The nightmare of his actions still haunts Alabama voters, many whom have not forgotten – including those in his hometown, Huntsville & Madison County. Like the ghastly spectre in Charles Dickens’ classic fiction “A Christmas Carol,” Parker Griffith must come face-to-face with the Ghost of Election Past, and Bentley with the Ghost of Alabama Yet to Come.
And in this real-life play, Bob Cratchit is played by the people, while 18.1% of the state’s population (the state poverty rate) are cast as the sickly child, Tiny Tim. They and others are the ones whom are denied by the Scrooge, played by Governor Bentley and Republican-dominated state legislature.
In reality, Griffith and Bentley play dual roles in this real-life political /social /medical /economic drama.
Charles Dickens circa 1850: he ‘kept on going by taking on too much’. Photograph: Herbert Watkins
Is there salvation for Griffith?
Will Bentley expand Medicaid?
Can anyone really help the citizens of Alabama?
Tune in next time! when we hear _?_ say…
Griffith’s last foray into politics – as Representative for Alabama’s 5th Congressional District – did not bode well, for after the first full year of a two-year term, he announced he was changing political party affiliation, for which he was resoundingly criticized at home by his constituency, in the press for his actions, and then subsequently resoundingly defeated by GOP challenger “Mo” Brooks in the 2010 Republican primary.
When he represented Alabama’s 5th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives, Parker Griffith voted against 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: 2014, A Christmas Carol, ACA, AL, Alabama, Alabama 5th Congressional District, Bentley, Bob Cratchit, challenger, Charles Dickens, Democrat, Democratic Party, doctor, GOP, governor, Griffith, health, healthcare, history, Lilly Ledbette, Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, Medicaid, news, Parker, Parker Griffith, physician, politician, politics, reelection, Republican, Scrooge, second term, switch, United States House of Representative, United States House of Representatives, vote | 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 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 Thursday, June 27, 2013
If you had an option, would you rather pay $10/month, or $80/month for a prescription medication that accomplished/did the exact same thing?
Research shows that the results of the 2 differently priced medicines have never been shown to be any better in any way.
Which would you choose?
What if your doctor prescribed the more expensive medication for you based on the fact that Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Do you feel like we do, Dr. Who?, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: $62 billion, abuse, ACA, Affordable Care Act, Archives of Internal Medicine, avarice, Big Pharma, biotech, blood pressure, cardiology, cheat, crime, DO, doctor, drug, elderly, ethics, Forest Laboratories, fraud, GPO, greed, group purchasing organizations, health, healthcare, honesty, kickback, law, lie, manufacturers, MD, Medicaid, Medical device, Medicare, medication, medicine, money, Obamacare, patient, pharmaceutical, physician, PPACA, ProPublica, steal, taxes, taxpayer, teaching hospital, Thomas Aquinas, waste | 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 Friday, December 28, 2012
GOP Governors Deny The Poor Health Care In Opposing Obamacare‘s Medicaid Expansion
December 28, 2012
Posted: 12/28/2012 8:44 am EST | Updated: 12/28/2012 12:18 pm EST
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, right, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal in De Witt, Iowa, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011. Both Republican governors — along with those in Oklahoma, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, South Dakota and Maine — have rejected an expansion of Medicaid in their states. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
RUSTON, La. — With no health insurance and not enough money for a doctor, Laura Johnson is long accustomed to treating her ailments with a self-written prescription: home remedies, prayer and denial.
Over decades, she made her living assisting elderly people in nursing homes in jobs that paid just above minimum wage and included no health benefits. So even as her feet swelled to such an extent that she could no longer stuff them into her shoes, and even as nausea, headaches and dizziness plagued her, she reached for the aspirin bottle or made do with a teaspoon of vinegar. She propped her feet up on pillows and hoped for relief.
“Before I got sick,” she said, “I hadn’t been to the doctor in 20 years.”
After she collapsed last year and landed in in a local emergency room, doctors diagnosed her with congestive heart failure, high blood pressure and hypothyroid. They ordered her not to work. She arranged a Social Security disability benefit, and she enrolled in Medicaid, the government-furnished insurance program for the poor. She used her Medicaid card to secure needed prescription medications. Her ailments stabilized.
But this year, the state determined that the $819 a month she draws in disability payments exceed the allowable limit. By the federal government’s reckoning, her $9,800 annual income made her officially poor. But under the standards set by Louisiana, she was too well off to receive Medicaid.
This is how Johnson, 57, finds herself back amid the roughly 49 million Americans who lack health insurance. This is why she must again reach into her pocket to secure her prescription drugs, a supply that runs about $200 a month. That sum is beyond her, so she has gone more than four months without taking her pills on a regular basis. Once again, her feet are swelling and her chest is filling with fluid. Once again, she is confronted with the realization that a lifetime of labor does not entitle her to see a doctor any more than it enables her to gain crucial medications.
“It just doesn’t seem right to me,” she said. “It just doesn’t seem fair.”
Johnson is precisely the sort of person who is supposed to Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: Bobby Jindal, health insurance, Laura Johnson, Louisiana, Medicaid, Obamacare, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Republican Governors Association, South Carolina, United States | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Welcome to Alabama, where the legal concept of respondeat superior apparently does NOT apply.
Some would call this murder.
If a person driving drunk kills someone, nowadays, they’re charged with murder – even though they did not plan, or intend upon killing someone (the element of premeditation, or forethought).
But why isn’t Huntsville Hospital charged with murder? (It’s kinda’ difficult to charge a corporation with murder, but it’s quite possible that the officers can be indicted or charged.)
And why aren’t those directly responsible (those in the Recovery Room who were responsible for Gracie’s care) charged with Murder?
It’s painfully obvious some things MUST change in Alabama regarding healthcare.
Girl disabled, later dies, after tonsillectomy at Huntsville Hospital; Alabama public hospitals‘ liability capped at $100,000
By Challen Stephens | firstname.lastname@example.org on December 03, 2012 at 1:03 PM, updated December 03, 2012 at 4:18 PM
Randy Smith and Deedee Smith talk about raising a child with disabilities while Gracelynn, 5, sits in her wheelchair during an interview in their home Monday, November 19, 2012 in Athens, Ala. (Eric Schultz / email@example.com)
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — Four years ago, Gracie knew a few dozen words and had just learned to walk backwards. But Gracie had a little trouble breathing at night. Doctors said it would only get worse, so they decided to remove her tonsils.
The surgery lasted less than 15 minutes.
In the recovery room at Huntsville Hospital, Gracie was standing on her bed calling for her mother. “We were told she was having difficulty coming out of anesthesia,” said her father Randy Smith. Nurses said the girl needed to rest to recover. In the recovery room, the family says, she was allowed to stop breathing for more than 10 minutes.
Dan Aldridge, attorney for the Smiths, said Gracie “was not connected to the customary monitoring equipment that sounds an alarm if vital signs reach a dangerous zone.” He said the nurses, three of them, were in the recovery room. At one point, her mother voiced concern. “I was told, ‘Mom, now don’t wake her up, if we get her up, we will never calm her down,” said Dee Dee Smith. “My response was she was not breathing.”
Dee Dee said one of the nurses touched the girl’s foot. It was cold. Aldridge said “code” was called. Medical staff poured into the room. Gracie would spend the next 18 hours in a coma. When Dee Dee finally got to hold her girl again, the girl’s eyes were open but Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, End Of The Road | Tagged: Alabama, Athens, Birmingham, Bureau of Labor Statistics, child, Christmas, dead, Dee, died, disabled, fraud, funeral, girl, Gracie, harm, hospital, Huntsville, Huntsville Hospital, Huntsville Hospital System, hurt, immunity, incompetent, liability, limited, Medicaid, PACU, pediatric, peds, Post Anesthesia Care Unit, public, respondeat superior, Santa Claus, Smith, Smiths, surgery, tonsillectomy, twin, unequal | 7 Comments »
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 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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 | email@example.com
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 | firstname.lastname@example.org) / 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 Friday, October 5, 2012
It’s almost like trying to patch a roof while it’s leaking.
This Week in Alabama Politics
By Steve Flowers
It is basic public policy that you either have to raise taxes or reduce government services. It has become a cardinal sin in Republican politics to even say the word tax much less enact any increase in revenue. Our legislature is now overwhelmingly Republican and they are real Republicans. They take their no new tax pledge seriously as does our Republican governor. Therefore, when the dicing and crafting of the 2013 budget was being processed, new revenue enhancement measures were not on the table. It is doubtful that you will see any tax increase proposals anytime soon in the Heart of Dixie.
The state’s new budget year begins this week. It will be horrendous. There are draconian cuts to basic state services. Alabama has a constitutional amendment that mandates a balanced budget. We are in dire straits but at least we are not deficit spending like other states. California is teetering on bankruptcy.
This past year’s budget was bad. Teachers and state employees pay was cut this time last year. However, if you think that last year was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet. This is the year that the chickens have finally come home to roost. The federal stimulus manna from Heaven has provided a lifeline salvation for several years but those dollars are gone. This fiscal year may well be the worst dilemma since the Great Depression.
My contention is that it is worse than the Depression years. During that era the state Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: AARP, AL, Alabama, Alabama Medicaid, budget, disabled, elderly, GOP, governance, government, Great Depression, health, healthcare, Home Care, Home Health Care, Medicaid, Medicare, Nursing home, OpEd, policy, politics, Public policy, Republican, Republicans, Steve Flowers, tax, Taxation, taxes, United States, Welfare | Leave a Comment »