Posts Tagged ‘reform’
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, March 11, 2017
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, aka ACA, or more often as “ObamaCare”) might be analogized to an onion, insofar as:
1.) It has many layers, and;
2.) Peeling back the layers may cause tears.
Enacted in 2010, it has been decried primarily by Republicans, none of whom voted for the bill’s passage, either in the House, which approved it 219-212 with 34 Democrats voting “NO” – or in the Senate, which approved it 60-39 along party lines, with 1 Republican (Jim Bunning, KY) “Not Voting.”
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act contains nine titles, each addressing an essential component of reform:
1.) Quality, Affordable Health Care For All Americans
2.) The Role Of Public Programs
3.) Improving The Quality And Efficiency Of Health Care
4.) Prevention Of Chronic Disease And Improving Public Health
5.) Health Care Workforce
6.) Transparency And Program Integrity
7.) Improving Access To Innovative Medical Therapies
8.) Community Living Assistance Services And Supports
9.) Revenue Provisions
Immediate improvements through reform included:
• Eliminate lifetime and unreasonable annual limits on benefits
• Prohibit rescissions of health insurance policies
• Provide assistance for those who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition
• Require coverage of preventive services and immunizations
• Extend dependent coverage up to age 26
• Develop uniform coverage documents so consumers can make apples to apples comparisons when shopping for health insurance
• Cap insurance company non-medical, administrative expenditures
• Ensure consumers have access to an effective appeals process and provide consumers a place to turn for assistance navigating the appeals process and accessing their coverage
• Create a temporary re-insurance program to support coverage for early retirees
• Establish an Internet portal to assist Americans in identifying coverage options
• Facilitate administrative simplification to lower health system costs
While no law is perfect – and the ACA is not perfect – there are provisions within it which many think worthy of keeping, notable among them, provisions for guaranteed coverage, prohibiting cancellation, extending dependent’s coverage, removing annual & lifetime limits, Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Do you feel like we do, Dr. Who?, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: ACA, Adiministrative Code, Affordable Care Act, AL, Alabama, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Children's Health Insurance Program, CHIP, CMS, Code of Alabama, Congress, GOP, health, health insurance, healthcare, House, insurance, law, Medicaid, Medicare, Obama, Obamacare, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, politicians, politics, PPACA, public health, reform, Republicans, senate, sunshine laws | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, October 30, 2015
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has long opposed Capital Punishment in the United States.
Speaking from the floor of the United States Senate Thursday, 29 October 2015, he said in part, “When we talk about criminal justice reform, I believe it is time for the United States of America to join almost every other Western, industrialized country on Earth in saying no to the death penalty.”
His Democratic contender Hillary Rodham Clinton has recently announced that she supports the Death Penalty.
Speaking in Manchester, New Hampshire Wednesday, 28 October 2015, she said in part, “I do not favor abolishing it, however, because I do think there are certain egregious cases that still deserve the consideration of the death penalty, but I’d like to see those be very limited and rare, as opposed to what we’ve seen in most states.”
For years, 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: Alcohol, Bernie, Bernie Sanders, beverage alcohol, BJS, Bureau of Justice Statistics, costs, crime, Department of Justice, DOJ, drink, ETOH, felony, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton, law, marijuana, money, policy, prison, reform, regulation, Senator, smoke, statistics, taxes, US Senator, USDOJ | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, August 7, 2014
Every single word in this OpEd is spot-on.
Alabama is on the verge of a complete takeover of it’s prison system. That is a VERY sad indictment, and fact. Further, most Alabamians are COMPLETELY unaware of the dangers the state faces.
Alabama is a state in crisis.
Fiscal crisis from a failure of long-term management, unwise, unsound policy, unnecessary prolonged and costly legal battles at the state and federal levels over inane laws which have had no positive effect upon the state, from policies and procedures which have only burdened the people, tax giveaways to corporations, funded corporate welfare, an inequitable personal income taxation system which has hampered and hamstrung state growth, and further placed the state’s citizens into poverty.
Face it folks… I don’t give a damn about what political colors you wear, or how or what you describe yourself as politically in Alabama… if everything were peaches and cream in the state, then why in the Hell is the state’s poverty level 18% – 4 percentage points ABOVE the national average?
Why is the state sick in their persons? Of all states, Alabama continually ranks high in rates of obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc., even among CHILDREN!
Why does the state have a high crime rate?
Why are Alabamians largely “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command”?
Why Alabama Cannot Wait on Prison Reform: Guest Opinion
Guest opinion By Alabama State Senator Cam Ward
August 06, 2014 at 9:00 AM, updated August 06, 2014 at 9:05 AM
By Cam Ward
Prisons are an issue that would never rank high on any list of priorities for the people of Alabama and understandably so. With unemployment hovering near 7 percent and many schools in need of repair, people ask me why prison reform should be a major subject at this time. The answer is simple – because our failure to maintain a good corrections system is going to push over a fiscal cliff that we may never recover from.
For years as our corrections system became more crowded the political leadership in Montgomery turned their eyes to issues more palatable to the voters during election time. The general feeling for decades has been “let’s wait and deal with that when we have more money.”
As we waited our system grew to 192 percent capacity and despite this incarceration rate our state has the 8th highest violent crime rate in the country. Both of these statistics point to a failing system of corrections.
In addition to allowing for a broken system to continue down a path of inefficiency we have also created a fiscal nightmare of the likes our state has never seen before. While we spend 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: abuse, ADOC, AL, Alabama, Alabama Department of Corrections, Alabama Senate, Cam Ward, Corrections, Democrats, Department of Corrections, geotag, geotagged, GOP, government, governor, Kim Thomas, money, policy, politics, prison, Prison reform, prison system, prisoners, reform, Senator, state, takeover, Taxation, taxes, United States | 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 Monday, September 17, 2012
Face it. Sooner or later, you’re going to die. Death is a part of life. Making a decision about whether or not you want to be connected to belts, tubes, hoses & pumps to circulate your blood, food & oxygen when your body would have naturally expired is essentially what the discussion is about.
The Bill Frist ℞
By: Brett Norman
September 16, 2012 11:06 PM EDT
Meet former Sen. Bill Frist, a renegade “Obamacare”-loving Republican who is in the mood for some real bipartisanship.
Yes, the same Frist who as Senate majority leader led an army into the culture wars over Terri Schiavo and whose efforts in 2004 to unseat his then-rival, Minority Leader Tom Daschle, led to a nasty — and personal — Washington battle royal.
Now, Frist is pushing for a national conversation on end-of-life care and dismissing “caricatured”talk of death panels. He’s committing Republican heresy in endorsing elements of the loathed Affordable Care Act. He’s standing shoulder to shoulder with Daschle in search of a bipartisan way to tackle one of the thorniest problems around: how to get control of health care costs before they sink the economy.
Frist is pushing for a national conversation on end-of-life care. | AP Photo
The Frist-Daschle reconciliation, in particular, is a source of amazement to some longtime Washington observers.
“I didn’t think they would ever talk again,” said Bill Hoagland, a budget expert and former aide to Frist who has joined the duo on a health cost control initiative at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “I was surprised, pleasantly, that they would work together.”
Daschle told POLITICO, “He’s been a very important partner and I would say has become a friend in spite of the fact that we’ve had a difficult history.”
“That is past and we now find much more in common than not,” he added. “We both know that we need to find a consensus way forward.”
Frist, a heart and lung transplant surgeon who is now focused on research and policy, is working on Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Do you feel like we do, Dr. Who?, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: Bill Frist, bipartisan, Bipartisan Policy Center, Capitol Hill, care, centrism, collaboration, cooperation, D.C., dialogue, discussion, federal, Frist, government, health, healthcare, help, leader, Medicare, medicine, Mitt Romney, news, Obamacare, Party leaders of the United States Senate, policy, politician, pragmatism, prescription, reform, Republican, senate, Senator, Tennessee, TN, Tom Daschle, Washington, Washington D.C. | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 24, 2012
Does that surprise anyone?
People don’t like being told what to do.
They naturally buck against any system – no matter who or what – that tells them what to do, or how to do it. And yet, we know that civil society abides by rules and regulation which govern every aspect of our lives from the cradle to the grave. We must abide by rules as we grow. In fact, we’re introduced to regulation and rules by our parents who punish us when we disobey them. To hear “NO! Don’t do this, do that this way,” are all common in childhood.
But hopefully, we outgrow childhood and transition through that elongated period of pseudo-adulthood called the “teenage years,” and successfully become responsible adults, and abide by laws, rules, regulations galore… ranging from civic laws, to employer policy, procedure and more. And then, we make more laws, rules, regulations, policy and procedures. It’s a never-ending cycle.
The gist of all, is that by following rules and regulations, we demonstrate personal responsibility, and accountability to others. And rarely is that ever an impediment to progress, or a harm to our neighbor.
So naturally, when we hear or see of someone having a knee-jerk reaction to anything, we can almost immediately discount most – if not all – of what they say, simply because of their radical overreaction. And so it is with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which is often misnomered as “ObamaCare.”
The PPACA actually contains more policy and regulation of Big Health Insurance companies‘ egregious practices than it does anything else.
• It is now illegal for Health Insurance Companies (HICs) to deny coverage based upon “pre-existing conditions” for children and adults.
• It is now illegal for HICs to charge women more for health insurance than they do men.
• It is now illegal for HICs to refuse payment for services rendered by physicians, hospitals or pharmacies simply because the insured person inadvertently forgot to dot an “i” or cross a “t” on an application.
• It is now illegal for HICs to use the majority of healthcare insurance premiums to pay for overhead expenses including executive compensation, stockholder payout, overhead office expenses, advertising, or any other expense UNRELATED to the delivery of healthcare. Now, they must use 80% of premiums to pay for healthcare.
• It is now illegal to deny family coverage for a child simply once they reached aged 18. HICs are now required to continue coverage to children up to age 26 if they are still enrolled in school.
Page 6 from “Assuring Affordable Healthcare for All Americans,” by Stuart M. Butler, Ph.D., The Heritage Foundation, 1989, ISSN 0272-1155
Most Americans oppose health law but like provisions
(Reuters) – Most Americans oppose President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform even though they strongly support most of its provisions, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Sunday, with the Supreme Court set to rule within days on whether the law should stand.
Fifty-six percent of people are Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Do you feel like we do, Dr. Who?, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: Africa, American Apparel, American Healthcare Reform, Barack Obama, Civil society, Democratic Party, Genetically modified food, genetically modified organism, George W. Bush, Green Revolution, health, Health care reform, health insurance, healthcare, Heritage Foundation, hypocrisy, insurance, Jeremiah Wright, Kaiser Family Foundation, law, Los Angeles Times, Mitt Romney, money, Monsanto, Obama, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, reform, Republican, Republicans, Roundup, sex, Supreme Court, Trinity United Church of Christ, United States, United States Supreme Court | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, March 25, 2010
[ed. note: I wrote this post accompanying some photos I’d made and posted to my Flickr site back around October 2009.]
He wanted some OTC ranitidine. I told him, “Get omeprazole!” But he didn’t, saying he wanted more rapid relief.
So… guess what!?!
It just so happened, that at the checkout stand in front of us was a Big Pharma sales rep. She said, “Use this!,” and pulled out …Continue… to see if it’s a BIG GUN!…
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. | Tagged: American, American Healthcare Reform, bicarb, Big Pharma, bill, common sense, costly, crooks, ethics, expensive, fraud, health, healthcare, How can we screw thee? Let me count the ways!, insurance, It's the taxpayer funded fucking of America!, Just kiss me - 'cause I've already been screwed., law, liars, medication, medicine, money, omeprazole, OTC, pay, pharmaceutical, pharmacy, ranitidine, reform, screwed, theft, thieves, unnecessary, Zegerid | 1 Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, March 22, 2010
Saying “We cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” J. James Rohack, MD, President of the American Medical Association, reiterated organizational support last Friday for the Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962/H.R. 3961), which is often referred to as President Obama’s healthcare overhaul bill.
Dr. Rohack said the AMA Board of Trustees voted unanimous approval after reviewing the House of Representatives’ reconciliation bill, added that the bill wasn’t perfect saying, “This is certainly not the bill we would have written.” [ed. note: Nothing in this world is perfect.]
Joining Dr. Rohack, senior staff and board certified cardiologist at Scott & White Clinic in Temple, Texas, whom became the 164th president of the American Medical Association (AMA) in June 2009, was the non-partisan, 40 Million member strong, American Association of Retired Persons.
The Scott & White Clinic is a 636-bed not-for-profit, Level I trauma center and teaching hospital, which also operates …Continue…
Posted in - Even MORE Uncategorized!, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: AARP, AMA, American, association, bill, Congress, delivery, government, healthcare, insurance, law, legislation, medical, Obama, overhaul, physicians, reform | 2 Comments »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, January 28, 2010
The general sense of discontent with the Obama administration seems to be a hangover from his predecessor’s days.
I must confess some sense of dissatisfaction as well, at the pace with which I perceive his campaign promises have yet to be fulfilled. I bear in mind also, that perception is often believed as reality.
And yet, in some regard I can appreciate his well-spoken and even-keeled tenor – one his most remarkable attributes – a striking dissimilarity …Continue…
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated | Tagged: address, change, Congress, congressmen, Democrat, governance, government, Obama, reform, Republican, senators, state of the union, term limitation, Washington | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, November 17, 2009
So began the paragraph on a document sent to a retiree friend of mine.
The next paragraph read in part, “You may qualify for extra help paying your Medicare prescription costs.”
As I pondered the question it was suddenly obvious that everyone has “limited income and resources,” including Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.
…unless, of course, you’re God.
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that? | Tagged: advertising, Bill Gates, God, health, healthcare, life, limited income, Medicare, prescription, reform, resources, retirement, stupid questions, Warren Buffett | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, October 24, 2009
I regularly contribute commentary to a blog entitled “OFFAir & ONLine,” by Tim Lennox. Mr. Lennox is a Viet Nam veteran and print/broadcast journalist of some years’ experience, and readers will see a link to his blog on this blog. His name or face maybe most recognizable from his 11-year tenure as News Anchor/Host of Alabama’s only statewide news program “For The Record,” broadcast on Alabama Public Television (APTV).
After APTV essentially deep-sixed the award-winning program, and its highly respected Host – calling long distance to bear bad news while he was attending a relative’s funeral almost half-way across the country – Mr. Lennox has quite fortunately again found gainful employment in his field.
Recently, Mr. Lennox cited a news item and posed a question to his readers, which was a reiteration of the same question asked by the subject of a news story to which he linked, and which was, “Will this make your life better?”
It’s said that there are two motivations for people: 1.) Love, and; 2.) Money.
If a person doesn’t do a thing for love, they then do it for money. And there is a word used to describe those whom do things exclusively for money: it’s called “prostitution.”
In that light, I composed the following response:
Fear mongering certainly seems to be Republicans’ political stock in trade.
I write that after reading the inane comments of Republican Nebraska Sen. Mike Johanns in the linked story.
Concerning “government delivered healthcare,” the only comment I have, is that it certainly seems to work quite well for our Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen!
But this issue is NOT about government delivery.
It IS however, about deciding whether our nation can and should continue on the path we’ve been embarked upon for nearly three generations (post WWII era).
That being, whether we shall continue to allow for-profit, Wall Street mega-billionaires and their über-wealthy insurance companies to call the shots on our healthcare by the power of their purse.
They have made their fortunes upon the backs of the suffering, and in the process, because of lack of regulation, caused and increased unnecessary suffering among untold Americans’ lives.
Among other unconscionable and inhumane acts, they have refused to pay for procedures, medications and treatments that healthcare professionals have deemed necessary.
They have refused to pay for treatments after services were rendered after they cashed checks, claiming a “cap” or “incorrect date” was on the check. They’ve constantly changed the “rules of THEIR game,” even in the middle of the “game,” forcing the insured to dance to the tune of THEIR piper… like it or NOT! (Yeah, it’s a mixed metaphor… but it works!)
And these are but two egregious examples. There are countless, and untold MILLIONS more.
One significant reason why healthcare costs in this nation are so out-of-control are because of insurance companies.
It’s a very simple-to-understand idea:
Anytime anyone gets in between you and the check-out stand, you’re gonna’ pay more.
Analogously, why would you pay me to pay your fuel costs for your automobile? Why would you pay me to pay for your groceries?
We’ve done similarly with our healthcare in this nation for so long (since post WWII) that we’ve become accustomed to it, and act as if it can’t be changed.
Perhaps that “genie can’t be put back into the bottle.”
I don’t know.
But, we can darn sure (and should) do something about the environment in which it is allowed to operate!
Besides… if competition is good (and it is), why would the insurance companies (private enterprise) NOT want competition from the government?
It just doesn’t make sense… like most of what insurance companies say and do.
Whatever they say, I’m disinclined to do, simply because they proven time and time and time again, that they CANNOT be trusted.
They’re in it to make money.
They DON’T give a damn about you.
Take away their profit motive and what do they have left?
No reason for existence.
They’re NOT charitable organizations… like hospitals have historically been.
Christian charities have operated hospitals for longer than health insurance companies have peddled health insurance.
And they did a darn sight better when those whose filthy lucre turned it into a den of thieves stayed out.
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: APTV, charitable, Christ, health, healthcare, hospitals, insurance, Jesus, journalist, Lennox, love, lucre, medicine, money, motive, profit, prostitution, reform, Tim Lennox, trust, veteran, WWJD | 2 Comments »