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Health Care Quote of the Week: The conservative case for Obamacare October 2, 2012

Posted by Admin in Health Insurance, Health Quote of the Week.
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I can’t add very much to this NYT Opinion piece, save to say that its’ conservative credentials are impeccable. And the writer believes that the President’s health care plan (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) is a wonderful piece of legislation, not for  liberals but conservatives.

But here’s the dirty little secret:

“This explains why the health insurance industry has been quietly supporting the plan all along. It levels the playing field and expands the potential market by tens of millions of new customers.”

To which I would add, check your health insurance stocks, mutual funds and ETF’s. Are their shareholders complaining about performance in the last three years?

(This post is not a solicitation to buy or sell securities)

English: Barack Obama signing the Patient Prot...

English: Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the White House (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Affordable Care Act Perspective (as we wait for SCOTUS) June 22, 2012

Posted by Admin in Health Insurance, Health Quote of the Week, Healthonymous.
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Coming soon to a bank account near you!

Source for above data: The Commonwealth Fund Survey.

And Exhibit B  is about the Affordable Care Act‘s provision for young people under age 26…It has worked! More than 3 million young adults have care now….Including my own child…..

To quote groobiecat.com

So, if you’re under 26 and are covered under your parents’ policy and are unemployed–and you still think the two parties are the same?–could you please get them to remove you from the policy coverage? Thanks!

Wonder if any of our nation’s Republican public servants or donors are going to remove their children from coverage…..

 

English: Barack Obama signing the Patient Prot...

English: Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the White House (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reality March 31, 2010

Posted by Admin in Healthonymous.
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[picapp align=”left” wrap=”false” link=”term=health+care+bill&iid=8378235″ src=”b/4/8/c/Obama_signs_Health_6b1d.JPG?adImageId=11948362&imageId=8378235″ width=”234″ height=”156″ /]

There are people out there who do not like this. Let them pursue legislative and legal means if they disagree.

Votes, not violence!

Making democracy work is not about guns at Starbucks! [picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=health+care+bill&iid=8346467″ src=”b/a/0/e/House_Leader_Nancy_67fa.jpg?adImageId=11948842&imageId=8346467″ width=”234″ height=”160″ /]

Happy Birthday Speaker Pelosi!

Pink Ribbon at the White House March 20, 2010

Posted by Admin in Cancer.
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[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=breast+cancer&iid=6916077″ src=”e/b/5/a/Pink_Ribbon_Hangs_5af8.jpg?adImageId=11484461&imageId=6916077″ width=”234″ height=”151″ /]

I missed this in October! Is this good or bad? Does it cheapen the White House or indicate that we are united from the top down in fighting this disease?

Liberals Holding Up Healthcare Bill? March 17, 2010

Posted by Admin in Health Insurance.
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President Obama had a success today-he got the vote of Rep. Dennis Kucinich, former Presidential candidate. Rep. Kucinich was for a single payer plan-weren’t we all? If he can change his mind, why can’t some others in the House and in the Senate?

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=rep.+kucinich&iid=8272357″ src=”8/a/f/e/Rep_Dennis_Kucinich_b537.jpg?adImageId=11383432&imageId=8272357″ width=”234″ height=”168″ /]

I was for the public option; not defined in my book as “a government takeover of health care rammed down our throats” (no sexual innuendo there), but the public option-looking much like the current plan that our members of Congress enjoy.

[Every time a member of Congress, or former member of the Cabinet has a health issue (stent, heart attack, etc) I wonder if you or I could get the same care, the same overnight stay, and the same access to specialists.]

But I digress. Could we have predicted that the President would have been pressing the flesh at the last minute with liberals? One would have thought that the conservatives would have been on the guest log at the White House this week.

I also heard that the Stupak language is dead too, on MSNBC in an interview with the Speaker, but NPR keeps bringing it up like it still exists.

Nevertheless, this bill is a step in the right direction, especially in terms of coverage. It deserves our support.

Thank you to the President and Rep. Dennis Kucinich and bring a few of your liberal colleagues along on your coattails!

President Obama and Healthcare Tour2010 March 16, 2010

Posted by Admin in Diary, Health Quote of the Week.
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Last week in St. Louis the President finally had an answer for the Republican request to “just start over with a new health care bill”. He asserted,” Why should we-they had ten years!”

What bothers me is how the print and radio media have ignored this, and the other lies being told on the “other side of the aisle’. Or should I say hypocrisy?

Reconciliation is now the “R word”, despite it being a time-honored tool of the Grand Old Party.

“Deeming” a bill to be passed is now unconstitutional, despite use by both previous Houses controlled by Republicans and other Democrats in past years.

In whose interest is it to have health care for more people? If health insurance stock prices go up after a day in Congress, whose interest is being served?

Frequent Flyer has been depressed about the lack of forward motion on the bill so has been gone for 65 days. I hope that the rest of this week brings cooler heads, warm hearts and the realization that this bill is about moving forward to cover more people in this country.

Pelosi Promises Muscle for the Middle Class October 16, 2009

Posted by Admin in Diary, Health Quote of the Week.
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On October 15th, Speaker Nancy Pelosi held her weekly press conference where she expounded on the public option and how the House health reform bill would turn out.

“I speak for the House of Representatives. I want to send our conferees to the conference with the most muscle for the middle-class,” she said. “That is best achieved by going to the table with a public option.”

[picapp src=”f/a/a/5/Reps_Pelosi_Van_4940.JPG?adImageId=6138488&imageId=6799473″ width=”234″ height=”161″ /]

I appreciate Pelosi’s reference to the middle class.  Who are the middle class today? Here is one definition I always recall. My family attended an informational meeting for a neighborhood K-8 parochial school and the headmaster described the financial burden this way:

“If you make less than $40,000 a year, you will receive financial aid. If you make more than $100,000 a year, then you don’t need financial aid.  If you make between $40-100,000 you will hate me eventually. Why? Because every time you turn around, you will feel like my hand is reaching for your wallet.”

That is how I think of the middle class-that space between $40-100,000. This group has seen annual double digit increases in post-secondary education for their children (more expensive relative to income than it was for them); health care and housing.

Speaker Pelosi says she will fight for the middle class. Let’s hope she can also hold the President to his promise to not raise taxes on the middle class and have her conferees united enough to take on the Democrats in the Senate. (Maybe the Senate Democrats will become a more unified group in the next two weeks as well.) That’s the trouble with the “big tent” philosophy -it is a big tent!

First, Do No Harm October 4, 2009

Posted by Admin in Health Insurance, Money.
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I was hoping that the Senate health care reform bill would at the very least, “Do No Harm”. We all think of that as part of the Hippocratic Oath, but it is not. The phrase that references harm is actually the promise “to abstain from doing harm”, according to Wikipedia.

While some might wish that Congress would “abstain from doing harm” more often, I don’t agree. I am a fan of government-albeit a transparent one. To quote the Public Disclosure Act of Washington State: (RCW 42.17.010)

(1)That political campaign and lobbying contributions and expenditures be fully disclosed to the public and that secrecy is to be avoided. (emphasis added)

(2) That the people have the right to expect from their elected representatives at all levels of government the utmost of integrity, honesty, and fairness (emphasis added) in their dealings.

Those statements apply to our members of Congress too. Did the members and the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee accept too many contributions from the insurance industry? (See Baucus’s fundraising in 2008 here) How does the bill  about to be voted on help the public interest with no public option in it? And why do the insurance companies (whose stock values went up the day after the President made the public option sound well, “optional”) need a ten year subsidy to support all of their new customers?

Even people who work for Group Health Cooperative, one of the Co-op success stories bandied about as a new national strategy don’t believe that co-ops are the answer. Next alternative is “the exchange”- a marketplace.

Who has not been paying attention? Many states do not have a marketplace, but a near monopoly. Last I checked a “marketplace” has more than one seller and prices are not all the same.

I respect the President’s statement that we are 80% of the way there and that bills have never been generated out of five committees before. But he promised to go farther than this! As cancer survivor who has not worked  for companies with 100% coverage for a few years, I am not sure that this bill will be enough. If I am guaranteed coverage, what will the price be, without a worthy competitor such as a public option with millions of participants?

Will I be better off? I think so-and it’s better than the R’s “do nothing/start over” non-alternatives. But, oh what could have been? Wait, some of you still need to get involved. Call your MC and tell them you expect better, and soon!

Out-of-Pocket Day September 21, 2009

Posted by Admin in Diary, Money, Women.
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Today I caught up with the billing department at my local health care provider. I had to pay an outstanding (and by outstanding I do not mean super cool) co-pay from when I got my routine mammogram this summer. (To quote a friend of mine-did you not hear the President-mammograms and colonoscopies should be covered as preventive care!) . I was hoping it was preventative before he was but I was wrong. $20.00 for that one, plus I had to pay the % portion left over from an endometrial biopsy last spring. (Hint on that procedure-ask for drugs. No, really.)

I always wait until the insurance has sorted itself out on these charges.  I don’t really want to pay these bills in full prior to learning what the “adjusted HMO payment” will be. That was $38.15. And the end of the month is still 9 days away!

Total today: $58.15

Month to date: $$248.49


PS How many “routine” mammograms have I had in my life? Let’s see; one a year since the first cancer, plus the years where I had to have one every six months. I’ve probably had more than 30 mammograms. Those of you who have the luxury of waiting until age 40-don’t put them off. If you get started then, you too may live long enough to have more than 30 in your lifetime! By mammogram, I also mean the appointment, not the number of X-rays. Sometimes you get to play in a bonus round. For a fact sheet on breast cancer, visit the National Cancer Institute website.

12% Increase and How Much is Too Much September 17, 2009

Posted by Admin in Money.
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Well, I anticipated correctly. Today my company handed out the preliminary notice about open enrollment. This year’s health insurance increase will be 12%. I pay 25% of the monthly cost and the company pays the other 75%. I haven’t seen a 12% raise for a while, have you?

Also, I was at a meeting today where a speaker reminded us that some of our fellow health insurance users might be using too much health care because “well, I already paid for it”. I understand the process that might lead someone to have procedures done that might be available but not always necessary. Would I have not had my colonoscopy if I had to pay a greater share of it? Is that procedure cheaper than having cancer? Probably. Did I research that? Well, no. But I do have previous experience…Did I shop around for the cheapest colonoscopy? Well no. It was hard to even get an estimate and the insurance company wouldn’t even give me the amount that they would reimburse the clinic because they worry that the clinic will then charge that amount. Does my colonoscopy affect the double digit premium increase in the aggregate?

Here’s one reason that I went and did this right away, unlike some people I know who have postponed that procedure to age 52 or 53. I think I wanted to know if I had any risk factors for another type of cancer. I got to hear the physician tell me that no biopsy was needed.  I’ve not heard that a lot. No return procedure for ten years also great news. I agree with President Obama that colonoscopies, like mammograms, should be considered part of preventive care. But I couldn’t afford to wait for the  bill to pass! (No pun intended.)

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