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 AUTHOR
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 335
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History
A great day for AmericaPage 6 of 17    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)
Yeah it is a sad state of affairs that the party of "hell NO", as Palin calls it, was all for this sort of bill before they decided they had to Oppose it, just because the Dems supported what was left of it. There is no pleasing the party of GnOP.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_health_overhaul_requiring_insurance
snip..
"WASHINGTON – Republicans were for President Barack Obama's requirement that Americans get health insurance before they were against it.

The obligation in the new health care law is a Republican idea that's been around at least two decades. It was once trumpeted as an alternative to Bill and Hillary Clinton's failed health care overhaul in the 1990s. These days, Republicans call it government overreach.

Mitt Romney, weighing another run for the GOP presidential nomination, signed such a requirement into law at the state level as Massachusetts governor in 2006. At the time, Romney defended it as "a personal responsibility principle" and Massachusetts' newest GOP senator, Scott Brown, backed it. Romney now says Obama's plan is a federal takeover that bears little resemblance to what he did as governor and should be repealed."
end snip..
another snip..
" Not long ago, many of them saw a national mandate as a free-market route to guarantee coverage for all Americans — the answer to liberal ambitions for a government-run entitlement like Medicare. Most experts agree some kind of requirement is needed in a reformed system because health insurance doesn't work if people can put off joining the risk pool until they get sick.

In the early 1970s, President Richard Nixon favored a mandate that employers provide insurance. In the 1990s, the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, embraced an individual requirement. Not anymore.

"The idea of an individual mandate as an alternative to single-payer was a Republican idea," said health economist Mark Pauly of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. In 1991, he published a paper that explained how a mandate could be combined with tax credits — two ideas that are now part of Obama's law. Pauly's paper was well-received — by the George H.W. Bush administration.

"It could have been the basis for a bipartisan compromise, but it wasn't," said Pauly. "Because the Democrats were in favor, the Republicans more or less had to be against it.""
end snip..
 mungojoe
Joined: 11/15/2006
Msg: 336
A great day for America
Posted: 3/27/2010 9:57:12 AM

"It could have been the basis for a bipartisan compromise, but it wasn't," said Pauly. "Because the Democrats were in favor, the Republicans more or less had to be against it.""

Well of course they had to... How can you say "No" with credibility if you ever say "Yes" to anything... ? Even your own ideas have to be rejected when they are supported by "those socialists", doing otherwise would be the same as saying "maybe they aren't always wrong"...
 GrandmaBooBoo
Joined: 12/30/2006
Msg: 337
view profile
History
A great day for America
Posted: 3/27/2010 12:01:54 PM
Considering most of the polls out there I don't think many think it is or will be looking back at it as a Great Day For America.
LOL! Ya know, you're making me very curious about the math that you use! "MOST" of the polls you say? Please define "most".

Because according to what's stated in the Wall Street Pit:


Where does the public seem to stand? Not surprisingly, the public option has been widely polled, and we shall focus exclusively on it today. As seen in the diagram below (which you can click on to enlarge), levels of support for the public option vary widely according to different polls, despite the relative consistency of question wording (all the survey items refer in some fashion to the public option being a government health-insurance program that would compete with private insurance companies). The predominant trend, I would say, is that a majority of respondents supports a public option, with five of the eight polls showing between 52-66 percent in favor.


MOST of the polls.....and I'm ASSUMING of course...according to the mathematics that I've always used...that 5 out of 8 or 62.5% of the polls are reporting that between 52-66 percent of Americans FAVOR the law.

The report continues:
Still, though, two other polls show support in the mid-40s and one poll (Rasmussen) has support way down at 35%. What to make of this? Let’s start with Rasmussen. Whereas Rasmussen’s presidential-election polling has tended to be highly accurate (relative to the actual results), other types of polls from this outfit appear to have had a Republican slant. Here are some examples:

*Whereas most polls tended to have George W. Bush’s job-approval ratings during the waning months of his administration in the low-30s or even the 20s, Rasmussen consistently had it around 35%.

*Whereas virtually every pollster other than Rasmussen has shown a majority of voters to prefer the Democrats (at this early point) in next year’s U.S. House elections, Rasmussen has been showing the Republicans in the lead (albeit with large percentages undecided).

Polling analysts refer to systematic differences in the results (on the same basic issue) between different survey firms (or survey “houses”) as house effects. These may stem from different firms’ practices regarding question-wording, sample weighting, etc. On health care reform and other issues, it looks to me as though Rasmussen has a substantial house effect.


You TRULY loose ALL credibility by continuing to push ONE poll, and one poll only as the trend for an entire country. Even the other 2 of the 3 (of 8) polls which came in as less than a majority were at 44% and 46%....which are definitely closer to the median (52.5% APPROVAL) than the Rasmussen poll of 35%.

I think that unless you can come up with at least 1 objective and rational piece of evidence to the contrary, you're going to have to ADMIT that it is indeed "a good day"

For goodness sakes....EVEN the Republicans WANT the health care reform....they're NOT arguing about the need for reform....they just arguing about WHO is going to be in CONTROL of it. Naturally the Republicans want their largest campaign contributors in control!!! They just expect everyone else to believe the cries of those companies who are promising that they'll behave themselves....NOW (that they've been caught with their fingers in the pie one too many times)

It's getting wearisome listening to the truth being twisted to suit a totally emotional argument. The Rassmussen pole has NOT said that American's do not FAVOR universal health care!!!! They have said that only 35% support HAVING COMPETITION from state run insurance exchanges. Well OF COURSE they object to competition....wouldn't YOU if you'd been part of a cartel for years and years...and suddenly a company who was willing to work for less so they can offer the SAME product for LESS money was asking for approval to set up shop???? DUHHHHHH!!!!


Group health insurance policies are usually far cheaper. Group rates help cut costs. You can also expect relatively comprehensive coverage as well. For any group health insurance policy, you will want basic health care coverage (yearly check-ups, doctor visits during illnesses, and routine tests.) Emergency care is another important factor. Car accidents, falls, kitchen accidents, and even burns can happen at any given time. If the injury is serious, you want to be able to receive quality care for the injury. Car accidents often require a trip to the emergency room by ambulance. Ambulance rides run upwards of $500, depending on the injuries sustained, nowadays. It is critical to have some form of ambulatory coverage.
NO!!! OF COURSE the Insurance Companies (and the politicians they've purchased) don't want competition. And they most DEFINITELY don't want INDIVIDUALS to be able to "band together" to form "groups" who can get (as a group) much cheaper rates.
 CallmeKen
Joined: 9/4/2009
Msg: 340
A great day for America
Posted: 3/27/2010 10:36:51 PM

NOW....when you take that family of 4, where Mom and Dad both work minimum wage jobs and earn a combined total of $32,000. per year...and you SUBTRACT their standard deductions to give them an ADJUSTED GROSS income of $22,500 per year....their premiums (at the 101% of poverty level ($22K) are calculated at 1.5% of their ADJUSTED GROSS income...and come to a total of $337.50 per year.


Great post, Grandma. Now please explain how a couple that is trying to support 2 kids on $22,500 a year is supposed to come up with an additional $337.50. It seems to me you're taking food out of the kids' mouths to pay for healthcare.

Tell me, what does malnutrition do to a child's health? Are you promoting their healthcare ... or taking it away? Are starving children for the sake of insurance company profits considered "a great day" for America?

And while we're on the subject, explain to me how the health insurance company is supposed to profit from $337.50. An average doctor's visit can cost in the range of $100 to $150. So what does the $337.50 buy? One doctor's appointment for 3 out of the 4 people, without treatment? Tell me, which 3 get the doctor, and who goes without?

I see the death panels are going to be very busy.
 mungojoe
Joined: 11/15/2006
Msg: 341
A great day for America
Posted: 3/28/2010 5:54:21 AM
And while we're on the subject, explain to me how the health insurance company is supposed to profit from $337.50. An average doctor's visit can cost in the range of $100 to $150. So what does the $337.50 buy?

How do they profit now when they shell out $140K for valve-replacement surgery on a $13K/yr (~avg cost of family policy) policy...? What does $13K buy when the average cost of a hospital stay is $21K-$35K...? The argument is inane when the current reality is not simply the same, but much worse than the example...

I see the death panels are going to be very busy.

But... perhaps some of that healthcare spending should be redirected to teaching the critical thinking skills necessary to distinguish fact from fantasy...
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 342
view profile
History
A great day for America
Posted: 3/28/2010 7:01:54 AM
"I see the death panels are going to be very busy."
mungojoe..
"But... perhaps some of that healthcare spending should be redirected to teaching the critical thinking skills necessary to distinguish fact from fantasy..."

Frank Rich today, hit the nail on the head. This is not really about health care. That's why the "death panel" whackoism and disdain for facts is a mere smokescreen for partying like it's 1964 by the far right.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/28/opinion/28rich.html?hp

snip..
But there was nothing like this. To find a prototype for the overheated reaction to the health care bill, you have to look a year before Medicare, to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Both laws passed by similar majorities in Congress; the Civil Rights Act received even more votes in the Senate (73) than Medicare (70). But it was only the civil rights bill that made some Americans run off the rails. That’s because it was the one that signaled an inexorable and immutable change in the very identity of America, not just its governance.

The apocalyptic predictions then, like those about health care now, were all framed in constitutional pieties, of course. Barry Goldwater, running for president in ’64, drew on the counsel of two young legal allies, William Rehnquist and Robert Bork, to characterize the bill as a “threat to the very essence of our basic system” and a “usurpation” of states’ rights that “would force you to admit drunks, a known murderer or an insane person into your place of business.” Richard Russell, the segregationist Democratic senator from Georgia, said the bill “would destroy the free enterprise system.” David Lawrence, a widely syndicated conservative columnist, bemoaned the establishment of “a federal dictatorship.” Meanwhile, three civil rights workers were murdered in Philadelphia, Miss.

That a tsunami of anger is gathering today is illogical, given that what the right calls “Obamacare” is less provocative than either the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or Medicare, an epic entitlement that actually did precipitate a government takeover of a sizable chunk of American health care. But the explanation is plain: the health care bill is not the main source of this anger and never has been. It’s merely a handy excuse. The real source of the over-the-top rage of 2010 is the same kind of national existential reordering that roiled America in 1964.

In fact, the current surge of anger — and the accompanying rise in right-wing extremism — predates the entire health care debate. The first signs were the shrieks of “traitor” and “off with his head” at Palin rallies as Obama’s election became more likely in October 2008. Those passions have spiraled ever since — from Gov. Rick Perry’s kowtowing to secessionists at a Tea Party rally in Texas to the gratuitous brandishing of assault weapons at Obama health care rallies last summer to “You lie!” piercing the president’s address to Congress last fall like an ominous shot.
end snip.
 GrandmaBooBoo
Joined: 12/30/2006
Msg: 344
view profile
History
A great day for America
Posted: 3/28/2010 7:51:35 AM
http://www.gallup.com/poll/126338/Obama-Retains-Trust-Congress-Healthcare.aspx

March 5, 2010
Obama Retains More Trust Than Congress on Healthcare
Confidence in Obama and Democrats down since June; trust highest in doctors and hospitals
by Frank Newport

PRINCETON, NJ -- Americans remain more confident in the healthcare reform recommendations of President Obama (49%) than in the recommendations of the Democratic (37%) or Republican (32%) leaders in Congress. But these confidence levels are lower than those measured in June, suggesting that the ongoing healthcare reform debate has taken a toll on the credibility of the politicians involved.
Gallup from March 2-3 asked Americans a question first asked last June -- whether they were confident or not confident in the healthcare recommendations of eight groups of potential influencers. The list of those measured includes not only Obama and the Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress, but also hospitals, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, health insurance companies, and university professors and researchers who study healthcare policy.

As was the case nine months ago, Americans express the most widespread confidence in doctors, hospitals, and university professors and researchers. Americans are least likely to have confidence in health insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies -- although these two institutions have only marginally lower confidence ratings than do Republicans in Congress.


LOL! it's kinda like screaming out an ANSWER....and it's a perfectly good answer....it just didn't answer the QUESTION that was ASKED.

So, since you've used all perfectly good RCP (decidedly conservative slant) references....how about ANOTHER "conservative" opinion from: Republicans For Obama?

Latest Health Care Reform Poll
Fri, 03/05/2010 - 8:41pm — Misty

Point #1:

A new Gallup poll shows President Obama with a considerable edge over Congress, most notably Republicans in Congress. The GOP plan to defend and embrace the insurance industry probably wasn't the best of political strategies.

Americans remain more confident in the healthcare reform recommendations of President Obama (49%) than in the recommendations of the Democratic (37%) or Republican (32%) leaders in Congress. Doctors enjoy the strongest public confidence (77%), which seems relevant given the fact that the American Medical Association has endorsed the Democratic reform plan.

The GOP has successfully undermined the president on health care, but if Republicans think this debate has improved their standing, they're not paying attention.

Point #2:

Jonathan Chait from The New Republic asks the right question: "If there's an upsurge of popular opposition to the health care plan because it's too big, then why do 49% of Americans trust Obama to do the right thing on health care, and just 32% trust Republicans in Congress? If people are so repelled by Obamacare and big government, then why do they overwhelmingly trust him on this issue compared to the Republicans?"
I could sit here all day and cut and past blogs and articles from Labor Unions that support Obama....but what YOU CANNOT DO....is show us a group of liberals who support conservatives!!!!


President Obama's effort pays off
Tue, 03/09/2010 - 5:58pm — Misty

Barack Obama's effort to breathe new life into the health care reform debate by hosting a bipartisan summit of Congressional leaders last week may have been modestly successful. There is a small margin of support for the health care reform proposals put forth by the Obama Administration, with 53% supporting them and 47% opposing.



Limbaugh claims he will leave the U.S. if HRC passes
Tue, 03/09/2010 - 9:21pm — mmhiga
Story from HuffPo. If this isn't a great reason for those of us on the left to work to help get the health care bill passed, I don't know what is. Truth be told though, I think he is bluffing. If the health care bill is passed by Congress, he will make some excuse about how he must be a good American and fight the good fight to get it overturned. Still though, the idea of Rush Limbaugh leaving the country is SOOOOOOO precious!

Ohhh, and if that isn't childish enough....how about THIS Republican!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010
Obama Bumpersticker Sparks Violent Road Rage in Nashville

Gawd. Are we headed for a another civil war, or what? This bizarre story is all over the national internet and on progressive radio too. This happened on the 'good' side of the railroad tracks, in the Vandy area:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Nashville man says he and his 10-year-old daughter were victims of road rage Thursday afternoon, all because of a political bumper sticker on his car. He said Harry Weisiger gave him the bird and rammed into his vehicle, after noticing an Obama-Biden sticker on his car bumper.

Duren had just picked up his 10-year-old daughter from school and had her in the car with him. "He pointed at the back of my car," Duren said, "the bumper, flipped me off, one finger salute."

Once he started driving again, down Blair Boulevard, towards his home, he said, "I looked in the rear view mirror again, and this same SUV was speeding, flying up behind me, bumped me."

Duren said he applied his brake and the SUV smashed into the back of his car. He then put his car in park to take care of the accident, but Weisiger started pushing the car using his SUV. Duren said, "He pushed my car up towards the sidewalk, almost onto the sidewalk."


NOW, once again....you need to give us the QUESTIONS that were ASKED in those polling statistics....NOT just the statistics...because once again....the RCP and the Rassmussen poll you keep citing did NOT ASK if Americans FAVORED Health Care Reform....they ASKED.....did they favor "Government OVERSIGHT"...and yes, that answer was a resounding NO!


What is ERISA?
ERISA stands for The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. ERISA establishes minimum standards for retirement, health, and other welfare benefit plans (including life insurance, disability insurance, and apprenticeship plans).
Who Administers ERISA?

ERISA is administered by the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Complaints, concerns, and questions about ERISA laws should be directed to your local office.
Who Must Abide by ERISA Law?

The protective laws under ERISA only apply to private employers (non-government) that offer employer-sponsored health insurance coverage and other benefit plans to employees. ERISA does not require employers to offer plans; it only sets rules for benefits that an employer chooses to offer.

ERISA laws do not apply to privately purchased, individual insurance policies or benefits.
What Are Provisions Under ERISA?

ERISA regulates and sets standards and requirements for:

* Conduct: ERISA rules regulate the conduct for managed care (i.e., HMOs) and other fiduciaries (the person financially responsible for the plan’s administration).

* Reporting and Accountability: ERISA requires detailed reporting and accountability to the federal government.

* Disclosures: Certain disclosures must be provided to plan participants (i.e. Plan Summary the clearly lists what benefits are offered, what the rules are for getting those benefits, the plan’s limitations, and other guidelines for obtaining benefits such as obtaining referrals in advance for surgery or doctor visits);

* Procedural Safeguards: ERISA requires that a written policy be established as to how claims should be filed, as well as a written appeal process for claims that are denied. ERISA also requires (although the language is somewhat loose) that claims appeals be conducted in a fair and timely manner.

* Financial and Best-Interest Protection: ERISA acts as a safeguard to assure that plan funds are protected and delivered in the best interested of the plan members. ERISA also prohibits discriminatory practices in obtaining, and the collecting on, plan benefits for qualified individuals.

Other Areas Addressed Under ERISA

ERISA has been amended to include two additional areas that specifically address health insurance coverage. These laws are:

* The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA); and
* The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).


What is the difference between a health insurance plan and an employer-funded health benefit plan (ERISA)?
Employee benefit plans can be either fully insured, or self-funded. (Self-funded plans may also be called self-insured or non-insured). Under a fully-insured employee benefit plan, the employer purchases commercial health coverage from an insurance company, and the insurance company assumes the risk for payment of claims. The insurance company is regulated under state law and is subject to rules about mandated benefits, network adequacy, prompt payment of claims, etc. Other employers create “self-funded” health plans for their employees. In these self-funded plans, the employer keeps the risk to pay the bills and usually hires a plan administrator to process the claims. When an employer self-funds the plan, it is generally not subject to state laws and regulations -- so state mandated benefits, state prompt payment rules or standards of network adequacy don’t apply. Sometimes insurance companies act as an administrator to process claims for an employer self-funded plan. In these circumstances and wearing the plan administrator “hat”, the health plan is not subject to state laws and regulations.
Colorado Division of Insurance June, 2009
Employer self-funded ERISA plans are not subject to state insurance laws or jurisdiction. These plans are subject to federal law.


NOW: THIS is what the Rasmussen Poll has ASKED if American's want to upset the applecart on....AND, admittedly...many hysterically paranoid Americans DO believe the propaganda and mud slinging...even though they DO NOT know the SOURCE of the argument....which IS.....do employers, and Insurance Companies WANT TO BE AUDITED....and Hell No they don't!

ERISA governs approximately 2.5 million health benefit plans sponsored by private employers nationwide. It does not apply to government and church employee plans. Approximately, 134 million Americans are covered by ERISA regulated medical, surgical, hospital and other health care benefits.
AS OF NOW....they are EXEMPT from ALL AUDITS, and ALL REGULATION that applies to individual insurance. Individuals and small companies don't have the complexity (or the interstate coverage) that enables them to falsify, pad, kickback or otherwise manipulate the DEDUCTIBLE costs of employee health care.
From the Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/opub/cwc/cm20031022ar01p1.htm

Health Spending Accounts
by Haneefa T. Saleem

Originally Posted: October 29, 2003
Revision Posted: December 19, 2003
Several options exist for employers to provide accounts that employees can use to pay for health care expenses not otherwise covered by a health plan; the options vary as to tax treatment, who can contribute, and what expenses can be covered.

There are three types of accounts that can be used to help fund employee health care expenses: flexible spending accounts, medical savings accounts, and health reimbursement arrangements. A description of each type of account follows, as well as some information on how the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) handles these accounts in its collection of data on employer-provided benefits. (See the appendix for a summary of key features of each type of account.)
Flexible spending accounts

Health care flexible spending accounts are employer-established benefit plans that reimburse employees for specified medical expenses as they are incurred. These accounts are allowed under section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code and are also referred to as "cafeteria plans" or "125 plans." The employee contributes funds to the account through a salary reduction agreement and is able to withdraw the funds set aside to pay for medical bills. The salary reduction agreement means that any funds set aside in a flexible spending account escape both income tax and Social Security tax. Employers may contribute to these accounts as well.

There is no statutory limit on the amount of money that can be contributed to health care flexible spending accounts. However, some companies place a limit of $2,000 to $3,000 on flexible spending accounts. Once the amount of contribution has been designated during the open enrollment period that occurs once each year, the employee is not allowed to change the amount or drop out of the plan during the year unless he or she experiences a change of family status. By law, the employee forfeits any unspent funds in the account at the end of the year. There have been proposals introduced in Congress to ease this "use it or lose it" rule by allowing up to $500 to be carried over to the next year; such proposals have not been enacted.
Medical savings accounts

Medical savings accounts are savings accounts used to pay for unreimbursed health care expenses. These accounts can accumulate tax-deferred interest similar to individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Authorized by Title III of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, medical savings accounts became available starting on January 1, 1997.

Funds are controlled and owned by the account holder. The employee or the employer--never both--makes contributions. In order to qualify, the employee must be covered by a high-deductible health insurance plan and must be self-employed or employed by a firm with 50 or fewer employees. For 2001, the annual deductible for qualifying high-deductible insurance was between $1,600 and $2,400 for self-only coverage; the ceiling on annual out-of-pocket expenses for covered benefits could not exceed $3,200. For family coverage, the deductible could not be less than $3,200 or more than $4,800, and the ceiling on out-of-pocket expenses could not exceed $5,850.

Savings are rolled over every year and are portable, regardless of employment status. Funds can be used on a pretax basis to pay for long-term care insurance premiums, health insurance premiums paid while unemployed, and COBRA premiums (for continuation of health insurance coverage available to formerly covered individuals under provisions of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act).

Funds can accumulate earnings, which are not taxed unless funds are withdrawn for nonmedical expenses. If withdrawn for nonmedical purposes, savings are considered taxable income and are subject to income taxes in addition to a 15-percent penalty tax. If the employee becomes disabled or reaches Medicare eligibility age, however, distributions for nonmedical expenses from the account are subject only to ordinary income tax, not the penalty tax.

The maximum contribution to a medical savings account for single coverage is 65 percent of the deductible on the employee’s health plan and 75 percent of the deductible for family coverage. For example, if an employee has a health plan with a deductible of $2,225, then he is allowed to contribute a maximum of $1,446.25 to a medical savings account for single coverage. With a family plan deductible of $4,500, a maximum contribution of $3,375 is allowed.
Health reimbursement arrangements

Health reimbursement arrangements, also known as "health reimbursement accounts" or "personal care accounts," are a type of health insurance plan that reimburses employees for qualified medical expenses. The U.S. Department of the Treasury issued guidance on health reimbursement accounts in a revenue ruling in June 2002. Because these plans are just emerging, their designs are still evolving.

Health reimbursement accounts consist of funds set aside by employers to reimburse employees for qualified medical expenses, just as an insurance plan will reimburse covered individuals for the cost of services incurred. The guidance provided by the Department of the Treasury makes it clear that health reimbursement accounts are not a new type of account designated within the Internal Revenue Code. Rather, employers qualify for preferential tax treatment of funds placed in a health reimbursement account in the same way that they qualify for tax advantages by funding an insurance plan. (Employers can deduct the cost of an insurance plan -- and now a health reimbursement account -- as a business expense under Internal Revenue Code section 162.)

Health reimbursement arrangements are open to employees of companies of all sizes, unlike medical savings accounts that are only available for small business employees. A health reimbursement account provides "first-dollar" medical coverage until funds are exhausted. For example, if an employee has a $500 qualifying medical expense, then the full amount will be covered by the health reimbursement arrangement if the funds are available in the account. Under a health reimbursement account, the employer provides funds, not the employee. All unused funds are rolled over at the end of the year. Former employees, including retirees, can have continued access to unused reimbursement amounts. Health reimbursement accounts remain with the originating employer and do not follow an employee to new employment.
BLS data on health spending accounts

The National Compensation Survey (NCS) provides comprehensive information on employer-provided health care benefits, including employer and employee costs, the extent of worker participation, and detailed provisions of benefit plans.1 To the extent that employers contribute to any of these accounts, that cost is included in estimates of employer health insurance costs, including estimates of the quarterly change in those costs that is part of the BLS Employment Cost Index (ECI). Data on the availability of flexible spending accounts are included in the NCS. Because medical savings accounts and health reimbursement accounts are quite new, participation is not currently captured in the NCS. BLS will continue to track these accounts as they evolve, and may expand its data collection in the future to provide more details on these benefits.


Now, here's an argument you'll like....because it's AGAINST the public option: BUT, is IMO VERY suspicious.

Loss of Coverage

In fact, independent analysis estimates that millions of Americans would be crowded out of their private coverage through the introduction of a public plan, depending on the level of payment and the size of the pool for eligible enrollees in such a new option.[1]

Moreover, with an employer mandate--forcing employers to offer a federally approved level or benefits or to pay a payroll tax--there would be powerful incentives for employers to pay a tax and dump employees into the public plan. The vast majority of working Americans under 65, after all, get their health insurance through employers. Those who do not have to buy health policies in the individual market are subjected to tax and regulatory penalties.

Some Members of Congress, such as Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), are offering a compromise proposal to guarantee a "level playing field" by making sure that all of the rules that apply to insurance would apply equally to both the new public plan and the private plans. It is not clear under Schumer's proposal, however, that the new public plan would be permitted to fail without a taxpayer bailout.[2]

In a proposal by the New America Foundation, analysts say that the experience of more than 30 state governments in fielding a "public plan" for employees that competes with private health plans for the premium dollars of state employees is the proof that public plans can compete fairly and effectively.[3]
Let me read this again!
Moreover, with an employer mandate--forcing employers to offer a federally approved level or benefits or to pay a payroll tax--there would be powerful incentives for employers to pay a tax and dump employees into the public plan.
???? OK??? SO...WHY would employers be so concerned about HAVING to offer a "federally approved level" of health plans....IF the plan they already offer are so SUPERIOR???? Geeee, I dunno....COULD IT BE......that in order to PROVE that they ARE offering those plans....it means they must OPEN THEIR BOOKS??? Ahhhhh, poor babies!!! They can no longer WRITE OFF millions and millions of dollars per year in BOGUS costs...thereby reducing their "profits" and paying LESS taxes????

Ya know, I've always found this truly interesting....that my stepson and I have IDENTICAL "self insured company health care benefit plans"....but my company "values" my plan as costing them $1300+ per month...and his company (in the same industry, producing the same product) values his (identical) plan as costing them only $750 per month. Gosh, could it possibly be that his company is more honest than mine??? Keep in mind....that BOTH companies MANAGE their OWN plans...neither of which is subject to state or federal audit. (because they're "self insured") We could chalk it up to "creative bookkeeping"; but honestly people....HOW the Sam Hill can you really not see that THIS.....if not the cause of.....at least contributes GREATLY to the outrageous costs of health insurance to THOSE people (of which I am one) who aren't "being used" as a shield (or a front) in order to avoid the IRS???

I'm not going to cut off my nose to spite my face, and refuse to accept the health care that's provided to me and my family....but HONESTLY...it does tick me off to know that I'm ONE of the 134 million American's who IS being used to make another 40 million Americans' lives miserable.


Great post, Grandma. Now please explain how a couple that is trying to support 2 kids on $22,500 a year is supposed to come up with an additional $337.50. It seems to me you're taking food out of the kids' mouths to pay for healthcare.

Tell me, what does malnutrition do to a child's health? Are you promoting their healthcare ... or taking it away? Are starving children for the sake of insurance company profits considered "a great day" for America?
WELL, I SUPPOSE they're going to have to fill out the exemption (or hardship form) which will EXEMPT THEM for any payment. (at 100% or below poverty level) The EXEMPTION goes all the way up to 400% of poverty level...or $88K per year....on a SLIDING scale.

Those who do not have coverage through an employer and are ineligible for Medicaid will be eligible to purchase coverage through state-based insurance "pools" or marketplaces. These plans will need to provide certain minimums of benefits in order to participate. Individuals whose incomes fall within a certain range will qualify for premium subsidies on a sliding scale.
And once again.....we're back to the Rasmussen poll which states that what....65% of American's are AGAINST.....NOT health care for everyone....but rather "state-based insurance pools".

And, she's actually got a good point here, (and a seemingly true one) though it's contrary to what Insurance Companies SAY.
They had to make that bill OK for the insurance companies.
The insurance companies already know they will profit from this bill.
Another 35 million people are now forced to buy health insurance.
It's a huge win for the insurance companies. They love this bill.

You must know the power the insurance industry has on capitol hill???
I do, I worked there.
Oh, there can be no doubt at all that the Insurance Companies run the country....it's just difficult to know WHICH LIE to believe!!! LOL! They have a tremendous knack for talking out both sides of their mouths.

I said in an earlier post....that it's ironic that while they whine about only having a 3-4% profit margin....they've suddenly (the day after) been WIDELY advertising great health care plans for anywhere from $1-$35 per month. I got pretty suspicious when they began a few years ago, offering the Medicare Advantage Plans... where your Medicare is assigned to THEM, and then they in turn offer you the "advantage" of 80% paid office visits and prescription coverage. Knowing that they do NOTHING unless it benefits them (which is fine....I may be a recovering capitalist....but I still like having some money in my pocket as much as the next person)....I wondered WHY they suddenly were so gung-ho to "manage" Medicare???? Handwriting on the wall perhaps?


And while we're on the subject, explain to me how the health insurance company is supposed to profit from $337.50. An average doctor's visit can cost in the range of $100 to $150. So what does the $337.50 buy? One doctor's appointment for 3 out of the 4 people, without treatment? Tell me, which 3 get the doctor, and who goes without?
DUHHHH! The "health insurance company is not supposed to profit in this care.....since that $337.50 is NOT being paid to the "health insurance company"....it's being paid into the STATE BASED INSURANCE POOL. Which is $337.50 MORE than they're contributing NOW.....by using the Emergency Room as a doctors office....BECAUSE...there are numerous agencies...both state and federally funded, as well as many private charities who pay those bills...once you prove that you are sufficiently low income. AND, I fail to see HOW you can think that unclogging Emergency Rooms will mean decreased care? It would seem to me that by allowing those 40 million American's who are now without insurance to go to a doctors office INSTEAD of the ER would free up more medical personnel for bonafide emergencies.


How do they profit now when they shell out $140K for valve-replacement surgery on a $13K/yr (~avg cost of family policy) policy...? What does $13K buy when the average cost of a hospital stay is $21K-$35K...? The argument is inane when the current reality is not simply the same, but much worse than the example...
EXACTLY! That's what "individual" health care is so expensive. Insurance companies would rather "spread" their risks over 10,000 employees; counting on the premiums paid by 9,000 of those who don't used the coverage will pay for the 1,000 who do. When they insure an individual...it's all "risk".
 GrandmaBooBoo
Joined: 12/30/2006
Msg: 346
view profile
History
A great day for America
Posted: 3/28/2010 9:59:04 AM

The writing of all these one sided antagonistic editorials does nothing to quell the flames of animosity that many are feeling from both sides....

Peaceful disagreement and protests are possible...

Our constitution gives everyone the right to free speech so that we can say how we feel...That is what makes our country so great

Yet some keep insisting on fanning the flames to make people's ways of expression look different and unusual from what those from their side use or have used with editorials and articles that don't look at the whole picture.

Some of the same people who seem to wonder why the cycle keeps repeating itself over and over and over with the violence continuing and ending up escalating.
Soooo, in essence you're saying???? That we should just shut up and agree with those who are VIOLENT? (The "conservative" who EXPRESSES HIS "freedom of speech" by ramming people with his vehicle?)


The writing of all these one sided antagonistic editorials does nothing to quell the flames of animosity that many are feeling from both sides....
And of course...there IS nothing "one sided" about an editorial....as long as it AGREES with "your" particular view????


Yet some keep insisting on fanning the flames to make people's ways of expression look different and unusual from what those from their side use or have used with editorials and articles that don't look at the whole picture.
PERHAPS....just PERHAPS....we could avoid some of the fan flaming....IF we were to ADDRESS the specific POINTS rather than upholding the questionable statistics from only ONE source??? Gosh...or even MORE unthinkable....we could give some INDEPENDENT thought to the rational of such statistics....rather than just regurgitating them as a kindergarten child does his ABC's.
 CallmeKen
Joined: 9/4/2009
Msg: 347
A great day for America
Posted: 3/28/2010 10:09:46 AM

perhaps some of that healthcare spending should be redirected to teaching the critical thinking skills necessary to distinguish fact from fantasy...


Perhaps some of that healthcare spending should be redirected to teaching how insurance actually works. (See? I can be passive aggressive too. Have a banana. )

Yes, valve replacement surgeries and hospital stays are expensive. How many of them do you think a policy holder claims over a lifetime? In my life, I've been to the emergency room twice, and admitted once. (The other time, I was uninsured.) Insurance companies make money because the amount of money collected over your life is greater than the amount of money expended.

Before the bill, if the scales tipped, the insurance company would just drop you. Catch HIV? Sorry, we won't cover you. Have the potental for a heart attack? Bye. Not anymore. Now the insurance companies must rely on all those $337.50 payments to make up for the $140K heart valve replacement. They are banking that the minimum wage earners will pay into the system, but won't seek basic health checkups. Is that reasonable? No.

Maybe we should redirect some of that health care spending towards teaching government officials how to balance a budget.

 mungojoe
Joined: 11/15/2006
Msg: 349
A great day for America
Posted: 3/28/2010 10:24:19 AM
In my life, I've been to the emergency room twice, and admitted once. (The other time, I was uninsured.)

So... The one time you weren't insured, you were sent home rather than given the same level of care as you would have insured...

Yes, valve replacement surgeries and hospital stays are expensive. How many of them do you think a policy holder claims over a lifetime?
....
Insurance companies make money because the amount of money collected over your life is greater than the amount of money expended.

Except, in order to cover that ONE procedure you would have to go an ENTIRE 11 YEARS without even so much as one visit to the GP for a check-up... the ENTIRE 11 YEARS without even so much as a broken toe... the ENTIRE 11 YEARS without even so much as one visit to ER... the ENTIRE 11 YEARS without even so much as one vaccination for your child... the ENTIRE 11 YEARS without ANY healthcare AT ALL for the ENTIRE FAMILY... Just to cover the cost of that one procedure and that doesn't count ANY of the follow-up treatments that will be required subsequent to it...

Perhaps some of that healthcare spending should be redirected to teaching how insurance actually works.

Yes, I think you are right on that... I'll add it to the list...
 HalftimeDad
Joined: 5/29/2005
Msg: 353
A great day for America
Posted: 3/28/2010 11:02:34 AM
Sorry, but if it was urgent, he'd have got his pacemaker immediately.

Cardiologists and surgeons take vacations. If he was in a small town there wouldn't have been more than one cardiologist at the hospital. So they had to transfer him for the surgery. Trust me, if it was deemed urgent he wouldn't have waited 6 weeks.

The main reason we have waits is that urgent surgeries take precedence. Orthopedic surgeries can have up to 12 month waits because they deal with discomfort and are not life threatening as a rule. Those that severely impact on a patient's life move up and are done quickly.
 HalftimeDad
Joined: 5/29/2005
Msg: 355
A great day for America
Posted: 3/28/2010 12:47:40 PM
You're passing on information third hand. Sorry, but that story doesn't ring true to someone who lives here.

I've accessed the health system; my family has; I have close relatives who work in the system. There are problems with any human system, but what you've typed is a lie. It may be a lie told to you, or it may be one you're making up yourself. But a 6 week wait for a pacemaker isn't unreasonable. The, "He was told to take last rites and make funeral arrangements" is nonsense.
 tinkerbellcgy
Joined: 9/17/2005
Msg: 356
view profile
History
A great day for America
Posted: 3/28/2010 1:25:54 PM
^^^^I am in full agreement with your post halftimedad. If it were extremely urgent in nature, they would have located a bed for him in a major hospital in BC or he would have been air ambulanced to the nearest major hospital in a city in another province - likely Calgary or Edmonton.

I suspect the notion that he was told to make funeral arrangements probably originated within his own family due of their own actions and behaviour. Often times, relatives of a patient don't clearly see realistically nor do they grasp medically what a patient's condition really is. All to often these relatives jump to conclusions expecting emergency treatment when emergency treatment is not warranted. I also agree that a 6 week wait for a pacemaker is not unreasonable. What a lay person considers unreasonable may very well be reasonable to those medically trained to know the difference.
 mungojoe
Joined: 11/15/2006
Msg: 358
A great day for America
Posted: 3/28/2010 3:24:02 PM

Think how stressful it would be if they were uninsured in the USA. Not the sort of thing that an emergency room handles. They would have to come up with some serious cash or prove how they were going to pay the bill before there would even be a surgery.

The SURGERY...!?! The surgery would have to be the last thing they worried about... There wouldn't have been any tying up an ICU bed for 6 weeks waiting, there wouldn't have been any bed period... and all those "zaps" he needed just to avoid that 'big sleep'...? Well, sure better hope he lives pretty close to an ER, an EMS station or a public defibrillator site...
 mungojoe
Joined: 11/15/2006
Msg: 360
A great day for America
Posted: 3/28/2010 5:48:16 PM
If you guys don't already know no one can be turned away in the US if they need health care no matter what their race, religion, gender, financial situation, ethnicity, even citizenship and etc are....

In case you weren't aware... that obligation, in general, ends at immediately life-saving/stabilizing care... NO ER anywhere in the US is obligated to do a pacemaker implantation on an ER/non-paying case... The extent of the obligation in the US, without insurance/cash/AMEX, would end at stabilizing him (that would be the "zaps" you mentioned)... The wait in ICU and the pacemaker implantation would not happen as it is not required to immediately save his life/stabilize him... Anymore than he would be given 6 months of chemo free-of-charge just by showing up in an ER with cancer...

Those who throw this little canard around always seem to oh so conveniently forget to mention this... And when you point it out they ignore it like it never existed...


So... The one time you weren't insured, you were sent home rather than given the same level of care as you would have insured


I myself have had several occasions throughout my lifetime where I have needed Emergency Care when I was uninsured and a few times also unemployed .

At no time was I ever denied care, Tri-aged yes as to severity of my case compared to the other people waiting sometimes many many others waiting, but never denied care.

And that reply did absolutely ZERO to answer or rebut the point... Instead it pretends the point was "denied care" when the sentence clearly says "the same level of care"... So, unless you are going to attempt to tell me that he would get his 6 months of chemo or his 'not immediately necessary' pacemaker implant for free at any ER in the US (which would be a lie if one attempted)... That little piece of "testimony" is utterly irrelevant to the point...

Care to try again...?
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 362
view profile
History
A great day for America
Posted: 3/28/2010 6:46:07 PM

But I pray that no one any place ever has to contend with getting and/or needing emergency care in an overloaded Health Care System.
But it won't be "overloaded" since part of the bill that kicks in immediately is the preparation/provision of more medical clinics and the hiring of more medical personnel. But that doesn't stop people from posting false information.

Because money and/or insurance will not make any difference. IF it ain't there it ain't there.
What does it feel like to post such things knowing full well it's nothing but a sack of lies? It's nothing but fear mongering. Why do people participate in that?

I know that you have seen the following a number of times since you have also responded to it. Is there something about it that you find unbelievable or fake? If so, then what?

Items 13 & 14 address the issue of additional clinics and personnel.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=433x11487
Top 14 Health Care Reform Provisions That Take Effect Immediately on January 1, 2010

Edited on Sun Nov-22-09 11:40 AM by ClarkUSA
Amid all the negative rumors and misleading assumptions that are floating around here about what the Affordable Health Care For America Act will or will not do for/to Americans, I thought I'd share some actual facts about what positive changes HCR will enact as of January 1, 2010 should the bill now being debated in the Senate be signed into law by President Obama by the end of the year:

1. BEGINS TO CLOSE THE MEDICARE PART D DONUT HOLE - Reduces the donut hole by $500 and institutes a 50% discount on brand-name drugs, effective January 1. 2010.

2. IMMEDIATE HELP FOR THE UNINSURED UNTIL EXCHANGE IS AVAILABLE (INTERIM HIGH-RISK POLL) - Creates a temporary insurance program until the Exchange is available for individuals who have been uninsured for several months or have been denied a policy because of pre-existing conditions.

3. BANS LIFETIME LIMITS ON COVERAGE - Prohibits health insurance companies from placing lifetime caps on coverage.

4. ENDS RESCISSIONS - Prohibits insurers from nullifying or rescinding a patient's policy when they file a claim for benefits, except in the case of fraud.

5. EXTENDS COVERAGE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE UP TO 27TH BIRTHDAY THROUGH PARENT'S INSURANCE - Requires health plans to allow young people through age 26 to remain n their parents' insurance policy, at the parents' choice.

6. ELIMINATES COST-SHARING FOR PREVENTATIVE SERVICES IN MEDICARE - Eliminates co-payments for preventative services and exempts preventative services from deductibles from the Medicare program.

7. IMPROVES HELP FOR LOW-INCOME MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES - Improves the low-income protection programs in Medicare to assure more individuals are able to access this vital help.

8. PROVIDES NEW CONSUMER PROTECTIONS IN MEDICARE ADVANTAGE - Prohibits Medicare Advantage plans from charging enrollees higher cost-sharing for services in their private plan than what is charged in traditional Medicare.

9. IMMEDIATE SUNSHINE ON PRICE GOUGING - Discourages excessive price increases by insurance companies through review and disclosure of insurance rate increases.

10. CONTINUITY FOR DISPLACED WORKERS - Allows Americans to keep their COBRA coverage until the Exchange is in place and they can access affordable coverage.

11. CREATES NEW, VOLUNTARY, PUBLIC LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE PROGRAM - Creates a long-term care insurance program to be financed by voluntary payroll deductions to provide benefits to adults who become functionally disabled.

12. HELP FOR EARLY RETIREES - Creates a $10 billion fund to finance a temporary reinsurance program to help offset the costs of expensive health claims for employers that provide health benefits for retirees age 55-64.

13. COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS - Increases funding for Community Health Centers to allow for a doubling of the number of patients seen by the centers over the next 5 years.

14. INCREASING NUMBER OF PRIMARY CARE DOCTORS - Provides new investment in training programs to increase the number of primary doctors, nurses, and public health professionals.
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 364
view profile
History
A great day for America
Posted: 3/28/2010 8:56:33 PM

Even with government provisions it takes time to build facilities and time to train Health Care Personal needed to staff those facilities, anywhere from 2 years for a nurse to 10 or more for physicians. No amount of laws or money can magically train medical personal, especially physicians.
Oh dear, here we go again with feigning ignorance. But that's okay with me, it gives me still another chance to post the obvious ... which I have also already posted.

Whenever it's posted, I have the information all ready to go ... just have to copy and paste it every time someone comes in and posts such nonsense.

I can see though that the more it's posted, the more some of the more ignorant will actually believe it, but it still won't make it so.

Okay, so here it is ...
Again ... there are plenty of empty facilities (already built) fully ready to use ... just have to be staffed with out-of-work medical personnel. For example, there are so many out-of-work nurses in this area that for every nursing job that gets posted, there are well over 200 applicants. I know this because one of my best friends is in HR at one of the local hospitals and she processes the nursing applications.

Keep posting all the "snippets" too ... that'll make the wish for Obama to fail come true ... NOT.

Thankfully, we do still have people who are capable of the full thought process and will be able to determine that its all nothing more than hyperbole and purposely posted by those who want the President to fail ... in order to instill fear mongering.

Wouldn't it be nice if they made the fear mongering illegal?
 bliss serendipity
Joined: 12/27/2006
Msg: 367
view profile
History
A great day for America
Posted: 3/28/2010 10:45:14 PM
Look, it's been known for quite a long time that there was going to be shortage of medical doctors everywhere in the world. Even with great medical coverage, there are still waiting times and these were going to increase even within your old system. That is not the fault of poor people; that is poor planning by the previous governments, as far back as early 90's. Governments did not want to fund more seats for doctor training; they (at least here in Canada and I am sure the same thing happened in the US) even decreased funding somehow thinking that the growing population was not going to need healthcare.

Most doctors did not want an increase in funding as it meant they could hold the government hostage to their demands; nothing has changed and I don't think most doctors have changed their mindset on that.

Why did your government not foresee the need for more funding for medical training?

Bliss
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 368
view profile
History
A great day for America
Posted: 3/29/2010 5:49:27 AM
The shortage of HC professionals is either a disingenuous and/or very cold argument to fight off care for those who fall through the gaps of health care.

As Rumsfeld noted not long ago..""As you know, you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time." Of course the people screaming the loudest now about denying health care to Americans, were complicit and silent when the fiscal and moral disasters of the previous administration's policies.

Can we not move into health care for Americans with the Doctors and nurses we have and not wish we had? I tend to believe the argument leans toward the cold side. There was the same coldness by the same people as millions of lives were destroyed thousands of miles away. There are people have little value to those who have it all. The threat of "poor blacks, hispanics and white trash" suddenly standing in the same line for basic health care appears to threaten the (I got mine) crowd. The answer from their argument appears to be that we need to allow the herd to be thinned out to the point the numbers are down enough where the physicians and nurses can handle the load. Lose your job and insurance...thinning needed. Be born with birth defects/pre-existing conditions, thin em Danno. Get to old or prematurely infirmed to work to buy or qualify for insurance, 60% of bankruptcies due to medical debt...not human anymore..no basic human decency due you. We have shortages you know. Nothing personal. BTW..we reserve the right to price gouge in the ER since you don't have insurance..Nice house, mind if we take it?

Yes money is important, so important we can throw trillions at something that has the opposite to do with human welfare as we did during the 2 Oh Ohs, but now we cannot do something positive for human welfare since we now have this sudden awareness of fiscal responsibility. Let's not address waste, fraud, inefficiency and redundancy, price fixing, huge CEO bonuses, and other broken pieces of the current insurance and HC industries. The sick and injured poor are to blame and must be sacrificed.

I appreciate the patience of the Saints for those here who try to reason with facts against emotion, but if you look at the raucous crowds, the anger, the spitting and ugliness, this is not about facts or even human decency. This is something unspoken.

Getting back to Rummy...""I would not say that the future is necessarily less predictable than the past. I think the past was not predictable when it started."
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 369
view profile
History
A great day for America
Posted: 3/29/2010 6:22:35 AM
Like I said, there are plenty of empty buildings (used to be clinics) just waiting to be brought back to life.

There is also a surge among nurses to move upwards into nurse practitioner positions. This will greatly relieve the immediate need for MD's. They can handle well visits and routine check-ups that will be covered by the insurance. Well visits and routine check-ups cut down tremendously on ER visits since people are staying healthy or catching problems long before it escalates into an emergency situation.

In anticipation of a few of the hard heads in here (who are well-known for feigning stupidity) although I'm sure they know exactly what a nurse practitioner is, here is what a nurse practitioner is and how they work ...

http://www.womenshealthchannel.com/nursepractitioner.shtml
What Is a Nurse Practitioner?

A nurse practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse (RN) who has completed advanced education (a minimum of a master's degree) and training in the diagnosis and management of common medical conditions, including chronic illnesses. Nurse practitioners provide a broad range of health care services. They provide some of the same care provided by physicians and maintain close working relationships with physicians. An NP can serve as a patient's regular health care provider.

Nurse practitioners see patients of all ages. The core philosophy of the field is individualized care. Nurse practitioners focus on patients' conditions as well as the effects of illness on the lives of the patients and their families. NPs make prevention, wellness, and patient education priorities. This can mean fewer prescriptions and less expensive treatments. Informing patients about their health care and encouraging them to participate in decisions are central to the care provided by NPs. In addition to health care services, NPs conduct research and are often active in patient advocacy activities.

Because the profession is state regulated, care provided by NPs varies. A nurse practitioner's duties include the following:

* Collaborating with physicians and other health professionals as needed, including providing referrals
* Counseling and educating patients on health behaviors, self-care skills, and treatment options
* Diagnosing and treating acute illnesses, infections, and injuries
* Diagnosing, treating, and monitoring chronic diseases (e.g., diabetes, high blood pressure)
* Obtaining medical histories and conducting physical examinations
* Ordering, performing, and interpreting diagnostic studies (e.g., lab tests, x-rays, EKGs)
* Prescribing medications
* Prescribing physical therapy and other rehabilitation treatments
* Providing prenatal care and family planning services
* Providing well-child care, including screening and immunizations
* Providing health maintenance care for adults, including annual physicals

Nurse practitioners provide high-quality, cost-effective individualized care that is comparable to the health care provided by physicians, and NP services are often covered by insurance providers. NPs practice in all states. The institutions in which they work include the following:

* Community clinics and health centers
* Health departments
* Health maintenance organizations (HMOs)
* Home health care agencies
* Hospitals and hospital clinics
* Hospice centers
* Nurse practitioner offices
* Nursing homes
* Nursing schools
* Physician offices
* Private offices
* Public health departments
* School/college clinics
* Veterans Administration facilities
* Walk-in clinics

Most NPs specialize in a particular field of medical care, and there are as many types of NPs as there are medical specialties.

NPs and Women's Health

Women with serious conditions, especially those that require surgery, need the services of a physician. But when women have typical health care needs, an NP can serve as the primary health care provider.

Some nurse practitioners focus specifically on obstetrics and gynecology. They provide services that include the following:

* Care before and after menopause
* Contraceptive care
* Evaluation and treatment of common vaginal infections
* Health and wellness counseling
* Midwifery
* Physical exams, including Pap smears
* Pregnancy testing and care before, during, and after pregnancy
* Screening and referral for other health problems
* STD screening and follow-up

Licensure and Certification

To be licensed as a nurse practitioner, the candidate must first complete the education and training necessary to be a registered nurse (RN).

Requirements for a registered nurse include an associate degree in nursing (ADN), a bachelor of science degree in nursing (BSN), or completion of a diploma program, as well as direct patient care for acutely or chronically ill patients. Associate degree in nursing programs, which are offered by community and junior colleges, usually take 2–3 years. BSN programs are offered by colleges and universities and take 4–5 years and diploma programs are administered in hospitals and usually take 2–3 years. Depending on the program attended, the candidate may fulfill some NP requirements while completing the RN degree.

In most cases, state regulations require and professionals and employers in the field strongly recommend a master's degree as a minimal requirement for NPs. To become NPs, nurses with an ADN or diploma enter a bachelor of science to master's program. They may be able to find a staff nursing position and take advantage of tuition reimbursement programs to work toward a BSN.

Once registered nurse status is attained, the candidate must complete a state-approved advanced training program that usually specializes in a field such as family practice, internal medicine, or women's health. The degree can be granted by any of the following:

* Community college (grants an associate degree)
* Hospital-based program (grants a 3-year diploma)
* University, which grants a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree; a master's of science in nursing (MSN) degree, which is the minimum degree required; or a doctorate in nursing

The variety of educational paths for NPs is a result of the history of the field. In 1965, the profession of nurse practitioner was instituted and required a master's degree. In the late 1960s into the 1970s, predictions of a physician shortage increased funding and attendance in nurse practitioner programs. During the 1970s, the NP requirements relaxed to include continuing education programs, which helped accommodate the demand for NPs. Currently, educational options require a master's or doctorate to attain NP status.

After completing the education program, the candidate must be licensed by the state in which he or she plans to practice. The State Boards of Nursing regulate nurse practitioners and each state has its own licensing and certification criteria. In general, the criteria include completion of a nursing program and clinical experience. Because state board requirements differ, nurse practitioners may have to fulfill additional requirements, such as certification by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or a specialty nursing organization. The license period varies by state; some require biennial relicensing, others require triennial.

After receiving state licensing, a nurse practitioner can apply for national certification from the ANA or other professional nursing boards such as the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). Some NPs pursue certification in a specialty. Several organizations oversee certification, including the following:

* American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
* Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing
* National Certification Board of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and Nurses
* National Certification Corporation for the Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing Specialties
* Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation

A women's health nurse must have experience in direct patient care, education, administration, and/or research. He or she must have graduated from an OB/GYN nurse practitioner program (1-year program that is accepted by the National Certification Corporation for the Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing Specialties). The NP must also complete a required number of teaching and clinic hours in an OB/GYN setting. The National Association of Nurse

Practitioners in Women's Health (NPWH) oversees the accreditation of programs that prepare NPs in women's health.


As the above poster noted ...
The shortage of HC professionals is either a disingenuous and/or very cold argument to fight off care for those who fall through the gaps of health care.


There is really no excuse to repeat ignorant remarks related to not being prepared for the influx of new patients related to the HC bill. In the end, it was never designed to give immediate care to all 30+ million people who need benefits. Anyone who is capable of reading already knows that it will all grow gradually, so it is truly disingenuous to insinuate that we would not be ready for the influx in appropriate time frames.

It's just another excuse to beat up on the President and his policies, another excuse to deny those who need help the most. Those participating in such behavior need to step out of the box and look at themselves ... ask themselves if they would be proud to claim such behavior.

As we know, there will always be racists and bigots (and just your run-of-the-mill small-minded people) ... who are proud to be what they are, so obviously we do have to anticipate we will experience it in here as well.

So sad ...
 GrandmaBooBoo
Joined: 12/30/2006
Msg: 371
view profile
History
A great day for America
Posted: 3/29/2010 6:41:50 AM

In case you weren't aware... that obligation, in general, ends at immediately life-saving/stabilizing care... NO ER anywhere in the US is obligated to do a pacemaker implantation on an ER/non-paying case... The extent of the obligation in the US, without insurance/cash/AMEX, would end at stabilizing him (that would be the "zaps" you mentioned)... The wait in ICU and the pacemaker implantation would not happen as it is not required to immediately save his life/stabilize him... Anymore than he would be given 6 months of chemo free-of-charge just by showing up in an ER with cancer...
EXACTLY RIGHT!


You're passing on information third hand. Sorry, but that story doesn't ring true to someone who lives here.
Nor does it ring true to anyone in the U.S. who has taken the time to enlighten themselves on the topic (as opposed to just swallowing the right wing propaganda, fear and hate mongering)
And, as much as I try to avoid such arguments because they do little to advance any cause on POF, 3 pages ago someone stated:
The irony of those self-professed Christians who despise health care for the "least among us" is matched by the Creationists who believe in Darwinian survival of the richest when it comes to health care. Nearly everyone I know in the health care sector say that universal health care would save us tons of money via preventative care vs. the emergency room of last resort model of today.
and someone replied:
Lie and cheat? I get it your Christian thing... the only way?
Other religious beliefs are acceptable ... That is until the Dem's convert the nation to Islam.... Next year.. so we can all go on the Hajj.............
I would only like to add to that:

James 2-14: What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
Jas 2:15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
Jas 2:16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body;what doth it profit?
Jas 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
.

The moral objection exemption was put in the bill to address the beliefs of those who do NOT believe in medical care....PERIOD. NOT those who blindly follow the self proclaimed "conservative" cult (Republican...who have proven themselves to be ANYTHING BUT) by defending and preserving a blatant system of white collar crime. (Committed by the Insurance/financial sector) I DO hope that non-Christians can realize that TRUE Christians are NOT this hateful and eager to "deny the things which are needful to the body"....like basic health care. That aside...we come once again to the REAL problem which is WHY those who ARE opposed to this bill...ARE opposed.

Of the 34 Democrats who oppose the bill....their reasons ARE (as have been stated) that 1) Abortion is NOT included as part of "health care" (which makes it easier for me to support the legislation with a clear conscience) and 2) that illegal aliens are exempt from coverage.

Republicans reasons for opposing the legislation range from...1) screw the poor...let them eat cake; to 2) we want them to have health care...but we want the government to pay it to the existing Health Care Management Companies....and NOT to State run Management bureaus. I would imagine that the real cash will end up in the hands of the "Insurance companies"....which..ARE "Financial Institutions" (underwriters) Where the biggest source of fraud and waste lies is in the "health care management organizations".

So we keep getting really confused because we're unable to distinguish between the 2 supposedly separate entities. The Underwriters are one in the same; but the MANAGEMENT of these insurance monies is the point addressed in all right wing slants.

Thank you Cotter (Post # 368) for posting those points! LOL! I had them up once but they got lost in the shuffle somewhere!

Ya know....it's statements like this:
Even with government provisions it takes time to build facilities and time to train Health Care Personal needed to staff those facilities, anywhere from 2 years for a nurse to 10 or more for physicians. No amount of laws or money can magically train medical personal, especially physicians.

Average time from start to finish for someone to become a physician is 10 + years(more if specialized), 6 yrs for a physician's assistant, 2-4 years for nurses, and 6 years for pharmacist ---Add to this list x-ray techs, lab techs, surgery techs and the list goes on.

So if by chance the US can get enough qualified individuals to be a physicians that means it will be around 2020 before we to put the doctors needed out there where shortages already exist, especially in the field of primary care.

Following are just snippets from just four of the numerous articles about the need for more physicians in our country, especially in primary care. An estimated 17,000 or so are needed for just our country's current shortage ...This does not even take in the shortage of other trained/degreed health care personal like nurses, lab personal, radiology and ??? or facilities that take time to train or build.
that truly baffle me. LOL! HOW can anyone say something like this....and then ACCUSE someone else of supporting "Death Panels".....If THIS statement does not REEK of "death panel" then I certainly don't know what does!!!! The underlying sentiment here is....we don't have enough doctors.... and it's too inconvenient (for them) to train more, so just let those without insurance die in the streets. They of course totally IGNORE the fact that....if "health care" IS reformed...then perhaps MORE talented people would see some REASON to enter into health care as a profession. It is our understanding that part of this bill is to address TORT reform; and along with that lowering the number of frivolous lawsuits, which would in return serve to lower the cost of malpractice insurance, thus.....making actually being a doctor more profitable.....like...1/10,000 as profitable as being an HMO/PPO CEO. I can hardly blame a talented young individual for declining to take on the expense of an additional 8 years of college and then have to spend upwards to 70% of my income buying malpractice insurance...when they could just as easily go to school for 4 years, become an insurance executive and earn MORE.


Keep posting all the "snippets" too ... that'll make the wish for Obama to fail come true ... NOT.
LOL! Cotter!!!! YOU just hit the nail right on it's proverbial little head!!!! I started out only marginally in favor of this legislation; but the more I've read here, and been prompted to read elsewhere....not only am I now TOTALLY sold that THIS IS a great day for America....but when I leave here today, I'm going to the Democratic Headquarters to not only switch my voting registration, but to VOLUNTEER to recruit other "recovering Republicans"!!!! LOL!

I stood up and CHEERED when I read this in the news yesterday!!!!
Fed up with waiting, President Barack Obama announced Saturday he would bypass a vacationing Senate and name 15 people to key administration jobs, wielding for the first time the blunt political tool known as the recess appointment.

The move immediately deepened the divide between the Democratic president and Republicans in the Senate following a long, bruising fight over health care. Obama revealed his decision by blistering Republicans, accusing them of holding up nominees for months solely to try to score a political advantage on him.

"I simply cannot allow partisan politics to stand in the way of the basic functioning of government," Obama said in a statement.
Whatever doubts I HAD about this man....have been removed. I'm certainly NOT saying that he's perfect, or that I agree with all his ideas....but dang!!! He STOOD UP to those worthless slobs!!!

Wouldn't it be nice if they made the fear mongering illegal?
It certainly has MY vote!!!!

This is easily, by far the stupidest reason I have ever seen to delay health care reform. Because you don't have enough doctors to start treating all these poor people who are going to come into the system. All those rich folks are going to have to share the time they spend with their doctor with some poor people who obviously do not deserve to see a doctor because they aren't rich.

Sometimes you just have to shake your head.
Yup, Elitism at it's finest!


While Nevada malpractice insurance rates are between middle to high in comparison with all other states, doctors of many types in Nevada---including general internists, pediatricians, and general practice doctors---earn a higher average salary than doctors in any other state. In 2009 one of the highest rates of insurance in Nevada is for OB/GYNs, who may pay between $85,000 for malpractice liability insurance per year up to $142,000 per year for a premium plan by a prominent insurance company. Although the average annual salary for such doctors is around $180,000 in 2009, malpractice insurance can still be a huge financial burden.

Florida has some of the highest rates of liability insurance. Moreover, the deviation between low and high averages varies in Florida more widely than in almost any other state. For instance, a doctor in internal medicine in Florida could expect to pay in excess of $56,000 per year for insurance as in 2009, in contrast with Minnesota's $4,000. General surgeons paid in between $90,000 per year and $175,000 per year or more. OB/GYNs once again could expect the highest rates, with liability coverage ranging from $100,000 to $200,000 per year.
SO, whether your were a doctor OR a patient...WHERE would YOU choose to work or be treated? AND, so that we're not comparing apples to oranges here:

According to the US Department of Labor, as of May 2008, the median annual salary in the United States for an Ob Gyn is $199,350. The average annual salary for an Ob Gyn who practices in a specialty hospital is just under $202,000.



Malpractice insurance premiums vary widely from state to state. Florida is the highest-premium state, with an average 2004 premium of more than $195,000, followed by Nevada, Michigan, the District of Columbia, Ohio, Massachusetts, West Virginia, Connecticut, Illinois and New York.

The 10 lowest-premium states are Oklahoma, at about $17,000 on average, and Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, Indiana, Idaho, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Arkansas and South Carolina.

Many areas of the country, especially around major metropolitan areas, are experiencing large increases in the average costs of premiums. Between 2003 and 2004, Dade County in Florida, which includes the city of Miami, went from $249,000 to $277,000, an increase of about 11 percent.

In that same period, Cook County in Illinois, which includes Chicago , jumped about 67 percent from $138,000 to more than $230,000. Wayne County in Michigan , which includes Detroit, went up 18 percent, from almost $164,000 to nearly $194,000.


AMA reports:
Medical Student Debt
Student debt statistics

* $156,456 – According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the average educational debt of indebted graduates of the class of 2009.
Whipping out my www.bankrate.com calculator here....and Stafford Loan rates are 6.8%...which means that doctor is paying for the FIRST 10 years....almost $1,800. a month in loan payments, and IF he/she's practicing in an "average state" say $70K a year in malpractice insurance, that's $5864.98 a MONTH ...and another "average"....general surgeons earn about $150K per year....or $12,500 per month. That leaves them with a whopping $3,835. per month!!!! LOL! Poor doctors!!!! Let's see.....I had 2 years of Tech school, 5 yrs OJT...and as a journeyman pipefitter/plumber....I earned MORE than that! (a LOT more than that!) And we wonder WHY there's a shortage of doctors?


Aetna's Ron Williams - CEO Compensation
May 14, 2009 — 3:22pm ET | By Dan Bowman

Ron Williams - Aetna

Total Compensation: $24,300,112

Details: Williams earned $24,300,112 in total compensation for 2008, with more than half of that ($13,537,365) coming from option awards. He also received an additional $6,456,630 in stock awards to go along with his base salary of $1,091,764.

Personal use of a corporate aircraft and vehicle, as well as financial planning and 401(k) company matches added up to $101,487 for Williams.
He "earned" (and I use the term loosely!) $2,025,009.33....A MONTH!

And ANYONE can sit here and TYPE that "money is not important" when you're dealing with a sick loved one...... with a straight face???? OMG!!! You've GOT to be joking!!! Maybe these folks should call Ron Williams next time someone in their family needs a triple bypass!!!!
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 372
view profile
History
A great day for America
Posted: 3/29/2010 6:53:48 AM
Thank you Saint GrandmaBooBoo, and Saint Cotter for your continuing patience and diligence in providing factual information. Doubly saint-like for doing so with the realization that facts only confuse and enrage the opposition.

The Insurance Corporationadolfs have found a loophole to extend their death panels for kids for another 4 years. Compassionate conservatidolfism at it's finest.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/29/health/policy/29health.html

PS..tea partyadolfs...Bushadolf actually killed, poisoned, tortured and maimed millions after his 9/11 Reichstag fire. Nothing comparable can be said about Obama.
 GrandmaBooBoo
Joined: 12/30/2006
Msg: 375
view profile
History
A great day for America
Posted: 3/29/2010 8:10:33 AM
To restore the application of the Federal antitrust laws to the business of health insurance to protect competition and consumers.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Health Insurance Industry Fair Competition Act'.

SEC. 2. RESTORING THE APPLICATION OF ANTITRUST LAWS TO HEALTH SECTOR INSURERS.

(a) Amendment to McCarran-Ferguson Act- Section 3 of the Act of March 9, 1945 (15 U.S.C. 1013), commonly known as the McCarran-Ferguson Act, is amended by adding at the end the following:

`(c) Nothing contained in this Act shall modify, impair, or supersede the operation of any of the antitrust laws with respect to the business of health insurance. For purposes of the preceding sentence, the term `antitrust laws' has the meaning given it in subsection (a) of the first section of the Clayton Act, except that such term includes section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act to the extent that such section 5 applies to unfair methods of competition.'.

(b) Related Provision- For purposes of section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 45) to the extent such section applies to unfair methods of competition, section 3(c) of the McCarran-Ferguson Act shall apply with respect to the business of health insurance without regard to whether such business is carried on for profit, notwithstanding the definition of `Corporation' contained in section 4 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.

Passed the House of Representatives February 24, 2010.
And THIS folks....is what the Republicans ARE in an uproar about....removing the "anti-trust exemption" for their Insurance buds.

I highly recommend this video, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/27/elizabeth-warren-the-chip_n_438379.html which deals with the financial industry...of which INSURANCE COMPANIES and HEALTH MANAGEMENT COMPANIES are the MAJOR component.
 flyonthewall!
Joined: 3/31/2008
Msg: 379
A great day for America
Posted: 3/29/2010 11:15:24 AM
Fact is that "good timely medical service" is as rare as the dodo in UHC countries. In most you have long waiting lines, doctor shortages and a lack of qualified family physicians.

In the US the further we've gone towards socialized medicine the harder it has been to get quality medical care unless you have the money and are willing to pay a premium to avail yourselves of concierge medical practices and/or pay out-of-pocket.

Fact is that private insurance companies base their reimbursement rates on what Medicare will pay. Blue Cross Blue Shield (for example) will pay a premium above Medicare, but they keep the rates close. So as Medicare has decreased payments the private insurance companies have as well.

This is why doctors limit Medicaid (lowest paid) the most, Medicare (medium) to usually less than 30 percent of revenues, and private insurance (highest paid) to the rest of the practice. However, with Medicaid payments now being less than a doctor's cost of providing service, it's becoming harder and harder for primary care physicians to make a living. The older ones are retiring or going into other fields where they can use their medical degree (I notice that more and more medical writers these days are physicians), and new medical school graduates are going into more highly paid specialties.

We had already started screwing up our medical system with socialized medicine way before this bill ever passed. The new legislation makes it worse, but we aren't sure yet how much worse.

Regardless, it stays the same. If you have money you'll get good timely medical care, and if you don't you won't.
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 380
view profile
History
A great day for America
Posted: 3/29/2010 11:16:08 AM

The current physician shortage ...

It's just one piece of reality that is pointing out that just having more affordable care with insurance will not be guaranteeing people good Timely medical coverage.

In fact with the shortage getting worse, Timely medical care will most likely become a luxury...

If under best case scenarios enough capable people decide to or can be encouraged to educate themselves in the Medical field as physicians ...

This cannot be magically fixed over night with some bill, especially since physician shortage is also a worldwide problem as already pointed out by others.

Physician shortage and unavailability of good timely medical is just one of the vague reality aspects that most have not talked out to the general public that the bill cannot guarantee a fix for, especially immediately.

I see the fear mongering is going to continue in spite of the fact that it's already known that an "immediate" influx of 30+ million patients is not realistic.

It does make one wonder if these people have any idea what they sound like? Do they care that they aren't making any sense?

LMAO ... Run, chicken little, run ... tomorrow there will be 30+ million people lined up for health care at all your local clinics.



(I wonder if anyone has a left-over bomb shelter for each and every one of our resident chicken little's to hide in until this health care "crunch" passes? We wouldn't want them to get trampled in the lines.)

I guess some aren't getting it.

Reminder ...
There is really no excuse to repeat ignorant remarks related to not being prepared for the influx of new patients related to the HC bill. In the end, it was never designed to give immediate care to all 30+ million people who need benefits. Anyone who is capable of reading already knows that it will all grow gradually, so it is truly disingenuous to insinuate that we would not be ready for the influx in appropriate time frames.

It's just another excuse to beat up on the President and his policies, another excuse to deny those who need help the most. Those participating in such behavior need to step out of the box and look at themselves ... ask themselves if they would be proud to claim such behavior.
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