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Health Care initiatives in the world of the unemployed

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How to save on out-of-pocket health care costs

Post  sc4ram on Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:15 pm

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Future of Health Savings Accounts.(HSAs)

Post  sc4ram on Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:07 pm

Happened to be watching the Senate Finance Comittee hearings tuesday nite (Sept 29) hopeing they would abandon their health care boondoggle and pass a EUC extension. Instead they shot down 3 ammendments, an action which may result in the death of Health Savings Accounts. Its very difficult to find documentation on these ammendments but I did find a summary today (below) on the Heritage Foundation website. (So much for the "you can keep your own insurance" chant.)

Restricting Consumer Choice of Health Benefits. (Grassley Amendment C4, Kyl Amendment C11, Ensign Amendment C5)
The Senate Finance Committee mark includes an individual mandate. It would require Americans to purchase health insurance defined by the government as adequate. Failure to meet the government’s minimum requirements for coverage would result in an excise tax, assessed through the tax code, which would vary depending on income. Several Republican Senators sought to amend this provision and broaden consumer choice of coverage , thereby increasing consumer choice and health benefit options.

Senator Grassley (R-IA) offered an amendment allowing Health Savings Accounts to qualify as minimum creditable coverage under the individual mandate. This amendment failed by a vote of 11-12. Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) also offered an amendment which would have prohibited the federal government from setting actuarial values of health insurance plans. This would stop the federal government from forcing persons to buy health benefits they don’t need to satisfy the federal governments level of health insurance. This amendment also failed, with a vote of 8-14.

Finally, Senator John Ensign (R-WY) proposed an amendment that would allow health plans that met the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code to qualify as health insurance plans under the proposed individual mandate. In effect, the Ensign amendment would have broadened the range of acceptable coverage to include those plans that persons currently have under existing tax law. The amendment would guarantee Americans greater flexibility in choosing their health care coverage. Sen. Ensign’s amendment failed on a procedural vote. The significance of these Senate Committee health insurance votes is that they underscore the point that the Senate has no interest in upholding President Obama s repeated promise that if you like the health insurance you have today, that you will be able to keep it.

Once again, ordinary Americans can clearly see how the Senate Finance Committee is hammering out health care policy on matters that are moist important to them- health care costs and health insurance costs, the right to keep their current coverage if they like it, and the right to enoy a relationship with their doctor that is not subject to federal interference.

Once again, ordinary Americans can judge for themselves if there is a gap between the rhetoric of official Washington and the reality of their legislative products.
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Health reform might not mean affordability for all middle class

Post  sc4ram on Sat Oct 03, 2009 10:16 pm

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CBO Wrong on Health Bill's Cost to Taxpayer

Post  sc4ram on Tue Oct 13, 2009 6:57 pm

October 13, 2009
CBO Wrong on Health Bill's Cost to Taxpayer
by Brian Darling
Sen. Max Baucus (D.-Mont.) has received a score on his legislative outline for healthcare reform -- the Vapor Bill -- from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Still, as yet, there is no Baucus legislation for the American people to read. Supporters of Obamacare have declared victory, because CBO says the Vapor Bill would save $81 billion in the first 10 years. Sounds great until you read the report and find out that the savings come about because of a massive hike in payroll tax revenues from the middle class.

The Vapor Bill would supposedly cost $829 billion over 10 years, but would raise taxes through the roof. Ryan Ellis of Americans for Tax Reform points out that new taxes in this Vapor Bill include an individual mandate tax, an employer mandate tax, a potential death of Health Savings Accounts (HSA), a tax on high-end health plans, a new cap on flexible-spending accounts (FSAs), and various tweaks in the tax code to raise new revenue. Add all these taxes together with Medicare and Medicaid cuts (estimated at $404 billion) and liberals can claim a "savings" for the federal government.

Don't let the score of the Vapor Bill fool you. Higher taxes and massive new spending won't save taxpayer s any money. Expanding government and raising taxes should be scored by the American public as a loss for those who cherish freedom.
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Should Rules for All Include Congress?

Post  sc4ram on Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:02 am

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How an Insurance Mandate Could Leave Many Worse Off

Post  sc4ram on Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:13 am

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An $800 Billion Waste A Year?!?

Post  Unemployed In Orlando on Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:30 am

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FACT CHECK: Health insurers' profits 35th of 53

Post  sc4ram on Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:51 pm

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Re: Health Care initiatives in the world of the unemployed

Post  sc4ram on Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:17 pm


Good Post UIO, I have no doubt that their is waste and abuse in any bureaucracy, the Health Insurance Industry is not an exception. However I would assert at least they have shareholders they are reponsible to and have a incentive to reduce it . Im not sure the government boys that want to take it over have the same incentive.

If you saw 60 Minutes last nite they had a feature on how Medicare fraud in South Florida netted more money to criminals than the drug trade. (I posted the link to 60 Minutes below)

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5419844n

Given that episode, Im not buying into the line that Government opted health care is some kind of efficiency model.

Part of the yahoo article cited duplicate tests as one of the problems which it is. I would assert that we all need to pay more attention to what tests are being prescribed and challange them if necessary. People with nice employee sponsered Health Insurance have gotton into a rut because the deductibles are so low they simply dont question tests and procedures (because the cost to them is cheap and almost irrelevent)

I went to the Dentist recently and they said I needed a new set of panoramic X-Rays, I challanged them to justify it, and they said it was "routine" and "my insurance will cover it" and they were somewhat demanding. I then happened to remember I had recently been to different specialized Dentist for some work and they had taken a set of the same type of xray, and I happened to have the receipt for it with me and my Dentist backed down.

I dont think they are duplicating tests to steal money from us (the insurance companies are incentivized to do less tests and thus pay out less) , I think the Doctors are in a CYA mode to make sure they dont get sued.
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What Does 'Hospitalization' Mean? Under Health Care Bill, Kathleen Sebelius Will Decide

Post  sc4ram on Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:25 pm

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A 1,990-Page Medical Monstrosity

Post  sc4ram on Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:21 pm

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Mike Pence: Reading Guide to the Pelosi Health Care Reform Bill

Post  sc4ram on Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:22 pm

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A comprehensive list of new taxes in health care bill

Post  sc4ram on Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:02 pm

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Costly Medicare cuts

Post  sc4ram on Sat Oct 31, 2009 3:38 pm

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Flex spending accounts face hit in health overhaul

Post  sc4ram on Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:10 pm

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Democrats' plan to help 'uninsurables' questioned

Post  sc4ram on Thu Nov 05, 2009 12:04 pm

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What the Pelosi Health-Care Bill Really Says

Post  sc4ram on Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:47 pm

Some details on the recent Health Care bill passed by the House at the link below. From my view it looks like a disaster, (higher premiums and higher deficit). My current high deductible health insurance would be eventually outlawed if this bill went into effect.

If this issue concerns you, Id suggest that you write a letter to Sen. Nelson and urge him to vote against the legislation being crafted in the Senate (I would guess he can be persuaded since there are massive cuts in the Medicare reimbursement rates and Seniors are one of his major constituencies). My perception from our experience in writing members of Congress about EUC is they don’t pay much attention to email inputs. I’ve been told a hard copy letter (that was obviously written by a individual) with a postmark from the member's home district or state carries more weight.
I pasted Sen. Nelson's mailing address at the bottom FYI..

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB20001424052748704795604574519671055918380.html

Senator Bill Nelson
716 Senate Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
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Confessions of an ObamaCare Backer

Post  sc4ram on Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:19 am

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Feds Ignored Medicare Scam Warnings for Years

Post  sc4ram on Fri Nov 13, 2009 2:23 pm

These same guys say they can take over our remaining health care system and run it more efficiently, to use a phrase "im having trouble suspending my disbelief"



http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_MEDICARE_FRAUD_UNEXAMINED_SCAMS_FLOL-?SITE=FLDAY&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT
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"Savings' from financial sleight of hand

Post  sc4ram on Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:57 am

By Bill Theobald Gannett 11-24-09

WASHINGTON- The Senate health care reform bill would reduce the deficit by $130B over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. But a close look at the measure shows that its cost savuing provisions depend on accounting gimmicks and dubious assumptions.

These include:

- Assumptions related to what congresional law makers refer to as the "doctor fix."

Congress set up a system in 1997 to automatically cut Medicare reimbursements to doctors if the programs costs rise too quickly. Every year since then, costs have risen. But just as the reimbursement cuts are about to kick in . Congres always steps in a "fixes" (ie nulifies) them.

The Senate health care proposal assumes Congress will approve its standard doctor fix only in the first year the reforms take effect. The amount paid to doctors serving Medicare patients would be cut sharply after that.

Total impact about $200B.

- Assumptions related to the CLASS Act.

The Senate bill would create a long term care insurance program called Community Living Assistance Services and Suppoorts (CLASS) Act. CBO officials looked at how much the program would cost only during the health care bill's 2010-2019 budget window. Over that period the program would be taking in lots of premiums but would be spending very little on health services because most people enrolled in it would be too young to need those services. Total impact :$72B

-Delaying the bill's effective date by one year.

Under the initial Senate proposals, lower income people would have started getting federal subsidies for buying insurance in 2013. The bill now under consideration moves that back to 2014.

Total impact: about $15B
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Health overhaul: Understanding the pros and cons

Post  sc4ram on Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:28 pm

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Re: Health Care initiatives in the world of the unemployed

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