Tuesday, March 23, 2010
In addition to the lousy argument Florida is trying to prove the Michigan Attorney General believe the Health Care Bill is unconstitionaly based on...
... Article 10 of the Bill of Rights.
"W"rong again. Just because these Governors are embarrassed they didn't take proper care of their citizens doesn't mean they can simply IGNORE the need.
Article One, Section 8, Clause 18 of the USA Constitution explicitly states, that the federal government has the right to render law when it is Necessary and Proper.
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
The States have neglected their citizens with the exception of Massachusetts and now they are all scrambling to cover their butts.
TOO BAD !!!!!!!!!!!
How many dead peasants are enough for them?
I want them to answer that question. When these news people talk to the politicians ask they how many dead peasants are enough for them before they finally pass a health care reform bill?
They need to withdraw their complaints and deal with the issues within their States if they want to promote their own politics. This issue is CLOSED, except for implementation.
Diesel is cheaper than any other fuel. It is also dirtier.
...BJ Services Co. acknowledged in January 2008 (The EPA under Bush) to investigators from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that it had violated a 2003 agreement not to use diesel in specific types of hydraulic fracturing. When that was disclosed last month, a BJ Services executive said that the company had "self reported" the violation to EPA.
But EPA says the company never told agency officials. And documents show the company has twice since then told the environmental agency that it has always been in compliance with the agreement....
"BJ Services continued through January to tell us they had not" used diesel in fracturing, said EPA spokeswoman Enesta Jones....
Release date: 03/22/2010
Contact Information: Enesta Jones, email@example.com, 202-564-7873, 202-564-4355 En español: Lina Younes, firstname.lastname@example.org 202-564-9924, 202-564-4355
WASHINGTON - In a speech today at the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) annual conference in Washington, D.C., U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced the agency is developing a broad new set of strategies to strengthen public health protection from contaminants in drinking water. The aim is to find solutions that meet the health and economic needs of communities across the country more effectively than the current approach. EPA is also announcing a decision to revise the existing drinking water standards for four contaminants that can cause cancer.
"To confront emerging health threats, strained budgets and increased needs -- today's and tomorrow's drinking water challenges -- we must use the law more effectively and promote new technologies," said EPA Administrator Jackson. "That means fostering innovation that can increase cost-effective protection. It means finding win-win-win solutions for our health our environment and our economy. And it means broad collaboration. To make our drinking water systems work harder, we have to work smarter."...
WHILE IN Bolivia...
NAM NEWS NETWORK Mar 23rd, 2010
LA PAZ, March 23 (NNN-PRENSA LATINA) – Bolivia began celebrations of the World Water Day established by the United Nations N 17 years ago with a call the rational use of water.
According to the Minister of Environment and Water María Esther Udaeta, a Water Fair will also be held in La Paz this weekend to attract the public, especially young people.
The United Nations (UN) choose ”Clean Water for a Healthy World” as theme for World Water Day this year, which sums up importance of supplying superior water to improve people’s health and living conditions....
As the United Nations spearheaded efforts to mark World Water Day on Monday, scarcity was at the top of the agenda. And with an increasing number of communities around the world lacking sufficient water supplies, the push to classify access to potable water as a basic human right is gaining ground among a variety of stakeholders....
‘(d) Definitions- The Secretary, in consultation with the National Association of Insurance Commissions, shall establish uniform definitions for the activities reported under subsection (a).
‘SEC. 2719. APPEALS PROCESS.‘A group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall implement an effective appeals process for appeals of coverage determinations and claims, under which the plan or issuer shall, at a minimum--
‘(1) have in effect an internal claims appeal process;
‘(2) provide notice to enrollees, in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner, of available internal and external appeals processes, and the availability of any applicable office of health insurance consumer assistance or ombudsman established under section 2793 to assist such enrollees with the appeals processes;
‘(3) allow an enrollee to review their file, to present evidence and testimony as part of the appeals process, and to receive continued coverage pending the outcome of the appeals process; and
‘(4) provide an external review process for such plans and issuers that, at a minimum, includes the consumer protections set forth in the Uniform External Review Model Act (click here) promulgated by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and is binding on such plans.’.
The Uniform External Review Model Act is being implemented as this bill becomes effective. Its purpose is to bring equity to all the appeal processes and hearing in regard to health care insurance. It is a good idea and brevity in that it takes review processes out of the hands of insurance companies that deny benefits to those Americans that need them. It will be an opportunity to weigh the benefits of 'value' and new technologies with investigative capacity to save lives as a component to value. It is necessary in today's Wall Street environment of draconian companies that view human beings as peasants as well as disposable people with families that will benefit from their life insurance rather than their HEALTH insurance.
SEC. 1002. HEALTH INSURANCE CONSUMER INFORMATION.Part C of title XXVII of the Public Health Service Act (
The states have no room to complain. There will be additional funding to provide support to its citizens as the health care insurance transitions to a user friendly structure.
‘SEC. 2793. HEALTH INSURANCE CONSUMER INFORMATION.‘(a) In General- The Secretary shall award grants to States to enable such States (or the Exchanges operating in such States) to establish, expand, or provide support for--
‘(1) offices of health insurance consumer assistance; or
‘(2) health insurance ombudsman (click here) programs.
‘(1) IN GENERAL- To be eligible to receive a grant, a State shall designate an independent office of health insurance consumer assistance, or an ombudsman, that, directly or in coordination with State health insurance regulators and consumer assistance organizations, receives and responds to inquiries and complaints concerning health insurance coverage with respect to Federal health insurance requirements and under State law.
‘(2) CRITERIA- A State that receives a grant under this section shall comply with criteria established by the Secretary for carrying out activities under such grant.
There is no reason for any State to ignore this opportunity to provide more support to their citizens in regard to health care insurance. There is not a case on record whereby State Regulators PREVENTED injury, deterioration or death of a citizen due to the draconian practices of the health insurance industry. This new law will provide every citizen with the opportunity to have health insurance and every State should rise to that directive and enforce the new standards.
The 'existing' review process through appeals is all contained within the health care insurance companies themselves and they have proven UNTRUSTWORTHY.
‘(c) Duties- The office of health insurance consumer assistance or health insurance ombudsman shall--
‘(1) assist with the filing of complaints and appeals, including filing appeals with the internal appeal or grievance process of the group health plan or health insurance issuer involved and providing information about the external appeal process;
‘(2) collect, track, and quantify problems and inquiries encountered by consumers;
‘(3) educate consumers on their rights and responsibilities with respect to group health plans and health insurance coverage;
‘(4) assist consumers with enrollment in a group health plan or health insurance coverage by providing information, referral, and assistance; and
‘(5) resolve problems with obtaining premium tax credits under section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 click here).
This section is frequently accessed in bills other than health care reform to set appeal processes. This bill seeks sound content in existing law and the appeals process to health care with insurance companies are no different. These are procedures are familiar to corporate attorneys so the cost to any of this is negligible to an upstart. The corporations are now going to have to weigh their attorney costs along with providing care as they should to their peasants.
The down side to any of the appeal processes is that the peasant is suffering from illnesses that need attention NOW !
‘(d) Data Collection- As a condition of receiving a grant under subsection (a), an office of health insurance consumer assistance or ombudsman program shall be required to collect and report data to the Secretary on the types of problems and inquiries encountered by consumers. The Secretary shall utilize such data to identify areas where more enforcement action is necessary and shall share such information with State insurance regulators, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of the Treasury for use in the enforcement activities of such agencies.
The above statute is quality control to focus on where appeals are mostly being conducted so the federal authorities can decide if the appeals are draconian and unnecessary to the peasants.
‘(1) INITIAL FUNDING- There is hereby appropriated to the Secretary, out of any funds in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, $30,000,000 for the first fiscal year for which this section applies to carry out this section. Such amount shall remain available without fiscal year limitation.
$30 million US? That's all? Fine. Why do I especially feel like a peasant at this point?
‘(2) AUTHORIZATION FOR SUBSEQUENT YEARS- There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary for each fiscal year following the fiscal year described in paragraph (1), such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.’.
This might be an improvement to the $30 million to initiate the quality assurance to the peasants in regard to their health care insurance. There are after all 50 states and other USA territories and native lands.
The Big Blue Book is going to be signed today. It will end the saga of health care reform in the USA, at least for now.
5 Reasons Republicans Should Let Go of Health Care (click title to entry - thank you)I love that picture of the President and Vice President after the vote to the Reconciliation Bill. That is Vice President Biden and President Obama after the vote to the Reconciliation Bill was passed. President Obama spoke to the nation. Of course Vice President Biden will be near the Senate when the Reconciliation Bill comes to the floor for a vote.
The Republicans need to change their view of taxes. They always brag about how much they donate to charities. Well, they can think of their additional taxes as a social donation to the health of FELLOW Americans.
The Florida Attorney General, Bill McCollum has absolutely no case against the Health Care Reform Bill which he intends to file a petition to declare it unconstitutional law as soon as it is signed. He stated that the bill is allowing a commerce of taxes and regulation where none exists and does not provide services. He PROTECTED the mandatory car insurance bill the State of Florida has by stating there is an 'exchange' of goods in demanding insurance for all motorists because people have the 'pleasure' of driving their car.
He went on to say the federal health care bill is like saying someone in their easy chair at home is actually engaged in commerce where there is no good exchanged. Right. The argument doesn't hold water. The highest level of bankruptcies occur over health care bills. There is plenty of use of homes in the USA that go to foreclosure due to health care costs. He doesn't have an argument. So while that Florida man is sitting in his 'easy chair' in his home without engaging in health care, there is some point in time when he will need it and seek it and might require it if in an accident with his car, but, it will also keep him sitting in that easy chair in his home.
The size of the document is amazing to most who view it. It is significant. It is also sadly unfortunate the bill has to achieve that volume to mandate regulation of the unthinkable in the USA by the health insurance industry.
‘SEC. 2718. BRINGING DOWN THE COST OF HEALTH CARE COVERAGE.‘(a) Clear Accounting for Costs- A health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall, with respect to each plan year, submit to the Secretary a report concerning the percentage of total premium revenue that such coverage expends--
The health care insurance companies have to had the Secretary of Health and Human Services a spread sheet of costs and benefits vs. profits for 'each plan year.'
‘(1) on reimbursement for clinical services provided to enrollees under such coverage;
‘(2) for activities that improve health care quality; and
(3) on all other non-claims costs, including an explanation of the nature of such costs, and excluding State taxes and licensing or regulatory fees.
The Secretary shall make reports received under this section available to the public on the Internet website of the Department of Health and Human Services.
‘(b) Ensuring That Consumers Receive Value for Their Premium Payments-
‘(1) REQUIREMENT TO PROVIDE VALUE FOR PREMIUM PAYMENTS- A health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall, with respect to each plan year, provide an annual rebate to each enrollee under such coverage, on a pro rata basis, in an amount that is equal to the amount by which premium revenue expended by the issuer on activities described in subsection (a)(3) exceeds--
In other words, the Secretary of Health and Human Services will review the balance sheets of the insuring companies and determine they have made a ? reasonable ? profit WITHOUT exploitation of costs. Once that profit is realized for each company there will be a determination to the EXCESS of monies paid by the enrollees to provide their care. There is a great deal of incentive to enrollees here as well. The incentive is to stay well and achieve wellness to the extent their physical conditions allow it. If their insuring companies have monies that are in excess of costs and profit then that is to be refunded to the enrollees as a rebate for each 'benefit year.' There is a strong incentive for insurers to 'get it right,' because, to issue checks whenever a benefit year is ended is an additional expense to enrollees and stockholders. They also don't want to get caught with their hand in the 'till and referred by the Secretary to the Justice Department for further investigation.
I really don't expect to hear any criticism about this either, as the health care industry has been corrupt to the core. There was testimony from within their own corporate structure as to how they played god in determining life and death of peasants. End of discussion.
‘(A) with respect to a health insurance issuer offering coverage in the group market, 20 percent, or such lower percentage as a State may by regulation determine; or
The bill makes room for States. There is absolutely no reason for any State to have a court action.
The percentages are generous to the amount the companies can keep in their coffers over and above operating costs. It would be wise to for the State Regulatory Agencies to monitor the compliance with a mandate to maintain health insurance coverage. The reason being that if the costs are too high as opposed to the 'value' they deliver there will higher non-compliance, people will suffer and the cost to the State and Federal government will escalate while the savings to the country will be hurt.
‘(B) with respect to a health insurance issuer offering coverage in the individual market, 25 percent, or such lower percentage as a State may by regulation determine, except that such percentage shall be adjusted to the extent the Secretary determines that the application of such percentage with a State may destabilize the existing individual market in such State.
Some of the more angry lords and ladies of the Republican Right Wing are stating they will sell their shares in the companies that insure the country and/or have unions. They akin it similar to the boycott of apartheid. Imagine that Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandella has boycotting American Health Care Reform. The Right Wing ANYBODY are legitimately 'wackos.' If they boycott go right ahead. It is more stock futures for the rest of us to own and from the look of the insurance stocks these days, I doubt anyone is giving it up. So, for those that want to sell their stocks in companies that have unions, go ahead, do it today ! Don't wait not one more day. The peasants are longing to purchase your shares.
(2) CONSIDERATION IN SETTING PERCENTAGES- In determining the percentages under paragraph (1), a State shall seek to ensure adequate participation by health insurance issuers, competition in the health insurance market in the State, and value for consumers so that premiums are used for clinical services and quality improvements.
This sets up parameters the States need to comply to in order to issue different percentages. It requires participation by the public to add to the dynamics the State Regulators will issue law.
‘(3) TERMINATION- The provisions of this subsection shall have no force or effect after December 31, 2013.
After that date the laws begin on January 1, 2014.
On with 'the read.' To some the bill may seem superfluous, but, to many Americans it is the difference between life and death.
Former Bush speechwriter tells GOP: Democrats’ passage of health care is actually ‘our’ Waterloo. (click title to entry - thank you)A huge part of the blame for today’s disaster attaches to conservatives and Republicans ourselves. At the beginning of this process we made a strategic decision:...
The Republicans always treat the electorate as if they are manipulative 'head cases.' Peasants. Why bother educating them?
That statement by David Frum, a Canadian American conservative journalist active in both the United States and Canadian political arenas, is correct. The party of 'No' did make a strategic decision. To 'kill the bill' was to sink the Obama Presidency. We heard it over and over again. The Republicans CHRONICALLY place themselves FIRST POLITICALLY before the needs and best interests of the American people. All the time. They don't care about people. They care about money and that does not always equate to the best outcome of 'the peasants.'
In Arizona the State Income Tax is among the lowest in the nation, yet, they are chronically complaining about the cost of illegal immigrants on their health care system and the cost of maintaining State Parks. They have gone so far as to continue to ignore their MORAL OBLIGATION by paying 'enough' State Income Tax to support their responsibilities including the heritage to precious places of nature in their State Parks.
Arizona has the MOST draconian Senators in the country and the most extreme. If the citizens of Arizona were to add a half a percent to their State Income Tax their problems would be solved and their complaining would end. Will they do it? No, they'll wait for the federal government to recognize the problems they face and intervene. What should occur is the federal government should see the neglect of the State government to GOVERN and take them to court to do the right thing for their children.
So, if the Republicans continue to NOT GOVERN rather than take care of citizens it will destroy its own party if it hasn't already.
HOWEVER, the Democrats cannot afford to become lazy after their victory.
One thing that concerns me about the Health Insurance Industry is the potential for a cartel. I hope there is enough interest in that to be sure there is an Anti-Trust clause to prevent that from occurring. Each company is not the same. There is no reason for them to raise rates in unison to exploit the insured.
I am going to go through this section and opt to finish my sleep rather than a cup of coffee. I don't 'do' substances. It is a health care thing I have.
‘(b) Wellness and Prevention Programs- For purposes of subsection (a)(1)(D), wellness and health promotion activities may include personalized wellness and prevention services, which are coordinated, maintained or delivered by a health care provider, a wellness and prevention plan manager, or a health, wellness or prevention services organization that conducts health risk assessments or offers ongoing face-to-face, telephonic or web-based intervention efforts for each of the program’s participants, and which may include the following wellness and prevention efforts:
This is a necessary provision that is intended to bend the cost curve down. If wellness and prevention programs can be competently handled by 'trainers' and/or 'educators' that will cut down on the visits to providers that could charge far more for their services. It is also more economical if the professionals that provide wellness and prevention services hold group meetings and clinics to reduce the cost to the insured/peasants.
The list here are no-brainers. The 'idea' of having professionals that even provide holistic or non-traditional services that are PROVEN effective in patients/peasants increases the job market and improves the tax base of the economy.
‘(1) Smoking cessation.
Imagine having the right to be reimbursed for "Weight Watchers" so long as DOCUMENTED progress can be validated. Nice. "Weight Watchers," by the way is a great and long lived program. It is very vigilant of its participants so far as including necessary nutrients in any one day. There encourage participants to drink anywhere from two to three glasses of milk per day. They derive their recommendations from standard sources.
‘(2) Weight management.
Imagery, massage or other tried and true techniques can all be legitimate under health care coverage. And probably encouraged to be so. Why wait for the need to go to Cancer Treatment Centers of America? Do it before it happens.
‘(3) Stress management.
Health maintenance. If one is going to 'do' "Weight Watchers" the level best thing to do along with the diet is to exercise and then maintain the weight loss by continuing that 'HABIT.'
‘(4) Physical fitness.
This is a counseling sort of thing. Nutrition counseling.
Nutrition counseling (click here) is an ongoing process in which a health professional, usually a registered dietitian, works with an individual to assess his or her usual dietary intake and identify areas where change is needed. The nutrition counselor provides information, educational materials, support, and follow-up to help the individual make and maintain the needed dietary changes.
American Heart Association Guidelines for Primary Prevention of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease Beginning in Childhood (click here)
‘(6) Heart disease prevention.
It is all about developing good health habits and diet and exercise.
"Let's Move" (click here)
That would be a more than nice gesture to include the First Ladies initiative in health care insurance policies to the peasants.
‘(7) Healthy lifestyle support.
Living with Diabetes (click here)
‘(8) Diabetes prevention.
‘(c) Regulations- Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Secretary shall promulgate regulations that provide criteria for determining whether a reimbursement structure is described in subsection (a).
On the passage above the Secretary has 2 years to decide whether the benefits within this section are to be included in any information to peasants. Depending on the decision by the Secretary there will be then six months for the GAO review.
‘(d) Study and Report- Not later than 180 days after the date on which regulations are promulgated under subsection (c), the Government Accountability Office shall review such regulations and conduct a study and submit to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives a report regarding the impact the activities under this section have had on the quality and cost of health care.
I'll be back later.
It has to start somewhere. Everyone knows that Israel is buidling in East Jerusalem, but, not everyone agrees.
It isn't about just access. It is about belonging. The culture of Palestine needs a presence as a claim to belonging. Different than deed restrictions. It really is more of a sovereignty issue for Palestine then Israel is willing to admit.
It is only a bit ludicrous to allow Palestinians 'access' while excluding them from sovereign rights. It is one thing to be able to live in Jerusalem as opposed to visiting it and walking among the homes of Israelis. I would think Israel would recognize that danger to its citizens. The people of Israel could become the targets of hatred if there isn't willingness in resolving this issue and then what good are homes?
The settlements in Jerusalem
...Pointing to what he has described as a national consensus in Israel over its claim to all of Jerusalem, Netanyahu told AIPAC that all Israeli governments had carried out construction in what he termed the city's "Jewish neighborhoods" since 1967.
"Everyone knows, everyone -- Americans, Europeans, Israelis certainly, Palestinians -- everyone knows that these neighborhoods will be part of Israel in any peace settlement. Therefore, building them in no way precludes the possibility of the two-state solution," he said.
In her speech, Clinton said new construction in East Jerusalem or the West Bank "undermines mutual trust and endangers the proximity talks" that are the first step toward full negotiations, suspended since December 2008.
"It exposes daylight between Israel and the United States that others in the region could hope to exploit. And it undermines America's unique ability to play a role -- an essential role, I might add -- in the peace process."
But she said U.S. support for Israel was "rock solid, unwavering, enduring, and forever."...