Friday, November 15, 2013

Everyone in the USA is better off with quality health care.

Health care costs have gone up for the sixth year in a row, (click here) increasing at rate higher than inflation. Those who can still afford health care are often finding that their benefits are being trimmed while their co-pays and deductibles are increasing. With these growing costs is the growing importance of getting the most out of your health care coverage. Unfortunately, health care policies are often complicated and confusing, filled with jargon that can confuse anyone without a law degree....

Purchasing Health Care Insurance isn't as difficult as it seems and the Gold plated or Platinum plated policies is not necessary the BEST for any individual or family in the country. The Platinum plated health care provides THE SMALLEST COPAYS for a higher subscription price. The wealthy may or may not subscribe to these plans, it is the anticipated health care costs any family or person expects in a year that dictates the policy they purchase.

My physician is the best. She worries about me and cares a great deal about my wellness. She and her colleagues are priceless. The least I can do is take her advice and care to heart and seriously follow her recommendations. But, for the visit to the office it costs $95.00. I have a $20.00 co-pay. That is all I pay to her when I visit that office. She bills the insurance for $95.00 and it is between them what she recieves, but, on the reconciliation statement I only look at the services charged to be sure they are correct and I look at the amount I owe and it is always $20.00. That is not the physicians invoice it is the reconciliation statement from the insurance company and when I go back to her office for follow-up or whatever, there is never a balance. I pay the $20.00 before my appointment and that is all I pay.

When I have a prescription, my out of pocket is $3.00. And no I don't have Medicaid. I have a Blue Cross and Blue Shield policy. I fill most of my scirpts at Walgreens. Why? Because Walgreens honors my scripts no matter where I am even Alaska when I visit the ice fields. That is why I go to Walgreens. They give me good service, always look for the most economical method of obtaining my medications and respect any question I have. 


That is all I pay. My full year deductible is $6100.00. That means IF and that is fairly big IF. If I accumulate services and medications and whatever totaling $6100.00 over one year the insurance than pays 100% of those costs. I have met the yearly deductible and I pay nothing after that.

I will not accumulate $6100.00 out of pocket in any given year. It won't happen. I know it won't happen. Why would I pay for a more expensive health insurance policy for a lower annual deductible if I know I will never meet it anyway? That would be throwing money right into the profits of the insurance company and I would be a jerk for shooting myself in the foot.

The companies are in business for profit and completely let you believe the Platinum policy is where all the millionaires go. NOT. 

The only way to decide what policy to purchase is knowing what your REGULAR health care costs are. And the great thing about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is that all the preventive costs are FREE. I don't have to put those costs into my medical budget in any year now. It is great. I don't have to pinch pennies to be sure all my preventive care is complete it is now included in my subscription costs. I like it that way. I have my preventive appointments made already. It is all taken care of. NO WORRIES.

If I didn't have my health care insurance I would be paying far more out of pocket costs every year to keep up with my preventive costs and any anticipated illness and prescriptions than my subscription costs. Absolutely would, no doubt in my mind. I could not achieve all this wonderful care without my health insurance company. Why? Because THEY have a contract with my doctors and I don't.

If I didn't have insurance I would have to pay my physician $95.00 per visit, not $20.00. She doesn't get $95.00 for her service from the insurance company and she is a very happy and comfortable person with her contracted services with many insurance companies. 

And because the insurance isn't paying her $75.00 knowing I paid $20.00 they are making money through their contracts. Absolutely they are. 

Everyone is taken care of, me, my doctors and all those providing me care and the insurance company. I don't begrudge them their subscription fees/PREMIUMS because I could not do alone what they do as a company. 

For all those folks that are falling into this TRAP by the Right Wing Politics in the USA; they are not doing the right thing for themselves. They are paying high out of pocket costs thinking they are saving on PREMIUMS and they doing themselves a favor by BEATING THE SYSTEM. NOT. They are avoiding care and even when it is covered by their bare bones policies they aren't covered for the 'bad news' should it come.

I realize personal decisions are important. But, when it comes to health care costs being a smart shopper for insurance is knowing what your costs will be per year and honoring your wellness by receiving vital preventive care and following physicians advice. 

I wish I had a magic wand to clear up the thinking of the nation because The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is the best thing that has happened to every American in this country. I believe that beyond any doubt. 

The sky is falling, the sky is falling!

FACT SHEET: New Administration Proposal To Help Consumers Facing Cancellations

“I've assigned my team to see what can we do to close some of the holes and gaps in the law, because my intention is to lift up and make sure the insurance that people buy is effective, that it's actually going to deliver what they think they're purchasing.  Because what we know is, before the law was passed, a lot of these plans people thought they had insurance coverage and then they'd find out that they had huge out-of-pocket expenses or women were being charged more than men.  If you had preexisting conditions, you just couldn't get it at all.
“And we are proud of the consumer protections we've put into place.  On the other hand, we also want to make sure that nobody is put in a position where their plans have been canceled, they can't afford a better plan even though they'd like to have a better plan.  And so we're going to have to work hard to make sure that those folks are taken care of.” – President Barack Obama, November 7, 2013....
In an article from the Christian Science Monitor Mr. Smith is complaining about having to pay more than $200 per month over his current costs. He admits he pays for coverage that basically isn't any type of coverage at all and that it would be nice to be accepted into a health care policy without any problems. This is exactly the problem. Now, if Mr. Smith or his spouse run into problems in the next year because they didn't purchase from the health care exchanges, they have a good chance of declaring bankruptcy and losing any footing they have now to their dreams of operating a restaurant business. 
There are times when government has to make the choices. These folks simply don't have a clear understanding of what good health care can bring to their peace of mind and their future dreams. This is a shame the media is exploiting people like this and causing such problems.
President Obama needs to proceed with the State Exchanges and ignore the complaints they are under educated to their best outcomes and exploited by the political Right Wing.
...When Smith and his wife, who are both in their early forties and who do not have children, relocated to Cape Coral from West Des Moines, Iowa, in 2012, they say they were refused coverage by Golden Rule, a division of UnitedHealthcare, which serves 27 million members. Smith takes lisinopril for high blood pressure and pravastatin for high cholesterol, so when a broker then hooked him up with a Humana policy, the Kentucky-based insurer serving more than 11 million customers said no to him, too.
Despite these preexisting medical conditions, after a few months in their new home the Smiths were approved for a bare-bones, high-deductible policy by Florida Blue. Now, just a year later, he has to go through this process again.
“It’s all myself – no employees,” Smith says. “So if I do get sick or anything – I mean, if I’m down, I’m in trouble.”
But he and his wife are happy to be in Florida. They even hope to open a Thai restaurant in the near future. And although they’ll be paying more for insurance, they feel a bit more secure.
Smith is shopping for a “bronze plan” now, the cheapest of the metallurgically-labeled coverage levels that many private insurers are using, echoing the labels of Obamacare. With the cheapest plan, Smith and his wife will each have a $6,350 deductible, or a $12,700 yearly out-of-pocket cost for health services they use. Until they cross that threshold, this type of plan pays only for a few primary-care visits and a basic drug benefit.
“I have more confidence that I’ll have real insurance now,” he says. “You know, I don’t like to pay more, but I have more confidence that I’m going to have some coverage that won’t get yanked from underneath me.”
Those deductibles apply only to the level of out of pocket expense paid before the insurances pay 100%. These folks do not have to pay $6350 per person before they are given coverage. That is their maximum out of pocket for the entire year. But, the health care coverage starts immediately in providing benefits for medicine and doctor visits. These poor people are run through the meat grinder to prove what exactly? That they have options to good insurance that will prevent profound tragedy in their lives?
People are being taken advantage of in that they do not understand what purchasing health care means and what exactly deductibles, no pays, etc. mean. For a healthy person a Bronze Plan is all that they need at this point, but, at least they have coverage if the worst happens. Mr. Smith and his wife will suffer more financial hardship if either of them in their early forties are diagnosed with an expensive diagnosis.
Honestly, one would think the world was coming to an end. 

Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:44am EST.

(Reuters) - The dollar climbed (click here) to a fresh two-month high against the yen on Friday after Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen lifted investor appetite for higher-risk assets by defending the U.S. central bank's current stimulus measures.
Comments widely interpreted as confirming Yellen's dovish stance and showing there would be no reduction of stimulus anytime soon dented the low-yielding yen, which typically falls when investors are looking to take on risk. She was nominated by President Barack Obama to succeed current Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, whose term expires at the end of January. "The take away from Janet Yellen's comments (Thursday) was that a Federal Reserve led by her would leave many of the current policies in place, providing very little disruption," said Camilla Sutton, chief FX strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto. The dollar rose 0.2 percent to 100.22 yen, having touched a high of 100.43 yen earlier in the global trading day and giving it the potential to target the September 11 high of 100.60 yen. The yen fell broadly, with sterling hitting a four-year high against the Japanese currency....
The House first has to pass a special rule in order to bring the Upton bill to the floor. Really? 

Minority Leader Pelosi made a very interesting statement in regard to the Upton bill. She stated major health care organizations state the Upton bill is adverse to good outcomes for Americans, including, the American Cancer Society and Lung Association.

Ms. Pelosi also state the Upton bill is masqueraded as a benefit to the American people, and it is viewed in the real world as an adversity to the people.

She also went on to say the Democrats have a bill that would provide freedom to State Insurance Commissioners to investigate price increases and to receive notice of cancellation before letters are sent to the public. The reason for that being if the states are aware of cancellation of policies it can then seek to understand the reasons for the cancellation and act ahead of cancellation to provide options to the people and/or the companies issuing the policies.

I think it is a good point. The letters of cancellation went out to the public causing alarm before it could be reviewed and acted on by any government agency to ease the burden on companies and/or the people. The entire trauma over the cancellation of substandard policies could have been averted with authority to review the reasons for cancellation.

The buzz word for the Republicans is "UNSUSTAINABLE DEBT." They dont' see unstainability over a timeline, but, in an emergency to invoke fear in the electorate.

The Republicans are still talking about passing HR 3121. The same law that has been voted on 45 times before.

The CBO states if everything remains the same with the National Budget the debt will be 100% of GDP in 25 years.

In the Budget hearing where the CBO is speaking Ryan is very pessimistic about an agreement and Patty Murray states progress is being made and believes the differences will be resolved in a short period of time.

Ryan states the Budget hearing is very informal and any members of the panel can hold up their names to be recognized to ask questions. Basically, they have to raise their hands. Ryan is a joke. 

This isn't governance. It just isn't. The CBO, Douglas Elmendorf, comes to Congress and treated as if he isn't important. Amazing. 

There is no earnest effort by Ryan to take this seriously. This is obviously just drama. Ryan has no desire to settle into a budget before the deadlines. 

The American people have to take their elections seriously and elect serious individuals who actually care about the country and the voters. We are going to see more of the same come January and February. There are about 10 working days for Congress left this year and when they return in January they will be at the doorstep of the Budget and Debt Ceiling. Ryan is stalling in order to create another crisis. 

The lack of structure of the meeting is met with coping by other Senators in taking example and proceeding. It is causing confusion. 

The Republicans aren't governing. They are refusing to participate. They remind me of a two year old stuck on 'No.' I mean that. There is absolutely no impulsion forward into an agreement. It is all about finding fault and assigning blame. 

At this point, there should not be fact finding missions. At this point the Budget Committee should already have discussed the different budgets, resolved those differences and bringing NOT QUESTIONS before the CBO but the new agreement to make sure it will result in it's goal. 

This is still a fact finding meeting. It is a failure. Ryan is unable to lead. He is capable of a lack attitude that compromises reconciliation. There will be another dramatic Budget deadline followed by another Debt Ceiling deadline. Nothing is being done and it is completely obvious nothing will be done to avoid another fiscal crisis. 

Ryan's leadership is an abject failure. 

This is NOT difficult. This is a minor exercise in governing. Income and expenditures. This is not all that. Ryan can't get it done because he is an ideologue focused on politics. 

The CBO confirms to Senator Sanders there is significant inequality in wealth distribution. Senator Sanders pointed to 36% of the nation's wealth and income goes to the top 1% while the bottom 40% has 2.6% of the nation's wealth and income. 

Senator Sanders states the report by the CBO was absent of contemporary America. Mr. Elmendorf states he has some graphs that illustrates a raw picture of distributional wealth. 

Of course, Senator Sanders knows that when the nation's majority of population are poor, the nation is poor. The income to the treasury is from the nation's tax base. The better Americans receive wealth and income across a broad base the better the income to the Treasury. The point is cutting important monies to bring Americans to a greater level of earning isn't serving the sustainable economy of the USA. 

It is completely obvious the Republicans are running the clock for their own priorities and unable to govern because of those priorities. 

Senator Grassley just lectured everyone. Basically, he said, "The USA needs a strong economy to have a strong military. Dissolving The Sequester in order to spend more on defense is very shortsighted." He stated his remarks particularly are directed at US House of Representatives. 

Senator Warner states it is a global trend that private industry no longer is seeking to train their employees, there is a movement for the public sector train their citizens for employment. 

Senator Graham is back peddling. He has returned to slashing Medicare and Social Security. He wants entitlement reform. SSI is not a budgetary issue. SSI is an autonomous trust that can't be spent on the USA Fiscal Budget. He is worried about 80 million Baby Boomers. 

Chris Van Holen stated the greatest influx to Medicare and Social Security will occur in 10 years realizing that contribution of the tax base will also fall. ?? Maybe ?? to some degree, but, not completely. This generation tends to like to make money one way or another. But, the worst case scenario is correct. Rep. Van Holen also stated the business loop holes are stubbornly persistent and suggested the CBO do an analysis of those loop holes so they can be closed. He was also concerned about the policy ending this year regarding unemployment. Yeah, but, ??? there has been job growth and we aren't looking at a shrinking economy. I don't think we are still in an unemployment emergency, are we? That only justification would be if jobs are being outsourced at a rate detrimental to the employment of Americans. The other aspect one of the other committee members noted was the existing job openings already existing in the USA economy without trained people to fill those openings.

Mr. Elmendorf states he discourages increases in marginal tax rates on overtime pay because it will remove vitality from the economy. Taking those extra monies away from the spending behavior of the nation is a mistake. He  also stated cuts in the budget are not best for the current economy. 

Senator Whitehouse states President's Council on Economic Advisers states there is $700 billion to be saved in the health care industry. He also notes several private independent study groups with the same figure if not more. He wants to know from the CBO how important it is to work on the cost of health care. Mr. Elmendorf states it would assist the federal budget and deficit a great deal to address unproductive spending in health care. Those monies if removed from the health care costs of the nation do not at all effect the quality of the care provided.