Thursday, December 26, 2013

Health care is a mandate and it should be.

Insurance pools across the country are going to be basically the same. There are going to be outliars in every group, but, for the most part the pools won't vary that much in the numbers of ages in the group.

The cost of insurance vary state by state. The insurance premiums vary state by state. The amount insurance companies pay to health care providers will vary from state to state, but, the people insured in any particular pool will be statistically about the same based on the state's population, their level of poverty and the quality of their health care system.

So, within a group if an 18 year old goes to a family medical doctor for illness the cost of the office visit is the same as the office visit for a 64 year old with an illness. If they both have come down with the same sore throat and it is strep, their medication will cost the same at the pharmacy.

THAT sameness mitigates the cost of the health insurance. Where the costs vary is when an age group begins to use MORE SERVICES and MORE SPECIALIZED SERVICES. Let's say a fifty year old needs a knee replacement, that will effect his costs. But, if a 20 year old crashes his or her car and send them to the ER and ICU that will effect their costs.

Each age of any American carries with it their health focus. Children die more frequently of accidents than illness. Those over forty run cancer risks. Not to say younger Americans can't get cancer, they do and frequently as in the case of testicular cancer it has a high mortality rate.

But, the rates across any age demographic in the country is going to prove to be based in similar risk factors. Added to that is the HEALTH CONDITION found in states. The people in poverty are going to more ill, therefore, Mississippi runs the risk of having higher premiums because the state's population is more ill. But, Mississippi's population will also receive more financial subsidies to insure them. So, those most effected by poor health will also be receiving subsidies to have them attend to their health issues and improve their quality of life.

As in Kentucky there are many, many people receiving health care for the first time in their lives. Their health will improve, their ability to be employed as a healthy American will improve and their 'on the job' work days will increase with less sick days, their production will go up and the company will increase their profitability. 

Health has an intricate relationship with a country's economy. The healthier the workers, the less down time for a company and an increase in profitability. 

Take Africa for instance. Before there was HIV diagnosis and treatment what were the economic opportunities for the people? Why would a company invest in a community suffering from chronic illness? Same thing holds true in the USA, except, generally we are a healthier country than other nations.

Every American needs to have health insurance. Either through parents when young and/or in college past the age of 18 or independently through a State Exchange or the Federal Exchange for states without their own exchange. It is silly not to have it because there isn't one person in the USA that will never use it.

The COST of health care is the enemy. NOT pitting one American against another.

Let's get something straight. The 'idea' there are older Americans within The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act INSURANCE POOLS is a LIE.

There are no elderly in insurance pools in the USA.

The insurance pools provided through The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are ALL YOUNGER AMERICANS.

The oldest American in ANY insurance pool in the USA is 64 years old.

The age bracket of this law is 18 years to 64 years old. THERE IS NO ELDERLY. 

The elderly are covered by Medicare. Medicare is a government insurance program. Those enrolled in Medicare are not part of the private insurance pools.

There are basically three insurance rates in any health insurance pool.

Ages 18-29 - Which is the base rate.

Ages 30-49 - The base rate plus the base rate.

Ages 50-64 - The rate of the 30-49 year old group plus base rate.

The younger group is NOT subsidizing the older group. They are all paying their own ratings. They are all pulling their own weight.

Those three rates are a very simple explanation. Within those age groups can be sliding scales for each age. I am quite confident the equations used by insurers and state regulators are not that simple. But, there is no one paying for anyone else. Everyone is paying their own rate. 


Health insurance premiums are a reflection of the underlying costs of care. When the cost of medical services such as doctor visits, hospital stays, and medical devices increases, these costs drive a corresponding increase in premiums. Federal government data show that over the past 20 years health benefit costs (i.e. how much the nation has spent on medical procedures, treatments, doctors’ visits, etc.) have increased by an average of 7.2 percent annually and premium increases have averaged 7.1 percent annually. These data demonstrate that health care costs and premiums go hand-in-hand.

This information is provided by AHIP. They state they use federal government data to derive their information to base their statements. This is all math, not voodoo. This is all measurable.

America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) is the national trade association representing the health insurance industry. AHIP’s members provide health and supplemental benefits to more than 200 million Americans through employer-sponsored coverage, the individual insurance market, and public programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. AHIP advocates for public policies that expand access to affordable health care coverage to all Americans through a competitive marketplace that fosters choice, quality and innovation.

Younger American subscribers to health care insurance are subsidizing older American subscribers?

Where is that coming from, because, that is NOT the law.

I read the law. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act clearly states insurance rates for younger Americans are to be set according to standard insurance ratings.

There are multipliers for older Americans and the MOST that can be charged for Older Americans is TWICE the youngest adult rate.

Now, insurance ratings may be skewed by the insurance companies to increase the younger American rate to bump up the rates to older Americans. That is illegal.

The vast majority of states (click here) tightly regulate premium rates for the individual and small group markets throughout the lifetime of a policy. In those states, health plans are required to file their proposed rates with the insurance regulator and state insurance regulators carefully review these rates to ensure that they are neither inadequate nor excessive. 

If people are complaining about their insurance rates, they need to write the Insurance Commission/Regulators in their state. The federal government has nothing to do with it. If insurance companies are padding their costs unrealistically to increase premiums, that illegal. It is up to the states to review the rates companies are charging. Not to say the federal authorities can't get involved, someone has to monitor the corruption in some state governments, but, fraud definitely falls under federal statues.

But, the rate setting is conducted by the State Commissioners.

96 Percent Of Network Nightly News’ Coverage Of Extreme Weather Doesn’t Mention Climate Change

Stormy weather at Buncrana pier in Inishowen, County Donegal.

December 26, 2013

From an icy spring to our sizzling summer (click here) 

...But there were other extremes too, with a temperature of 15.7°C recorded in Ashford, Co Wicklow, in January, the highest there for a decade.
In March Dublin Airport reported a mean temperature of 3.1°C, its coldest March since the site opened in 1942. The majority of other stations reported it was the coldest March since station records began.
The weather station at Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, recorded an astonishing 27 days with ground frost that month.
The cold spell continued through April and into May, sparking a fodder crisis for farmers throughout the country.
Other figures show:
* Dublin Airport and Mullingar recorded lows of --5.6°C and --6.5°C respectively on April 6, their lowest April air minimum temperature since both stations opened in 1942 (71 years) and 1950 (63 years).
* April's lowest air minimum temperature of --7.3°C at Mountdillon on April 6, was the lowest April air minimum temperature recorded since 1988 (25 years)....

Sensationalism while protecting Wall Street. Deaths from the Climate Crisis? Where? Who ever said it was a Climate Crisis? Besides, even if that is the case, the entire global economy is dependent on fossil fuels. Don't you think it is about time people accept death by weather as a fact of life? I mean for real. It goes on, ya know? Money is money, honey. Why should Wall Street carry the guilt for the quality of life of those that disregard their own lives as important? The governments don't do anything to change this, why should Wall Street be the scapegoat?

DECEMBER 19, 2013 AT 12:24 PM
2013 was a big year for climate. (click here)  Global carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere hit 400 parts per million for the first time in recorded history; global sea levels hit a record high; oil spills, coal mine landslides, and gas explosions beset the world.
But arguably the most visible and persistent climate event was the increase in ferocity of our weather. 2013 was marked by extremes in temperature and precipitation, conditions that fueled deadly wildfires, flooding, and storm surges.
Despite those facts, America’s major television news stations mostly failed to mention climate change when reporting on events like deadly flooding in Colorado, the string of major wildfires across the American West, and bouts of unseasonable temperatures across the country.
Those are the findings of a new survey released by Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting(FAIR), a progressive media criticism group. The results were achieved through analysis of extreme weather news reports with more than 200 words from CBS Evening News, ABC World News and NBC Nightly News for the first nine months of 2013. Extreme weather event reports analyzed included news about hurricanes, drought, wildfires, floods and heat waves.

“Our study demonstrates that when weather is the news, the climate is seldom mentioned,” the organization wrote on its website. “It’s almost as if the climate and the weather were happening on two different planets.”...

Happy Holidays, here is a good will prisoner release. More reliable strategy than UPS delivery.

By Victoria Cavaliere
Friday, December 21, 2012

After a surprise court ruling on Friday, Hammar was released. His family and lawmakers had pushed for Hammar's release, arguing the young man had believed he could declare an antique shotgun at the Mexican border, where he was arrested.

A former Marine imprisoned in Mexico since August for carrying an antique shotgun was abruptly released Friday night and returned safely to the United States, his lawyer said.
“He’s out. Going home,” Eddie Varon Levy, Hammar’s lawyer, wrote in a message posted to Twitter.

A Mexican judge ruled Friday to free Jon Hammar, 27, from the notorious CEDES prison where he has been jailed since August after trying to declare the weapon at the border.

“These past few months have been an absolute nightmare for Jon and his family, and I am so relieved that this whole ordeal will soon be over,” U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, one of the most vocal proponents for Hammar’s release,  said in a statement. “ I am overcome with joy knowing that Jon will be spending Christmas with his parents, family and friends.”...

The FY14 NDAA (click here) includes language that will make it easier to transfer detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, home or to third countries that agree to accept them. The language, however, prohibits the transfer of any detainee onto U.S. soil for any reason. The bill also does not include funds for building new, or upgrading old, facilities at Guantanamo—an acknowledgement that the facilities are temporary. The ACLU supports the language as a necessary but incomplete step for beginning to close the military prison for good....

...Under the Bush administration, similar claims of worldwide detention authority were used to hold even a U.S. citizen detained on U.S. soil in military custody, and many in Congress now assert that the NDAA should be used in the same way again. The ACLU believes that any military detention of American citizens or others within the United States is unconstitutional and illegal, including under the NDAA. In addition, the breadth of the NDAA's detention authority violates international law because it is not limited to people captured in the context of an actual armed conflict as required by the laws of war....

A detainee that has been removed from international criminal influence for eleven years has NO NEW information for the USA government. By the time they were released, they were unable to sustain their alertness long enough to speak to anyone. Why, with men in that level of physical and mental deterioration, would the USA believe any torture would result in information that is fit for military use?

This is Tea Party USA. They are violators of human rights both domestically and internationally. Extremists don't belong in government at any level. These men should have been moved years ago and returned to their countries shortly thereafter as soon as a fair hearing of their charges were conducted. Gitmo should already be CLOSED! The Tea Party extremists should be reviewed by the World Court for their influence in USA policy that insures their politics over that of laws and human rights.

Published time: December 20, 2013 13:54
After years of being held (click here) at the US Naval Base in Cuba without trial, Ibrahim Idris, one of two Sudanese detainees released on Thursday, said US prison officials had "systematically tortured" him in the course of his 11-year imprisonment at Gitmo.
Idris, who has been described by US officials as mentally ill, delivered his comments in a news conference in Khartoum, just hours after returning home courtesy of a US military plane.
Appearing weak and speaking with apparent difficultly, Idris gave a brief account of his lengthy imprisonment at Gitmo.
“We have been subjected to meticulous, daily torture," he said. "We were helpless…on an isolated island, surrounded by weapons."
He praised the Sudanese government and human rights organizations for working to secure the release of prisoners at Gitmo, which has been called “the GULAG of our times” by Amnesty International. Closed-door military tribunals, for example, have been riddled with problems, including courtroom speakers that have a mysterious tendency for being blocked during key testimony.
Another released detainee, Noor Othman Muhammed, was unable to attend the conference because he was recovering in the hospital, Idris said.

Do you believe this mess?

This is not that unusual in African politics, but, not to this level of deaths. This is also very late after an election. The violence, if any, breaks out immediately after the elections. South Sudan had their most recent elections in 2010. 

I think this is very serious. Why? Couple of reasons. First this is a conflict between a sitting President and Former Vice President. It breaks along ethnic lines and here again these people are 'living the prophesy.' I think the people of South Sudan are still very scared of the violence they were exposed to not very long ago. I believe they feel violence is reassuring in understanding their world and finding comfort among each other through military conflict. They absorb the deaths as a measure of their success in being alive and TAKING POWER.

I was quite surprised at the preparedness of the militarization of both ethnicities. Reminded me of Rwanda is some ways in that the violence was unexpected, fast and effective. This populous in South Sadan are very adept of being militarized to get through the day. I was surprised at the level of violence this populous was willing to conduct. Make no mistake, while the world is in shock, these folks are 'doing their thing.'

The former Vice President has called within the last few days for peace talks. I think that is a mistake. The country should already be at peace and begin an economy of prosperity. For the former Vice President to hold the nation hostage to violence after the people had finally achieved borders to define their future is outrageous. Now, unless there are human rights violations the sitting President is conducting without the knowledge of a global understanding of South Sudan the idea there is a war to be negotiated for a peace settlement is nonsense. This is what the world is to expect from South Sudan? I don't think so.

The attacking ethnicity not currently 'in power' need to disarm, end of discussion. The current sitting government needs to stand down at every turn, but, refuse to relinquish the outcome of the 2010 elections. This is nothing more than a political struggle with instillation of fear to spawn this conflict. The reasons for the out bust of violence has to be clearly defined and ended. I have to believe there has been a propaganda campaign that permitted this level of fear of each other. Arranging a military between ethnicities is all to easy and is extension of old fears. There may be reasons for this, but, in a democracy carved out of need for the end of genocide this is all too odd.

The very first assessment has to be to the nutritional status of all of the people in South Sudan. Lack of food, water and medical attention will spawn such fears. There needs to be intense efforts to end this now. It is all to convenient for power struggles in this nation to dictate civil wars from here on.

 — President Barack Obama has deployed a small military contingent to South Sudan to help bolster security at the U.S. Embassy amid escalating violence in the fledgling African nation.
In a letter to Congress, Obama said the 45 military personnel were sent to South Sudan on Wednesday. While they were equipped for combat, Obama said their purpose was to protect U.S. citizens and property and that they would remain in South Sudan until the security situation there improved.
"South Sudan stands at the precipice," Obama said in a written statement. "Recent fighting threatens to plunge South Sudan back into the dark days of its past."
The president appealed for an end to the violence and urged South Sudan's leaders to show courage and reaffirm their commitment to peace.
Violence broke out in South Sudan, the world's newest country, late Sunday when the presidential guard splintered along ethnic lines....

Read more here:

Overnight may be a problem.

By James R. Hood
...In a Christmas Day posting (click here) to ConsumerAffairs, Mike of Santa Rosa, Calif., said the UPS tracking system had been showing his package was out for delivery since Dec. 19.
"We live about 15 minutes away from the local UPS depot, so we weren't that concerned. Since this was a Christmas gift, and it hasn't shown up as of 12/24, we decided to call customer service. We were transferred to an agent who works at the depot who assured us the package was in their possession and that it would be delivered by noon today," he said. "Around 6 at night, we
called customer service again, now they are saying the package is lost. You stay classy, UPS."
On the other side of the country, Robert of Walden, N.Y. said his package had also been supposedly on the truck for delivery since 12/19. He had purchased a hard-to-find game system from the Game Stop and was eagerly awaiting its arrival....