Thursday, November 03, 2016

Do you recognize this? I do. It is called the politics of enforcing PRIVATE industry over government programs.

Mercedes Nimmer, who lives outside Madison, Wis., gets help paying for her Obamacare insurance premiums from HealthConnect, a program run by the local United Way organization. 

October 31, 2016
By Phil Galewitz

Madison, Wis. — Having health insurance (click here) is vital for 21-year-old Mercedes Nimmer, who takes several expensive prescription drugs to manage multiple sclerosis. So Nimmer was thrilled to get health insurance last year through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace and qualify for a federal subsidy to substantially lower her cost....

Is this not a moral country? The cruelest life is when one realizes there isn't anything that can be done to improve self sufficiency. Often that reality is when a hideous disease process sets in as the new reality an American has to live by.

...Yet, the government assistance still left her with a $33 monthly premium, a hefty amount for Nimmer, who makes $11,000 a year as a part-time supply clerk.

Nimmer, though, doesn’t have to worry about even that expense thanks to a United Way of Dane County program that has provided premium assistance to about 2,000 low-income people since 2014. The program, called Health Connect, is funded by a 2013 gift of $2 million from UW Health, a large academic hospital system connected to the University of Wisconsin that also runs its own marketplace health plan....

...HealthConnect is one of several community-based programs across the United States helping thousands of lower-income Americans with their Obamacare marketplace premiums. Similar efforts operate in Texas, Oregon, Washington, North Carolina and South Carolina....

What could be better? Obamacare and help from a private concern to help even more and have a worry free life when it comes to obtaining medications.

...But premium assistance programs have come under fire from insurers. They argue that it is not fair for hospitals, other health providers and disease advocacy groups financed by providers to try to steer people who could be covered by Medicare or Medicaid into marketplace plans with higher reimbursement rates....

There is a three page letter (click here) that lays out why private insurance is a real problem for the insurance companies. The companies are finding more and more people with serious illness, especially kidney disease, on their insurance rolls. These costs are increasing premium costs.

The health insurance companies call this trend "Inappropriate Steering of Individuals Eligible for or Receiving Medicare and Medicaid Benefits to Individual Market Plans."

Have you got that? People like Mercedes Nimmer are a burden to the health care insurance company and they don't want her on their roles. The health care insurance industry wants Mercedes and those like her on Medicare or Medicaid.

Ah, but, there is a problem. Wall Street isn't happy with people like Mercedes Nimmer. Do you believe this? People in need are being singled out by Wall Street as problems to their profit structure.

IN CASE YOU MISSED THE POINT: The health care industry WANTS only HEALTHY people and then only up to the point where they loose that healthy status. THEY WANT PROFITS AND NOT ANYTHING ELSE SHOULD BE A PROBLEM.

Look. If all the health care insurance companies want are healthy individuals on their roles; I say fine. The answer to all this is "Single Payer."

See, the Republicans want the entire USA to be privatized and government dissolved. Anarchy. The Republican presidential candidate is an anarchist. His business model is definitely based in anarchy. Without a doubt.

Mercedes Nimmer is not welcome in the world of private industry. Yet, the Republicans are going to repeal Obamacare and replace it. They want to replace it with vouchers for Medicare patients and private insurance carriers for everyone else. The only problem with the Republican plans for Obamacare is that it doesn't work and the health care insurance industry DOESN'T WANT IT!

Mercedes Nimmer and people like her who receive incredible benefits from Obamacare and the additional private plans that help the impoverished because of their inability to earn a living; are going to be cast from the health care rolls and told to find help elsewhere.


The private plans that help pay for Mercedes monthly payment ARE NOT WELCOME BY THE PRIVATE HEALTH CARE INSURANCE COMPANIES. The health care insurance companies in the USA do not want Mercedes on their benefit plans and god help you if you have kidney disease.

...Nonetheless, insurers are taking action. Aetna, which announced this summer that it was scaling back its marketplace offerings, said that third-party groups steering patients to the individual market had contributed to an unhealthy mix of customers in its marketplace plans.

Blue Shield of California in July filed suit in a state court against CenCal Health, which manages the Medicaid program in Santa Barbara and San Louis Obispo counties.

Blue Shield alleges that CenCal was avoiding millions of dollars in medical care claims by enrolling around 40 of its very ill members in Blue Shield’s individual health plans and paying the premiums on their behalf.

CenCal denied the allegations in lawsuit, saying it paid the patients’ monthly Blue Shield insurance premiums so they could afford private insurance. It has since discontinued the practice.

The geniuses at CenCal thought privatizing their Medicaid patients was a great idea. So they enrolled Medicaid patients into Blue Shield of California. CenCal dumped their most expensive patients at the door step of private industry and paid the premiums. Blue Shield of California DON'T WANT THEM. These Medicaid patients are driving the premiums higher in California.

Got that?

Somehow CenCal thought privatizing was a good thing and a politically correct measure. OR. Someone in leadership saw a chance to drive the costs of Obamacare higher in private exchanges and played politics with their patient's lives.

...United Healthcare filed a lawsuit in federal court in July against kidney dialysis provider American Renal Associates, accusing it of encouraging patients in Florida and Ohio who were eligible for Medicaid or Medicare to move to the insurer’s commercial plans to extract up to 20 times more than the $300 or so that the federal programs pay in reimbursements. American Renal Associates has said the suit is without merit.

The suit alleges that the patients’ premiums were paid by the American Kidney Fund, an advocacy group for patients.

AHIP officials note that the fund is supported by dialysis providers who stand to benefit financially from patients gaining marketplace coverage over payments from Medicaid or Medicare....

Sure dialysis providers will reap higher incomes from private insurers. That sounds right to me. BUT. The private health care insurance companies ARE NOT experiencing higher incomes because they have to pay those dialysis providers. 

Hello, America. Hello. The increased premiums of 2017 is due to manipulation of the market providers within the private payment insurance system.

I think we need a Single Payer system that would have been called "The Public Option" at the very least for those most in need of help and cannot help themselves.

This entire mess is due to politics and the drive for privatizing everything that is the role of government.

The Republicans have it "W"rong.

This is justice under the Trump administration. Live and die by the gun. Why hasn't she been provided security?

This is the Guardian, not a tabloid with Martians landing in Mar-a-lago. She should be interviewed at a studio behind a screen that will protect her identity.

Lisa Bloom states her client is fearful and won't come before the public at this time.

3 November 2016
By Rory Carroll

Lawyer Lisa Bloom, (click here) representing the woman accusing Donald Trump, speaks to media on 2 November.

A woman (click here) who is suing Donald Trump for allegedly raping her as a child abandoned a plan to speak publicly on Wednesday, citing death threats.
The woman, known by the pseudonym Jane Doe, hid from media who were invited to her lawyer’s Los Angeles office for a press conference in which she was expected to reveal her identity.
Instead, her attorney, Lisa Bloom, cancelled the event in a brief, apologetic statement to a phalanx of cameras.

“Jane Doe has received numerous threats today as have all the Trump accusers that I have represented. She has decided she is too afraid to show her face. She has been here all day, ready to do it, but unfortunately she is in terrible fear. We’re going to have to reschedule. I apologize to all of you who came. I have nothing further.”

Hours earlier Bloom, a prominent attorney, stoked such anticipation with the announced press conference that her firm’s website crashed. With just six days to the election and polls showing a tightening race the stakes could scarcely be higher.
The anticlimax was the latest twist to the explosive and so far unsubstantiated claim that the Republican presidential nominee raped Doe in 1994 when she was 13 years old.
Doe has alleged the casino owner assaulted her on four occasions at parties in New York hosted by the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, a friend of Trump whom she also accused of rape. A civil lawsuit is slated for an initial status conference in a New York district court on 16 December.

A generation of executives? A generation? What? This is deregulation and trusting Wall Street too far. Where were the regulators?

I don't believe Congress has been thorough nor concerned, with a few exceptions such as Senator Elizabeth Warren. These banks are not merely too big to fail and too big to manage, they are too big to regulate.

Kim Young is now retired. She has spent forty years at Wells Fargo discarding bad employees. Wow.
November 3, 2016
By Laura J. Keller, Dakin Campbell and Kartikay Mehrota
After Wells Fargo (click here) executive John Sotoodeh handed off more than a hundred branches in Southern California to a colleague in 2009, problems surfaced quickly.
His successor, Kim Young, addressing rumors that some employees were opening bogus accounts, called an introductory meeting with staff and warned she wouldn’t tolerate misconduct. Within a few days, managers recall, sales crumbled across her new turf.
Sotoodeh, who started as a teller in 1990, has since climbed even higher. He’s now one of three regional chiefs running the firm’s nationwide consumer-banking empire. Young spent the final years of her four-decade career at Wells Fargo weeding out bad employees, retiring in 2014.
In interviews, more than a dozen past and current Wells Fargo employees – many of them senior managers – chronicled how a generation of executives thrived in its ambitious sales culture, winning accolades and promotions, while being held aloft as examples to colleagues. All the while, people under them were opening legions of unwanted accounts for customers....
Read more here:

Who knew this was National Sandwich Day?

Wooden teeth can be a little rough on the gums.

John Montagu probably had no idea what he was doing back in 1762 when he asked for a slice of meat stuffed between some bread. But as Montagu – also known as the 4th Earl of Sandwich – quickly discovered, there's something quite delicious about the food creation that now bears his name.
We celebrate the sandwich in all its forms today during National Sandwich Day. And for all you sandwich lovers, there are plenty of ways to pick up free or reduced-priced grub.

There is some controversy regarding the original creator of the Sandwich, probably do to the fact John Montague was a British citizen. In many places he is considered the 4th Earl of Sandwich. Who knew?

Role:  Former First Lord of the Admiralty
Died:  April 30, 1792, Chiswick, United Kingdom
Spouse:  Dorothy Montagu, Countess of Sandwich (m. 1741)
Children:  John Montagu, 5th Earl of Sandwich, Basil Montagu

Not funny. National Sandwich Day is a great marketing tool. Sandwiches are free in most areas of the USA today. What could be better after the World Series? Keep the party going.

How well do business owners know their customers?

This is invaluable information generated annually by the US Labor Department (click here), a cabinet level office. 

This is invaluable because local economies can conduct their own studies as well. This is a Pew Research Study (click here) so it may be a skewed study for local economies. This general country wide studies are normally viewed as beneficial for Big Box stores. 

But, the study is worth looking at and perhaps hire a local statistician to conduct similar studies for the local economy. The really great thing about local economies is that shop owners and operators may very well know their customers and don't need such a study. Just think about it and consider whether or not even a one time study would benefit the businesses on Main Street and the side streets of a local economy.

Senator Bernie Sanders has built a coalition of candidates he promotes to change the face of the USA.

The election to change the face of the USA to a benevolent country for it's
people is still very much alive. Don't forget what Bernie started. He deserves 
loyalty and support to continue his good work.

Over the course of this election (click here) we’ve seen right-wing billionaires like
Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers funnel millions of dollars into races up 
and down the ballot.

Wealthy donors like Adelson and the Kochs are trying their best to buy these 
races for two reasons. First – they want lawmakers who feel beholden to their 
money to be at their beck and call. But more importantly, they’re afraid.

They’re afraid that if we win, it will show once and for all that their money is 
no match for our movement.

Four of our candidates are being attacked by big money in the final days of 
this campaign, and we need to help them now.

This is very important: today is realistically the last day your contributions 
can be put to use by congressional campaigns. If you have been thinking 
about donating to support candidates from our political revolution, you 
must do so today.

Help us show the billionaire class that this election is not for sale to the 
highest bidder. Please add a contribution now to split for Morgan Carroll, 
Pramila Jayapal, Tom Nelson and Rick Nolan.

It is good to know the FBI is doing something productive.

November 3, 2016
By Camila Domonoske

Burned pews, musical instruments, Bibles and hymnals are part of the debris inside Hopewell M.B. Church in Greenville, Miss., shown Wednesday. The mayor is calling it a hate crime as arson investigators collect evidence at the black church, which was heavily damaged by fire and tagged with "Vote Trump" in silver spray paint.

The FBI has opened a civil rights investigation (click here) into the vandalizing and burning of a black church in Mississippi. "Vote Trump" had been spray-painted on a wall.
Local authorities are still searching for the person or people responsible for the fire, which they have identified as an arson.
"When firefighters arrived at Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church Tuesday night, they found it in flames, and the 'Vote Trump' slogan written in silver spray paint on the outside wall of the church," Mark Rigsby of Mississippi Public Broadcasting reports.
"Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons calls this a hate crime — an attempt to frighten voters just days before the presidential election."....

This is not the USA. It is a segment of our society that does not value life. The USA has many faces of many nationalities and beliefs, this is pure unadulterated hatred. 

The FBI needs to find the arsonist and bring him to justice. Hatred on the streets of the USA is a very dangerous thing.

When Dylan Roof was found it was a woman of conscience that rose above her fears and gave information to the authorities. We can find the arsonist and end the acts of hate. The more arsonists are found and brought to justice the less likely a congregation has to feel the oppression of hate. It is a matter of quality of life. No one wants to hear their beloved church has been the OBJECT of hate. It can be demoralizing to a community. 

Rebuilding the church is part of the recovery of the community, but, acts of hate such as this lives on in the memory. It is far better to end such hate and promote a country centered on acceptance and appreciation of others different form ourselves.

Children worship, too.

The timeline to FSA elections should be taken seriously by all farmers, especially family and small organic farmers.

The election of responsible agricultural producers to FSA (Farm Service Agency) county committees is important to ALL farmers and ranchers with large or small operations. It is crucial that every eligible producer take part in this election because county committees are a direct link between the farm community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Committee members are a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA. They help deliver FSA farm programs at the local level. Farmers who serve on committees help decide the kind of programs their counties will offer. They work to make FSA agricultural programs serve the needs of local producers....
Be involved and insure the USDA understands the issues and where the path forward exists.
November 7, 2016 ballots are mailed....

Hay Net can be drought insurance. It also can help with flooding problems and poor production any year when rainfall is sparse. 

"Hay Net" (click here)

Welcome to the USDA Farm Service Agency Hay Net Website - Now Offering Ads for Grazing Acres

Historically, FSA's Hay Net website has been the "go to" online resource for producers to list information concerning the need for hay or the availability of hay. Now, in response to requests from producers, we are expanding the site to include the option to list a need for grazing acres or to list acres available for grazing. FSA is not responsible for defining the terms of any grazing agreements or lease contracts. Please select the appropriate link below:...

From the Lancet, the leading cause of deaths in the USA for under 45 is trauma.

29 October 2016
Lancet Editorial

In the USA, (click here) the leading cause of death in those younger than 45 years is trauma, accounting for over half of deaths in that age group. Trauma costs the USA up to US$600 billion each year and yet despite these sobering figures this epidemic goes largely unrecognised. Last week, at their 2016 Clinical Congress, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) announced a commitment to achieving zero preventable deaths from trauma. If realised, this goal would save one in five civilians and a quarter of military personnel currently killed by trauma, an estimated 30 000 lives per year in the USA alone. “The trauma network is highly geographically variable, and where you are in the country determines how likely you are to survive and do well”, trauma surgeon Robert Winchell told the Congress. States prioritise and fund trauma to different levels—for example, there are no consistent national protocols for pre-hospital care....

This is not current data. It is for both genders and ages 0 - 44 years old from 2004 - 2010 regarding trauma. What does the Mississippi have to do with this?

One of the advantages of being Mayor of Chicago is taking to the field when they win the World Series in a home game.

MVP: Ben Zobrist (click here)
He has been a consistent hitter the entire season.

Zobrist had a fantastic series, batting .357 and leading the Cubs with 10 hits. He also played a noteworthy part in the Game 7 victory, driving in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning on this double: