Archive for the ‘insurance’ Category

Judge Serves Obamacare Pizza

July 23, 2014

Judge Serves Obamacare Pizza

Two Federal appellate courts ruled on Affordable Care Act insurance subsidies in most states. So are they legal? No, repeat Yes.

Two judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said they’re not, so poor people in states too lazy to set up their own insurance exchanges have to pay as much as wealthier folks for health insurance, making the law the Unaffordable Care Act.

Hours later the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond decided not to punish the poor just because Congress can’t write clearly. The ultimate rationale for the Fourth Circuit’s decision? Pizza. Federal Judge Roger Gregory explained:

“If I ask for pizza from Pizza Hut for lunch but clarify that I would be fine with a pizza from Domino’s, and I then specify that I want ham and pepperoni on my pizza from Pizza Hut, my friend who returns from Domino’s with a ham and pepperoni pizza has still complied with a literal construction of my lunch order.”

“Judge Uses Domino’s Pizza to Explain Obamacare Exchanges,” Arit John, The Wire

 Looks like Pappa John’s CEO John Schnatter has another reason to hate Obamacare.

The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit will hear the case in a few months, and the issue may make it to the Supreme Court in a couple of years.

More:

“Here’s what Obamacare’s authors said they actually meant,” Emily Badger, Washington Post

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Single-Payer Reality Therapy

March 21, 2014

Last week the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging held a hearing on “What the US Health Care System Can Learn from Other Countries.” Republican Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina knows all about health care, probably due to his distinguished career selling lawnmowers. Mr. Burr made the usual counter-factual GOP assertions about healthcare delivery, thinly disguised as questions to Dr. Danielle Martin, MD, Vice-President of Medical Affairs & Health System Solutions at Toronto’s Women’s College Hospital. Dr. Martin immediately administered reality therapy (above).

Senator Burr: “On average, how many Canadian patients on a waiting list die each year? Do you know?”

Dr. Martin: “I don’t, sir, but I know that there are 45,000 in America who die waiting because they don’t have insurance at all.”

More:

“Watch an expert teach a smug U.S. senator about Canadian healthcare,” Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times

 “Dr. Danielle Martin gives Washington a lesson on Canadian health care,”  Meagan Fitzpatrick, CBC News

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Obamacare Website Needs Therapy

October 5, 2013

Obamacare Website Needs Therapy

Many people trying to access HealthCare.gov and state health insurance websites encountered technical difficulties. This happens with all new software roll-outs, explain Administration officials. “Give us the same slack you give Apple,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Software geeks scoff at the site’s buggy and badly-written code.

“But the Obama administration doesn’t have a basically working product that would be improved by a software update. They have a Web site that almost nobody has been able to successfully use. If Apple launched a major new product that functioned as badly as Obamacare’s online insurance marketplace, the tech world would be calling for Tim Cook’s head.

The good news for Obamacare is that lots of people want to sign up. Lots and lots of people. Many more, in fact, than anyone expected. The bad news is that the Obama administration’s online insurance marketplace — which serves 34 states — can’t handle the success.”

— “Obamacare’s Web site is really bad,” Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas, Washington Post blog

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Insurance Companies Flunk Armed Teachers

July 9, 2013

Insurance Companies Flunk Armed Teachers

“As more schools consider arming their employees, some districts are encountering a daunting economic hurdle: insurance carriers threatening to raise their premiums or revoke coverage entirely.”

— “Schools Seeking to Arm Employees Hit Hurdle on Insurance,” Steven Yacchino, New York Times

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Paul Ryan’s Healthcare Reform Crusade

April 18, 2013

Paul Ryan's Hralthcare Reform Crusade

“We are not going to give up on destroying the healthcare system for the American people.”

— House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R, WI-1)

Source: The Hill

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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GOP Healthcare Plan

April 4, 2013

GOP Heaslthcare Plan

Republicans have an eight-point healthcare plan to replace “Obamacare” insurance coverage with tax cuts for the rich.

“This isn’t a plan to ‘replace Obamacare.’ It’s a plan to do the opposite of replacing Obamacare. It’s as if I said I had a plan to fix the house by replacing the leaky roof, and you said you had a plan to fix the house by getting rid of the roof.”

— “The Republican plan for replacing Obamacare doesn’t replace Obamacare,” Ezra Klein, Washington Post blog

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Mitt Romney’s ‘Death Panel’ Nostalgia

October 5, 2012

Mitt Romney's 'Death Panel' Nostalgia

“Obamacare ‘puts in place an unelected board that’s going to tell people ultimately what kind of treatments they can have.’ Romney is reviving Sarah Palin’s old death panels lie here. Obamacare does establish an Independent Payment Advisory Board to help constrain the growth of Medicare spending. The body has no authority to dictate the practices of the private insurance marketplace. And the law also makes explicit that this body is banned from rationing care or limiting medical benefits to seniors.”

— from “The First Debate: Mitt Romney’s Five Biggest Lies,” Tim Dickenson, Rolling Stone
“The truth behind that $5 trillion tax cut, pre-existing conditions and more”

Read more actual, reality-based facts here.

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Image (“Paula Abdul Appointed to Obama Death Panel”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Dr. Romney Prescribes Government-Controlled Healthcare

August 1, 2012

Dr. Romney Prescribes Government-Controlled Healthcare

While visiting Israel, Republican presidential hopeful and skilled international statesman Mitt Romney praised that country’s healthcare policy:

“Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the GDP in Israel? 8 percent. You spend 8 percent of GDP on health care. And you’re a pretty healthy nation. We spend 18 percent of our GDP on health care. 10 percentage points more. That gap, that 10 percent cost, let me compare that with the size of our military. Our military budget is 4 percent. …. We have to find ways, not just to provide health care to more people, but to find ways to finally manage our health care costs.”

Israel’s health success isn’t due to cultural differences or “the hand of Providence.”  It’s because the Israeli government mandates universal health insurance and actively limits medical costs. Mr. Romney instituted mandatory health insurance as governor of Massachusetts, calling it a matter of personal responsibility. So his flight from that successfully proven public healthcare measure is then “irresponsible,” right? Must be due to an opportunistic infection of political expediency. There’s a lot of that going around.

More:

“Romney praises health care in Israel, where research says ‘strong government influence’ has driven down costs,” Sarah Kliff, Washington Post blog

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Image (“Zei Gezunt, Mitt Romney!”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Sheriff Andy Explains It All to You

July 5, 2012

Sheriff Andy Explains it all to You
Andy Griffith (1926 — 2012) was best know for playing Sheriff Andy Taylor on television back when all three networks broadcast in two colors, black and white. Our favorite episode, though, is from 2010 and is only 32 seconds long.

Prologue: There was a heap o’ loose talk ’round Mayberry ’bout the new health care reform law. Barney Fife’s friend Sara had pore Aunt Bea plumb scairt to death, and lil’ Opie near wet his britches n’ hardly slept a wink.

But Sheriff Andy, he got ’em all to simmer down:

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Healthcare Reform on a Postcard

June 29, 2012

Healthcare Reform on a Postcard

The Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act yesterday. So what does that mean to you?

— No more lifetime coverage limits on your insurance.

— Annual insurance benefit caps eliminated by 2014.

— No more preexisting condition exclusion for kids.

— Adults with preexisting conditions get help finding coverage; after 2014, all insurers will have to cover everyone.

— Insurance companies can’t drop you when you get sick.

— Kids can stay on thier parents’ insurance until age 26.

 — Seniors get help with that “doughnut hole” in their prescription drug coverage.

— No more co-pays for preventative services in Medicare, and a free annual doctor visit to plan prevention.

— Small businesses get tax credits — up to 50 percent of premium costs—for offering workers health insurance.

— Insurers with excessive administrative costs must give rebates to customers, and all insurance companies must disclose overhead spending.

— Free birth control and other preventative services for women, unless they work for a faith-based organization that opposes it.

“10 Things You Get Now That Obamacare Survived,” Andy Kroll and Nick Baumann, Mother Jones

Want a second opinion? Take your pick:

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