Category Archives: health Care

Your Soaring Health Insurance Premiums – NYTimes.com

Published: October 3, 2011

Annual premiums for employer-sponsored health coverage soared by 9 percent for families and 8 percent for individuals this year from 2010, far faster than wages or inflation. Republicans, predictably, blamed health care reform for contributing to the rise. In fact, the reforms accounted for only 1.5 percentage points of the increase this year. The value to millions of Americans who are already getting expanded coverage and benefits is undeniable.

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Health Insurers Push Premiums Sharply Higher (September 28, 2011)

Times Topic: Health Care Reform

So what is driving up insurance premiums? The main factors, analysts say, were increased medical care costs and higher profits for insurance companies, which charged a lot more in premiums than they paid out for medical services. Both problems are being addressed by the health care reforms. But, clearly, they will require even more vigorous attention.

This latest survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust found that the average total family premium climbed above $15,000 in 2011, with the worker paying roughly $4,100 and the employer about $10,900. Since the survey started in 1999, worker contributions to premiums have increased 168 percent, while wages have gone up 50 percent.

The two reforms that affected premiums — together making up about one-sixth of the 9 percent premium increase for a family plan — required that parents be allowed to keep children up to age 26 on their policies and that many insurance plans cover preventive services like cancer screening and immunizations at no cost to patients. Some 2.3 million young adults were enrolled on parental policies and 28 million workers (plus their dependents) benefited from preventive care provisions.

The reform law has two provisions that kicked in this year and could help hold down premiums in 2012. Insurers will have to spend at least 80 percent to 85 percent of their premiums on medical care, which will force them to keep the premiums closer to their claim payments. And insurers seeking rate increases of 10 percent or more in the individual and small-group markets must disclose and justify their proposed rates, allowing state regulators an opportunity to reject them or force them down.

The reform law also provides $250 million for grants to help states strengthen their ability to challenge insurers’ rate requests. Only about half the states give insurance commissioners power to veto rates deemed excessive; all should allow regulators to reject unfair increases before they happen.

For the longer term, the reform law will create a slew of pilot projects in Medicare to find ways to reduce the cost of delivering care. Any effective strategy should be pushed quickly into the private sector. Until the underlying health care costs are reduced, it will be hard to hold premiums down.

 

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House Passes Health Care Reform Bill 220-215

The house passed the Health Care Bill tonight by a margin of 220-215 for the bill.  It is a culmination of nearly 75 years of attempts to pass a bill. With the passing of tonight bill it is the first step in the process. The Senate will have to pass their version of the bill. 39 democrats  actually voted against the bill. Which says volumes about the split between progressives and so call Blue Dog Democrats.

President Obama, congratulated  Nancy Pelosi, for a great victory in overseeing a  house majority in the vote for Health Care reform. The passing of the bill insures that every American will have affordable health care. Only one  Republican voted for the the Health Care Bill.

Reid Includes Public Option in The Senate Health Care Bill

Senator Harry Reid announced today that a public option would be included in the Senate bill for vote.  It is unclear how may Democratic votes are there to ensure passage, but Senator Reid feels confident that the votes will be there.  Despite the likely  possibility of losing support from the lone Republican to support health care legislation, the Democrats are pressing forward with the provision to include the public option.  Senator Olympia Snow of Maine, the only Republican to support  the finance committee bill has vowed to not support any bill that includes a public option.

President Obama’s Op Ed In New York Times

OUR nation is now engaged in a great debate about the future of health care in America. And over the past few weeks, much of the media attention has been focused on the loudest voices. What we haven’t heard are the voices of the millions upon millions of Americans who quietly struggle every day with a system that often works better for the health-insurance companies than it does for them……  “Barack Obama”

New York Times Op Ed

New York Times Says President Obama’s Stimulus Is Working

The New York Times reported on its front page this morning that the jobs report suggested that the recession was ending, but the recovery will be characterized by still rising unemployment even though the unemployment rate dipped by one tenth of a percent in July.  All good news For President Barack Obama was polling rates went up to 58%.

The most hopeful jobs report since last summer suggested Friday that the  recession was ending, but the recovery will be marked by a still-rising unemployment rate and tens of thousands of job losses each month until next year.

stimulus

President Obama Discusses Reform In Shaker Height, Ohio

President Barack Obama held a town hall meeting  in Shaker Heights, Ohio this afternoon.  Obama started off by saying that his only concern is the people who sent him to Washington. Obama reiterated that change is the cause of his presidency. Obama said his programs has helped to stave off any deeper losses in the economy and in job losses. He warned that it took us years to get into this mess and even more years to get out.  President Obama said “Full recovery can’t come soon enough”.  He said we will need to address fundamental problems that led to this economic situation we are in.

Obama said reform is not just about the  nearly 46 million Americans without Health Insurance. He reiterated that reform is about giving  all Americans more options and keeping Insurance companies out of the debate about your own treatment and coverage. He said no American,never again,  will have to worry about being denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions under the new plan.  He took a dig at Republicans who got us in this mess and point figures at me and saying I am not about fiscal responsibility. They are the ones who got us into this mess by being  irresponsible    in prudent fiscal actions. President Obama ask that congress and senate are working constantly in getting a bill passed. Obama said he will not accept a delay simply because they are afraid of a vote.  Obama said we can’t be afraid to change a system that we no is broken.

He said we got to cut the things we don’t need in order to fix health care.  Obama vows not to sign a health care bills that increase the deficit.  Here are some of the things that Health Care Reform will change.

1.) Use dollars that we are currently spending more wisely than we are currently spending.

2.)President Obama says the proposal will close half of the  ceiling ( donut hole) in Medicare Part D. Many seniors reach the senior and they have to pay the difference. Obama pledged to close the donut hole.

3.) Ideas on the table would be to keep children on their parents insurance until that are 25 years of age. The limit currently is 23 years of age.

4.) Obama says the program will be paid for and not add to the deficit.

5.) Without reform companies will continue to not give raises the employers.

6.) Anyone who does not have health Insurance is able to choose from the plans on the insurance exchange plan and buy that plan at an affordable price. Including those with a pre-existing condition.

7.) There will be reinburement and incentive for prevention and wellness.

8.) The bottom line to pass Health Care reform will be done by the fall.

9.) Some changes will take effect immediate, prescription drug reform, pre-existent condition cause will be eliminated.

10.) Get more quality for less cost.

President Obama Learned From the Mistakes of Bill Clinton Regarding Health Care Reform

President Obama learned from the mistakes of  Bill Clinton in rolling out the Health Care Reform Initiative.  Obama has the benefit of wide spread political support from the American people, but not from Republicans in the house and senate.  The American people put Obama in office.  The election was  more a repudiation of 8 years of Republican strategy and certainly not an endorsement of  Republican doctrine.

Republican  ideology  is the same.   Spend less, Taxes Less. That is their only message.  The trouble is Republicans have never cared about the working poor or even those who are laid off, trouble is  Republican have never  given much thought to helping those less fortunate receive a job.

When raising the minimum wage for workers came up time and time again.  Republicans voted against it. When  the issues of  providing Health Care for Children came up, Republicans voted against it.  They do not believe in “trickle down”  theory of economics.  Article of Health Care Reform.

President Obama Said to Tap Kansas Governor As Secretary of Health and Human Services

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius , is President Obama’s  choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services.  Obama will mke a former announcement next week on the choice, according to a White House Sources who not authorized to speak on the record. Sebelius a former insurance commissioner and long time friend of  Obama is no stranger to health  care reform.  She is an advocate for the the consumer and has been know to fight long and hard for the consumer.

President Obama move to pick Sebeius is  one that will strenght the foundation of his fight to brings someone well versed on the subsject of insurance and health care; equipped to handle the tough questions and touch issues that arise form the many susbets of the Health car issue. Sebelius is bright, a fearless advocate and will bring must knowledge to the table  in Obama fight to overhaul healthcare and the reform  that is needed in that area.

More on the story.

Hyundai Deal: Can’t Make Car Payments? Just Give it back!

Laid off or lose your job at no fault of your own? Hyundai has a deal for you. The Korean auto maker offered a deal where you can return the vehicle you purchased from them, with no questions asked, when you are laid off, suffered accidential death, or any other event that is no fault of your own.  Sound too good to be true? Check out the link to the story. This is the latest in a series of  incentives offered by the car dealer to spur car sales for a  struggling economy.