Daily Archives: October 10, 2009

Pete the Banker on the Baucus Bill Vote on Tuesday

Pete the Banker says:

The one major area of the economy that has been working well over the past nine months is Healthcare, having added jobs while continuing to provide innovative medical techniques, services, equipment and drugs to the benefit of Americans. Despite this, the Administration and Congress wish to “change” the Private Health Care Insurance industry, potentially imperiling the private health insurance coverage of millions of Americans and the Health Care Industry itself.

The Democrats welcomed the pronouncement from the CBO that the cost of the Health Care Bill before the Senate would be only $829 Billion. But that is far from the only cost levied on Americans. NPR stated of the cost estimate of the CBO , “Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Finance Committee will vote Tuesday on a 10-year, $829-billion proposal that would expand coverage to 94 percent of eligible Americans—while reducing the federal deficit.” The costs recited here include subsidies for the uninsured plus a number of new spending programs including everything from upgrading public health system infrastructure to mandating and regulating nutrition labeling on national restaurant chain menus. These costs are somewhat offset by taxes inserted into the legislation.

But there are other Health Care costs that will result from the legislation not included in the above number,

  1. The Senate version of the Healthcare Bill will be costly to Seniors. It removes $500 Billion dollars from Medicare over 10 years, and despite assertions of the President it can be accomplished through a reduction in waste and fraud, the CBO has suggested that such savings are less than 1/10th that amount. Thus, this reduction will cost seniors a permanent loss in services and benefits and perhaps availability to doctors willing to see Medicare patients.
  2. Direct taxes levied on the premiums of so called “high premium/high benefit” private insurance plans, which basically includes all existing private Health Insurance plans covering some 240 million+ Americans, will drive up premiums on existing private medical insurance. New taxes on medical services, medical equipment, and drugs will similarly drive up medical costs. Nancy Pelosi has proposed an additional excess profit tax in recent days which will also20inflate premiums for insureds. Tax deductions on medical care will allegedly disappear similarly making medical care more expensive.
  3. The proposal before the Senate establishes State Gateways (in the House its Federal Healthcare Exchanges) and provides Certified Plans for the current uninsured individuals at pre-approved federally promulgated cost sharing levels. Cost sharing simply defined, establishes maximum reimbursement levels or tiers (Tier 1 – 76%, Tier 2 – 68%, Tier 3 – 59%) which are well below current reimbursement levels to consumers covered under private Heath Insurer’s Plans which now average closer to 85% of out of pocket costs.

It won’t take long for the typical business to figure out that the Certified Plans offered under these State Gateways will be far less expensive than the higher cost private plans they currently offer. Over time businesses will gravitate toward the lower cost/lower benefit State Certified plans as a defensive measure especially when forced to pay taxes for their existing “high premium” (high benefit) plans and if faced with continuing economic weakness.

The change from private plans to public Certified Plans will translate into a decrease in the employee insurance reimbursement under the new Certified Plans and an increase in out of pocket cost of the insured individual of 9% – 27% of their annual med ical costs. This decline in reimbursement levels was the subject of the Business Week article “The Health Insurers Have Already Won ” in the August 17, 2009 issue (Here).

The above costs don’t begin to cover the more incalculable and intangible costs/losses involved in the implementation of massive changes to the Medical and Medical Insurance industry which will cause disruption to the existing medical and drug delivery systems, not the least of which will be the loss of a significant number of existing medical personnel and doctors. Nor do they address the costs involved in the phase out/deprivation of existing Insurance Plan benefits by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the loss of doctor/client privilege, the loss of an individual’s choice of medical treatment options, and the potential loss of incentive for development of new techniques, medical equipment and drugs.

If the uninsured were really the primary reason driving the Health Care Legislation, wouldn’t subsidies and the elimination of insurance coverage restrictions be a far more pragmatic and efficient method of accomplishing the goal? Why is it necessary that under both the House and Senate legislation that the Secretary of Health and Human Services and her Washington DC based unelected committees restrict covered benefits, establish actuarial value of benefits and reimbursement levels? Are these bills really about helping the uninsured or simply about establishing tighter control over your medical options, the Medical Insurance and Medical Industries?

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Foul Mouthed Punk Gets Punked

35 year-old British Gulf War Vet Jason Smith has no idea why 23 year-old Les Andrews came to his door and began verbally and physically assaulting him. As you can see, Andrews ended up with the worst of it.

Andrews was arrested for “yobbery,” a yob being British slang for an “aggressive and surly youth, especially a teenager.”

The main lesson Andrews should have learned is, don’t bully people, you never know what the other guy knows.

Smith it turns out, is a 15st master in karate and jiu-jitsu, holding two black belts. How he displayed the restriant he did is beyond me.

Of the incident Smith said, “People sick of yob culture enjoy seeing someone turn the tables,” and “He deserved it.”

If only more people in America would adopt Smith’s attitude now.

Source: UK Sun

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Pete the Banker on the Baucus Bill Vote on Tuesday

Pete the Banker says:

The one major area of the economy that has been working well over the past nine months is Healthcare, having added jobs while continuing to provide innovative medical techniques, services, equipment and drugs to the benefit of Americans. Despite this, the Administration and Congress wish to “change” the Private Health Care Insurance industry, potentially imperiling the private health insurance coverage of millions of Americans and the Health Care Industry itself.

The Democrats welcomed the pronouncement from the CBO that the cost of the Health Care Bill before the Senate would be only $829 Billion. But that is far from the only cost levied on Americans. NPR stated of the cost estimate of the CBO , “Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Finance Committee will vote Tuesday on a 10-year, $829-billion proposal that would expand coverage to 94 percent of eligible Americans—while reducing the federal deficit.” The costs recited here include subsidies for the uninsured plus a number of new spending programs including everything from upgrading public health system infrastructure to mandating and regulating nutrition labeling on national restaurant chain menus. These costs are somewhat offset by taxes inserted into the legislation.

But there are other Health Care costs that will result from the legislation not included in the above number,

  1. The Senate version of the Healthcare Bill will be costly to Seniors. It removes $500 Billion dollars from Medicare over 10 years, and despite assertions of the President it can be accomplished through a reduction in waste and fraud, the CBO has suggested that such savings are less than 1/10th that amount. Thus, this reduction will cost seniors a permanent loss in services and benefits and perhaps availability to doctors willing to see Medicare patients.
  2. Direct taxes levied on the premiums of so called “high premium/high benefit” private insurance plans, which basically includes all existing private Health Insurance plans covering some 240 million+ Americans, will drive up premiums on existing private medical insurance. New taxes on medical services, medical equipment, and drugs will similarly drive up medical costs. Nancy Pelosi has proposed an additional excess profit tax in recent days which will also20inflate premiums for insureds. Tax deductions on medical care will allegedly disappear similarly making medical care more expensive.
  3. The proposal before the Senate establishes State Gateways (in the House its Federal Healthcare Exchanges) and provides Certified Plans for the current uninsured individuals at pre-approved federally promulgated cost sharing levels. Cost sharing simply defined, establishes maximum reimbursement levels or tiers (Tier 1 – 76%, Tier 2 – 68%, Tier 3 – 59%) which are well below current reimbursement levels to consumers covered under private Heath Insurer’s Plans which now average closer to 85% of out of pocket costs.

It won’t take long for the typical business to figure out that the Certified Plans offered under these State Gateways will be far less expensive than the higher cost private plans they currently offer. Over time businesses will gravitate toward the lower cost/lower benefit State Certified plans as a defensive measure especially when forced to pay taxes for their existing “high premium” (high benefit) plans and if faced with continuing economic weakness.

The change from private plans to public Certified Plans will translate into a decrease in the employee insurance reimbursement under the new Certified Plans and an increase in out of pocket cost of the insured individual of 9% – 27% of their annual med ical costs. This decline in reimbursement levels was the subject of the Business Week article “The Health Insurers Have Already Won ” in the August 17, 2009 issue (Here).

The above costs don’t begin to cover the more incalculable and intangible costs/losses involved in the implementation of massive changes to the Medical and Medical Insurance industry which will cause disruption to the existing medical and drug delivery systems, not the least of which will be the loss of a significant number of existing medical personnel and doctors. Nor do they address the costs involved in the phase out/deprivation of existing Insurance Plan benefits by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the loss of doctor/client privilege, the loss of an individual’s choice of medical treatment options, and the potential loss of incentive for development of new techniques, medical equipment and drugs.

If the uninsured were really the primary reason driving the Health Care Legislation, wouldn’t subsidies and the elimination of insurance coverage restrictions be a far more pragmatic and efficient method of accomplishing the goal? Why is it necessary that under both the House and Senate legislation that the Secretary of Health and Human Services and her Washington DC based unelected committees restrict covered benefits, establish actuarial value of benefits and reimbursement levels? Are these bills really about helping the uninsured or simply about establishing tighter control over your medical options, the Medical Insurance and Medical Industries?

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Comments From Around The World On Obama’s Award

Source, BBC

IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER MANOUCHEHR MOTTAKI

We have no objection if this prize is an incentive to reverse the warmongering and unilateral policies of the previous US administration and if this encourages a policy based on just peace.

The appropriate time for awarding such a prize is when foreign military forces leave Iraq and Afghanistan and when one stands by the rights of the oppressed Palestinian people.

TALIBAN SPOKESMAN ZABIHULLAH MUJAHID

We have seen no change in his strategy for peace. He has done nothing for peace in Afghanistan. He has not taken a single step for peace in Afghanistan or to make this country stable.

We condemn the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for Obama. We condemn the institute’s awarding him the peace prize. We condemn this year’s peace prize as unjust.

HAMAS LEADER ISMAIL HANIYEH

We are in need of actions, not sayings. If there is no fundamental and true change in American policies toward the acknowledgment of the rights of the Palestinian people, I think this prize won’t move us forward or backward.

JODY WILLIAMS, FORMER NOBEL PEACE PRIZE WINNER FOR CAMPAIGN TO BAN LANDMINES

I think that it is kind of foolish to think that the Nobel Prize isn’t politicised – it’s not a humanitarian prize, it’s a prize in recognition of change in the world to contribute to peace, sometimes its a recognitions of visions for peace. He is facing huge contradictions as well – he is going to be sending 40,000 new American troops into Afghanistan just as he receives the Nobel Peace Prize? I think that is a contradiction that needs to be seriously looked at.

SOUHAYR BELHASSEN, PRESIDENT OF INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama is a way of encouraging him to not renege on the universal principles that he has championed.

We would have preferred a human rights defender like Oleg Orlov from Memorial in Russia or Natalia Estemirova [human rights activist murdered in Chechnya].

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

GOP Give Obama His Nobel Prize for "Awesomeness"

Michael Steele’s response to Obama’s award.
“What has President Obama actually accomplished?
It is unfortunate that the president’s star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights.

Even the normally fawning media have expressed shock at the clearly political and unmerited award. But the Democrats clearly see it differently, with DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse stating “the Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists — the Taliban and Hamas this morning — in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.”

Like most Americans, the DNC can’t think of one achievement that the president has accomplished, so they resort to their predictable response and standard playbook of demonizing anyone who disagrees with them.”

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com