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Gerry Clinchy
11-29-2012, 11:56 AM
There seems to always be a new surprise as we find out what's in this law. Is it really manadatory?

Can you opt out of Obamacare? Two weeks ago, I pointed out Section 1555, one of the major chinks in PPACA's armor according to an attorney at the Goldwater Institute. Section 1555 is in the law under "Subtitle G - Miscellaneous Provisions." Since bringing this up, I've heard from some who believe that this section is limited solely to those who sell ("issue") health insurance.

Here again is Section 1555: "No individual, company, business, nonprofit entity, or health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall be required to participate in any Federal health insurance program created under this Act (or any amendments made by this Act), or in any Federal health insurance program expanded by this Act (or any such amendment), and there shall be no penalty or fine imposed upon any such issuer for choosing not to participate in such programs."

I've contacted Goldwater Institute's attorney, Nick Dranius, and other attorneys for more information and opinions. I've also transcribed Mr. Dranius's webinar comments so you can read them for yourself. See "News to Know" below.

Here is a summary of what I've heard so far:
1) Because of the rush to passage, no Congressional history exists that would describe the meaning or explain the purpose of this section, thus no one is sure why it's in the law, who put it there, or what it means.
2) The language is ambiguous. There are two possible interpretations of the language:

Interpretation #1: The placement of the comma before the word "or" means that the words preceding it ("individual, company, business, nonprofit entity") are not modified by the words,"issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage."

Interpretation #2: If you disregard the placement of the comma, or otherwise disagree with the above interpretation, the entire opt-out section applies only to entities "offering group or individual health insurance coverage" -- including individuals, companies, etc.

3) Final interpretation may be left to judges if Section 1555 is used in a legal challenge.
4) Given all the mandates in the rest of the law (the totality of the law), some judges may dismiss this section, but others may not.
5) For states with health care freedom acts that challenge Obamacare in court, Section 1555's ambiguity may have to be considered and a legal interpretation made.

But regardless of the interpretation of this section, the fact remains that states, employers and individuals can opt-out of compliance -- and in some cases may even be able to avoid the penalties for doing so (read Michael Cannon in Quotes below).

Individuals and employers still have power. As Justice Roberts ruled, no one can be forced to buy insurance. Likewise, no one has to sell insurance and no one is required to provide insurance. There are penalties for refusing to buy or provide insurance, but they are significantly less than the cost of buying or providing insurance. As the price of insurance skyrockets under Obamacare, expect more and more individuals and businesses to choose penalties rather than insurance.

States can refuse in two ways. States can refuse to expand Medicaid, as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled. And states can refuse to establish the federally-controlled state-based exchanges. The law doesn't require it.

Refusing to cooperate -- which starves Obamacare of the dollars, machinery, and manpower needed for implementation -- may be our best protection until the law is repealed.


The Michael Cannon quote referred to above:

"[D]efaulting to a federal exchange exempts a state's employers from the employer mandate - a tax of $2,000 per worker per year (the tax applies to companies with more than 50 employees, but for such companies that tax applies after the 30th employee, not the 50th). If all states did so, that would also exempt 18 million Americans from the individual mandate's tax of $2,085 per family of four. Avoiding those taxes improves a state's prospects for job creation, and protects the conscience rights of employers and individuals ... -- Michael Cannon (Cato Institute),


Nick Dranius, a constitutional attorney at the Goldwater Institute said the following during a webinar: "The bottom line is this. The federal health care law is very poorly drafted. Surprise. Surprise. And one of the things that remains a mysterious inkblot into which you can read anything you want is this curious provision that says, 'No individual, company, business, nonprofit entity, or health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall be required to participate in any Federal health insurance program created under this Act.' It goes on to repeatedly emphasize essentially that nothing is mandatory in Obamacare, depending on how you understand what is meant by the term 'federal health insurance program.'

"And the reason why this is important is it's an obvious ambiguity. It, in one sense clearly cuts against most of the mandates that are in Obamacare, and it can be leveraged under current case law to vindicate state sovereignty under Health Care Freedom Acts such as Tennessee's and the 14 other states that have versions either at the constitutional or statute level....

"This provision, because it is so ambiguous, undercuts any claim that the -- a federally established exchange would preempt [Tennessee's] health care freedom act. Because this language clearly says that no one's required to participate in any federal health insurance program and as [Cato Institute's] Michael Cannon pointed out, a key aspect of any exchange is to do just that, to facilitate and effectuate various mandates to ensure that everybody's participating in a federal health insurance program, namely PPACA's.
...So do not lose faith just yet in the various challenges to PPACA..."

Just in case anyone debates that rationing will be part of the result of this law. They always knew it would be:

"We need death panels. Well, maybe not death panels, exactly, but unless we start allocating health care resources more prudently - rationing, by its proper name - the exploding cost of Medicare will swamp the federal budget. ...Many countries whose health care systems are regularly extolled - including Canada, Australia and New Zealand - have systems for rationing care...At the least, the Independent Payment Advisory Board should be allowed to offer changes in services and costs. We may shrink from such stomach-wrenching choices, but they are inescapable." - Steven Rattner (Obama's "Car Czar"), The New York Times, September 16, 2012.

Uncle Bill
11-29-2012, 03:31 PM
You can't be surprised by this can you, Gerry? We have had "death panels" by the Democrats, atheists, choice believers for decades. When you have no qualms about killing partial birth babies, why would you expect this current regime to avoid killing the elderly when it suits them?

When you have no soul, why would you be in favor of those that believe in having one?

UB

PamK
11-29-2012, 03:50 PM
You can't be surprised by this can you, Gerry? We have had "death panels" by the INSURANCE INDUSTRY for decades. When you have no qualms about killing partial birth babies, why would you expect this current regime to avoid killing the elderly when it suits them?

When you have no soul, why would you be in favor of those that believe in having one?

UB

fixed it for you

murral stark
11-29-2012, 04:57 PM
You can't be surprised by this can you, Gerry? We have had "death panels" by the Democrats, atheists, choice believers for decades. When you have no qualms about killing partial birth babies, why would you expect this current regime to avoid killing the elderly when it suits them?

When you have no soul, why would you be in favor of those that believe in having one?

UB

Why do you feel the need to continually call people names that don't share your beliefs? Every person is entitled to their own beliefs. Doesn't make them bad people, just different beliefs than others.

M&K's Retrievers
11-29-2012, 05:26 PM
Why do you feel the need to continually call people names that don't share your beliefs? Every person is entitled to their own beliefs. Doesn't make them bad people, just different beliefs than others.

Who did he call a name? Democrats? Atheists? Choice believers? I believe those are titles or descriptions.

M&K's Retrievers
11-29-2012, 05:31 PM
fixed it for you

Ah, the evil insurance industry. :rolleyes:I gotta wonder which claimed you filed that wasn't paid. What did your attorney say? What did the Texas Department of Insurance say when you filed a complaint? Who did they kill and how? Specific examples please not some hearsay crap.

murral stark
11-29-2012, 07:18 PM
Who did he call a name? Democrats? Atheists? Choice believers? I believe those are titles or descriptions.
OK, he didn't call names. He just speaks badly of people that don't share the same beliefs that he does. Saying people don't have a soul. C'mon Man, that's Bullstuff and you know it. I think he has an inferiority complex and has to degrade others to feel good about himself.

Gerry Clinchy
11-29-2012, 07:53 PM
I wouldn't argue that insurance companies may have made some decisions that are very much like "death panels". The issue, though, is that the Dems tried to tell us that this law would not have that effect. Everyone with half a brain could envision how that would turn out to be the case. We can look to other countries with nationalized health care, and also figure out that with so many more people to treat, it isn't going to come without some price for some portion of the overall group.

M&K's Retrievers
11-29-2012, 10:27 PM
OK, he didn't call names. He just speaks badly of people that don't share the same beliefs that he does. Saying people don't have a soul. C'mon Man, that's Bullstuff and you know it. I think he has an inferiority complex and has to degrade others to feel good about himself.

I think you know not what you say.

mngundog
11-29-2012, 10:32 PM
I wouldn't argue that insurance companies may have made some decisions that are very much like "death panels". The issue, though, is that the Dems tried to tell us that this law would not have that effect. Everyone with half a brain could envision how that would turn out to be the case. We can look to other countries with nationalized health care, and also figure out that with so many more people to treat, it isn't going to come without some price for some portion of the overall group.
I wonder why the Republicans would run a guy with the same point of view that Obama has on this issue.

M&K's Retrievers
11-29-2012, 11:28 PM
I wonder why the Republicans would run a guy with the same point of view that Obama has on this issue.

I wonder why the GOP ran a guy that couldn't beat the guy that lost to Obama the first time.

Gerry Clinchy
12-01-2012, 09:45 PM
American Thinker had an article that explained that the restaurant chains, and low-paying employers, in general, are not the only ones who are cutting hours due to the new mandates of Obamacare.



the news about the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) is so richly ironic. CCAC has just announced that because of ObamaCare, it will have to slash the hours of 400 of its employees, about half of whom are adjunct instructors. This is because under the new law, companies and other organizations employing 50 or more employees are required to provide full health care insurance (at high cost, because of a host of new mandates the law includes) for all employees working 30 or more hours a week. This means that employers have a tremendous incentive -- indeed, virtually a gun at their heads -- to either cut hours for employees to under 30 hours per week or eliminate workers outright (by outsourcing, offshoring, contracting out, and automating), or to keep the employees under 50 by simply not expanding.


This has led numerous private companies start taking precisely those actions -- including Abbot Labs, Applebee's, Boston Scientific, Covidien, Dana Holding, Darden Restaurants, Kinetic Concepts, Kroger, Lockheed-Martin, Medtronic, New Energy, Papa John's Pizza, Smith & Nephew, Stryker, TANCOA Janitorial, and Welch Allyn. For example, major restaurant chains such as (http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/the_ers_74rfAHiGtYU2nHmnlIhotL) Olive Garden and Red Lobster are already moving employees to under 30 hours a week. Boston Scientific has said that it will lay off 1,400 workers and shift production to China.

So CCAC's action is no surprise. At the end of this year, the college will cut 200 temporary part-time workers' weekly hours to 25, and 200 adjuncts will see their courses cut from 12 down to 10 units per semester -- a drop of 16%. But by doing this, CCAC will save $6 million it would otherwise have to spend for health insurance.

As John Dziak, head of the CCAC Federation of Teachers, ruefully acknowledged about ObamaCare, "[t]his is one of those times when the best of intentions do not always end up with the best results." No joke there.

1tulip
12-02-2012, 11:11 AM
Want to know something scary? First, Obamacare has "covered" millions of people without increasing the number of MD's and RN's. Much could be said about that and has. We can expect severe shortages. BUT... hospitals are employers like anyone else. And they will be putting increasing numbers of people on short hours and making as many as possible "part time." You know... like the part-time clinical pharmacists so you can't get meds for your patient before 8 AM and after 5 PM. And that Cath Lab Tech that isn't "in house" when you have your heart attack. (Don't worry, he'll be doing his best to fight traffic while you're losing most of your myocardium.) And since there will be a shortage of hands to push gurneys... the few nurses taking care of patients will have to take them to procedures throughout the hospital while their other 8 patients suck air. And so on and so on and so on.

Gerry Clinchy
12-02-2012, 11:34 AM
Imagine, too ... if someone needs two 25-hour jobs instead of one 40-hour job, but they will earn less in two ways: there won't be any 1-1/2 overtime (so he will work 10 extra hours for $50 less than with 50 hrs on one job, based on $10/hr), and they will now have to pay for their own health insurance.

Will there be more people employed? Would it surprise anyone that the better workers will have two jobs, while the less skilled workers will have no job? The fellow with two jobs might very well get a subsidy for his health insurance (due to now lower earnings), as well as the fellow with no job at all.

So, the poorest will not have their situation change much; nor the top 10% have their situation change greatly. It will be the middle class that will be squeezed the most. Those at the lower end of that group will hurt the most. Yet, a primary focus of this election campaign was about who cared most for the well-being of the middle class. Ironic.

Would expect that the unions would negotiate for a quota on part-time workers. I read one speculation (can't remember where), that the govt would then make a rule that limited the number of part-time workers a company could employ. Just take away another freedom so that the govt gets its way. Seems that this would ultimately lead to a system of 29-worker companies, with lots of subcontracting occurring to other 29-worker companies. (While the law states it applies to firms of 50 or more, some of the requirements kick in at 30 workers).

M&K's Retrievers
12-02-2012, 12:59 PM
..... First, Obamacare has "covered" millions of people without increasing the number of MD's and RN's. .......

Just wondering where you came up with this nugget of information. Secondly, I assume you are aware that Obamacare doesn't cover anyone. Thirdly, 99% of Obamacare is not effect yet. They are not even sure how it's all going to work not to mention funding.

1tulip
12-02-2012, 05:52 PM
Just wondering where you came up with this nugget of information. Secondly, I assume you are aware that Obamacare doesn't cover anyone. Thirdly, 99% of Obamacare is not effect yet. They are not even sure how it's all going to work not to mention funding.

You have a point, M&K. I was referring to the supposed millions of non-insured who are supposed to be covered with the wildly expanded Medicaid. Maybe this will happen, maybe not. BUT I am absolutely right about the dearth of MD's and RN's that is coming down the pike.

Gerry Clinchy
12-03-2012, 06:31 PM
Something I didn't quite realize on the 2.3% tax on medical devices. Since this tax is on gross revenues, it translates into about 15% on actual "profit" for these companies. So, to stay even, I'm guessing that they will have to raise prices slightly more than 2.3%.

Makes me wonder why it makes any sense to fund health care by a tax on one segment of the health care industry, which will result in higher costs for everyone. Was this the only segment of health care industry that they could isolate for this purpose? Is it a small segment of the industry, so unlikely to put up a big lobbying stink?

It actually makes some sense to tax the tanning salons ... sort of like taxes on tobacco, to discourage people from using something that has negative health consequences. And, of course, they want to tax sugar drinks, too, due to the obesity problems. But doesn't make as much sense to tax something which can have a positive health effect.

Henry V
12-03-2012, 09:34 PM
In the post that started this thread, Gerry posted this text from the affordable care act:
No individual, company, business, nonprofit entity, or health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall be required to participate in any Federal health insurance program created under this Act (or any amendments made by this Act), or in any Federal health insurance program expanded by this Act (or any such amendment), and there shall be no penalty or fine imposed upon any such issuer for choosing not to participate in such programs."
Could you please give me a reference/link to any "federal health insurance" program? All the affordable care act does is set up exchanges for private insurance.

Buzz
12-04-2012, 09:05 AM
American Thinker had an article that explained that the restaurant chains, and low-paying employers, in general, are not the only ones who are cutting hours due to the new mandates of Obamacare.

You do realize that after years of decreasing support for higher education from state and local governments, many schools have turned to using adjunct instructors and professors to save money by not having to offer benefits to part time workers, right? This is NOT a new thing. They had a bunch of part timers, many of whom teach courses at more than one college just to try and eek out a living with two part time jobs. So, along comes Obamacare, and the law mandates that large employers must offer insurance to those working 30 hours or more, and the college cuts their hours by another few so the can CONTINUE to offer nothing in the way of health benefits.

I was reading that this college now will not let their instructors teach any more than 10 credit hours per semester at a pay rate of $750 per credit hour per semester. So if you teach there year round (which is a big stretch because most kids go 2 semesters/year) you cannot make any more than 3 x 7500 = $22,500 per year. If you carry two jobs and can somehow manage to teach 3 semesters at each school, that'll bring you a whopping $43,000 per year with ZERO benefits. Sounds like the conservative's wet dream to me, given what little respect that they have for the teaching profession.

One thing the article forgot to mention. Even the guy who is able to pull down 3 semesters a year will qualify to have insurance he buys on an exchange subsidized because if he has a family he is way under 400% of the poverty level. These folks are part of the 47% that Rmoney showed such respect for during the election. Too bad they can't take responsibility for their own lives. In the quote above you state: "low-paying employers, in general, are not the only ones who are cutting hours due to the new mandates of Obamacare." Hopefully now you realize that these community colleges ARE among those "low paying employers," using the exact same tactics as restaurant chains etc to save a buck.

road kill
12-04-2012, 09:24 AM
You do realize that after years of decreasing support for higher education from state and local governments, many schools have turned to using adjunct instructors and professors to save money by not having to offer benefits to part time workers, right? This is NOT a new thing. They had a bunch of part timers, many of whom teach courses at more than one college just to try and eek out a living with two part time jobs. So, along comes Obamacare, and the law mandates that large employers must offer insurance to those working 30 hours or more, and the college cuts their hours by another few so the can CONTINUE to offer nothing in the way of health benefits.

I was reading that this college now will not let their instructors teach any more than 10 credit hours per semester at a pay rate of $750 per credit hour per semester. So if you teach there year round (which is a big stretch because most kids go 2 semesters/year) you cannot make any more than 3 x 7500 = $22,500 per year. If you carry two jobs and can somehow manage to teach 3 semesters at each school, that'll bring you a whopping $43,000 per year with ZERO benefits. Sounds like the conservative's wet dream to me,(What has this to do with conservatives, this is the secular progressives dream come true?) given what little respect that they have for the teaching profession.(No one dis respects teachers, the teachers union on the other hand)

One thing the article forgot to mention. Even the guy who is able to pull down 3 semesters a year will qualify to have insurance he buys on an exchange subsidized because if he has a family he is way under 400% of the poverty level. These folks are part of the 47% that Rmoney showed such respect for during the election. Too bad they can't take responsibility for their own lives. In the quote above you state: "low-paying employers, in general, are not the only ones who are cutting hours due to the new mandates of Obamacare." Hopefully now you realize that these community colleges ARE among those "low paying employers," using the exact same tactics as restaurant chains etc to save a buck.

I predicted a long time ago the progressives will never forgive us for letting them have their way!!!!:cool:

BTW--I know of no one (myself included) that wishes bad on others, except those involved in class warfare..........

Gerry Clinchy
12-04-2012, 10:32 AM
In the post that started this thread, Gerry posted this text from the affordable care act:
Could you please give me a reference/link to any "federal health insurance" program? All the affordable care act does is set up exchanges for private insurance.

You'd have to refer back to the article I quoted from. I might suspect that this clause means that any private insuror that does not wish to provide coverage under the act is free to abstain from doing so.

Of course, if all (or most) private insurors were to do that, we would then have to rely on the Fed to provide such coverage? A back door to single-payer? Some speculate that this was the ultimate plan all along.

If private insuors remain in the market, but their pricing structure is too expensive, that would also be a route toward eliminating the private sector as people sought a "government option" (the state exchanges? or another route to single-payer?).

Gerry Clinchy
12-04-2012, 10:49 AM
You do realize that after years of decreasing support for higher education from state and local governments, many schools have turned to using adjunct instructors and professors to save money by not having to offer benefits to part time workers, right? This is NOT a new thing. They had a bunch of part timers, many of whom teach courses at more than one college just to try and eek out a living with two part time jobs. So, along comes Obamacare, and the law mandates that large employers must offer insurance to those working 30 hours or more, and the college cuts their hours by another few so the can CONTINUE to offer nothing in the way of health benefits.

However, it could be reasonable that the Obamacare mandate would accelerate this process?

I was reading that this college now will not let their instructors teach any more than 10 credit hours per semester at a pay rate of $750 per credit hour per semester. So if you teach there year round (which is a big stretch because most kids go 2 semesters/year) you cannot make any more than 3 x 7500 = $22,500 per year. If you carry two jobs and can somehow manage to teach 3 semesters at each school, that'll bring you a whopping $43,000 per year with ZERO benefits. Sounds like the conservative's wet dream to me, given what little respect that they have for the teaching profession.

I can see how community colleges and some 4-yr state colleges might be impacted by the decrease in Fed support. OTOH, there are "state colleges" like Penn State that have HUGE endowments. So huge for PS that not too long ago they built some new buildings ... when they already had perfectly good buildings that were not being used.


One thing the article forgot to mention. Even the guy who is able to pull down 3 semesters a year will qualify to have insurance he buys on an exchange subsidized because if he has a family he is way under 400% of the poverty level. These folks are part of the 47% that Rmoney showed such respect for during the election. Too bad they can't take responsibility for their own lives. In the quote above you state: "low-paying employers, in general, are not the only ones who are cutting hours due to the new mandates of Obamacare." Hopefully now you realize that these community colleges ARE among those "low paying employers," using the exact same tactics as restaurant chains etc to save a buck.
Just based on our local community colleges, they have always used adjunct instructors. The community colleges often offer programs that 4-yr colleges do not. Our local CCs offer: auto technology, dental hygenist, culinary arts, a mortuary programs. The best instructors are often those who have practical experience in those careers. Some of those instructors (my son went to a CC for auto tech) don't want to give up their "day jobs". My son's adjunct instructor on auto computers was making $75/hour in his job of dx'g the cause of a "broken" auto computer (that was 20 years ago!). I pay $100/hr for my dental hygenist. I suspect that the dental practice gets about 1/2 of that.

I'm sure there is also "fat" in the education "industry" budget. I recently read of a small college that opted out of intercollegiate competition to use the funds saved to install an overall health program for ALL students; and offer intramural sports for those inclined toward competition.

I think there are many sides to the issue.

Gerry Clinchy
12-04-2012, 11:06 AM
Taking $500 billion out of Medicare ...

A caller to Mark Levin's show last night: A man of 54 who has had at least two heart attacks, is diabetic, and with kidney disease that & may soon need dialysis. He said he's paid into SS since age 15. He is on SS Disability, getting $1770/mo. (that will be about $1894 on 1/1/13; $22.727/year). He was informed that on 1/1/13, his income will be $140/YEAR too large to qualify for Medicare prescription coverage. The option he was told he could use is private insurance that will cost $280/MONTH; $3360/YEAR.

It would appear that this where some of the $500 billion will be "saved" in Medicare. I might suspect that this person might ultimately end up in some Medicaid program. It seems like this means that the Fed will reduce its $500 billion in Medicare by shifting that load to the states? Maybe my reasoning is faulty?

Several pharma companies advertise that they have programs for those who cannot afford their meds, but it's hard to know if this person would qualify for one of those programs. However, logic tells me that those pharma companies are able to do that because they have a profit margin on the drugs they sell to those who DO pay for their meds. So, in this case, the burden gets shifted to the individual consumer who pays more for scrips or more for health insurance.

It occurs to me that if 30 million lacked health insurance, out of 300 million, then would it not have just been simpler to institute a "tax" of 1/2% on those working, and pool the $ to provide health insurance for those who are uninsured? It's very possible that some of the 30 million uninsured are actually working, but due to pre-existing conditions simply can't afford the premiums for coverage; so even those people would contribute something to their coverage. Maybe this is just too simple?

Buzz
12-04-2012, 01:06 PM
Taking $500 billion out of Medicare ...

A caller to Mark Levin's show last night: A man of 54 who has had at least two heart attacks, is diabetic, and with kidney disease that & may soon need dialysis. He said he's paid into SS since age 15. He is on SS Disability, getting $1770/mo. (that will be about $1894 on 1/1/13; $22.727/year). He was informed that on 1/1/13, his income will be $140/YEAR too large to qualify for Medicare prescription coverage. The option he was told he could use is private insurance that will cost $280/MONTH; $3360/YEAR.

It would appear that this where some of the $500 billion will be "saved" in Medicare. I might suspect that this person might ultimately end up in some Medicaid program. It seems like this means that the Fed will reduce its $500 billion in Medicare by shifting that load to the states? Maybe my reasoning is faulty?

Several pharma companies advertise that they have programs for those who cannot afford their meds, but it's hard to know if this person would qualify for one of those programs. However, logic tells me that those pharma companies are able to do that because they have a profit margin on the drugs they sell to those who DO pay for their meds. So, in this case, the burden gets shifted to the individual consumer who pays more for scrips or more for health insurance.

It occurs to me that if 30 million lacked health insurance, out of 300 million, then would it not have just been simpler to institute a "tax" of 1/2% on those working, and pool the $ to provide health insurance for those who are uninsured? It's very possible that some of the 30 million uninsured are actually working, but due to pre-existing conditions simply can't afford the premiums for coverage; so even those people would contribute something to their coverage. Maybe this is just too simple?


This must have been mis stated. Is there an income cutoff for eligibility for medicare part D? I think they meant to say that he makes too much to get MEDICAID prescription coverage.

Buzz
12-04-2012, 01:18 PM
Just based on our local community colleges, they have always used adjunct instructors. The community colleges often offer programs that 4-yr colleges do not. Our local CCs offer: auto technology, dental hygenist, culinary arts, a mortuary programs. The best instructors are often those who have practical experience in those careers. Some of those instructors (my son went to a CC for auto tech) don't want to give up their "day jobs". My son's adjunct instructor on auto computers was making $75/hour in his job of dx'g the cause of a "broken" auto computer (that was 20 years ago!). I pay $100/hr for my dental hygenist. I suspect that the dental practice gets about 1/2 of that.

I'm sure there is also "fat" in the education "industry" budget. I recently read of a small college that opted out of intercollegiate competition to use the funds saved to install an overall health program for ALL students; and offer intramural sports for those inclined toward competition.

I think there are many sides to the issue.

I am very aware of what is going on with community colleges. We will be attending a dinner on Thursday that a technical school in SD is putting on to honor our family for scholarship fund that we recently endowed for students in one of their programs. The fund was set up in honor of my father-in-law who set up and wrote the curriculum for a program at their school. At a lunch I attended there recently I was talking to the tech school president. There is an extremely popular program that they have offered that was canceled this year. The reason? They CANNOT afford to pay for a qualified instructor. They lost the one they had to industry and for what they can afford to offer to a replacement, they are not getting any interested applicants. I'm sure that not only did your son's instructor not WANT to give up his day job, I bet he couldn't afford to give it up. I made the mistake of joking that I could possibly come on a part time basis to teach some electrical courses and they were all over it... At this point, the best they can hope for is to lure in a qualified retiree that wants to keep working for a few more years. Either that or the industry in question may need to consider endowing a "professorship/instructorship" at the school so that they can afford someone.

Gerry Clinchy
12-04-2012, 04:56 PM
I am very aware of what is going on with community colleges. We will be attending a dinner on Thursday that a technical school in SD is putting on to honor our family for scholarship fund that we recently endowed for students in one of their programs. The fund was set up in honor of my father-in-law who set up and wrote the curriculum for a program at their school. At a lunch I attended there recently I was talking to the tech school president. There is an extremely popular program that they have offered that was canceled this year. The reason? They CANNOT afford to pay for a qualified instructor. They lost the one they had to industry and for what they can afford to offer to a replacement, they are not getting any interested applicants. I'm sure that not only did your son's instructor not WANT to give up his day job, I bet he couldn't afford to give it up. I made the mistake of joking that I could possibly come on a part time basis to teach some electrical courses and they were all over it... At this point, the best they can hope for is to lure in a qualified retiree that wants to keep working for a few more years. Either that or the industry in question may need to consider endowing a "professorship/instructorship" at the school so that they can afford someone.
Indeed, the cooperation of the private sector to help fund programs for useful skills that fit into the community college model is a good idea; and it has worked well in the past.

Our local CC is working with PP&L electric utility to design a course for linemen. I noted weeks ago that there was some issue with utility companies decreasing their forces of linemen to control costs. Often this was done by attrition of not replacing those who retired. Guess it worked too well ... so now they don't have enough trained linemen. Our two long outages the past two years may have made that especially critical. So, now they are going to work with the CC to solve that problem ... and those are good-paying jobs.

Actually, I think our society has tended to become snobbish, looking down upon blue collar work. In truth, blue collar work can require a high level of skill and we should value it more. Had a friend who became a harrier ... lots of openings for his line of work. Not many young people consider that as a career. He makes good income doing a lot of work on racehorses.

Gerry Clinchy
12-04-2012, 05:00 PM
This must have been mis stated. Is there an income cutoff for eligibility for medicare part D? I think they meant to say that he makes too much to get MEDICAID prescription coverage.

You could be correct, Buzz. The caller may have been confusing the two. It may be that with SS disability, there is a coordination of the two programs. Although I did think that SS disability did fall into Medicare coverage, but there may be different rules for those under retirement age.

Buzz
12-05-2012, 08:21 AM
Indeed, the cooperation of the private sector to help fund programs for useful skills that fit into the community college model is a good idea; and it has worked well in the past.

Our local CC is working with PP&L electric utility to design a course for linemen. I noted weeks ago that there was some issue with utility companies decreasing their forces of linemen to control costs. Often this was done by attrition of not replacing those who retired. Guess it worked too well ... so now they don't have enough trained linemen. Our two long outages the past two years may have made that especially critical. So, now they are going to work with the CC to solve that problem ... and those are good-paying jobs.

Actually, I think our society has tended to become snobbish, looking down upon blue collar work. In truth, blue collar work can require a high level of skill and we should value it more. Had a friend who became a harrier ... lots of openings for his line of work. Not many young people consider that as a career. He makes good income doing a lot of work on racehorses.


Tried to send you a PM, and it seems that your inbox is overflowing...

Gerry Clinchy
12-05-2012, 11:22 AM
Tried to send you a PM, and it seems that your inbox is overflowing...

I don't use the PM function ... too cumbersome. Just use the email address in my signature.

Henry V
12-05-2012, 10:26 PM
You'd have to refer back to the article I quoted from. I might suspect that this clause means that any private insuror that does not wish to provide coverage under the act is free to abstain from doing so.

Of course, if all (or most) private insurors were to do that, we would then have to rely on the Fed to provide such coverage? A back door to single-payer? Some speculate that this was the ultimate plan all along.

If private insuors remain in the market, but their pricing structure is too expensive, that would also be a route toward eliminating the private sector as people sought a "government option" (the state exchanges? or another route to single-payer?).

Sorry Gerry your answer is not very defensible from my perspective. The article you posted does not provide any links to a "federal health insurance program", only empty rhetoric. If you have a link, please provide one.

The private insurance exchanges are being set-up for private insurers to compete for customers. A concept first promoted by conservatives. While I agree that insurance companies may decide not to participate it seems doubtful that many would not want to be part of this system that provides ready access to many more customers.

If this is a backdoor way to a single payer system, don't you find it ironic that all the conservative states that have decided to depend on the federal government to establish their exchange may then be most responsible for enabling the single payer system in the long run. Hilarious, if you ask me.

Gerry Clinchy
12-05-2012, 11:30 PM
Sorry Gerry your answer is not very defensible from my perspective. The article you posted does not provide any links to a "federal health insurance program", only empty rhetoric. If you have a link, please provide one.

The private insurance exchanges are being set-up for private insurers to compete for customers. A concept first promoted by conservatives. While I agree that insurance companies may decide not to participate it seems doubtful that many would not want to be part of this system that provides ready access to many more customers.

If this is a backdoor way to a single payer system, don't you find it ironic that all the conservative states that have decided to depend on the federal government to establish their exchange may then be most responsible for enabling the single payer system in the long run. Hilarious, if you ask me.

The source for the quotation cited would be the law itself, as they refer to that being where the quote is taken from?

I agree that, in theory, there is no actual "federal health insurance program" except insofar as the law stipulates what must be included in all plans to satisfy the govt minimum coverage for health insurance programs that are offered.

Yes, it would be ironic if the issue of the "exchange" concept were eventually responsible for leading to a single-payer system. However, an oversight in the law was the failure to provide for funding for a "Federal Exchange", even though it stipulates the Fed govt has the authority to establish such an exchange.

Since the law is so massively complex; and different parts could have been written by different individuals, or groups of individuals, that might be a reason for its inconsistencies.

It would seem reasonable that the insurors would want to participate to compete for a large consumer base that is mandated to purchase their product. However, if the price for these private sector plans is very expensive, then there might be a consumer demand for a govt option.

The concept of a "high risk pool" worked for auto insurance; however, even though auto insurance can be expensive, there are limits in its liability so the cost is relatively small compared to health insurance which has much higher limits of liability. And there are some insurors who do not offer products in some states. I'd have to guess that the profit margins, at a competitive price, are not attractive enough to do so.

I've never quite understood why it was not possible to cross state lines to purchase health insurance. With life and auto insurance, an insurance company gets a license to sell its products in a state, and satisfies that state's criteria for doing business in the state. The fact that Prudential had its home office in NJ doesn't prevent it from doing business in PA ... and, indeed, it (now owned by Metropolitan) sells group health insurance in PA. So, not sure what all this talk is about not being able to cross state lines for health insurance.

It is reasonable for states to have requirements, like reserves, for an insuror doing business in the state. Consumers should be assured that their insuror will have sufficient funds to actually pay their claims when they are made. However, an insuror in Iowa might have low rates, but if they sold a policy in NJ, they might actuarily have to charge nearly as much as those companies residing in NJ since the cost of care in NJ may be higher than it is in Iowa. The Iowa company might enjoy some savings by having its bricks and mortar in a place that is less expensive than residing within NJ, where the bricks and mortar are quite expensive.

We've discussed the premium increases people have seen ... but I think there was also a requirement in the law that the premiums were going to be reviewed by govt to assure that a certain percentage of premium MUST go toward benefits provided. You will recall the "refunds" that the insurors were required to issue if their prescribed ratio had been exceeded. So, the govt has provided the mandatory minimum coverage that must be offered; and also has limited/mandated how much is allowed for administration and profit on their products.

If truly the number of doctors and hospitals (per capita) decreases, that would seem to lessen competition (while demand increases) for the services of those remaining. Will prices go up even more?

Marvin S
12-06-2012, 07:52 AM
Sounds like the conservative's wet dream to me, given what little respect that they have for the teaching profession.

That statement has bothered me since I saw it posted - as I believe it to be ill founded - but I'll pass this on to you & maybe you can tell me what to respect.


* Teachers in Tacoma defied a court order & went on strike to demand a raise above the $76,657 take home pay that they average plus the right to choose where they work. In the meantime students lost 8 days of school plus the additional burden already placed on parents for childcare. This is on the heels of the yearly high profile strike the WEA institutes to show the legislature they have clout.

*In the small town of Morton, in Lewis County, the state teachers union blocked the dismissal of a sexual predator charged with abusing a 16 year old girl in the school band room - & actually demanded that the school pay this creep a $12,000 severance.

Some of us in the very left leaning states don't have SD's culture, should we apply your enabling standards to these "I'm just looking out for the kid's" type of people.


One thing the article forgot to mention. Even the guy who is able to pull down 3 semesters a year will qualify to have insurance he buys on an exchange subsidized because if he has a family he is way under 400% of the poverty level. These folks are part of the 47% that Rmoney showed such respect for during the election. Too bad they can't take responsibility for their own lives. In the quote above you state: "low-paying employers, in general, are not the only ones who are cutting hours due to the new mandates of Obamacare." Hopefully now you realize that these community colleges ARE among those "low paying employers," using the exact same tactics as restaurant chains etc to save a buck.

They knew what they were getting into when they chose those professions, you need to explain in a more rational manner just what the public owes these people, if anything :confused:.

Gerry Clinchy
12-08-2012, 07:41 PM
Meanwhile, the health insurance industry is already raising alarm about an ObamaCare tax on health insurers taking effect in 2014. America’s Health Insurance Plans says that cost will be passed onto the consumer, leading to another $2,000 in premium costs over the next decade for the average individual purchaser.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/12/08/deal-or-no-deal-obamacare-taxes-poised-to-hit-next-month/#ixzz2EVyrGKfr


I hadn't even heard of a tax on health insurors before. Anybody else know anything about that?

murral stark
12-08-2012, 10:33 PM
That statement has bothered me since I saw it posted - as I believe it to be ill founded - but I'll pass this on to you & maybe you can tell me what to respect.



Some of us in the very left leaning states don't have SD's culture, should we apply your enabling standards to these "I'm just looking out for the kid's" type of people.



They knew what they were getting into when they chose those professions, you need to explain in a more rational manner just what the public owes these people, if anything :confused:.
Check into the price of daycare services. $8 to $12 per hour per child and multiply that by the amount of days in a school year.

Gerry Clinchy
12-11-2012, 08:58 PM
The fee will be assessed on all "major medical" insurance plans, including those provided by employers and those purchased individually by consumers. Large employers will owe the fee directly. That's because major companies usually pay upfront for most of the health care costs of their employees. It may not be apparent to workers, but the insurance company they deal with is basically an agent administering the plan for their employer.

The fee will total $12 billion in 2014, $8 billion in 2015 and $5 billion in 2016. That means the per-head assessment would be smaller each year, around $40 in 2015 instead of $63.

It will phase out completely in 2017 — unless Congress, with lawmakers searching everywhere for revenue to reduce federal deficits — decides to extend it.

This would mean that each person who has health insurance will be assessed a fee to provide for the pre-existing condition coverage that will now be mandatory.

IMO, it would be a good thing if the employers passed this fee onto the employees. This would make it clear to everyone who is insured that this new mandate did not come as a freebie. Someone has had to pay for it. Upper income employees will not miss $5.25 a month. For lower-income employees the extra deduction from their paycheck will be noticed more.

If we vote for the people who are in favor of these taxes, then it is a good thing to remind us that there is a price for these improved services. Whether we believe the services are important or not, we should at least be able to see what they are costing us.

Does anyone believe that Congress will not extend this tax when its expiration date arrives? Does anyone believe that it will remain as low as $63 when the tax is extended? Actually, it seems like $25 billion is a mere drop in the bucket when it comes to the coverage that will be required for pre-existing conditions at the same premium as those without pre-existing conditions. It won't take that many organ transplants and kidney dialysis patients to chew through that fund ... unless "the committee" decides that most of those are not merited based on likely outcomes.

This was reported by AP via Yahoo
http://news.yahoo.com/surprise-insurance-fee-health-overhaul-law-185726448.html

Gerry Clinchy
12-20-2012, 07:11 PM
http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/12/a_crack_in_obamas_armor.html



Today [Dec. 18], a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. handed Wheaton College and Belmont Abbey College a major victory in their challenges to the HHS mandate. Last summer, two lower courts had dismissed the Colleges' cases as premature. Today, the appellate court reinstated those cases, and ordered the Obama Administration to report back every 60 days-starting in mid-February-until the Administration makes good on its promise to issue a new rule that protects the Colleges' religious freedom. The new rule must be issued by March 31, 2013....

'This is a win not just for Belmont Abbey and Wheaton, but for all religious non-profits challenging the mandate,' said [Kyle Duncan, general counsel of The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty]. 'The government has now been forced to promise that it will never enforce the current mandate against religious employers like Wheaton and Belmont Abbey and a federal appellate court will hold the government to its word.'

Gerry Clinchy
12-24-2012, 05:41 PM
I have a question, and truly don't know the answer:

If an employer of 10 employees (way below the Obamacare minimum) would like to offer health insurance benefits to their employees, do they still have to offer them the "prescribed" program mandated by Obamacare? Can they offer them less than that benefit? If they cannot afford to offer them those "full" benefits, why can they not offer them something less? SOMEthing might be better than NOTHING. Could they then allow the employees to purchase additional benefits with their own funds? If not, why not?

I'm sure that politicians would find this too simple to grasp ... if an employer is willing to expend $X for employee health insurance, but cannot afford the full amount of the Obamacare requirements, and the employees are REQUIRED by the law to have the Obamacare minimums, why not let an employer pay for part of the cost & let the employees pay for the additional coverage they need for the coverage to be in compliance to avoid the TAX for being uninsured? Keeping in mind, that an employer with this few employees is NOT required to provide ANY health insurance benefits at all. However, small businessmen/women are inclined to want to retain good employees by providing them with benefits that other employers (competing for competent employees) might not be willing to provide.

Just askin ...

Gerry Clinchy
01-06-2013, 11:07 AM
Schumer, and about 15 other "influential" Dems (who voted in favor of Obamacare) are now in favor of repealing the funding portion of the law relating to the tax on medical devices. They have suddenly realized that their constituencies include companies that will be highly impacted by this tax in the law.

Duh? "We have to pass it to find out what's in it."

By the time all the special interest groups are through chopping out all the funding modes built into the law, we should have costs beyond imagination.

This was not the greatest idea for funding since the %-age of tax was on gross sales, which makes the "real" tax much higher than the 2.5% (I think that's the #) in the law. Saw an estimate of around 15% in "real" tax impact.

Of course, the device mfrs can just add 2.5% to the price of all their products ... but, no doubt, there will be a schedule of reimbursement imposed, which might not cover the 2.5% they will be adding onto the price. Depending on the profit margins of the companies, some of them could go out of business, or see their sales conspicuously decreased.