The $200 million going to Jordan (one of our ME allies) is peanuts compared to the $500 million just "unblocked" for the Palestinian Authority, not known for its affection for the US.Quote:
President Obama demonstrated what empathy means to him: the State Department has announced that it will unblock $500 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority. Congress froze funding for the Palestinian Authority just a few months ago in the aftermath of the PA’s attempt to unilaterally declare statehood via the United Nations.
Read more: http://nation.foxnews.com/obama/2013...#ixzz2OUR9fEDf
These funds were blocked when the PA decided to go direct to the UN for statehood recognition. I guess the PA has promised Obama they will play nice now?
Egypt: $250 million; Jordan: $200 million; PA: $500 million. Close to a cool billion right there.
CVS admits that this is an effort to control its health insurance costs.
I believe it is pretty logical ... Due to various provisions of Obamacare, health insurance premiums are expected to continue to increase. Obamacare requires electronic medical records exchange. The CVS testings will become part of an individual's medical record. Obamacare will have a "board" that makes decisions on allocating health care. Even now, without Obamacare, an alcoholic is not likely to receive a liver transplant v. someone who is not an alcoholic. Insurance companies now have some say in what treatments are covered and which they will not cover (right or wrong). We can already envision that the added numbers of individuals who will theoreticallnn get health care (who aren't now) will result in changes in how services are allocated. Undoubtedly, this "board" will have access to the electronic health record. We already know that such decisions are already being made in UK and Canada. Obama, himself, admitted that decisions for elderly people's care would be at least partially predicated on longevity expectations. So, the obesity and smoking will also be part of longevity expectations.Quote:
In a statement, CVS says it's implemented the program to try and keep employees as healthy as possible, and help them manage their costs.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/0...#ixzz2OUkrK5HF
If the same rules are applied to Medicaid and Food Stamps, it could get really ugly. Nobody seems to care that recipients of these benefits meet the same requirements as the employees of CVS. Do we not care about cost containment in these programs?
However, with CVS, they are saying the employees have a choice of getting their health insurance elsewhere (fat chance they could afford to do that). With Obamacare you will pay something (either fine or insurance premium), but you might also end up being denied care.
When we view the over-reach of agencies like EPA or OSHA, it just doesn't seem hard to extapolate where this will go over the longer term.
Will you be required to prove that you exercise 30 minutes a day? Will you be mandated to eat a list of required foods each day?
If govt believes it can coerce its citizens into "approved" personal behaviors, all are at risk that the list of "unappaorved" behaviors will get longer over time. Bloomberg felt he could "outlaw" sugary drinks. Will somebody else decide to "outlaw" cupcakes? Maybe ice cream? Or maybe just tax them to make these things extraordinarily expensive? There are already mandates for calorie counts on menus and your box of cereal. Will the govt decide that calorie count will be limited on these same items? For example, no restaurant can serve a main course that exceeds 700 calories? Maybe no cereal that exceeds 200 calories per cup?
The tie-in for the CVS policy to Obamacare is conjecture on your part. Fair enough.
NPR reported that CVS would charge the employees who didn't provide a BMI an additional $50 per month. CVS did not say that the employees had to go elsewhere for insurance. That part I do remember.
It also occurs to me, if there is objection to charging a "penalty" to the individual with an unhealthy lifestyle because they should be paying their "fair share" due to their personal habits that raise everyone's premiums, why do we not understand that pre-existing conditions present the same mathematical dilemma to the entire law? What if the pre-existing condition is one which was a result of unhealthy habits? Is the employer free to charge them a penalty fee as well? Once there is a precedent for charging such a penalty, it might be logical to assume the penalty will get larger over time?
For CVS, they have enough employees, that there is probably no option for them to avoid participating in Obamacare. However, keep in mind, that there is also that limitation on the amount of health insurance premium that the employer can make an employee pay as a %-age of compensation. I mentioned that provision on the other thread. So, if family coverage gets too expensive the employer will stop offering such coverage & the employee will have to pay for it entirely. That employee will not be able to get subsidies, since the law precludes giving subsidies to those who have coverage through their employer.
If the PA has serious fiscal shortfalls, why aren't their Arab allies helping them out?Quote:
Another $200 million falls under fiscal 2013 assistance.Further, the administration notified Congress in February that it wants another $200 million for programs under the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Despite suggestions that the administration had “quietly” released the money, Nuland on Friday stressed that she had publicly announced the aid at a March 15 briefing.
Congress in 2011 voted to freeze part of the U.S. aid package to the Palestinians in response to their push for statehood before the U.N.
But President Obama last year signed a waiver removing those restrictions on national security grounds. He reportedly moved to unfreeze hundreds of millions of dollars in aid last month.
The International Monetary Fund this month warned that the Palestinians were facing serious fiscal shortfalls, in part because of dwindling international aid packages.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013...#ixzz2OaJZZ9UC
It is questionable, IMO, that the funds given end up helping the citizens. Arafat's wife lives in luxury in the south of France. It is not unlikely that Arafat, like Chavez, kept alot of bucks for his own benefit, rather than for the people he represented.
Joe Biden is certainly catching hell from the Dems and Repubs for he and his entourage's overnight $535 million stay in a 5 star Paris hotel.
I say the sequester cuts weren't nearly deep enough!