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Premiums Send Teachers Reeling

Posted: September 11, 2013 at 3:09 a.m.

The state’s teachers are reeling from news insurance premiums in their state-provided plan will rise by up to 50 percent on Jan. 1.

Apparently, there are multiple reasons for the hike, including rising medical costs, under-utilization of the state-provided program and the experience of several catastrophic claims within the group.

Teachers and other school personnel enrolled in the Public School Health Insurance program number around 47,000. And they’re not at all happy about the coming premium increases.

For example, the family premium for one plan will jump from just more than $1,000 a month to more than $1,500 monthly, or an extra $6,000 a year. That’s a staggering hit to a family living on a teacher’s salary.

The amount of increase depends on which of the plans the teacher or school employee chooses, but the hikes are all significant.

State lawmakers heard all about it on Monday, when well more than 100 teachers and others packed a meeting room, seeking legislative help to stall the premium hikes.

The six-hour joint session of four legislative committees served to reacquaint lawmakers with problems within the system that require not only a $50 million state contribution but also funding from school districts and employee-paid premiums.

With reduced participation, however, the money from current premiums wasn’t enough. The board that governs the insurance plan had no choice but to increase revenue to the troubled program by requiring higher premiums.

The board voted for the increases in August, setting off strong reactions among teachers and prompting this month’s meeting of the Joint Education and Insurance committees of the House and Senate.

One lawmaker, state Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Conway, who chairs the Senate insurance panel, has even called for a special session of the Legislature to address the issue.

That’s not happening, at least not now. Gov. Mike Beebe said through a spokesman he will not call a special session.

The governor, who earlier agreed to move $8 million in general improvement funds to handle several catastrophic claims that hit the system, prefers to wait for next year’s fiscal session unless some consensus solution to the situation emerges.

Clearly, the teachers want a short-term solution before the Jan. 1 premiums kick in. That would require quick infusion of some one-time money, according to Rep. James McLean, D-Batesville, who chairs the House Education Committee. He suggested that could happen in a special session or in the fiscal session.

The amount needed to prevent the hikes from taking place, according to state officials, is an additional 
$53 million.

Rapert, noting the turmoil the situation is going to cause teachers and their families, suggested the state use part of its $300 million surplus to block the increases. But he, like several others, said lawmakers must address more than the short-term fix to the system.

“This plan, if it continues as they’ve been doing, it’s in the proverbial death spiral,” said Rapert, asserting that the systemic problems that triggered this most recent dilemma must be resolved.

That’s a harder job and one on which consensus might prove elusive. Nevertheless, with 47,000 teachers and school employees pushing lawmakers to find a fix, maybe they will.

BRENDA BLAGG IS A FREELANCE COLUMNIST AND LONGTIME JOURNALIST IN NORTHWEST ARKANSAS.

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Bless your liberal mind, Brenda. Make whatever excuses you want about the insurance premiums. It's simple, OBAMACARE is kicking in!!!! We on the right have been warning everyone about this but you liberals think we do not know what we're talking about. Unfortunately, we haven't seen anything yet regarding this insurance debacle. Lord help us!!

Posted by: footballfan

September 11, 2013 at 12:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

What no one says is that the State employees are covered by the same plan and their premiums are much lower for the exact same plan at this time. Their premiums will not rise the same as the teachers and school employees..

My wife and I have the Gold plan for families, the premiums are just shy of $1100 per month, it could soon be over $1500 per month along with a higher co-pay.

Posted by: SF72764

September 11, 2013 at 12:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

I might add, and I would need to look this up again, a state employee with the same Gold plan for families pays almost half of what we pay for the exact coverage.

Posted by: SF72764

September 11, 2013 at 12:55 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

footballfan, please explain how the Affordable Care Act is connected with this and why state employees pay so much less for the same plan.
*
Why aren't teachers and state employees together in one plan?
Does anybody know if municipal employees such as police and firefighters are on separate plans?

Posted by: Coralie

September 11, 2013 at 1:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Amen, Footballfan - Just wait is right. Better yet, just listen to the news and you will see how many are losing their company paid insurance. Defund Obamacare!

Posted by: mycentworth

September 11, 2013 at 2:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Here's a good way to tell that somebody doesn't know what he's talking about: we are treated to an "Amen" from mycentworth. It has been a very dependable indicator so far that the ignorance and misinformation is especially ignorant and misinformative. It is as if mycentworth is the canary in the coal mine.

When I applied for my current health insurance, the company added 50% to thepremium based on one preexisting condition (sleep apnea)-- an increase that Obamacare would have prevented if it had been in place at the time.

Notice that even Jason Rapert, Teabagger extraordinaire, doesn't mention Obamacare as a factor in premium increases. Notice that reduced participation and catastrophic claims are cited as reasons for the premium increases. These have always been reasons for raising insurance premiums. Notice that nsurance is an odds-based business, just like running a casino. And notice that, like a casino, a well-run insurance company always wins-- even under Obamacare. Notice that increased access to insurance coverage creates more income and, with an influx of relatively healthy people who couldn't previously justify the expense, reduces the effect of catastrophic claims.

Notice that Obamacare will increase competition among private health insurance carriers. Teachers will have better options for coverage under other providers, and the current program can stop doing business-- as it apparently needs to do. Obamacare will solve this problem.

Or be like fooballfan and mycentworth and don't notice anything. I'll continue to try to help you along.

Posted by: AlphaCat

September 11, 2013 at 3:57 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

You teachers voted for Obama, now stick it where the sun don't shine, you deserve everything you voted for.

Posted by: JailBird

September 11, 2013 at 4:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Alpha, You think that insurance companies are going to take a loss to cover your preexisting condition? They will just raise the premiums for everyone making insurance unaffordable for many. And if those that cannot afford insurance, or lose theirs, go on Obamacare, it will cost the country through much higher taxes. Taxpayers will rebel, one way or another. Remember "don't disenfranchise the taxpayer".

Defund Obamacare!

Posted by: mycentworth

September 11, 2013 at 4:34 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

mycent says "if those that cannot afford insurance, or lose theirs, go on Obamacare..."
You obviously don't know how it works.

You don't "go on Obamacare" as if it is some alternative form of insurance.
If the public option had passed, that might be closer to the truth. But it didn't.

Posted by: Coralie

September 11, 2013 at 4:59 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

RE "You think that insurance companies are going to take a loss to cover your preexisting condition?"
Of course not. They're profiting from it. That will become more obvious as rate calculations are adjusted for larger, healthier insured pools.

"They will just raise the premiums for everyone making insurance unaffordable for many."
Insurance was already unaffordable for many. I'll bet you didn't notice that. However, with the Obamacare requirement that expenditures for claim coverage be at least 80% of their take from premiums, insurance companies will be more limited in how much they can gouge everybody. They've already given out a lot of refunds for previous gouging. I'll bet you didn't notice that, either.

RE "And if those that cannot afford insurance, or lose theirs, go on Obamacare, it will cost the country through much higher taxes."
That is just classic. Faux News pulls your pants down again. How abysmally ignorant can you be? Nobody "goes on Obamacare". Obviously you didn't notice that. But the individual savings on health insurance premiums and, inevitably, lower medical costs overall, will more than make up for any individual's tax bite. You probably didn't notice that.

Do you think that insurance companies are going to stay out of an even better market, even if it means that their outrageous profit is diminished?

You never cease to amaze me with your pitiable grasp of reality. Indeed, your profound ignorance and persistent false witness outshine the very glory of one of God's own sunsets. And I've seen some profound sunsets. Congratulations.

Posted by: AlphaCat

September 11, 2013 at 5:20 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Alpha: "...your [Mycent] profound ignorance and persistent false witness outshine the very glory of one of God's own sunsets.">>

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people that are approximately as dumb & clueless as Mycent has demonstrated herself to be (on every single subject she has tackled). Fortunately, so many manage to at least have the knowledge to know better than to go in public and make a constant display of it.

Back to topic, people always want to know what the future holds. Here's what the future probably holds:

***
"We spend more than any other country in the world.
In 2005, our per capita -- so, per person -- spending was $6,697. The next highest in the study was Canada, at $3,326. And remember -- that's "mean" spending, so it's the amount we spend divided by our population. But unlike in Canada, about 16-25 percent of our population doesn't have insurance, and so often can't use the system.
For profit health care is not sustainable unless everyone is required by law to participate. Obama-Care is a transition system that will evolve into Government Managed Single Payer Health care for all; for profit health care has been failing for decades and will need to be abolished." --HB49

I think that's right. And a good thing.

D.
----------------
"Major New Study On Obamacare Premiums Should End The ‘Rate Shock’ Hysteria Once And For All"

"Strikingly, in every city analyzed, a family of four with two 40-year-old adults and a household income of $60,000 per year would pay $409 per month for the second-cheapest Silver plan after receiving subsidies. That’s more or less in line with the average $4,565 per year that workers currently contribute towards their employer-sponsored health insurance plans....
Plans purchased through the Obamacare marketplaces will be significantly more robust than current individual policies, which often skimp on essential coverage to bring down their prices and have been dismissed by consumer advocates as “junk insurance.” Obamacare marketplace plans must cover 10 broad categories of “essential health benefits,” including for prescription drug coverage, mental health services, and maternity care."
http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/...

Posted by: fayfreethinker

September 11, 2013 at 6:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

"Ten Reasons Why American Health Care Is so Bad"
NOVEMBER 2, 2007

[Just the sub-headings, see the article for explanation and reference].

1. We spend the most.
2. We don't pay doctors according to the quality of their care.
3. Our wait times are low because many of us aren't getting care at all.
4. Most of us don't have a regular physician.
5. Our care isn't particularly convenient.
6. Our doctors don't listen to us.
7. We have high rates of chronic conditions.
8. … But we're not treating them properly.
9. We're frequent victims of medical, medication, and lab errors.
10. Most of us are dissatisfied with our current system.
http://prospect.org/article/ten-reaso...

Posted by: fayfreethinker

September 11, 2013 at 6:41 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

First off, let me say teachers, welcome to the real world. This is what most people pay for health insurance. If you have 47,000 members on this plan like the news has stated, then you are getting it in the shorts. As for the comment about police and fire, they are a part of their respective city's health insurance policy. Instead of asking the state to bail you out, get with whomever administers your plan and find a different one. Our healthcare system isn't broken, but our insurance system sure is.

Posted by: smhx2

September 12, 2013 at 7:33 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

I have a good friend who retired from public schools last year. He married later in life, age 38, had children during his forties and fifties.

15 years ago when he was a school principal in a small system in NWA his teachers' insurance was becoming unaffordable. He earned more than teachers.
Then his $550 monthly premium was headed to $750.
Now that same premium would be over $1700 month.

IT'S NOT OBAMACARE RAISING PRICES!
It's the medical establishment.
It's the insurance companies.
It's the pharmaceutical industry making obscene profits.

Posted by: cdawg

September 12, 2013 at 10:52 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Here's the graph for Cdawg's post:

https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.ne...

Posted by: fayfreethinker

September 12, 2013 at 11:20 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

The 11th reason why American health care is so bad is that there isn't enough focus on prevention and too much dependence on drugs, lab tests, and surgical procedures.

Posted by: Coralie

September 12, 2013 at 1:05 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Is there some reason why you think those who are currently uninsured are healthy? Sure some are healthy and won't need to be seen by a doctor but, due to the current insurance schemes, there will be a large influx of individuals with some sort of condition that would not qualify them as healthy.

I am not trying to bait you into an argument, I just think you cannot make the claim that there will be a huge influx of relatively healthy individuals that will offset the medical bills of the previously uninsurable individuals.

For example, one cancer patient's treatment can cost upwards of $100,000, depending on the circumstances. How many healthy people have to pay premiums and not use the medical services just to offset this one individual's costs?

Posted by: relao

September 12, 2013 at 3:43 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

RE "Is there some reason why you think those who are currently uninsured are healthy?"
Note that I said "relatively healthy". Many of the uninsured are young, which is why making it possible for people to stay on their parents' insurance until the age of 26 was so significant. The young population is relatively more healthy than the old population. Another large uninsured population is those who are at the edge of affording insurance, and can't (or won't) justify the expense because they are healthy.

Certainly there are less-healthy people who will now have access to insurance, but some of the additional cost of insuring them will generally be paid back in increased productivity (fewer missed workdays) and by keeping their health issues manageable rather than letting them become catastrophic. Further, people with insurance don't get their primary health care at the emergency room. ER write-offs increase hospital expenses, which are passed on to the rest of us through higher hospital costs-- and higher insurance premiums. (This is one reason that the Heritage Foundation advocated the individual mandate back in 1989-- a fact that, among so many others, conservatives now ignore.)

RE "How many healthy people have to pay premiums and not use the medical services just to offset this one individual's costs?"
That is already the case, Obamacare or not. That's how insurance works. But another way insurance works is that as the pool of insureds grows, the effect of any claim on all premiums is diminished. Also, Obamacare does not prevent an insurance company from charging higher premiums as claim costs go up; it simply requires moderation and more transparency in how premiums are adjusted.

Posted by: AlphaCat

September 12, 2013 at 4:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Coralie-

RE:

" there isn't enough focus on prevention and too much dependence on drugs, lab tests, and surgical procedures"

You can say that again. There is a pill for everything never mind living an entire a life on the couch smoking cigarettes and eating crap. No worries though, everyone else is going to pick up the tab for the sloths.

Posted by: Tankersley101

September 12, 2013 at 6:02 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kittylitter just demonstrated that one didn't fly over the cuckoo's nest.

Posted by: JailBird

September 12, 2013 at 6:51 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

If one were to say republicans have absolutely no ideas on healthcare, that wouldn't be completely right. For instance, they did have this one:

https://scontent-b-dfw.xx.fbcdn.net/h...

Further unpack here: "Nevada Gets Sued For Dumping Homeless Patients With Mental Illnesses Onto Buses" http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/...

The world watches in amazement as the wealthiest country in the world cannot figure out how to get healthcare to all of it's citizens, even while spending exactly twice the average, per person, of thirty of our peer nations... that do.

D.
-------------
“I will bet you, for most of you, you go home in the next two weeks when your members of Congress are home, and you look them in the eye and you say, ‘What is your positive replacement for Obamacare?’ They will have zero answer,” Gingrich said.
"Newt Gingrich Admits Republicans Have ‘Zero Answer’ for Replacing Obamacare"
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/...

Posted by: fayfreethinker

September 12, 2013 at 8:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Folks,

When it comes to money and mycent you are wasting your time, like I always say, it's hard to argue with stupid.

GO
HOGS

Posted by: continuetocancelme

September 13, 2013 at 4:56 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Typical Liberal, despicableme, excuse me Mad Potato/tomato, whatever. We must really get to you. Too bad you don't have anything worth while to say, only name calling, just like most liberals on this site. Talk about wasting one's time.

Posted by: mycentworth

September 13, 2013 at 8:40 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

And on a brighter note, here's what the near future probably holds regarding healthcare in America:

***
In 5 months from now.....next February.......America is going to know:

1. 17 million kids with preexisting conditions now have coverage thanks to Obamacare.
2. People can no longer be dropped into certain bankruptcy for having a costly illness.
3. Another billion dollars will have been rebated by the insurance industry to go with the 3 billion they were forced to rebate in the 2 previous years.
4. Millions and millions will have been able to buy policies for 20% to 50% less than they are paying for the same policies today.
5. Multiple millions of adults with preexisting conditions will FINALLY be able to get coverage.
7. All the GOP lies and the GOP liars will have been exposed.
8. And, most of all the American public will be itching to get into the voting booth and thank the Democrats that brought them these awesome improvements; and punish the Republicans who fought so hard to deprive them of these awesome improvements." --rudyg43, Huff Po comment

Nice.

Posted by: fayfreethinker

September 13, 2013 at 11:16 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

>>" there isn't enough focus on prevention and too much dependence on drugs, lab tests, and surgical procedures"<

There's a whopping contradiction. I just had a full panel blood test ("lab tests"). Without that test I would not be able to prevent two conditions setting up in my body.

If there's one thing modern science knows the value of, it's testing. Can some of it be excessive? Sure but not most of it. It's the only way to more certain discovery and detection.

Future generations will have full panel genetic tests, "lab tests." Prevention will become the standard of the day.

Btw, how would any of you know if you have cancer without a "lab test?" Operative term is "know."
.

Posted by: cdawg

September 13, 2013 at 11:58 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

RE "Too bad you don't have anything worth while to say,"
This from the woman who has nothing worthwhile to say, unless superstitious, holier-than-thou and wrong are worthwhile.

RE "only name calling, just like most liberals on this site."
This from the woman who admires Moneymyst's toilet humor and name-calling.

RE "Talk about wasting one's time."
Pot, meet kettle. Fortunately, in your case lessons can be gleaned from your chaff, so your posts are not completely useless.

BONUS-- mycentworth tweets! mycentworth channels Pat Robertson, and shows off her obsessions and lack of grasp:

"@seanhannity Sean, America will suffer from supporting those against Israel, I think we are already. Just look around, fires,floods,etc." [Don't forget that leak in your chimney.]

"@ABCNetwork Good-bye, Rookie Blue.Why does every show feel they have 2 push the gay agenda when only 10% of poplatn? Gets tiresome." [What time do the gays break for lunch? That would be in their agenda.]

"Why should MA be able to take 'God' out of the pledge of allegiance? I cannot get the name of God taken in vain out of movies!" [Note: nobody forces you to watch movies.]

"@foxnews - Someone needs to investigate this drug business. Husband now headed to donut hole. Drug costs are outrageous. Go Mexico!" [Note: Obamacare is closing the "doughnut hole".]

"Just sitting back, watching the world go crazy & trusting the Lord. I've given up on us changing things. We need 2 repent & turn back to God" [If only you were just sitting back.]

"Disney brings lesbian moms to TV http://po.st/xxghn9 via @worldnetdaily" [Disney's already got plenty to answer for-- he ruined "Mary Poppins".]

"@foxnews Obamacare Provision: 'Forced' Home Inspections : Freedom Outpost http://po.st/hfDX2B via @po_st" [Already debunked elsewhere in these forums.]

Posted by: AlphaCat

September 13, 2013 at 12:59 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

When I was in school saying the Pledge of Allegiance, the words "under God" weren't in it.
The John Birchers put that in about 1954 or thereabouts.
I prefer the good old days.

Posted by: Coralie

September 13, 2013 at 1:23 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Well, cdawg, I wasn't objecting to all tests. One has to be a careful consumer with the medical system.
If we are going to trade personal experiences, here are some of mine.
Years ago I left my professional life and marriage in Pennsylvania because I was in poor health and nobody would acknowledge it, including my husband.
The Dr. couldn't determine why. He took a battery of tests, all of the results were in the LOW normal range, but since they were in the normal range, I must be neurotic. (The fact there was a burning culm dump spewing out sulphurous fumes very close to my place of work couldn't possibly have anything to do with it).
*
Experience 2: In the hospital for a catscan of one organ, they wanted to do a catscan of another which I didn't have any symptoms for and I said No more radiation!
Ten years ago and I still haven't had any symptoms for the 2nd organ they wanted to do a catscan of.
Those machines are expensive and they have to pay for them by using them.
*
Experience 3: Tesstss were inconclusive but just to be on the safe side let's take out this organ.
No, I said, not good enough reason.
I still have it and nothing seems to be wrong with it.
*
Other experiences are too personal or complex to go into here.

Posted by: Coralie

September 13, 2013 at 2:22 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

"Alpha, You think that insurance companies are going to take a loss to cover your preexisting condition? They will just raise the premiums for everyone making insurance unaffordable for many. And if those that cannot afford insurance, or lose theirs, go on Obamacare, it will cost the country through much higher taxes. Taxpayers will rebel, one way or another. Remember "don't disenfranchise the taxpayer"." - mycentworth

I have asked you multiple time to stop repeating the Republican misinformation and please post figures that support our statements. But you won't.

Can't actually, because there are no figures that support your statements.

Posted by: ecsmith2

September 13, 2013 at 5:48 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

EC: It sounds like common sense to me.

Posted by: mycentworth

September 13, 2013 at 6:37 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

RE "It sounds like common sense to me."
Of course it does. And we've seen many examples of what you think sounds like common sense.

"Going on Obamacare", indeed.

BONUS-- website comments from mycentworth! They sound like common sense to me.

"I’m NOT voting for McCaskill – what Akin said is not so terrible. There are rapes that aren’t legitmite – ie: Duke Lacross team. He shouldn’t have thrown such a bone to the dems, but we should still back him. We all make blunders. God Bless Him." (August 31st, 2012 comment on "PPP: Akin Virtually Tied With McCaskill") [That's a real commonsense attitude about rape. If nobody was raped, it isn't "illegitimate rape"-- it's not rape at all.]

"What doesn't he get away with? Absolutely nothing." (June 25, 2013 comment on "O'QUIZ: Barack Obama should be tried for 'war crimes,' his former ally said. Who?" on Bill O'Reilly's Facebook page) [Obviously common sense tells you that Republican obstructionism has let Obama get away with everything, yet he somehow simultaneously can't accomplish anything.]

RE "I felt so sorry for the soldier holding that umbrella. Obama's true character is coming out and it isn't humility." (May 26, 2013 comment on "So the president's Rose Garden press conference with the prime minister of Turkey couple of weeks ago was interrupted by some raindrops...." on the Fox News Insider website) [Wow-- an insider AND a Top Commenter! That explains a lot.]

"And that is exactly why we are where we are - too shallow to care. Just feed'em and give them their toys. If they had to go out and earn a living and support a family, they'd be informed." (May 25, 2013 comment on "Bill O'Reilly: 'It's no surprise to me that literally half the country has no blanking clue about how the Obama administration's running things.'" on Fox News' Facebook mobile page) [Again: wow.]

Posted by: AlphaCat

September 14, 2013 at 12:38 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

mycent,

I am so sorry I have taken so long to get back to you, have I mentioned that IT'S HARD TO ARGUE WITH STUPID. Thanks for noticing I am a liberal, it is far better than the alternative. We must realy get to you.

THANK YOU
THANK YOU
THANK YOU VERY MUCH

GO
HOGS

Posted by: continuetocancelme

September 14, 2013 at 6 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

mycent,

Potato, Potahto, Tomato, Tomahto

Take That !

GO
HOGS

Posted by: continuetocancelme

September 14, 2013 at 6:13 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Alpha - Those could be mine, but I never use the word "blanking", and that one doesn't sound familiar, however, I can't remember everything I post, but I try to keep it civil. Not like some.

Posted by: mycentworth

September 14, 2013 at 7:50 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

With regard to low information voters, mycentworth being the example who's most prominent in this thread (ignoring the usual troll droppings, of course), they represent a major political force who's voice is needed and encouraged by the right-wing authoritarian leaders who set the Republican agenda. Taking the ACA as a prominent example, they determined early on to paste a label on it, Obamacare, a derogatory term which the President unwisely decided to appropriate. (There's a reason the pro-lifers are opposed by the pro-choicers, not the anti-lifers) I choose to use the ACA label.

Low information authoritarian followers are easily led by appeal to their emotions. If someone like mycentworth is convinced by an emotional appeal that something is "bad," there is no logical argument that will change her "mind." And the converse applies for convincing her of the "goodness" of holding and defending any particular position which the authoritarian leaders wish her to support.

Thus, we see the impermeability of the conservative mind to the excellent logical arguments deployed here by the liberals. (Alpha and freethinker are the most intellectually persuasive from my perspective)

The authoritarian follower is born to follow the authoritarian leader, who is born to a dark purpose. It's a dynamic that the logical mind can observe and come to understand at an intellectual level, but we react to it emotionally with revulsion. Does every individual human possess worth and dignity? Even those who deny the worth and dignity of others?

It seems that we exist on a spiritual continuum, some a bit further along toward understanding on the mental level, some still using their mental mechanism incompletely. They follow their leaders, not the extant reality. But, we continue to struggle on with that reality, including the fact that some of us don't get beyond the Easter Bunny view of nature where pretty eggs are known to appear magically in the grass.

Posted by: FrankLloydLeft

September 14, 2013 at 7:58 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Tankersley101, there is too much focus on treatment because that is how the reimbursement system, that the private insurers, that was allowed to still exist as a compromise toward Republicans in the reform law, was setup to do. It pays providers to perform a treatment or prescribe a pill. they don't get paid to sit down with you and plan with you how to keep yourself healthy. The reform law is trying to do that, and if we would go with single payer, or at least have let the public option be part of reform, we could move in that direction faster.

Posted by: ecsmith2

September 14, 2013 at 12:02 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

RE "Those could be mine, but I never use the word 'blanking'"
Oh, they're yours. In case my citation wasn't clear, Bill O'Reilly used the word "blanking" in the post you responded to.

Posted by: AlphaCat

September 14, 2013 at 3:06 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Unfortunately, we are trying to solve this problem by saying who is right, who is wrong. That is the problem we face with our two party system. Negotiating would be a form of weakness. So, let's stop talking about teachers and move on to support workers (custodians, teacher aides, bus drivers, etc...) that make far less than a teacher. Play this scenario in your head. You're a custodian. You make less than $20,000 a year. You can't go on the gold plan because that would be $18,000 a year for the family plan. The silver plan is not much different to you. And, the bronze plan would still take half your paycheck. So, your choice is to be the only one on your plan and leave your family out or not to be insured. Bankruptcy could only mean one day in the hospital for someone making less than $20,000 a year. And, if Obamacare is the problem, then FIX IT. Please note that these unfortunate "uneducated" people will still be trying to scrape pennies just to live. Oh yes, have their spouses get a job. Well, they do. No home schooling for their children. No school choice because they can't get the transportation. Private school -- forget it. Before you say "vouchers", you don't think that the better private schools won't raise their rates just to keep the "rift, raff" out? Private schools for these "unfortunates" will be more of the same with poorer teachers (Remember conservatives, you don't hold private schools accountable). Congress is full of conservatives and liberals. How much do they pay for health care? Yeah, that's what I thought. So, one last question to chew on, "Am I my brother's keeper"? If I'm taking money from his paycheck, I guess the answer should be, "yes".

Posted by: LostInLowell

September 15, 2013 at 9:03 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

None of this discussion is valid in the first place. Health insurance and health care are not an inaleinable right. Healthcare is a service provided by a trained professional that is no different than getting a haircut from a licensed cosmotologist.

Second, insurance companies cannot provide "affordable" care without adressing the issue of "pools". Pools mitigate cost and risk.

They work like this: An insurance company signs up a bunch of healthy people and puts them in a pool. Once in a while someone gets sick. When enough people in the pool do they invite the healthy ones into a new pool leaving the sick ones behind in the original one. Their premuims go up while the healthy people that pose less risk enjoy lower costs.

Stay healthy and your costs are lower, get sick and they will rise. Sounds really unfair, especially to a progessive liberal out to save the world and everyone in it regardelss of cost, but there is a problem with that.

You put everyone in the same pool and everyone's costs rise. No ones costs go down, ever. Everyones cost goes up, and up and up. However unfrotunate, that is the truth of it. It also opens the door to radical government intervention and control over all aspects of your life.

Coralie blames people with unhealthy habits like smoking, eating the wrong food, etc. Beware. The administrators of this government run boondoggle know that, too. As a result next they will be banning foods and all manner of other "unhealthy" things ( ala Bloomburg) in the interest of making the health care system affordable. They may even mandate neighborhood workouts so everyone is more fit and healthy. Neighbors will be spying on one another to collect rewards and bounties for turning the noncompliant fellow next door.

Next come irresponsible drivers, like the 2 million bikers to DC that were so blatantly ignored by the mainstream media. Riding motorcycels is dangerous so they might be banned, personal ownership of cars comes next and we'll all be stuck with public transport that doesn't go where anyone needs to. One can philosophically carry this to the point that government completely controls you for your own good and the good of your neighbors. Oh what fun!

I would much rather take my own chances. When I do I enjoy personal freedom and liberty and the right to self determination. When I don't and let government do it I remember that a government big and powerful enough to protect everybody is also big and powerful enough to control everybody.

So what if you die? Everybody has to someday. If you will allow government to control you, why live at all? I agree with the motto of the State of New Hampshire, "Live free or die!", for what good is living life without liberty and freedom?

Posted by: jeffieboy

September 16, 2013 at 10:06 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

If being healthy means giving up any freedoms I would much rather be free and poor than healthy, subjugated, dependent on government bureaucrats, and still poor.

Posted by: jeffieboy

September 16, 2013 at 10:25 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

You'll be lucky to find an insurer at a reasonable price, as I heard on Fox this AM, that many insurance companies are not going to offer healthcare, hence, forcing many, maybe even me, to go on the government plan. I'm waiting to hear from our company.

Posted by: mycentworth

September 16, 2013 at 10:50 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

"Healthcare is a service provided by a trained professional that is no different than getting a haircut from a licensed cosmetologist."
Yes, jeffieboy, remember that line the next time you're hit by a car or a lightning strike.

Posted by: Coralie

September 16, 2013 at 12:43 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

mycentworth says ".many insurance companies are not going to offer healthcare, hence, forcing many, maybe even me, to go on the government plan."
What government plan?
You still don't understand it.

Posted by: Coralie

September 16, 2013 at 12:45 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

MyC: "You'll be lucky to find an insurer at a reasonable price,">>

That's a lie.

"Major New Study On Obamacare Premiums Should End The ‘Rate Shock’ Hysteria Once And For All"
http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/...

Myc: "as I heard on Fox this AM,">>

When you take someone as clueless as MyCent and then spend half a billion dollars to fill their simple noggin with misinformation, you get the display of ignorance we see here.

"Hundreds of millions Being spent to confuse folks on Obamacare"
"...the GOP and its profit-gobbling backers of all stripes have spent more than $400 million to turn Americans against Obamacare..."
http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/20...

MyC: "many insurance companies are not going to offer healthcare,">>

Canada has one insurance company, and it doesn't make a profit. Obamacare only lets our insurance companies (there isn't a shortage of them btw), waste a maximum of 20% on non-healthcare needs. This is absurd but even that isn't enough for your conservatives. They are furious. They would prefer that for profit greed based insurance companies could waste as much of our premiums on non-healthcare needs as they wish, especially on supporting their campaign funds, which they do, lavishly.

Myc: "forcing... maybe even me, to go on the government plan.">>

One can try to grasp how uninformed MyCent is. One will fail.

Posted by: fayfreethinker

September 16, 2013 at 1:21 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

@LostInLowell, thanks for bringing the conversation back to where it should be. The rest of the back and forth seems to have been the whys and wherefores the insurance companies operate under.

Beyond that the fact remains the cost is increasing far greater than the same plan provided to the state employees under the same program.

Really wouldn't have a problem with the increase if the teachers and support personnel were only paying what the other state employees are paying and having the same increase as them.

Since someone earlier linked to some chart, which really had no bearing on this, I am linking to the actual charts used in regular state employee vs teachers and school support personnel.

http://www.theaaea.org//Domain/116

Here you can see the difference in what a State employee pays vs a teacher/support staff pays

State employee with the gold family pays $419.62 per month. The teacher and support staff pays $1,029.96 per month. This even shows that the base monthly, before contribution, is lower for the state employee.

Posted by: SF72764

September 16, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

OK, I got it about going on government insurance. The public option did not pass, so people will be at the mercy of the insurance companies. Got it Coralie. Honestly, I didn't know that, and I should have.

Posted by: mycentworth

September 16, 2013 at 5:49 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

mycentworth-- Thank you for acknowledging your error. I hope that I will be so forthright when the occasion arises. I also hope that you will go a step further in correcting it by considering the probability that your favorite sources of "news" are misinforming you, lying to you, or both.

Posted by: AlphaCat

September 17, 2013 at 12:52 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Jeffieboy, you have describe to a "T" what the insurance companies have been doing for years to keep insurance premiums low for a majority of the people that are healthy.

That is not a legitimate way to run an insurance system. The premiums should be based on the risk for an occurrence of what i being covered. That you make a claim for needing health care does not necessarily mean you are at a greater risk of needing more health care in the future.

What has been happening with insurance companies, and it should stop, is this manipulation of the pools.

Let's turn this around, and make the same thing happen with lotteries. With the Powerball, your "risk" is about 175 million to 1 that you purchase a grand prize winning ticket with $2. If you happen to win the grand prize, how about then we put you into your own little pool and raise the price for what you have to pay for a ticket, to say $100 a ticket? Doesn't seem hardly fair, now, does it. Your risk is still the same, 175 million to 1.

Well that is what you just describe in how the insurance companies have been screwing around with those people "lucky" enough to have insurance and needed health care covered. And when that happens, for no reason, insurance companies just raise the premiums on those people for no reason, as there is no greater risk of them needing health care than any other human being.

You talk of motorcycle riders and banning motor cycles. Usually the debate is over helmets, and those without helmets take a greater risk, so why do insurance companies not charge higher premiums for riders that want to go without helmets? That would be fair, for the greater risk, wouldn't it?

It is the insurance companies that play games, and the PPACA is regulation to stop those insurance games in health care insurance.

Posted by: ecsmith2

September 17, 2013 at 1:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Your lottery example is a good one ECS. I suspect insurance companies don't try to charge higher rates for motorcyclists that don't wear helmets because verification would be nigh impossible.

Jeff says:
"...the 2 million bikers to DC that were so blatantly ignored by the mainstream media.">>

Far right media was on fire with this silliness. A biker group, at the last minute, in protest of a small and noisy Truther wingnut muslim group, tried to arrange a permit to have traffic in DC entirely bunged up with some supposed immense number of bikers having a police escort and traffic lights locked up for their ride. On 9/11 nonetheless. I'm not kidding. When their permit was denied, it was all a big "conspiracy" against freedumb of course. So they went ahead and drove around town a bit. Good for them. Newsworthy? No.

Then we get:

Jeff: "Riding motorcycels is dangerous so they might be banned, personal ownership of cars comes next...">>

It's nice when Jeffie's comments are so absurd they spank themselves.

Incidentally, had Jeffie been paying attention he might have noticed that motorcycle freedom has been expanded over the years. 27 states don't require a helmet if you are an adult, only 19 states required them (Arkansas used to, now it doesn't). So this is really another instance of socialism coming in to save the Jeffieboys of the world. When they fall off their bikes and some of their brains fall out, and they don't have insurance, the state steps up to scoop their brains back in and patch them up so they can sit in nursing homes and write insightful posts ankle biter quality. I remember that decades ago (late '80's I think), the cost to the state of Arkansas was $8 million per year just to take care of motorcyclists that had brain damage due to crashing without a helmet.

Motorcyclists also get a nice socialist free ride when it comes to pollution. A single motorcycle pollutes many times (about 10x) that of an automobile which is required to have extensive pollution control. But that is slowly changing. California is requiring pollution control and that state, being one of the grown up ones, tends to lead the nation on societal matters by about a decade or two.

http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/motcycle...

A couple BBBBBBQ's ago I fired up my electric Pukka mini bike, put on my "Bad to the Bone" doo rag (I'm not kidding) and took a tour on Dickson street with the parade of bikes. The people went nuts clapping and taking pictures. The guy riding beside me on his $30+k Harley was pissed he wasn't getting the attention and called me a "freak." Me. A freak. That wasn't very nice so I dinged my bell at him.

Here I am rounding up the goats on my mighty Pukka: http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d17...

24 volts baby.

Posted by: fayfreethinker

September 17, 2013 at 4:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

I am a system analyst, but don't have ulterior motives with trying to game our system of government. I like my freedom and like others to have the same.

The motorcycle heltmet thing could easily be solved, with not much effort on the part of the insurance companies. When a rider gets insurance, the insurance company only needs a box on the form that says helmet. If they check it, they get the lower rate and coverage if they have an accident with a helmet on their head when it happens. Not checked and they pay the higher rate and get coverage no matter what. With it checked an no helmet on in an accident, no coverage. The motorcyclist would be free to choose.

Posted by: ecsmith2

September 18, 2013 at 10:05 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Freebie, he thought you were a cute "freak". You should be proud recognized you, even if in jest. I stopped on my big old expensive Harley the other day and talked to a kid that had the coolest Vespa I've seen since the 60's. Made me want one, in jest I asked if he wanted to trade. We enjoyed talking.

It appears from your comments that your intention is to disparage "bikers" on Harleys as aloof hooligans. Having read some of your posts (it is difficult to get through most of them because they are full of confusion and senseless, incoherent, progessive liberal meanderings) I can understand your perspective. But that is your loss.

The 2 million Bikers to DC rally was not mentioned once on ABC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, or NPR. Fox news national had two reports about 90 seconds each. Several local news affiliates did publicize it, some enthusiastically.

It is a fact that whoever controls the DC traffic cams set them to loop old footage so the riders were completely "absent". When Obama was giving his sorrowful speech if you listen carefully you can hear the bikes in the background noise, but they never appeared on any traffic cam in DC throughlut the day. That is a huge implication.

The only real photos came from paticipants, local news stations, and a lot of internet outlets, chief among them Facebook. There are plans for a full documentary in November. They thought about having Michael Moore do it but they decided the truth would be more appropriate than a progressive liberal fabrication based on the TV series "Son's of Anarchy". So here is the official trailer for your enjoyment and an education into who "bikers" really are. As usual, they are not what Freebie wants them to be.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQYZkH...

Posted by: jeffieboy

September 19, 2013 at 5:54 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Jef: "You should be proud [he] recognized you, even if in jest.">>

I was. That's why I dinged my dinger at him. He was pissed because I was getting all of the attention with my $200, 600 watt, electric mini bike. But he knew better than to mess with me, I did have on my "bad to the bone" doo rag.

(Incidentally, I used to race dirt bikes, have owned many motorcycles over the years and even owned a store selling street machines).

Jef: "your intention is to disparage "bikers" on Harleys as aloof hooligans.">>

No, mostly just you. But most of your posts reveal this without anyone pointing it out.

Jeff: "The 2 million Bikers to DC rally was not mentioned once on [blah blah].">

It was pretty easy to factcheck that and find you were wrong, but it's irrelevant, lets get to the good stuff.

As I said above, there was this small stupid Muslim Truther group ("truthers" are those idiots who think 9/11 was planned by the government). Here is a picture of their turn out:
http://www.americanthinker.com/articl...

Yeah, about two dozen people.

So the rightwing bonehead media gets in a flap because bikers, who think they can get 2 million together (and are stupid enough to mention this in their permit attempts), are turned down in their request to lock DC down with their "2 million bikers" on 9/11. And this, to protest two dozen wingnut know-nothings who are having a little event.

That's what we need, a bunch of ignorant muslim truthers getting in a scrap with a bunch of protesting bikers, on 9/11. How stupid. What a country.

Jef: "DC traffic cams set... to loop old footage so the riders were completely "absent".">>

No dumb dumb. The footage doesn't show bikers because you didn't have diddly for turn out either. You won't trust a reasonable news source so let me cite the far right "American [non]thinker" bunch:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/0...

Excerpt:
"Because the Washington DC government had been very slow to issue a permit, the Bikers' event was almost invisible. By early afternoon, bikers were scattered all over the metro DC area, some riding along the National Mall and Arlington Cemetery, while the vast majority of the riders looped around the Washington Beltway, several miles outside downtown.
The quickly-arranged bikers' event was meant as a protest against the Muslim rally.
This observer spoke to about a dozen bikers scattered along Independence and Constitution Avenues. Each one had a differing understanding about where they were supposed to be riding. No two riders seemed to have the same story. If the government was trying to diminish the impact of the riders' presence in the DC area, they were successful." --ibid

Fizzle pop flop. You didn't have 2 million bikers, you might have gotten two thousand. So you're off by a factor of 1,000. LOL. Pretty close for a teabagger!

Posted by: fayfreethinker

September 21, 2013 at 1:56 p.m. ( | suggest removal )