Category Archives: Health Care

New Congressional bill HR 708 allows health insurers to charge older Americans 5x more

Did you know that at present, Obamacare makes it legal for insurers to charge older Americans a health insurance premium that’s three times more than what younger Americans pay?

That, of course, is tantamount to an age health tax.

To make matters worse, a new bill in Congress means to actually INCREASE it to as much as 5 times or more. 

The bill is H.R. 708: State Age Rating Flexibility Act of 2017, the purpose of which is to amend title XXVII of the Public Health Service Act to increase the permissible age variation based on age for health insurance premiums for coverage offered in the individual or small group market from a factor of three to a factor of five, or to a factor determined by the state.

To top it off, this age-discriminatory bill was introduced by a Republican! — Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Indiana). At present, there are no co-sponsors. On January 27, 2017, H.R. 708 was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

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Casey Dowd reports for Fox News, Feb. 16, 2017, that AARP Senior Vice President Joyce Rogers lashed out against H.R. 708 in a letter to the Chairman and Ranking member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee. AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond told FOX Business:

“This legislation has a simple explanation — it would be an age tax — charging older Americans not yet eligible for Medicare a penalty of five times what others must pay for health insurance. The term ‘age rating’ is Washington-speak for overcharging older Americans by thousands of dollars for their health care.”

According to a new study from AARP’s Public Policy Institute conducted by the independent actuarial firm Milliman, if H.R. 708 is passed, on average, adults age 60 and older would see their insurance bills go up by $3,200 — making their average annual premium a whopping $17,900.

LeaMond said:

“Seniors already spend one out of every six dollars on healthcare—they can’t afford to spend more.

A typical senior without insurance in the individual market has a median income of only $20,000.  Asking moderate and middle income older Americans to pay over $3,000 more out of pocket for insurance will put a major squeeze on other necessities.  And, this group is already dealing with added expenses from the high prices of prescription drugs.

Add to that the fact that many parents pay for their children’s insurance until they turn twenty-six, a bill many are happy to foot, but that certainly adds to their financial burden.”

LeaMond said this week, AARP launched a new campaign to stop the age tax that includes advertising and recess visits by AARP staff and volunteers to members of Congress in the states:

“Our latest efforts follow letters we have sent that lay out the negative impact of the age tax. The ads also come as an addition to AARP’s Medicare campaign, which takes on ‘premium support,’ a proposal that would harm Medicare beneficiaries by turning the successful program into a private voucher program.

We are encouraging our members to call their representatives in Congress at 844-617-2688 and urge them to oppose H.R. 708, the bill that would allow insurance companies to charge 50- to 64-year-olds thousands of dollars more for their health care. Remind Congress they should be standing up for their constituents, not insurance companies. You can also send a message to your Representative by going to the following website Opens a New Window. .

Contact info. for Rep. Larry Buschon:

1005 Longworth House Office Building
(202) 225-4636

~Eowyn

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Court rules that Florida doctors can ask patients about guns and gun safety

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Circuit Court Judge Adalberto Jordan

Guns, what guns?

From Fox News: A federal appeals court ruled on Thursday that Florida doctors can talk to patients about gun safety, declaring a law aimed at restricting such discussions a violation of the First Amendment’s right to free speech.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the law does not trespass on patients’ Second Amendment rights to own guns and noted a patient who doesn’t want to be questioned about that can easily find another doctor.

“The Second Amendment right to own and possess firearms does not preclude questions about, commentary on, or criticism for the exercise of that right,” wrote Circuit Judge Adalberto Jordan (appointed by Obama and born in Cuba) in one of two majority opinions covering 90 pages. “There is no actual conflict between the First Amendment rights of doctors and medical professionals and the Second Amendment rights of patients.”

Circuit Judge William Pryor, who was a finalist in President Donald Trump’s search for a Supreme Court nominee, said in a separate concurring opinion that the First Amendment must protect all points of view.

“The promise of free speech is that even when one holds an unpopular point of view, the state cannot stifle it,” he wrote. “The price Americans pay for this freedom is that the rule remains unchanged regardless of who is in the majority.”

The law was passed in 2011 and signed by Republican Gov. Rick Scott with strong support from the National Rifle Association. It was the only one of its kind in the nation, although similar laws have been considered in other states.

Supporters in the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature insisted it was necessary because doctors were overstepping their bounds and pushing an anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment agenda.

The law was challenged almost immediately by thousands of physicians, medical organizations and other groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union as a violation of free speech in what became known as the “Docs v. Glocks” case. A legal battle has raged in the courts since then, with several conflicting opinions issued.

“We are thrilled that the court has finally put to bed the nonsensical and dangerous idea that a doctor speaking with a patient about gun safety somehow threatens the right to own a gun,” said Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida.

The 11th Circuit noted that Florida lawmakers appeared to base the law on “six anecdotes” about physicians’ discussions of guns in their examination rooms and little other concrete evidence that there is an actual problem. And doctors who violated the law could face professional discipline, a fine or possibly loss of their medical licenses.

“There was no evidence whatsoever before the Florida Legislature that any doctors or medical professionals have taken away patients’ firearms or otherwise infringed on patients’ Second Amendment rights,” Jordan wrote for the court.

The NRA and Florida attorneys had argued that under the law doctors could ask about firearms if the questions were relevant to a patient’s health or safety, or someone else’s safety, and that the law was aimed at eliminating harassment of gun owners. But the 11th Circuit said there was no evidence of harassment or improper disclosure of gun ownership in health records, as law supporters also claimed.

“There is nothing in the record suggesting that patients who are bothered or offended by such questions are psychologically unable to choose another medical provider, just as they are permitted to do if their doctor asks too many questions about private matters like sexual activity, alcohol consumption, or drug use,” the court ruled.

The ruling did determine that some parts of the law could remain on the books, such as provisions allowing patients to decline to answer questions about guns and prohibiting health insurance companies from denying coverage or increasing premiums for people who lawfully own guns.

The case will return to U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke in Miami for a ruling that follows the 11th Circuit’s direction. The case could, however, also be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

DCG

4 times Bill Gates said vaccines would reduce world population

Bill Gates is the multibillionaire founder of Microsoft, whose net worth as of 2/19/2017 is estimated to be a mind-boggling $85.6 billion.

Via his eponymous foundation, Gates is also famous for his philanthropy, a word that the dictionary defines as “the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.”

One of the funding outlets of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are vaccines for poor people in the Third World. From the Cambridge Dictionary:

Vaccine is a substance containing a virus or bacterium in a form that is not harmful, given to a person or animal to prevent them from getting the disease that the virus or bacterium causes.

Note that nowhere in the definition does it say vaccines are also a form of birth control or contraception.

So it’s most curious that in his speech on how to reduce global warming at the 2010 TED conference, Gates touted vaccines as a means to reduce the world’s population by as much as 10-15%. He said:

“The world today has 6.8 billion people. That’s headed up to about 9 billion. Now if we do a REALLY great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health service, we could lower that by perhaps 10 to 15 percent.

I had thought that Gates’ vaccine remark was a Freudian slip or a slip of the tongue — a verbal mistake that reveals a repressed belief, thought, or emotion; something that you say that shows your true thoughts in a way that you do not intend.

But it turns out Bill Gates had made that remark of vaccines being a causal agent for population reduction at least FOUR times, as shown in this video:

Saying the same thing four times can no longer be called a mistake or a Freudian slip. It’s intentional.

H/t Thought Crime Radio

See also:

~Eowyn

Humana to quit Obamacare exchanges in 2018, providing fuel for Trump’s ‘repeal’ efforts

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From Yahoo:  While Republicans continue to grapple with plans to repeal and replace Obamacare and stabilize health insurance rates, Humana (HUM) is the first major insurer to say it is dropping out of the individual market for 2018.

“Based on our initial analysis of data associated with the company’s health-care exchange membership following the 2017 open enrollment period, we continue to see further signs of an unbalanced risk pool,” said Humana CEO Bruce Broussard, on a conference call with analysts Tuesday. “Therefore, the company has decided that it cannot continue to offer this coverage for 2018.”

In the wake of the news, President Donald Trump tweeted that the insurer’s decision was another example of the failure of the Affordable Care Act, and he reiterated his plan to “repeal, replace & save healthcare for ALL Americans.”

The health insurer made the announcement with its earnings update, following the mutual termination of its $34 billion merger agreement with Aetna (AET) earlier in the day. The two insurers agreed to part ways , after a federal court judge blocked the deal on antitrust grounds.

Humana now expects to earn $10.80 to $11.00 per share for 2017, excluding anticipated losses on its exchange business.

Humana cut back its Affordable Care Act exchange participation to 11 states last July, when the Department Of Justice sued to block its deal with Aetna. The insurer said that despite efforts to mitigate losses on its exchange plans in 2017 through narrower networks and selective market participation, it is seeing early signs of high pharmacy utilization among its new members.

Right now, the insurer estimated that it will lose a modest $45 million on ACA exchange plans, but it cautioned that this is an early estimate and “a number… that we’re going to have to evaluate.”

Other health insurers have threatened to pull out of the individual market if there is no clarity from Capitol Hill or Trump’s health officials on stabilizing the markets, but Humana is the first to say that it will pull out altogether.

Leading up to 2017 open enrollment, the exchange markets experienced tremendous turbulence last year, after most major insurers, including Humana, cut back on participation after suffering big losses on exchange plans.

Humana is a leading Medicare Advantage plan provider, and executives said that they don’t believe that they can achieve the same kind of health-care models on the Obamacare exchanges that they achieve with health plans for seniors.

The company does not hold out hope for more detail on Republican “repeal and replace” plans in the near term.

“We’re really feeling that this organization needs to stay focused on what we do well,” Broussard said, and the company can’t do that with Obamacare plans. “I think with that particular program, the way it is designed today and most likely the way it is designed in the future, will limit our ability… to get back into that marketplace.”

DCG

 

 

Seattle to offer employees 12 weeks of paid parental leave

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Progressive Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

Guess who is vying for re-election?

Update: This was unanimously approved by the council, of course.

From Seattle Times: The Seattle City Council is set to vote Monday on whether to offer city employees up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave, rather than the four weeks they are offered now.

Mayor Ed Murray is asking for the change. It was less than two years ago that the council approved the existing benefit for new parents, making Seattle the first city in the Pacific Northwest and one of the first cities in the country to offer paid parental leave.

Employees would become eligible for 12 weeks after working for the city for six months. The benefit would apply not only to births but also to placements of children into homes through adoption, foster care and legal guardianship.

When Councilmember Kshama Sawant proposed 12 weeks of paid parental leave last year, her proposal was voted down.

Monday’s legislation would also give city employees a new benefit — up to four weeks of paid leave to care for family members with serious health conditions. The four weeks would be available every 12 months and employees would need to first use some sick leave and vacation leave.

Extending the parental-leave benefit to 12 weeks would cost the city an additional $2.6 million per year, according to the legislation’s fiscal note. Offering the new family-care benefit would cost an additional $436,000 per year, for a total of about $3 million.

Rather than refer Murray’s legislation to a committee for review and discussion, the council has chosen to take action on it immediately. Seattle has more than 11,000 employees.

DCG

Pro-abort womyn shoves a bloody sanitary pad into pro-life activist’s mouth

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The maxi-pad throwing, foul-mouthed womyn

Liberalism is a mental disorder.

From KOBi5.com: A woman who is accused of shoving a wet maxi-pad into a protester’s mouth has turned herself in to police.

Ashland Police said 21-year-old Valerie Starushok is cooperating with police. She will be lodged in the Jackson County Jail on one count of harassment.

The incident occurred during an Ashland protest where the young woman allegedly shoved a wet maxi-pad into a protester’s mouth.

According to the Ashland Police Department, an organized protest was being held in front of Planned Parenthood on January 27. During the protest, an unknown woman approached a man who was protesting and “struck him in the face with a wet sanitary napkin.” The woman then ran off toward the rear of the building.

According to Breitbart, the womyn said, “Eat this [expletive] pad, you c**k face!”

Video of the incident taken by the protester was shared on YouTube. It shows the woman coming toward the protester while he was arguing with another individual. The protester said the woman caught him unaware and “shoved her bloody maxi pad into my mouth” as she yelled profanities.

See the video here at Free Beacon.

DCG

Kentucky teenagers who left their newborn baby in a dumpster are sentenced to probation

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The “parents” Casside and Trevon

From Daily Mail: A judge has sentenced two teen parents (that term is a stretch in this case) to probation for leaving their newborn girl in a dumpster in western Kentucky.

The teenagers, 16-year-old Casside Cherry and 18-year-old Trevon Elmore, had earlier been convicted by a jury of first-degree wanton endangerment, third-degree criminal abuse, and tampering with evidence, Kentucky.com reported. They were acquitted of attempted murder.

McCracken Circuit Judge Craig Clymer said during the sentencing hearing Thursday that he had to follow the juvenile code. According to Kentucky.com, he said: ‘The court could not have certified them… as adults on the crimes for which the jury found them guilty. So we then have to go back to the juvenile code and treat them as juveniles as far as the sentencing goes.’

Clymer said both have already served more time in a juvenile facility than he could impose, so he sentenced them to 12 months’ probation. He also ordered them to complete a moral therapy program. The teenagers were ordered to pay $150 each month for the child’s care, according to Kentucky.com.

The crying infant was found in a dumpster in July 2015 with its umbilical cord still attached. The baby was hospitalized and later released into state custody.

Cherry told the judge the baby is with her sister in Iowa, WPSD reported.

The teenagers were ordered to get jobs to assist in providing for the youngster, according to the TV station.

DCG