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Archive for Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lawrence business owners hear from experts on federal healthcare reform legislation

July 27, 2010

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Eighty-five owners and managers of small businesses and other Lawrence-area employers met Tuesday to hear from four experts regarding the 2,600-page federal healthcare reform legislation whose provisions start taking effect Sept. 23.

A look at some numbers from the event, which was organized by the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce:

100

Percentage of small-employer groups — those with fewer than 25 workers — who will need to change their group insurance plans during the next 12 months, to reflect several requirements in the reform legislation: People with pre-existing conditions no longer can be excluded; dependents will be able to remain covered until age 26; and limits no longer can be set on wellness benefits. “These companies will need to make business-changing decisions,” said Gerry Hollis, a senior associate for Willis of Greater Kansas Inc.

1,600

Number of regulations the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — the agency led by former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius — must implement as part of the reform legislation. “If you do the math, that’s four and a half years, if she could do one per day,” said Scot Buxton, a senior vice president for Willis in Lawrence.

35

Percentage tax credit, on company-paid premiums for health insurance, available to small employers this year, as long as they meet certain requirements. Eligible for the full credit would be companies with 10 or fewer employees, paying salaries that average $25,000 or less; the credit would decline for employers with 11 to 25 employees, or whose average salaries range from $26,000 to $49,000.

15

Number of additional primary-care physicians — those in internal medicine, family practice and pediatrics — to be needed in Douglas County during the next four years, to meet expected demand brought on by newly insured patients, said Gene Meyer, CEO of Lawrence Memorial Hospital. The area has only 45 such providers now, he said, and without an influx of providers patients will be left to seek out care where they can find it — likely in the hospital’s Emergency Department, where costs are highest. “It’s going to overwhelm the market,” Meyer said.

Comments

Belinda Rehmer 3 years, 8 months ago

pace, Where pray tell are you going to get your "real facts" if the legislators signing in this new law admit they have not read it and can not tell you what all is in it? If you will not listen to those who make a living in the industry and have spent hours upon hours studying and trying to decipher the legal speak who then are you turning to? Have you asked to receive the bill so you can pour over the thousands of pages of references and declarations yourself? If so I will applaud you and will pay a little more credence to your negative and belittling comments. I personally have tried to read and understand this monolithic pile of regulations and it is so confusing I now understand why our legislators haven't read it. I don't believe the designers of the bill even know or understand all that is included not just because there are so many references and legal speak, but much has been (and is being) changed and added in order to get it passed. I feel most everyone believes we could do a better job in America of handling our health care, but there has to be a better way. A good debate can not happen without research and understanding.

Anyone interested in learning and understanding what is truly included in the Health Reform package I recommend the Kansas Hospital Association website. I found it easy to read and understandable. http://www.kha-net.org/CriticalIssues/HealthReform/default.aspx

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pace 3 years, 8 months ago

I see a physicians assistant for 90 percent of my visits, she is great. She bumped me up once when a wound wasn't healing, I wonder if the chamber has an odd syndrome where they hire people to tell them half truths. Me, I would prefer real facts for the money.

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George Lippencott 3 years, 8 months ago

Neat,

Thanks to Mr. Obama primary health care will now be rationed. Could we not have planned a bit and phased in these new programs coupled with an effort to increase the number of primary care physicians/PAs/NPs?

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RATM 3 years, 8 months ago

There will be plenty of jobs for lawyers. And that is what is most important for america. To have a bunch of over paid papers shufflers vote for Obama for more laws for more papers to shuffle.

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cowboy 3 years, 8 months ago

Nothing but crapola from an industry giant , Willis. The regs don't take effect for four more years for the most part we are all left at the mercy of these parasitic insurance companies.

LJW should identify this as industry opinion rather than factual news. don't be so lazy.

As one who had few medical claims and much less than my annual premiums and was still denied coverage just this year after the law passed , I feel these crooks should be taken out and hung .

0

pace 3 years, 8 months ago

What a shell game, saying the new access to insurance will overwhelm the Lawrence Doctors. Why do I think they should be ashamed of bogus numbers in their presentation. What fool think Kathy writes and implements regulations alone in an office on a quill pen?

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 8 months ago

We must think about that fact that soo many changes will not take affect for at least 3-4 years.

In another 3-4 years this Obamacare may not look the same or may not exist.

Obamacare leaves a lot to be desired however the staus quo left a lot more to be desired. People from the medical insurance industry wrote Obamacare. Now Liz Fowler is now among Obama staff people.

Who is Liz Fowler?

If you’ve been watching the Senate Finance Committee’s markup sessions, maybe you’ve noticed a woman sitting behind Committee Chairman Max Baucus. Her name is Liz Fowler.

Fowler used to work for WellPoint, the largest health insurer in the country. She was its vice president of public policy. Baucus’ office failed to mention this in the press release announcing her appointment as senior counsel in February 2008, even though it went on at length about her expertise in “health care policy.”

Now she’s working for the very committee with the most power to give her old company and the entire industry exactly what they want – higher profits – and no competition from alternative non-profit coverage that could lower costs and premiums.

A veteran of the revolving door, Fowler had a previous stint working for Senator Baucus – before her time at WellPoint. But wait, there’s more. The person who was Baucus top health advisor before he brought back Liz Fowler? Her name is Michelle Easton. And why did she leave the staff of the committee? To go to work – surprise – at a firm representing the same company for which Liz Fowler worked – WellPoint. As a lobbyist.

You can’t tell the players without a scorecard in the old Washington shell game....

Con't http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2009/10/bill_moyers_michael_winship_in.html#more

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rockchalk1977 3 years, 8 months ago

I’ve read the constitution and can’t remember where it specifically says taxpayers are responsible for the cost of healthcare. Government programs like social security, medicare, medicaid, the post office, fannie and freddie are all going bankrupt. Government healthcare will eventually follow. Have you been to a VA hospital lately? Is this the model for future government healthcare. We know anything involving the government will cost twice as much and be half as efficient for sure. Do you want government union workers to make life and death decisions for you and your family? After the November elections, the new congress will reverse this healthcare nightmare bill and restore some sanity.

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overthemoon 3 years, 8 months ago

The chamber of commerce is spending 3 MILLION a week to lobby for the wealthy and the corporate elite. Now why would you think that they would provide a fair, balanced and accurate view of healthcare reform issues? Why are they not spending that money to help the mainstreet businesses that put their cute stickers in the window? A hotdog roast every so often just doesn't quite do the trick, ya know?

Any further complaints about healthcare reform can be placed on the desks of those congresspeople who asked for concessions that benefit the insurance industry, Wall Street, and those wealthy folks who don't really have to worry about whether they can see a doctor before a minor condition turns into a major crisis. And with these concessions, the reform turned into a pile of crap...and the Obstructionists still voted no. A bit of political saavy for which we will pay far more for much longer than had we stuck with the original plan of a public option and true competition among insurance providers.

0

overthemoon 3 years, 8 months ago

The chamber of commerce is spending 3 MILLION a week to lobby for the wealthy and the corporate elite. Now why would you think that they would provide a fair, balanced and accurate view of healthcare reform issues? Why are they not spending that money to help the mainstreet businesses that put their cute stickers in the window? A hotdog roast every so often just doesn't quite do the trick, ya know?

Any further complaints about healthcare reform can be placed on the desks of those congresspeople who asked for concessions that benefit the insurance industry, Wall Street, and those wealthy folks who don't really have to worry about whether they can see a doctor before a minor condition turns into a major crisis. And with these concessions, the reform turned into a pile of crap...and the Obstructionists still voted no. A bit of political saavy for which we will pay far more for much longer than had we stuck with the original plan of a public option and true competition among insurance providers.

0

macon47 3 years, 8 months ago

if you are over 60 , go a head and die, before they put you to sleep if you are under 60 dont get sick

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 8 months ago

Healthcare presently accounts for $2.105 trillion in direct expenditures. But healthcare spreads far beyond doctor's offices and hospitals. Adding in healthcare business purchases of services or supplies and spending by workers, the total impact of healthcare in the economy mushrooms to nearly $6 trillion.

Overall, every direct healthcare dollar creates nearly three additional dollars in the U.S. economy. In current form, healthcare:

Generates 45 million jobs, directly and in other industries. Accounts for 10.5 percent of all U.S. jobs and 12.1 percent of all U.S. wages.

*Totals 9.2 percent of the nation's Gross National Product.

*Contributes about 25 percent of all federal tax revenues. Federal, state, and local taxes from the healthcare sector in 2006 added up to $824 billion.

All those numbers would rise dramatically through comprehensive healthcare reform. But a single-payer system would produce the biggest increase in jobs and wages. The reason, DeMoro said, is that "the broadest economic benefits directly accrue from the actual delivery and provision of healthcare, not the purchase of insurance."

http://www.calnurses.org/media-center/press-releases/2009/january/first-of-its-kind-study-medicare-for-all-single-payer-reform-would-be-major-stimulus-for-economy-with-2-6-million-new-jobs-317-billion-in-business-revenue-100-billion-in-wages.html

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 8 months ago

So why did this group get together?

To badger the USA president? Looks that way.

Perhaps this should have discussed? This activity definitely increases the cost.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Health insurers have forced consumers to pay billions of dollars in medical bills that the insurers themselves should have paid, according to a report released yesterday by the staff of the Senate Commerce Committee.

Potter said he worries "that the industry's charm offensive, which is the most visible part of duplicitous and well-financed PR and lobbying campaigns, may well shape reform in a way that benefits Wall Street far more than average Americans."

Insurers make paperwork confusing because "they realize that people will just simply give up and not pursue it" if they think they have been shortchanged, Potter said.

More on this story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/24/AR2009062401636.html

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 8 months ago

Improved Medicare Insurance for ALL is about providing medical insurance for a better price that eliminates:

  • denial of treatment
  • interference from insurance companies
  • cancellation of coverage
  • co pays
  • deductibles
  • over priced pharamaceuticals
  • golden parachutes
  • shareholders
  • CEO's
  • 2000 bureaucracies
  • over charging consumers billions of dollars

Improved Medicare Insurance for ALL is about bringing 40-50 million more to help contribute to the cost thus reducing the cost to all others concerned.

Improved Medicare Insurance for ALL is also about 2.6 million new jobs to the USA economy that cannot be farmed out to communist China.

If Improved Medicare Insurance for ALL is the most practical and provides the most significant coverage,opens the door to choice across the board and for the least amount of money it would be foolish for me to spend more ……. in fact down right stupid.

Socialism must work. Our elected officials on both sides of the aisle love it……

Meanwhile, members of Congress enjoy “cradle to grave” socialist medical and retirement benefits that outstrip those of the old Soviet Central Committee members.

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Danimal 3 years, 8 months ago

I hope everyone is excited to get crushed by the avalanche of new bureaucracy that's coming our way. Get ready to pay more taxes, and receive less in return.

0

Keith Richards 3 years, 8 months ago

Have 2 family members in HR. Premiums are going up 1 and 3 % respetively, just average yearly increases according to them.

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senegal66025 3 years, 8 months ago

Have a family member in HR. Her company just got notice of a 30% increase in its health insurance cost for next year. They insure with a non-profit. So most of it is being passed on to the employees. Welcome to the world of Obama Care. Can you feel that change happening?

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silentbranden 3 years, 8 months ago

Did someone actually write this story, or did they just parrot the inaccuracies included in a handout/press release?

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ksjayhawk74 3 years, 8 months ago

Waiting to hear someone chime in about the horrors of the Obama health care takeover that they've been hearing so much about from Glen Beck and commercials for Moran & Tihart where they argue about which one of the fights Obama the most.

Here's one someone will probably attempt to throw in: With all these newly insured people, it will be harder for everyone to be able to see a doctor (for me). They should repeal the health care reform bill so I won't have to be in the doctor's waiting room too long.

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Chengdu808 3 years, 8 months ago

Health care reform was long over due. I'm ashamed of these people who put money ahead of everything else. The Chamber of Commerce needs to lose it's taxpayer funding.

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