Archive for Thursday, May 16, 2013

Affordable Care Act bringing jobs to Lawrence

May 16, 2013


Lawrence will be a beneficiary of the federal government's effort to help Americans understand the coverage being made available by the Affordable Care Act.

A yet-to-be-determined number of positions will be added later this year to the Vangent call center in the East Hills Business Park, where operators will assist consumers purchasing insurance in the new online health care exchanges, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has confirmed.

The jobs are a fraction of the 7,000-9,000 positions that will be created this fall nationwide at up to 14 call centers nationwide, some of which, including the one in Lawrence, currently handle Medicare-related queries. Vangent's parent company, General Dynamics Information Technology, was awarded a one-year, $530-million contract to oversee customer service related to the exchanges, renewable for up to nine more years.

The local Vangent call center now has about 650 people on staff, down from 1,500 in 2011, when it was the city's largest private employer. It is in the process of hiring more, however. Candidates can apply on the GDIT website or at a job fair Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lawrence Workforce Center, 2540 Iowa St.

The announcement is an ironic twist of fate for Kansas, as Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and the GOP-led legislature have opposed the Affordable Care Act, often known as "Obamacare," by opting not to, as the measure calls for, set up their own health care exchange or expand Medicaid (the decision on the latter is still up in the air).

In the online marketplaces, which go into effect Oct. 1, consumers and small businesses will be able to shop qualifying private insurance plans and determine whether they're eligible for federal tax credits, which will be automatically deducted from the cost of the coverage.

The jobs are being created to serve residents of the 34 states whose exchanges will be run entirely or in part by the federal government. The other 16 states will have their own call centers. Starting in October, operators will be available by phone and email 24/7.


UltimateGrownup 5 years ago

This is propaganda from the state, like anything you would read in Pravda in the old Soviet Union. The Giles Bruce byline is neither here nor there. Everyone knows this article is false. The government cannot create jobs or wealth. To the extent that the government does hiring, every single dollar paid for salaries is taken forcibly -- under threat of imprisonment -- from a person who honestly earned the money. Further, Obamacare is having the opposite effect on hiring. Businesses are cutting staff or avoiding hiring people, in part to keep the hours per week under 30 or to keep the number of employees under 50. Finally, these "jobs" are not productive. These people do not prepare food, repair cars, or repair computers. Their job is to take a mop and clean up some of the gigantic messy oil spill that is Obamacare.

rtwngr 5 years ago

Maybe you should start. This "contract" is with the Federal government and is coming out of the pockets of taxpayers. These jobs are not created by the marketplace but by taking something away from somebody. There is no "creation" as a result of supply and demand.

deec 5 years ago

All defense contracts would fit the same category. Eliminate the defense industry since it is just taking from citizens, right? :)

Gary Anderson 5 years ago

Funny...they don't seem to want to answer your question

Peacemaker452 5 years ago

I was just typing a similar reply but yours is much more succinct that mine so I will just give you the “thumbs up”.

deec 5 years ago

Wars of aggression like Iraq and Vietnam are not in any way in defense of the nation. Lesson right back at ya.

tomatogrower 5 years ago

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

They haven't eliminated the preamble to the constitution. Note the Union is to provide for the general "Welfare" of the people. How does that not mean health care?

msezdsit 5 years ago

The worst thing of all is that the health of the country will vastly improve with this law. Thats what really gauls me.

ScottyMac 5 years ago

UltimateGrownup needs to take an economics class. This person obviously has no clue how macroeconomics works.

msezdsit 5 years ago

At least you are entertaining.

msezdsit 5 years ago

Just hit the button and where your post will land nobody knows

NewKansan 5 years ago

Yes, there are issues with it. However, this is for the "greater good." The moment you start ranting about this article being compared to Pravda in the Soviet Union, people stop taking you seriously.

NewKansan 5 years ago

Ugh...Legal issues regarding the "greater good" are commonly used in U.S. law. I'll continue to roll my eyes at comments like this.

Liberty275 5 years ago

"every single dollar paid for salaries is taken forcibly -- under threat of imprisonment -- from a person who honestly earned the money."


tomatogrower 5 years ago

So when the government builds roads, they didn't create jobs for those who fix and build the roads? Do those guys working in the sun, so your road will be smooth not honestly earn their money. Do the owners of the companies not earn their money? Firefighters, police, teachers, soldiers do not honestly earn their money. Most of these companies cutting hours only have to raise their prices minutely to afford taking care of their workers, but they really could care less about their workers, only profit.

verity 5 years ago

I was about to call people on not recognizing Ultimate for his/her really great satire, but I read a few former posts to make sure.

Would my face have been red---

chootspa 5 years ago

They came for the common core conspiracies, stayed for the tea. No wait, they've always got tea.

KS 5 years ago

Kansas_cynic - I am no ditto-head, but you should pay attention to what is being said. If you are not aware now, you soon will be, as to just how bad this whole Obamacare thing really is. Yes, hours are being cut and private sector jobs are NOT being created due to this monster. I can't wait until you get a visit from that good ole IRS (yes, the same folks that are in trouble now) asking why you have not gotten some healthcare and then setting you up with a nice little fine. You all thought that "free healthcare" was coming down the pike. Well, wake up and smell the coffee. There is no such thing as free healthcare, unless you are an illegal, etc, etc, etc. The law says that the Federal Exchanges are to be in place by Jan. 1, 2014 and Queen Kathy has already said that they would not be up and running before Jan. 1. 2015 or maybe later. When the Feds can't get their exchanges up and running, why are you folks being so critical of Brownback and the State of Kansas for not pursuing one? As of now, I believe that would be a waste of our tax money, assuming you pay some. I guess like the sequestration, we will need to have this train wreck happen before some folks will be able to see the light. My little business will have to pay an additional $250,000 per year in company portion insurance premiums for some employees or pay fines. Where do you suppose that $250,000 is going to come from? Where does it say that healthcare is a "right"? Where does it say that healthcare insurance is the responsibility of the employers? Why don't you go get your own like car insurance. I could go on and on. I'm done.

tomatogrower 5 years ago

On the exchanges insurance companies are going to start selling nationwide, and they will have to compete. I thought competition was a good thing. You conservatives confuse me. Is free market good or bad. We don't presently have free market health insurance in Kansas. And by the way, most people will find affordable insurance through the exchanges. And I have insurance, I'm sorry you do not want to be insured, and would rather bum off our community hospital.

Bruce Bertsch 5 years ago

Jobs, despite right wing rhetoric, are created by DEMAND for a product or service. It matters not who creates the demand, whether it is private or public. And for Ultimate..."Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized Society".

Armstrong 5 years ago

Problem is govt or govt sponsored jobs are not sustainable for the long term. You can't keep recycling money and expect growth.

KS 5 years ago

Taxes are what we pay to be wasted. When is enough, enough for you? Are you willing to pay say, 50% or more of your income in taxes? Of course, your answer will be that the rich should pay! Why? Don't they already pay enough? Unfortunately, what I see going on in this country is not necessarily what I would call a "civilized society". It doesn't seem to make any difference whether it is a Dem or Rep, the scandals in Wash, DC just seem to keep on coming. Why should we have to pay for that? Until DC can clean up its' spending habits, I really don't want to have to pay more, regardless of what my income may or may not be. It is pretty apparent that the Federal Government is out of control and Obama has no way or desire to reign it in.

tomatogrower 5 years ago

"what I see going on in this country is not necessarily what I would call a "civilized society""

You need to travel outside the country, buddy.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years ago

Well, I imagine that those working out there consider it a job and they get a paycheck which most of them will spend in Lawrence.

You could make the same argument about every city, county, state and federal employee.

akt2 5 years ago

The Affordable Care Act is not feasible. In real life you need nurses and support staff. It is starting to downhill and hospitals are cutting staff and budgets. Liberty Hospital just laid over 100 off, shut down patient transportation services and the Wound Center. Regardless of what happens in a call center, we need to prepare ourselves for what is about to happen at the point of care.

Richard Payton 5 years ago

They majority of people can't tell you the differences between the bronze,silver,gold and platinum plan. Will Lawrence Memorial have to accept all other state exchange plans even if Kansas isn't on any state plans?

KS 5 years ago

MacHeath - If you actually believe what your just wrote, you must be smoking some of that "Larryville Weed". Please be assured that "EVERYONE" will "NOT PAY" into the system and rates "WILL NOT" go down. Because not everyone will pay, is the reason that ALL rates are now going up, some as much as 400%. There are folks that don't pay their taxes now! Who is supposed to pay for all of that. Be assured that businesses and hospitals are reading the law and they don't like what they see, but I guess maybe they are not living in some fairy tale world like you might!

NewKansan 5 years ago

Um...Hussein Care? Credibility = Zero after that comment. It's his middle name, good lord.

roadwarrior 5 years ago

Thank you MacHeath. couples therapy 101: change / change back. When one tries to change a situation, threatening the status quo - the other will try to sabotage any forward momentum to pressure a change back. Insurance companies like their profit margins just fine, they don't want to change, therefore, they have to get US to change back to the status quo by inflicting uncomfortable rate hikes. As the therapist says...even if its difficult, keep moving forward. Its the only way through to a better situation.

Dave Trabert 5 years ago

Every Obamacare job gain is being paid for by Obamacare tax increases at the federal level. Citizens are also paying for these 'job gains' at the state level; billions more in state Medicaid spending comes at the cost of higher state taxes and spending redirected from other services. The health care industry may benefit but any gains they receive come at a steep cost to everyone else.

There is no such thing as free federal money. No government has any money of its own; it only has what collects from taxpayers and redistributes.

Here's a good recap of the new Obamacare taxes for 2013: Note that it starts by saying "The third wave of ObamaCare taxes began on January 1, the latest blitz before the tsunami of changes from the health overhaul law hit in 2014."

chootspa 5 years ago

Dave's posts are sponsored by the Kochs and ALEC.

The American Free Market System (tm), providing you affordable health care since never.

Dave Trabert 5 years ago

Typical ad hominem attack. Can't dispute the facts...attack the messenger.

chootspa 5 years ago

Why would pointing out the source of your income and your job related duties in posting here be an attack? Are you embarrassed by it?

chootspa 5 years ago

There's no such thing as free anything money. Ultimately nobody has money of their own (other than inheritance money, but even that came from someone else). We get money by providing something of value in exchange for money. The government, in exchange for our tax money, provides the value of protection from anarchy and enforces the rules of the system of commerce that allow people to get very wealthy and think they did it all on their own. Oh, and the government prints the money too, so ultimately it does have money of its own, and we're the ones that give it value.

Obamacare has pay-fors. If they weren't there, you'd be screeching about how it was increasing the deficit. The Forbes article you linked is hilarious for listing .9% increases in medicare payroll taxes for people earning more than $200,000 a year as "pain" and "a big hit." That medicare payroll tax is only for the income above that $200,000 per year. BTW, earning over $200,000 per year puts you well into the top 10% of American incomes.

bearded_gnome 5 years ago

Mac, I'm surprised you're so foolish. it's far from just Rush opposing this.
for one, try the American College of Cardiologists who stated that obamacare is attacking private practice and the highly valued 'time' that patients get with their doctors.

small business organizations have also cited Obamacare as forcing manyvery unproductive decisions and shorting people on hours to keep them below 30-hours per week. you can find that if you google this very paper recently.

*indeed, the first post is correct, this article is seriously misleading, and vastly overlooks the negative job effects of obamacare.

and, btw, referring to Rush doesn't qualify as an argument, it just makes you look silly and desperate.

overthemoon 5 years ago

Note that these jobs are being created to deal with states, like Kansas, that failed to come up with their own exchange plan. We could have had a big chunk of our federal tax dollars brought back to Kansas for the benefit of Kansans. Brownback is again part of the cause of increased federal spending because he wanted to look like a good little GOPer and refuse to do what would work most efficiently and effectively for Kansas residents.

Maddy Griffin 5 years ago

I have no problem paying taxes. My problem is how they are spent.I'd much rather see my tax dollars help someone else get health insurance than watch my money subsidize Big Oil and Bigger Pharma. Much rather see my money used to educate rather than annihilate.

Stuart Evans 5 years ago

Half a billion dollars a year, just to field questions about this mess? Our government makes me nauseous.

tomatogrower 5 years ago

Everyone should pay 50% of income in taxes? Hmmn A person earns 30,000, they will have 15, 000 left to live on. A person earns 30 million, they will have 15 million left to live on.

Guess who I feel sorry for. Maybe, if the 30 million dollar earner would pay his workers better, I could agree with the 50%, but that's not going to happen until people wake up and form unions again. And don't give me that stupid line about "risk". Yes, a business owner and manager should earn more money, but not at the higher rates that have occurred in the recent past. The only reason they have gotten away with it, because they have busted the unions and created a bunch of unemployment, so people are desperate for jobs. A win win for the rich. And they talked Bushie into a war which made them more profit, and they even got their taxes cut, so they don't have to help pay for the war. Pity the poor rich people. All they want to do is be free to exploit and worship their greed. Christianity is not the US religion - greed and money is.

deec 5 years ago

The Pope just made the same point. "In a biblical reference, the pontiff said the "worship of the golden calf" of old had found a new and heartless image in the current cult of money.

People struggled to live, and frequently in an undignified way, under the dictatorship of an economy which lacked any real human goal, Pope Francis said.

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