Posts Tagged ‘health care’

ACA Loophole

March 21, 2013

I was reading in my local paper an article about changes that the County Conservation Board would be making in the future.  They regularly employ individuals for seasonal work.  These employees work forty hour weeks, some of them for more than four months.  Under the Affordable Care Act the county will be required to provide health coverage for these individuals.  Some of these people are actually retired, covered by Medicare.  The county will still be required to provide health coverage under the ACA.  Anyone working more than thirty hours a week for more than four months  must be provided health insurance or the employer will face penalties.

The solution is likely to be either limit the employee to four months, or more likely, reduce the weekly hours to less than thirty hours a week, and hire more people to make up the hours.  This will allow the county to still get the work done and not have to provide coverage.

I strongly suspect that there will be a lot of companies that will take advantage of this loophole.  Instead of providing health care, they will simply have more employees, working less than thirty hours.

This, of course, will mean that their employees will make less money, and be legally responsible for their own health care.  This health care will be made available at lower rates, subsidized by the government, adding to the financial burden placed on our country.

In addition, the workers will most likely need to find additional employment, working a second job to provide enough income to meet their needs.

I am concerned about the future for workers, employers, the medical field, and our government.

Merry Christmas Mr. President

December 23, 2009

It looks like the Senate is going to pass a bill on health care reform just in time for Christmas.  It has been referred to as a Christmas present for the president, since he has made it the centerpiece of his domestic agenda.  It will still have to be reconciled with the House bill which will not be easy since there are substantial differences, none-the-less, it looks like Merry Christmas Mr. President, here’s your health care bill.

Actually, the bill will be coming later.  It is like the person who spends too much at Christmas, and then regrets it when the charge card bills come due.  Will we regret this holiday purchase?  Can it be returned if we don’t like it?

This is not change that I believe in.  However, unlike Rush Limbaugh, I hope that I am wrong.  I hope that the president is right, and that this is a great thing for our country.  I hope that it provides coverage, while lowering the deficit, just like they say that it will. 

I am also glad that, ultimately,  I put my trust in Jesus, not in the U.S. government for my future.

Health Care Bill Concerns

November 23, 2009

It looks like we are going to get a health care bill, whether we want it or not.

It not that I don’t think that something should be done, it’s just that I don’t think that this bill (either the house or the senate version) is the way to go.

Here are my concerns.

COST

1.  Government:  it is going to cost the government way too much.  We need to be looking for ways to reduce our spending, not increase it.

2.  Companies 

    A.  Companies that are unable, or unwilling to provide health insurance will be forced to either provide insurance, or pay a penalty.  Either way companies will see a significant increase to their operating costs.  How many companies will be unable to continue doing business?

    B.  The extra tax on medical supplies will be passed on to the consumer, raising the cost that is paid for health care, not lowering it. 

    C.  Forcing insurance companies to accept all applicants will cause an increase in expenditures by those companies.  Premiums are established from year to year based on the rate of claims paid out.  If everyone is included, the costs will go up.

3.  Individuals:  individuals who do not have health insurance will be forced to buy insurance or pay a fine.   Many of these individuals are having a difficult time making ends meet now.  The extra cost will only make things worse.  For those people who have health insurance, there will be extra taxes, and higher premiums. 

4.  Economic impact: the health industry is an enormous business that is interwoven into our economy.  By forcing these changes, there will be an economic upheaval that is unpredictable, and possibly catastrophic.

AUTONOMY

I don’t like the government taking away the freedom of companies and individuals to make these decisions for themselves.  If the government wants to provide a public option at a sliding fee cost, that is optional, that would be great, but to force individuals and companies into compliance is a reduction of our basic freedoms.

QUALITY OF CARE

As the government moves more and more towards a socialized health care system, the rate of return will probably go down.  There will not be as much profit in the industry.  The lure of economic gain is a powerful stimulus for innovation.  I would like to say that everyone who has contributed to health care advance has done so for humanitarian concerns, but I am reasonably certain that profitability has played an important role.  How many of the advances in medicine in the past fifty years have come about as a result of government facilities anywhere in the world compared to companies that are pursuing profit?

BUREAUCRACY

The mess involved with filing claims for Medicare and Medicaid is legendary.  Sometimes it works well, but there are frequent problems that are very difficult to resolve. 

Here are a few of my concerns.  I have not heard, or read where these concerns are being addressed to my satisfaction. 

 

Serious Side Effects

September 21, 2009

Congress is considering a bill which will require everyone to obtain health care.  It will also require all companies to provide health care to their employees.  What it doesn’t say is how the individuals, or the companies, are going to pay the cost. 

Most people, and most companies do not have the same opportunity as the government to spend money that they do not have, at least not for very long, and not without serious consequences.

I am very concerned that the cure that congress is offering for our health care issues is going to have serious side effects.  I see a disruption of our economy and our health care system that will be detrimental to the well being of our country.

Misdirection?

August 12, 2009

Opponents of Obamacare are focusing on the wrong thing.  There is a lot of noise, literally, being made in opposition to the willingness of congress to include payment for end of life counseling.  What people fail to realize is that this counseling already takes place on a regular basis.  When people are in critical, end of life situations, the doctors go over the various treatment options.  These options are carefully laid out and the patient and family are allowed to choose their course of treatment in an informed manner.  That is a very good thing.  The bill simply allows doctors to be paid for their time when giving these sessions,  especially when they are being performed in non-emergency settings, helping people set up advance directives.

I suspect that the focus needs to be placed elsewhere.  I read the paper regularly and would like to see more debate over the cost and manner of payment.  Also, the need for companies to come into compliance within five years.  The impact on medical treatment and the insurance companies.  This preoccupation with end of life counseling is causing more critical components of the bill to go unchallenged.   

Is it a clever tactic being employed to misdirect attention to something that can be readily explained?  Let’s see some commentary and debate on other aspects of the bill!

Health Care Reform

August 10, 2009

“We have the best medicine in the world…”  Lisa Newton in Ethics in America follows that statement with   “and we get it by channeling the private greed of manufacturers, physicians, universities, research scientists, hospitals, insurance companies…”

I have a bad feeling that the heath care reform that is currently proposed will be a disaster of significant proportions.  The health care industry is a behemoth that contributes significantly to society in terms of jobs, taxes, and research that results in the best health  care in the world.  It may be fatally wounded by government interference. 

It doesn’t have to be that way.  Minnesota has a wonderful system for supporting those people who do not have health coverage.  The state provides health insurance on a sliding scale fee dependent on ones income.  It does not replace traditional coverage.  It is for those for whom coverage is not otherwise provided.  Our congress should look to that model for their inspiration rather than the Canadian model.  It would involve a much less extensive overhaul of the system, would be much less disruptive, much less costly,  and would still accomplish the goal of providing the opportunity for coverage for all Americans.

The Shackling of American Business

July 16, 2009

A few years ago the newly Democratic congress made it a priority to substantially raise the minimum wage.  I wonder what happened to those businesses that were barely surviving?  When the government forced them to raise their employee compensation I imagine some of them had to shut down.  Those employees who were making minimum wage were then added to the lists of the unemployed, and the businesses were no longer paying taxes, since they could not afford to stay in business.  They were too small to survive the increase in overhead cost.

Now our Democratic president and congress are pushing through a bill that will require “those who can afford it” to provide health insurance for their employees.  Who is going to decide “who can afford it”?  Will it be the same people who have approved spending enormous sums of  money that we do not have ourselves?  I do not trust them to make the right decision.

I am confident that there will be some companies that will not survive this latest burden being placed upon them by the government. 

More people on the unemployment roles.

Less companies paying taxes.

I suspect that politicians forget what life is like in the “real” world.  Most families are two income families.   At least one, needs to find a job that offers benefits.  That means that the other partner could work a job that does not offer benefits, but that still adds to the family income.  There is a place for the job that does not offer benefits, but that still provides income. 

In the world that I live in, you accept whatever job you can get, and then you look for a better one, until you are satisfied with your situation.   

Employers pay as well as they can afford to pay, so that they retain their good employees. 

It’s called free enterprise and it has worked pretty well.

Our government is going to squeeze more companies out of business by placing upon them the shackles of mandatory higher wages and now, health care provision.