Framing the Dialogue

Posts Tagged ‘insurance’

Free Market For Me

king kongAlmost two years ago I wrote a post about a battle between two behemoths in Pennsylvania.  Highmark is the largest health insurance provider in Pennsylvania and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) is one of the largest health care providers in the state and certainly the largest in the western part of the state.  A summary of the battle is that UPMC started offering their own health insurance years ago so they got into the insurance business.  A few years ago Highmark started to purchase some failing hospital in the Pittsburgh area.  These hospitals were competition for UPMC.  UMPC decided that it would, after an existing agreement expired, no longer accept Highmark health insurance at its facilities.  I think that I mentioned that Highmark is the largest insurance provider and that UMPC is pretty much the only game in town in the western part of the state.

Health Benefit Primer

I am not sure that this is a “real” letter, but it has REAL information!

imageHey everyone,

Following up on [N]’s email, I wanted to give to give some more background as to why we are considering a switch. In fact, I will take this as an opportunity to dive deeper into the health insurance world. Unfortunately, given the times we live in, we can no longer afford to be in the dark on this stuff. We have some tough choices ahead of us, if not now, then likely in a year or two. First, the short answer…

Polls & Pills

Continuing with the full court press to keep his foot in the door of separation of church and state, Obama-ites are polling out all the stops.  Get it “polling” out all of the stops?

Public backs Obama in birth control fight, poll suggests

Obama, liberals, secularists, progressives, Democrats, and their ilk all love the battle started by Obama against the Catholic Church.  His latest shot (I’m not sure that it was his first) was to try, through Obamacare, to FORCE the Catholic Church to provide free services for contraceptive, sterilization, and certain prescriptions (i.e. the morning after pill) to all of their employees.  These services are directly contradictory to Catholic beliefs and teachings.  Needless to say the Catholics balked, screamed, and made Obama “back off,” but he really didn’t.  His response was to simply require the insurance companies provide the services.  As if the extra costs associated with these services won’t be passed along for the Church to pay.

The Elephants Duel

When elephants duel the only ones who really get hurt are those poor souls unlucky enough to be between them.  Locally we have a somewhat nasty fuel between two health care behemoths.  The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (“UPMC) has not so quietly been gobbling up hospital after hospital after hospital.  They have built an impressive array of first-class medical facilities and propelled the Pittsburgh Region to the forefront of quality health care centers.  Highmark is is behemoth 2 and has been the local service for Blue Cross/Blue Shield and one of the larger insurance providers in the area.  UPMC go irked recently when Highmark took steps to purchase UPMC’s largest (actually quite smaller) competitor, West Penn Allegheny who have severe financial problems.

I Swear On My Mother’s…

It’s an often used phrase to indicate your sincerity, word, honor about something when you swear on your mother’s grave…assuming she is dead of course.  It really is a meaningless statement for those who think nothing of lieing to achieve their goals.  Why would a sleazebag care about his mother when he has an agenda to push or a point to make.  Perhaps they consider it “poetic license” to use a loved one in such a manner.  I believe it is despicable.

News Briefs – Volume XIX It’s All About Healthcare Baby

News briefs are a collection of interesting news stories and this edition is all about Obamacare…

Brief 1:  Many seasoned citizens were shocked at AARP’s support of the Obamacare legislation which contained a significant cuts to doctor’s fees and cuts in allowable payments to hospitals.  The fear, of course, is that many provider would simply stop accepting Medicare patienst, a majority of which are the aforementioned senior citizens.  One had to wonder who the AARP, a membership organization, was actually lobbying for?  Just recently the AARP had announced that their employees will see a rise in their health care costs in a statement from an AARP spokesperson;

News Briefs Volume XVII

News briefs are a collection of interesting news stories…

Brief 1:  Finally some decent news for those of us men on the higher end of the weight scale.  We cannot really wear tight Lycra bike shorts, Speedo swim briefs (no one except for competitive swimmers should anyway), or vertical stripes, but it seems that heavier men actually have heavier paychecks than their skinnier counterpartsOf course the thinner guys get more women since they don’t care about how much a man makes.  The news is not so good for women whose paychecks are inversely proportional to their weight.

Misunderestimating

I wasn’t sure whether to  list this posting as an update to I Dream of Health Care or my review for Judge Napolitano’s book Lies the Government Told You.  I punted and selected neither.

This headline from the Associated Press may qualify for the Homer Simpson “DUH” awards;  Report: Health overhaul will increase tab.”  The assessment wasn’t by any “right-winged” think tank or pundit.  The Health and Human Services Department provided the bad news except that it is too late as the bill is now law.  The article listed more bad news regarding long-term care insurance and medicare so read at your own risk.  Here are some of my predictions:

Hungry Shopping

Last Saturday morning I slept in a little and headed off to go grocery shopping at my favorite warehouse club.  I didn’t have time to eat breakfast before I left so I planned to have lunch at the club after shopping.  Plus it was Saturday and I knew the sample booths would be out in force attracting crowds of shoppers.    The free sample thing really works as I picked up a few extra items, but the traffic jams near the little carts can be irritating.  I am not sure why folks feel they have to eat the sample in front of the server.  That’s one of my pet peeves.

The Enemy Within

“Listen to me. We’ve traced the call… it’s coming from inside the house”

when a stranger callsI don’t know if you saw the suspense movie, When A Stranger Calls, but when the police made this call to the young lady in the house, chills went up my spine.  The stalker was actually inside the house where everybody assumed that she was safe.  Where we all think we are safe.

As I watched the recent presidential campaign many things struck me as odd, but one in particular.  Barack Obama enjoyed the support of the United Mine Workers Union.  That in itself is not a big surprise as he had the support of every union as Democrat politicians usually have.  The interesting part was when you factored in Obama’s comments regarding the future of coal: