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Archive for the ‘healthcare reform’ Category

Obamacare Cutting Employment Hours

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 22, 2013

FOXNews has reported that companies are cutting employee hours as a direct result of Obamacare.

Regal Entertainment Group, the largest movie theater network in the country, announced it has cut the hours of thousands of employees, a direct result of the cost of implementing Obamacare.  With over 500 theaters, Regal announced that it has rolled back the shifts for thousands of employees to under 30 hours per week.  This is the threshold of hours worked that require employers to supply healthcare benefits under Obamacare.

Regal joins Applebee’s, Olive Garden and other companies that have cut worker hours.  In addition, some colleges have followed suit including Palm Beach State College in Florida and New Jersey’s Kean University.  Also, the state of Virginia rolled back the hours of part-time employees to under the 30 hour threshold.

The cutting of workers hours will have negative consequences beyond those of the individuals directly affected.  These workers will need to seek second jobs to maintain their income levels or seek “methods” to go on the government dole to supplement their income.  These actions are contractive on the overall economy and will increase the unemployment rate.

It is remarkable how often governments repeat the same economic errors.  Progressives seem to believe that alchemy exist in economics, that merely by wishing for improved results (passing laws) will lead to them.  As the saying goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch.  If part of the economy is robbed to pump up another part, at best the results will be neutral.  In the case of Obamacare, the negative impacts on the economy will be significant.


Posted in healthcare reform | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Obama’s Health-Care Reform’s Sleight-of-Hand

Posted by Steve Markowitz on October 25, 2011

President Obama loves theatrics, often combining them with facts that do not hold up to scrutiny.  Such was the case with the push to promote ObamaCare.

It was obvious to anyone with the slightest knowledge of economics that the promises presented by the President for health-care reform did not add up.  For example, the President indicated that the bill would result in millions of uninsured Americans receiving insurance while cutting costs.  Speaking of alchemy!

For the theatrics, Obama promoted that his health-care reform had broad support within the medical profession and often touted the American Medical: Association’s (AMA) backing.  During ceremonies at the White House, Obama held photo ops with doctors to promote the illusion of this broad support, as exemplified in the photograph below still posted on whitehouse.gov.  That assertion was false.

Forbes magazine published an article titled Doctors And AMA Split Over Contentious Issue Of ObamaCare that included some interesting facts:

  • The AMA currently represents 17% of doctors.  The AMA’s support does not mean broad support within the medical community.  In fact, a survey conducted by Jackson & Coker indicated that only 13% of doctors agree with the AMA’s support of Obama’s health reform.
  • Jackson & Coker also reported that of the doctors recently dissociating themselves from the AMA, 47% cited the organizations backing of the health care bill as the reason.
  • In a study by the National Physicians Survey, doctors by a three to one margin indicated their belief American health care quality will deteriorate under ObamaCare.  That survey also found that nine of ten physicians believe ObamaCare will have a negative impact on their profession

The polls also indicate that most Americans believe Obamacare will lead to higher medical costs and less or lower quality services.  This conclusion is reasonable given that of most governmental interventions in the marketplace have shown similar results.  In addition, experience with government agencies from the departments of motor vehicles in states to the US Postal Service has set appropriate expectations.  But this reality has not deterred President Obama from his primary goal to fundamentally change America via more governmental intrusions.  To Progressives like Obama, the masses are but shipped to be shepherded by the elitist Left.

Posted in healthcare reform, Medical | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Increasing C-section Rates Point to Problems in Healthcare System

Posted by Steve Markowitz on July 31, 2011

Health News Daily published updated statistics on the rate of cesarean section deliveries in the United States.  The statistics included the following:

  • C- section deliveries in the US climbed to 34% in 2009, an all time high.
  • From 2002 to 2009 in states with publicly available health data, the rate increased from 27% to 34%.
  • Of the 19 states studied, Florida, New Jersey and Texas had the highest C‐section rates, 38, 38 and 36 percent respectively.  The lowest rates were Utah, Wisconsin and Colorado with 22, 25 and 27 percent respectively.
  • The World Health Organization suggests that the Caesarean rate should be 15%.
  • The Joint Commission who accredits health care organizations asserts that “there are no data that higher rates improve any outcomes, yet the Csection rates continue to rise.”

Besides C‐sections being major surgeries with their own risk factors, they are expensive.  The rapid growth in rates for this procedure, as well as the vastly different rates by states, indicates that other factors are in play beyond medical judgment.  This includes convenience for mothers and doctors, as well as profits for a surgical procedure.

The growing use of C-sections is an example of why the cost of healthcare is skyrocketing.  As medical procedures become more available through technology, patients naturally demand them and suppliers want to sell these services.  The Progressives would address this issue by giving government more control over medical services and the choices involved.  This is a central part of Obamacare.  This attempt at micromanaging by government bureaucrats has not worked in other programs and will not work in healthcare.

Out of control healthcare costs are a guaranteed outcome of health insurance.  As companies and the government offered their employees healthcare “insurance”, healthcare became a free or inexpensive item for those that consume it.  It also became a right.

The only way to bring healthcare costs back under control is for all users to have some skin in the game for any services used.  Only by having consumers be the ultimate gate-keeper can unnecessary and overpriced medical procedures be properly managed.

Posted in healthcare costs, healthcare reform | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

20% of April’s ObamaCare Waivers are in Pelosi’s District

Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 17, 2011

The Obama Administration has added another 204 waivers for ObamaCare, bringing the total to 1,372 since the healthcare bill was signed.  According to reports, 27 of these new waivers were handed out to health care and drug companies, with another 31 going to unions.

As outrageous as the above waivers are, the height of hypocrisy goes to President Obama for handing out about 20% of April’s waivers (38) to Nancy Pelosi’s district.  This included waivers to gourmet restaurants, luxurious hotels, hip nightclubs and spas.  It seems that since Ms. Pelosi and her constituents found out what is in the healthcare law, they want out.

While it is hard to find fault with the good folks in San Francisco trying to save themselves from the burdens of ObamaCare, these waivers should be troubling to all Americans.  First, President Obama and those that promoted ObamaCare sold the mandatory portion of it on the basis that an all-in approach was required to make the program financially viable.  The fact that waivers are now being offered indicates the fallacy of that contention.

In addition, the President’s handing out of ObamaCare waivers to political allies is an example of Washington corruption at its worst.  Laws must apply to all Americans or none at all.  The President should not be able to hand out exemptions for political favors.  The fact that one of the chief benefactors of ObamaCare waivers is Nancy Pelosi borders on criminal.

Posted in Healthcare, healthcare reform, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Federal Judge Rules Key Part of Obamacare Unconstitutional

Posted by Steve Markowitz on December 13, 2010

Virginia federal judge Henry E. Hudson ruled today that a key part of President Obama’s health care law is unconstitutional.  In a lengthy opinion Judge Hudson ruled that the law’s requirement that most Americans obtain health insurance exceeds Congress’s authority under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, the clause that Congress used to justify this requirement.

This mandate is necessary for Obamacare to be feasible as it requires healthy people to buy insurance in order to subsidize less healthy individuals.  In essence, the mandate changes healthcare from an insurance policy to an entitlement.  Imagine charging all automobile drivers the same insurance rate irrespective of their age or safety record?  But that s not why Judge Hudson ruled the law unconstitutional.  His opinion stated that his survey of case law “yielded no reported decisions from any federal appellate courts extending the Commerce Clause or General Welfare Clause to encompass regulation of a person’s decision not to purchase a product, not withstanding its effect on interstate commerce or role in a global regulatory scheme.”  In other words, the Congress overstepped its Constitutional authority.  However, that is nothing new.

It is fortunate that Judge Hudson has taken the Congress to task for overreaching of its Constitutional powers.  Should the Congresses broad interpretation of the Constitution be allowed to stand, there would be no limit to governmental intrusion of individual and states’ rights.

While there are many complexities relating to healthcare, most boil down to high cost.  However, the Congress and President Obama did nothing to address this problem.  In fact their interventions though Obamacare will likely add to this problem.


Posted in Constitution, healthcare reform | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

SEIU Union Drops Healthcare Coverage for Children

Posted by Steve Markowitz on December 1, 2010

Progressives continually play the same broken record when it comes to their perceived societal ills.  First, they focus on the problem or supposed injustice and then promise that the benevolent government will come to rescue.  Rarely is the problem properly defined nor are the promises of problem resolution fulfilled.

Columnist Michelle Malkin this week wrote about the Progressives’ catastrophe that is referred to as Obamacare.  This “problem” and the way the Left has sold the solution is Progressivism at its worst.  They started with an issue that has its roots in the increasing cost of healthcare.  They then turn what is a cost problem and into a need for the government to take control of the healthcare, industry, their goal in the first place.  Finally, without the benefit or logic or the funds to pay for it, they legislate mandates and rules that result in unattended consequences which are worse than the original issue.  The consequences will increase the cost of healthcare, the very issue that is at the core of the problem.

One of the more significant backers of President Obama and his healthcare reform has been the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).  It is reported that the SEIU spent $60 million to help elect Barack Obama president.  That money would have been better used to fund benefits they now cut from dues paying members.  Its large New York affiliate, # 1199, recently dropped health-care coverage for members’ children.  The Wall Street Journal reported that this will affect 30,000 families.

When questioned about the union’s attack on member health benefits, Benefits Manager Mitra Behroozi incredibly blamed the government and some of the new mandates under Obamacare stating:

New federal health-care-reform legislation requires plans with dependent coverage to expand that coverage up to age 26.  Our limited resources are already stretched as far as possible, and meeting this new requirement would be financially impossible.”

While President Obama promised that his healthcare reform would protect the unfortunate Americans without medical insurance, it is already adding more to the list of uninsured.  This unintended, but predictable consequence of governmental meddling in the marketplace has seemingly caught the Administration by surprise.  With the strong backlash it has already had to grant waivers to unions and other politically connect organizations to shield them from this ill-advised legislation.

Obamacare has only been law for a few months, but has already increased the cost of health insurance throughout the country as well as increased the number of Americans without health insurance.  This law was ill-conceived form the start and is already proving to be a loser.  Obamacare must be repealed and quickly.  We will soon see if the new Congress got the message that the People delivered though last month’s elections.


Posted in healthcare reform, Obamacare, Unions | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

White House Hands Out 111 Obamacare Waivers

Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 15, 2010

Carl from New York State sent in a story this morning that is emblematic of the incompetence and political corruption rampant in the Obama Administration.  Remember the claims of the President and his associates in Congress while promoting Obamacare?  They included that the bill wouldn’t increase overall healthcare cost and would accomplish this by requiring that all the younger and healthier be included under the bill.  Read on and be prepared to get angry.

Incredibly, so far 111 companies and organizations have been granted special waivers allowing them to opt out of Obamacare and its associated burdens.  This amounts to an admission by the Administration that the Plan is expensive for employers and a potential job killer.  It is also an example of Washington politics at its worst whereby bureaucrats arbitrarily determine what companies are given relief from the burden.

The companies/organizations granted relief from Obamacare include:

  • McDonald’s
  • Darden Restaurants (Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains)
  • Aetna
  • United Federation of Teachers Welfare Fund in New York

As this story gains traction, inevitably thousands of companies will apply for waivers with millions of Americans then be exempted from Obamacare.  This begs the question that if  Obamacare was such a good law, shouldn’t it apply equally to all companies?  In addition, those firms granted waivers will be at a competitive advantage others that do not get an exemption.

The video below includes more details of this story outrageous story.  While it was obvious that Obamacare was a bad bill before the President signed it, this story of mass government granted waivers is final proof that the Bill must be repealed.

Posted in healthcare reform, Obamacare | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

McDonald’s May be Forced to Drop Medical Benefits due to ObamaCare

Posted by Steve Markowitz on October 5, 2010

McDonald’s Corporation has informed the federal government that some of the new healthcare regulations may force it to drop medical benefits for 30,000 of its employees.  This is due to a provision in the healthcare reform bill (ObamaCare) that dictates insurance providers must spend 80% to 85% of its premium revenue on medical care.

The cost-payout ratio provision is designed to control expenses insurers use from premiums for salaries and related items.  While possibly achievable for larger medical benefit packages, this ratio is not doable for the smaller “mini-med” plans offered with lower paid positions in restaurants like McDonald’s.  The insurance providers will therefore stop offering the mini-med plans since they cannot make a profit on them.

This is a fine example of the law of unintended consequences.  Congress, with little business experience, comes up with a seemingly good idea to have premiums pay for more medical services.  But their dictates do not match economic reality or the way the real world works.  As a result, thousands of Americans are likely to loss medical benefits.  That will force more Americans to seek the government’s assistance for medical care and/or have less access to that care.

ObamaCare at work!

Posted in Government Ineptness, Governmental Intervention, healthcare reform | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Obamacare; A Reality Check

Posted by Steve Markowitz on August 3, 2010

Guest writer Carl Hackert has some concerns and questions about Obamacare, as posted below.  Obamacare, like most other governmental programs, is doomed to failure for many reasons.  Carl’s explains just a few that are larger enough to guarantee failure.

Obamacare Chart, by Carl Hackert

It was not that long ago that President Obama claimed that his health-care plan’s increased benefits (effectively “rights” entitled to people living in the USA) to those who could not afford health insurance would be partially paid for by cuts in Medicare waste and by new efficiencies, and of course, taxes on the wealthy and the evil health insurance companies.  Additionally, there would be taxes in “Cadillac” plans, hidden threats of IRS enforcement, misleading incentives masquerading as “benefits” that are actually costly and probably  Unconstitutional mandates/fines/taxes/premiums for payees to the benefit of special interest groups, and new or vague regulations which place unprecedented power in the hands of unelected bureaucrats. Obama promised that the cost of the mandates could not be passed along to average Americans but “paid for” by the rich, evil insurers – in actuality, since it all comes out of the same pocket it is just a book-keeping issue for insurers.

The news of the last few weeks has reported already that the projections of the OMB (Office of Management and Budget) don’t match the CBO estimates and the promises made just a few months ago when the Democrat majority pushed this bill through over the objections of the vast majority of taxpayers.

Below is a mind numbing chart that shows how all of this supposed “efficiency” will be achieved by Obamcare.  This is Orwellian, the stuff that made the book “1984” or Alvin Toffler’s “Future Shock” mandatory reading for high school students.

If you don’t understand the chart you are not alone.  To prove it, I would suggest that you and your video camera attend a Town Hall Meeting to be held by your local Democrat Congressman or Senator during the Fall 2010 election season.  Pass out copies of the PDF chart to the audience and the members of the media.  Then, when your turn comes, ask the incumbent the following questions:

(1) Do they believe that a Congressman or Senator has a duty to read and understand legislation that they vote on?

(2) If they read and understood the Obama health-care bill in its entirety before voting YES on it, including the info contained in this PDF?

(3) If they answer “YES” to either #1 or #2, ask them to please explain the chart in detail and how they think it will result in efficiency, lower costs and better care?

(4) If they answer “NO” to either # 1 or #2, ask them why did such a disservice to their constituents by voting in favor of a bill that they did not either read or understand fully?

Keep the cameras running… CEH

Posted in Healthcare, healthcare costs, healthcare reform | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Britain Rejecting Centralized Healthcare

Posted by Steve Markowitz on July 24, 2010

Just as President Obama and his associates in Congress have taken American down the path of more governmental control of healthcare, countries that have experienced similar systems are going in the opposite direction.

The New York Times today reported on the most sweeping changes to Britain’s National Health Service since it was instituted in 1948.  Why; because the centralized system doesn’t serve patients properly and is too expensive for a country with a huge budget deficit.  The current cost of this program in the UK is about $160 billion.  The new plan will move control out of the centralized bureaucracy and into the hands of local physicians in order to cut the programs costs.

This Blog reviewed Canada’s broken government healthcare system on Jinee 1, 2010 in “Canada’s BrokenHealthcare System; Part-II”.  Now Britain has admitted their system too is broken.

You would think that the experience of other countries with centralized healthcare would at least give American Progressives reason to pause.  No way.  Showing the arrogance that is central of the Progressives’ superiority complex, American Progressives are sure they are smarter than their counterparts in other countries.  While Britain’s government controlled healthcare system adds $160 billion to its budget, Obama promises his plan will be revenue neutral.  And some of us are still waiting for the Tooth-Fairy!

Posted in Government Ineptness, Healthcare, healthcare reform | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »