Archive by Month - February, 2010

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Step-by-Step Verses Overhaul Healthcare

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

As the health summit gets underway both sides appear to be sticking to their guns. The biggest issue separating Democrats and Republicans seems to be step-by-step verses complete overhaul.

Republicans say slow things down. They say the country is far too complicated to reform healthcare at once. They site 17% of the economy as too small a number to completely change a system. Senator Lamar Alexander told Republicans and Democrats during the televised health summit that his party wants to help change the way healthcare is provided one step at a time. Republicans are also pushing for a clean slate on the healthcare system. Republicans a fair and balanced bill can only be reached by starting over.

Democrats believe the system is too far gone for a slow approach. They believe the only way to help people get more affordable health insurance is to intervene by putting laws into place. Democrats say 45,000 people die ever year because they do not have health insurance. They feel health insurance companies are controlling the system and should not.

Millions of American are without health insurance, and many others are uninsured. They are waiting for lawmakers to do something to lower health insurance costs.

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Pivotal Day for President Obama

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Every day is challenging for President Obama, but how he performs today could be a turning point for his presidency. Mr. Obama is preparing for a much anticipated summit on his number one domestic issue: healthcare reform. The president has struggled for nearly a year of his term to try and pass a health bill, and has received disapproval from Republicans, some Democrats, and even some voters.

President Obama says the purpose of the summit–which will be televised– is to bring both Democrats and Republicans together to merge ideas for more affordable medical health insurance. The President has posted his eleven-page healthcare reform plan on a website, and he is asking Republicans to lay out their health plan during the summit.

President Obama is also hoping to gain support from his own party many of whom have openly disagreed with some of Obama’s pans for reducing the cost of health insurance. If President Obama’s party members rally behind him, “budget reconciliation,” will be an option for pushing through his health plan–even without Republican support. The President is already facing major criticism from Republicans who say the American people have spoken and don’t want Obama’s health plan. On the other hand, if Mr. Obama’s health bill does not pass, it will follow him as a failed attempt.

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Watch Bipartisan Healthcare Reform Meeting Live!

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

(Image: kevindooley under CC 3.0)

President Barack Obama is holding a healthcare reform summit this morning. Republicans and Democrats alike are set to present and discuss affordable health insurance solutions.

Here is when it will start in different time zones:

  • 10:00 AM Eastern
  • 9:00 AM Central
  • 8:00 AM Mountain
  • 7:00 AM Pacific

You can watch it on TV on C-SPAN, or via live streaming on the Web. Barack Obama’s Organizing For America website has a live feed. Stay tuned for the policy debate and the drama!

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Injuries in the Comfort of your Home

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

You may feel pretty safe once you’re off the busy roadways and in the comfort of your home, but the reality is people hurt themselves at home all the time. According to USA today, In 2008, nearly 1,500 people found themselves in U.S. emergency rooms after run-ins with treadmills, weights, elliptical machines and other exercise equipment, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission. And those were just the reported cases. The real number probably is closer to 50,000, the agency says.

This is where medical health insurance comes into play. In the event you wind up in a similiar scenario, at least you won’t have to worry about how you’ll cover the medical bill. Many uninsured individuals end up paying a hefty medical bill on their own.

If you don’t exercise much, you’re not exempt from such accidents. “Injuries can occur with everything we do in life, including rolling out of bed,” says Henry Williford, an exercise scientist at Auburn University in Montgomery, Ala. “The benefits of exercising far outweigh the risks.” Just be sure you have protection through an inexpensive health insurance policy.

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One in Four Young Adults Without Student Health Insurance

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

(Image: ralphbijker under CC 2.0)

A recent survey from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has found that nearly one in four young adults and students lack affordable health insurance. That’s probably the reason why one-fourth of American adults ages 18-24 haven’t seen a doctor in more than one year!

Putting off preventative care can lead to major health problems and higher costs in the long run. Young adults in college can buy student health insurance that covers primary care doctor visits; in fact, many universities require their students to be insured. Even if yours doesn’t, it’s still a good investment in your health care. Meanwhile, others can buy individual health insurance.

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Health Insurance Executives Fire Back

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Health Insurance Executives are speaking up after weeks of being scrutinized by high ranking officials. Congress has been raising concerns about Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield specifically for their expected premium increase–that could affect thousand of people with health insurance.

The executive, Angela F. Braly, president of WellPoint, defended the insurance company’s move saying soaring medical costs is the only reason they are planning rate increases. She went on to warn that capping health insurance companies premium increases would further complicate the health insurance system.

Anthem Blue Cross, a unit of WellPoint, recently announced many of its customers would have to pay an average increase of 25 percent, with some rates going up as much as 39 percent. The company postponed the rate increase after it garnered bad media attention and criticism.

High ranking officials including President Obama negatively responded to the Anthem’s expected move. Citing their billion dollar profits as an example of the problem with the healthcare system. Obama and other officials said it was a clear example of why legislation needed to be passed.

The increases in premiums are driven by prices charged by doctors, hospitals, drug companies and other suppliers, and by increases in the use of health care by an aging population, Ms. Braly said.

“For 2010,” Ms. Braly said, “we expect hospital inpatient and outpatient costs in California to grow by over 10 percent, driven primarily by hospital reimbursement rates. Additionally, we expect pharmacy costs in California to grow by over 13 percent.”

The President is slated to hold a meeting with Republicans and Democrats to discuss ideas on making personal health insurance more affordable..

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Bipartisan Health Care Negotiations Being Televised; Why now Mr. President?

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Seriously, I am asking!

You campaigned on doing this from day one. It took the Massachusetts election of Senator Scott Brown to force you to actually do this.
Even though you tried your hardest for an entire year to ram through into law a complete and thorough government take over of the health care and the health insurance industries; under a complete partisan approach and you had no problem with this.

Now you want to inject “bipartisan” into the mold. Are you serious, this must be a joke. The problem is that the joke you’re playing is on us the American people.

What happened last year, the bill itself, the process, the backroom negotiations, it was all you and you alone. You created that environment, the ideology, the dirty process. You were behind it all.

Sure, anyone that disagreed with you was just wrong, right?

Why now?

Are you being deceitful, playing games, or just trying to have it your way.

You continue to disregard and ignore the pulse of the American people. They have spoken, and yes, loud and clear.

This token gesture will further anger constituents across the land. It is after all just that, a ploy, a gimmick to try and sway public opinion.

Well, we are not buying it. We see right through your agenda and we don’t like it.

Please Mr. President, stay out of our healthcare and health insurance.

Focus on reducing the growing deficit, helping small businesses, and national defense.

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Cadillac Health Insurance Tax Hurts Non-Union Workers, Too

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

(Image: Manuel Van De Weijer under CC 2.0)

The so-called tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans has been very controversial. However, most of the talk surrounding it is focused on the impact a tax on high-cost health insurance would have on union members. With relatively few Americans represented by organized labor, the Obama administration has appeared to think that it is a small price to pay in order to encourage companies and individuals to keep health care costs down.

However, a recent study from the Berkley Labor Center in California predicts that up to 80% of those affected would be in non-union jobs. The tax is approved of by Senate Democrats as a way to pay for comprehensive healthcare reform, but Democrats in the House are wary. They received some concessions in Obama’s proposal, but it will still have a far reaching impact on group health insurance.

Supporters believe that less spending on health insurance will result in higher wages, but many are skeptical. People also fear that the quality of their plans will deteriorate, and that the tax will not effectively distinguish between plans that are expensive due to heavily female or older workforces and those that are high-cost due to nonessential coverage (i.e. massage, acupuncture).

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Affordable Health Insurance Blocked by State Limits on Coverage

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Today more than ever, we should open up state limits on providing coverage for everyone. The reason for this is that today with the access to never ending information we can get health insurance quotes from many different websites, carriers, and types of coverage. All of this pretty much instantaneously. This makes shopping for health insurance a lot easier. The issue is we need more competitors for different parts of the country. Therefore, allowing carriers to compete across state lines would affect pricing. The results would be lower costs to us by more competition from the carriers.

There are parts of our country that some carriers dominate and to an extent almost monopolize. There is not enough competition in those areas, we need to increase this. We need to make it easier for carriers to compete.

There are many things states can do by working together that do not need the federal government. This being one of them; it seems simple enough but it is today a roadblock to more affordable health insurance.

We must also keep in mind that in a free society affordable health insurance means something different for all of us. It does; what you think of as affordable health insurance may not be the same to someone else. Even though both may have the same income, age, dependents, etc. It may just simply be that to you, health insurance is more important than taking a vacation to Canada. Whereby your counterpart may think that going to vacation in Canada is more important, therefore they cant afford health insurance.

Who’s decision is that to make?
Should we make health insurance a requirement?
What is affordable health insurance?

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Top 3 Concerns When Shopping For Health Insurance Online

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Shopping for health insurance has become a very competitive business with hundreds, if not thousands of websites promoting themselves online.
Some of these are carriers themselves or captive agents. Others are online health insurance agencies or agents. Still others are just procuring prospects in order to sell this information to others that sell insurance.

There’s a maze of confusion between carriers, agents, prospectors, and others.
It really can be confusing and more so very frustrating when going through the process.

  1. Choose Websites Carefully
    • It is easy to just enter into a website that promotes health insurance and provide your basic information in order to get an affordable health insurance quote. The problem is that unless you are certain of what the website does with your information, you could be asking for trouble.Your information could be sold to anyone willing to pay for it. Then, you’ll start getting phone calls from someone you don’t know, selling you who knows what, without you even knowing if they are even licensed to sell health insurance.
  2. Get Quotes From Different Carriers
    • Don’t be pushed into just any carrier without first weighing in other options. Take the time and go through the exercise. Compare and review.
  3. Understand the Underwriting Process
    • Find out about the carrier you are applying for and their underwriting criteria. You don’t want to apply and be rejected for coverage. This can exclude you from getting coverage from another carrier.
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