Thursday, July 28, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1693, July 28th, 2011



Sometimes in politics you don’t worry about your enemies so much as your friends. This week Mr. Obama’s jobs czar General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, chose to announce the company will be moving the headquarters X-Ray division to China. Most of the jobs were moved out of Wisconsin. This really makes the administration and the President himself look bad. If I were Obama (and evidently I’m not because we’d have a single payer system in health care , all of our troops would be home protecting our borders instead of having Muslim terrorists assassinate them) and there would be no debt ceiling issue at all,) I’d invite Mr. Immelt to resign. By 9AM Friday morning. After of course asking him the question that is on everyone’s mind, “WTF”????????


Highmark is once again asking the State Insurance Commissioner for a rate hike. Our friends at the Pa. Health Access Network provided us with some important information. They ask if you want to pay higher insurance rates for health care?
I'm guessing no, you probably don't. Unfortunately for you, you're better off living just about anywhere but Pennsylvania.
Highmark recently proposed a 10% rate hike on some of their plans - including Special Care. Special Care is the extremely limited coverage that the 42,000 people kicked off adultBasic were advised to purchase. And if Highmark is doing this, we can expect the other Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans are likely to follow.
Many of these people used adultBasic to fight cancer, blood diseases, Chron's Disease, etc., but Special Care only lets them see a doctor four times/year. So does this rate hike at least mean these folks can see their doctor when the need arises? NO. If Highmark has their way, there will be no increase in coverage - only price.
Tell the Insurance Commissioner, Michael Consedine, to stand up to Highmark!
This is why PA needs 'rate review.'
Health insurance is something all working families should be able to afford. That will never happen for us as long as these companies can jack up rates on a whim.
In the years to come, the new health care law will provide additional protections. In the mean time, however, PA is one of the worst states in the country when it comes to rate review. Other states have some sort of review process. We should be entitled, at the very least, to a public hearing. There, Highmark can explain to policy holders how they can afford things like buying a hospital and giving big bonuses to executives, but still have to raise premiums on policies already overpriced.
Special Care was supposed to be the safety net for the people that lost adultbasic coverage earlier in the year. It appears now that a rate hike for this limited program will once again have responsible citizens again paying more for their healthy care. Special Care only offers 4 doctor visits a year and no prescription drug plan. It also offers limited in patient hospital coverage. But it was offered as a great alternative to the Adultbasic program. The shame is there are many people who are trying to be responsible adults and pay a premium. But if the cost keeps getting higher, most may just chuck their coverage, and when they get sick use the emergency room. That brings health care costs up higher.
Plus there doesn’t seem to be a consumer hot line for when an insurance company gives the wrong information to one of their clients on a group or individual policy. How does that get fixed? There are many people right now paying off thousands of dollars in deductibles for their medical care. The most shameful part of that is that the Republican right portrayed the Obama Health Plan as being for free loaders and that there would be rationing. There is rationing now, it’s called high deductibles. Awful. And this rate hike will be given gladly. You think that after 8 years of approved rate hikes by a Liberal Rendell administration the consumer is going to get a break from the Corbett people?
And speaking of that, the Citizen Voice’s Erin Hinsley reports that Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania has filed a request to change a portion of an insurance plan to give subscribers more control over monthly premiums.
If approved by the state's Insurance Department, the change would affect about 300 people who subscribe to a plan called PPO Individual Conversion. The plan offers coverage for people who had a PPO plan through their employer but have lost their jobs. On a PPO plan, members have a network of preferred providers they can access at discounted rates, but they can opt to see doctors outside of the plan, too.
Blue Cross is seeking to add deductible options to the plan, which could reduce subscribers' monthly premiums. The plan already offers deductibles of $100, $500 and $1,000, which means health care coverage kicks in when costs of care rise above those amounts. The insurance company is asking to add deductible options of $1,200, $2,500, $3,500, $5,000 and $7,500.
"We just want to provide more options for people," said Blue Cross spokesman Anthony Matrisciano. "If they choose a higher deductible, they could have a lower premium."
Those options will be very good for younger people who want a lower premium and never get sick. But if they do carry that policy, can you imagine trying to pay off a $7500 deductible? I mean it’s like a vicious cycle, you want a lower premium because you can’t afford health care in the first place but then you get stuck with an economic catastrophe if you do need the insurance. BCNEPA is just extending to individuals what they are already using with some groups.


My conservative friends are fond of quoting and in many cases misquoting the Constitution. Yeah you know the one, not the Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson but the one written by James Madison. Anyway, I’m sure the national GOP will be quick to embrace this latest news development on the debt ceiling because it is after all part of that cherished Constitution they use for their arguments. House Democratic leaders emerged from a Wednesday Caucus meeting with a message for President Barack Obama: Invoke the Constitution to resolve the debt standoff. If Congress can't reach a deal on a long-term debt limit increase by August 2, Obama should "sign an executive order invoking the 14th Amendment," said Assistant Minority Leader James Cyburn (D-S.C.). "I am convinced that whatever discussions about the legality of that can continue," Clyburn said. "But I believe that something like this will bring calm to the American people and will bring needed stability to our financial markets." House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (D-Conn.) acknowledged that Obama has previously expressed doubts about his legal authority to unilaterally raise the debt limit. But circumstances have changed, Larson said, and "we just want to let him know that his Caucus is prepared to stand behind him" if Congress fails to pass a long-term deal.
"We have to have a fail-safe mechanism," Larson said. "We believe that fail-safe mechanism is the 14th Amendment and the president of the United States."
Section 4 of the 14th Amendment states: “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payments of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.” Essentially, Democrats are arguing that since the "public debt" cannot be questioned, then the debt ceiling itself is unconstitutional.


The Times Leader reported that a man was arraigned Wednesday on evidence of drunken driving, his fourth arrest for DUI since January 2010, court records show.
Police say a 24 year old Nanticoke man, showed signs of intoxication after he was stopped for passing through a red traffic signal at Wyoming Avenue and Market Street at about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. He refused to submit to a blood alcohol test and deliberately urinated on the floor inside the Kingston Police Department, according to charges filed. Lock this loser up and throw away the key before he kills some innocent person coming home from work or from a short jaunt to a supermarket. I think it is one of creation’s little cruelties that drunks rarely kill other drunks, they just kill good hard working people.


This gem from the Huffington Post: It's been a rough year for women struggling with their weight. Almost 50 percent of men surveyed in a new poll of 70,000 people said they would leave a partner who gained weight, reports MSNBC. In contrast, only 20 percent of women said they would ditch a significant other for putting on extra pounds. James Bassil, editor-in-chief of AskMen, which cosponsored the poll with, said the study showed that "some romantic behaviors have proven to be timeless ones" including the notion that "size matters."
The survey results aren't the only recent data to indicate that men consider a woman's weight when evaluating a relationship. Last month, a study claimed that both husbands and wives were more satisfied with their marriages when the wife had a lower body mass index than the husband. Defending her findings, Andrea Meltzer, lead author of the study, told ABC News, "It's relative weight that matters, not absolute weight. It's not that [women] have to be small." The study didn't explore exactly how relative weight influences marital happiness.



A recent survey by the AARP says that Harrisburg is rated as one of the best places to retire. The city is pretty nice and the surrounding suburbs are very prosperous, progressive and well kept. No mention of LuLac land as one of the best places to retire. Shocker!



Former Hazleton Mayor John Ford is Tiffany Cloud’s guest this week on “Storm Politics. “Storm Politics” can be seen on WYLN TV 35, Channel 7 in the Service Electric Cable systems in Wilkes Barre. Show times are:
Thurs 9:30pm, Sat 5pm, Sun 11am, Mon 9pm, Tues 4:30pm, only on WYLN TV.


This week Shadoe Steele welcomes Denny Zager of "Zager & Evans" fame (In The Year 2525. Saturday Night Live at the Oldies can be heard Saturday from 7pm to midnight on WILK AM and FM with ABC News on the top of the hour.


Judge Tom Munley and David DeCosmo will welcome Brian Wrightson, Director of Emergency Services for Red Cross in Scranton, to ECTV Live next week. He'll be discussing a series of recent weather related disasters that have required Red Cross Response and that have involved volunteers from Northeastern Pennsylvania. ECTV Live airs on Comcast Ch19 at Noon and Midnight throughout the week.


This Week on Sunday Magazine, Brian Hughes speaks with Doctor Phillippa Cheetham from Columbia University Medical Center on the facts and myths of prostate cancer, and what you can do to prevent it.
An encore of Brian's interview with Zumba instructor Gina Boyle about the "Dancing in the No Bully Zone" event coming up next Saturday at the Wyoming Valley West Middle School.
And This Week in Harrisburg features comments from State Senator John Yudichak on the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission report, legislation to privatize PA.'s liquor stores, turning to Washington D.C. Senator Bob Casey's committee is looking into giving the FDA more authority in regulating imported prescription drugs, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau opens for business, promising to be a new advocate for Pennsylvania consumers. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5:30am on JR 93.7 & 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:30am on Magic 93, and 9:30am on WARM 590 AM.


The Democrats continue to make news even though they weren’t thrilled about it. George McGovern’s running mate, Thomas Eagleton revealed that he was treated for mental illness. The problem was he misled McGovern when the question was put to him about any problems in his past. From Time Magazine,
Tom Eagleton, 42, was the product of a half day’s furious scrambling [at the Democratic Convention], a choice agreed on only an hour before the deadline, after five or six other men had turned down the No. 2 spot. Last week, when it was revealed that he had been thrice hospitalized for mental illness, the disclosure threatened to wreck the McGovern candidacy before the presidential candidate ever hit the campaign trail against Richard Nixon.
Apparently, Sen. Eagleton had been hospitalized in 1960, 1964 and 1966 for depression, and on two occasions was given electroshock therapy to treat the disease. When Eagleton’s hospitalizations first came to light, the ensuing controversy was couched in terms of his failure to disclose the information: “Eagleton emerged as either naive or overambitious and dishonest in not telling McGovern about his past illness,” because McGovern “had inquired ‘if he had any problems in his past that were significant or worth discussing with me and Eagleton told him no.” Eagleton campaigned across the country trying to get support. McGovern didn't help matters any when he said he was "1000 per cent behind his Veep choice. At one point Eagleton begged for his job but McGovern caved into political pressure and advised the Senator that his candidacy was no longer an option in the '72 race......Initially, McGovern stood by Eagleton; but eighteen days after Eagleton was first nominated to be McGovern’s running mate, McGovern asked Eagleton to relinquish the post. Ironically, despite the controversy over his past mental illness the people of Missouri twice reelected Eagleton to the Senate, in 1974 and 1980. McGovern went on later to pick R. Sargent Shriver and lose the general election anyway…….in Pennsylvania Governor Milton Shapp says that the McGovern decision should not be a reflection on the fact that Eagleton sought help. Shapp said that he hoped people seeking help for issues would not be afraid to come forward given the fate of Senator Eagleton…….in Forty Fort President Nixon tours the area and drops in on a wedding taking place in the flood ravaged borough….and 39 years ago the number 1 song in America was Neil Diamond’s best selling song of all time, “Song Sung Blue”.


At 6:48 AM, Anonymous Pope George Ringo said...

I voted for Obama in the ,08 primary (when the nomination was pretty much his anyway) and now I am full of regret.
Don't get me wrong, I like him and have rooted for him, but he is not leading.
He reminds me more and more of Jimmy Carter as each day unfolds--a decent man who seems over his head--and Carter didn't have a massive Conservative media machine out to get him.
The President could have put the debt ceiling issue to rest last December by using it as a bargaining tool to continue the Bush tax cuts, but he did not. He created a nightmare for himself.
The worst part of this fiasco is that the U.S. (at least according to experts) is inevitably going to lose its AAA credit rating--thanks to the GOP tea partiers and the President's inability to use the bully pulpit and properly explain to the people just what is happening.
Obama also seems to have taken away the great issue that would have at least given the Democrats a chance to re-take the House---The Ryan Medicare plan.
By Obama's proposing cuts in Social Security and Medicare (which ultimately will be put into law very soon) we have lost our ace in the hole.
In short, Mr. President, you screwed yourself and your country and have left a deep hole in the hearts of every American who supported you as a man of change.
Still, the more interesting question is how will Mitt Romney as President (and I guarantee you, he will be President in one and a half years) and the GOP majorities on both sides of the Capitol deal with the debt??
How will the majority of Americans react when SSI and Medicare are butchered???
It will be interesting.
Perhaps a raising of the debt ceiling and more spending????
God Bless.

At 12:14 PM, Anonymous Professor Milburn Cleaver, OPA said...

Students, I find it alarming that it is considered criminal for a business (such as GE) to relocated certain operations overseas.
First off, this is a free country and we reside under a free enterprise system. For a government to make it illegal for a business to locate "some" of its operations overseas would be nothing short of tyranny.
Now class, I will attempt to address the posts of character assassination against your esteemed professor. These attacks have appeared in previous postings on this blog.
I have been in the educational system for nearly 53 years. I was educated at an Ivy League institution (for which I received no government help financially) and graduated in the top ten of my class---although my late departed mother would insist to her friend that I was number one.
I know that it is customary to believe that college professors are liberals and that may be true. HOwever, I have always had a disdain for liberalism as it is a disease that acts as a cancer on individuality. Take a drive through Newark, North Philly, Patterson, New Jersey or Detroit (please keep your car doors locked) and you shall see what I mean.
We have managed to erect a welfare, gimme-gimme society.
This, youngsters is why I want America to start over from the beginning.
An honest dollars pay for an honest days work....NOT a welfare check for a case of cheap liquor and a carton of Kools.
Have I made my point, youngsters???
Class Dismissed!!!!!

At 5:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Pope, you think people are upset with Obama for allowing cuts to Social Security and Medicare to get on the table, how about the Republicans voting to actualy kill them? Like it or not, Obama may still be the best option available for the working folk unless a decent candidate gives him a run in the Primary. I think Obama would have one hell of a fight on his hands if he had a Primary fight against a decent canidate. The discussion I would like to see is who would make a good candidate against him? Any voter who isn't wealthy that votes for any Republican will serve only to prove just what jerks Americans are. Yonkster, that's my choice for lunch conversation next time around.

At 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the reason why I read Dave every day: he may be against the GOP but he makes the distinction that he has a problem with the nationals, not the locals. And if Obama has someone dumb in his inner circle, like the GE piglet, Yonki will talk about it. I may not agree all the time but dammit Yonki, you're fair. And in this stinking world, that's all we can ask.

At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave: JE also has reduced GE workforce by 36,000 people since 2009. GE pays no taxes, reduces the workforce. That's the problem in the USA. Screw the USA and make as much money as I can! When our country was founded, people would give their lives to make the country better.
Now its all abount the money. Also read over the years that if you took all the money away from people that make over 250,000, it would run the government for 2 weeks. Then what?
Joe B.

At 1:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe B, Simplistic response without teeth. Fact is that we need the 4 trillion dollars that would eventually find its way into the national treasury if the current tax loop holes were closed. Personally, I'm sick to death of average people using old worn out comments to help cover up the injustice of the Republican philosophy of protecting the wealthy at the cost of the working poor. Keep in mind that a fat ole' Queen once said, let them eat cake and it cost her, her head.


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