Sunday, December 09, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2290, December 9th, 2012

Our “Health Care Not Scare Care” logo. 


During the Health Care debate, there was considerable wring of hands about a death panel that was going to limit coverage and KILL people, making sure a bureaucrat would have sway over the very existence of a person’s life and death because of that big bad Obama Care bill. Please indulge me with a personal story. A few weeks ago I made reference to the fact that I needed a neurologist because of some muscular and mobilities difficulties I was having. You would think that after my hip replacement, my mobility would increase. Two separate issues. 
My appointment with the neurologist was set for February 2013 but I was told on Tuesday night there was a cancellation for Wednesday morning. I grabbed it. The doctor did an hour long examination and sent me to Wilkes Barre General Hospital for blood work. They took 14 vials of blood but had difficulty getting the last one done. This crucial test was a panel for the very disease my doctor is closing in on as a primary diagnosis. The staff at General was great and supportive but could not do the crucial panel because after consulting a customer service representative for Commonwealth Health Systems, they were told “that they don’t do that test”. This is a hospital chain that came into this community guns blazing and telling us how they are the place for comprehensive health care. A one stop facility if you will. (And let me say that the care I have received at WBGH by doctors, staff and others has been superlative). So in this current health care climate, it was not a government bureaucrat who told me they didn’t do the test but a Customer Service Rep. 
DO NOT TELL ME that under Obama Care it will be worse because that is pure conjecture. This is a fact, this reality is as recent as last Wednesday. I got the test done at Geisinger Wyoming Valley on Saturday morning with no sweat. But maybe a multi hospital chain coming in might not be as cracked up as it should be. A few years ago when the nurses at General were walking the picket lines claiming the care was not the same for area residents when it came to reduced staff and procedures…you remember that? Maybe they just might have had a point. 
EDITOR’S NOTE: AS this new health adventure for me continues, I’ll keep you posted. And I assure some of you that they will all be original thoughts and content.
President Obama with the folks in Iowa. (Kansas Dems website photo). 


I heard on the radio the other day some guy talking about “the physical cliff”. Ahh the ignorance of the American people. How will this financial crisis affect average Pennsylvanians? The White House released information on the President’s plan which I will share with you today via the e mail machine. Take a look at this: 
The President’s Plan 
Under the President’s plan, the 98 percent of Pennsylvania families with incomes of less than $250,000 per year would continue to benefit in full from the income tax cuts expiring at the end of 2012: 
• Lower tax rates on up to $250,000 of income ($200,000 for single filers). 
• The doubling of the Child Tax Credit to $1,000 per child and extension of the credit to working Pennsylvania families that previously could not benefit from it. 
• The American Opportunity Tax Credit, which provides as much as $10,000 of help over four years – the equivalent of a 30 percent discount on tuition at a typical state university – and thousands of dollars more help with college expenses than many Pennsylvania families could have received from pre-existing tax credits.
• The 10 percent tax bracket, which will provide middle-class Pennsylvania couples with a tax cut of up to $890 next year. 
• Expansions to the Earned Income Tax Credit, which gives millions of working families the break they need. 4 
• Marriage penalty relief, which reduces or eliminates marriage penalties for nearly 38 million couples nationwide. 
Under the President’s plan, the income tax rates for high-income households would return to what they were under President Clinton, when the economy created nearly 23 million new jobs – including 575,900 new private sector jobs in Pennsylvania – we went from deficit to surplus, and businesses and investors did very well. 
Examples of Middle-Class Pennsylvania Families that Will See Their Taxes Rise if the Middle-Class Tax Cuts Are Not Extended 
EXAMPLE 1: TYPICAL PENNSYLVANIA FAMILY OF FOUR A typical median-income Pennsylvania family of four: a married couple with two children earning $80,400 would see a $2,200 tax increase.  A tax increase of $1,000 because the Child Tax Credit will fall from $1,000 to $500 per child.  A tax increase of $890 because of merging the 10 percent tax bracket into the 15 percent tax bracket.  A tax increase of $310 because of the expiration of marriage penalty relief that provides a larger standard deduction for married couples. Total Tax Increase on this Family if Congress Fails to Act = $2,200 
EXAMPLE 2: A FAMILY OF FOUR WITH A CHILD IN COLLEGE A married couple in Pennsylvania with a 15-year-old at home and a 19-year-old in her second year at Penn State; the couple’s income is $80,000.  A tax increase of $550 because instead of being able to claim the $2,500 American Opportunity Tax Credit to help with college expenses, they will only be able to claim the Hope Credit worth $1,950.  A tax increase of $500 because the Child Tax Credit will fall from $1,000 to $500 per child.  A tax increase of $890 because of the disappearance of the 10 percent tax bracket.  A tax increase of $310 because of the expiration of marriage penalty relief that provides a larger standard deduction for married couples. Total Tax Increase on this Family if Congress Fails to Act = $2,250 5 
EXAMPLE 3: AN UPPER MIDDLE-CLASS PENNSYLVANIA FAMILY A couple with one child earning $130,000.  A tax increase of $890 because of the disappearance of the 10 percent tax bracket.  A tax increase of $3,150 because of a combination of the expiration of marriage penalty relief and the increase in the 25 percent tax rate to 28 percent. Total Tax Increase on this Family if Congress Fails to Act = $4,040 
EXAMPLE 4: A SINGLE MOTHER WITH TWO CHILDREN IN PENNSYLVANIA A single mother with two children working full-time at $12 an hour (earning $24,000 a year). A tax increase of $1,500 because the Child Tax Credit will fall from $1,000 to $500 per child and less of it will be available to low- and moderate-income working families.  A tax increase of $170 because of the disappearance of the 10 percent tax bracket. Total Tax Increase on this Family if Congress Fails to Act = $1,670


At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Example 3

Makes me wonder how much $4040.00 of disposable income taken out of the economy will ripple through to unforeseen purchases. Remember other taxes expire too.

I pose this question: Why is everyone so blind to what happened to our home values with the "evil" reassessments by our politicians. Anyone see any benefits yet? Section 8 housing sure blossomed.

At 3:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Are you married to you Health Care Provider? No.
Can you shop for another HCP? Yes.
Can you seek review and redress of your HCP's decision? Yes.
Can you file suit against your HCP? Yes.

Are the answers the same under ObamaCare? No, quite the opposite.

- and still you insist on letting the entity that handles your mail handle your health care. Sadly unbelievable.

At 6:08 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

Are the answers the same under ObamaCare? No, quite the opposite.
- and still you insist on letting the entity that handles your mail handle your health care. Sadly unbelievable

At 7:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Medicare is NOT a private insurance company - it is the feds. They determine how much a doctor will be paid (reimbursed). There is NO negotiation - take it or leave it. nd NOW the feds will reduce payments to doctors - which is why there are rumblings about doctors not accepting Medicare patients. What's that tell you?

You had a golden POV opportunity to interview your specialist about this. Did you?

The insurance companies clean up on supplemental policies.

Watch: with ObamaCare the money will be in the individual policy sales NOT group. Wait for Geisinger and BC/BS to start quietly laying off their group sales team.

At 7:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although the AMA vehemently opposed the passing of the Hospital Insurance, Social
Security, and Public Assistance Amendments to the Social Security Act that would become the Medicare and Medicaid programs in 1965, the AMA has never been opposed to the basic notion that health care is a right. As early as 1934, the AMA Judicial Council affirmed that,
“One of the strongest holds of the profession on public approbation and support has been the age-old professional ideal of medical service to all, whether able to pay or not. The ideal is basic in our ethics.” (HOD Proceedings, June 11-15, 1934: 29)
In fact, during the long and highly contentious debates over the role of government in the
financing and administration of health care, and over Medicare in particular, “Neither side argued that the aged had no right to decent medical care; ever since the 1930’s, medical care had been accepted as one of the basic necessities of life which, as a last resort, society itself must provide. And if the aged were unable to pay for their medical care, it was the responsibility of society somehow to finance it.
“The argument, then, centered on two issues: (1) Whether or not the aged, or a substantial number of them, did in fact need help with their medical bills; and (2) if they did, what mechanism should be employed to cope with the problem. As the debate progressed, the first point came to be accepted as true, although there continued to be differences over the seriousness of the problem. At the end the unresolved conflict was over means. Three basic alternative approaches were considered—either separately or in combination: (1) some form of Government subsidies for private insurance carriers as in … the AMA’s Eldercare; (2) direct Government, payments for medical services to low-income elderly through State welfare agencies as in the … Kerr-Mills programs; and (3) health insurance financed and
administered through social security.
“Each of these alternatives, along with their various administrative and technical features, had important social, economic, and political implications that influenced the preferences of
the opposing sides. And, in the end, the issue could only be resolved through the political
process. It was finally resolved in favor of social security (Medicare) supplemented by an
expanded Kerr-Mills program of direct payments for health services to the elderly and other
poor (Medicaid).” (Corning)
The Jeffersonian-Hamiltonian Debate and US Public Policy
The conflict over the proper role of government in health care—which was a centerpiece in debates over Medicare—reflects, more generally, a debate that has been raging on in the US at least since the American Revolution. (more next)

At 7:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today, historians often refer to this as the Jeffersonian-Hamiltonian debate, named after the most prominent proponents of either
side—Thomas Jefferson (the US’s 3rd President) and Alexander Hamilton (the US’s 1st
Secretary of the Treasury).
The core principle of the Jeffersonian perspective is “individual liberty,” for it sees “the American Revolution as a liberation movement, a clean break not just from English domination but also from the historic corruptions of European monarchy and aristocracy.…
It has radical and, in modern terms, libertarian implications, because it regards any
accommodation of personal freedom to governmental discipline as dangerous. In its more extreme forms it is a recipe for anarchy, and its attitude toward any energetic expression of
centralized political power can assume paranoid proportions.” (Ellis 13-14)
The core principle of the Hamiltonian perspective is “collectivist rather than individualistic, for it sees the true spirit of [1776] as the virtuous surrender of personal, state, and sectional interests to the larger purposes of American nationhood.… It has conservative but also protosocialistic implications, because it does not regard the individual as the sovereign unit in the political equation and is more comfortable with governmental discipline as a
focusing and channeling device for national development. In its more extreme forms it relegates personal rights and liberties to the higher authority of the state, which is ‘us’ and not ‘them,’ and it therefore has both communal and despotic implications.” (Ellis 14)
These diverging visions of democracy, although at times antagonistic, were not necessarily
mutually exclusive. Several politicians, even vocal proponents of one or the other faction,
held conflicting values, and several lent their votes and energies to issues that seemingly
bridged this ideological divide. However, this is not to say that opposing members of Congress—the founders of the US included—did not disagree heatedly and harbor a
considerable amount of bitterness and resentment towards each other. Both sides of this story are, indeed, true.
What historians poignantly remind us, though, is that this debate was never resolved. Rather, it was “institutionalized” into the very fabric of the US’s various sociopolitical institutions (Ellis 15). For example, the US has a representative democracy(reflective of Jeffersonian notions of “popular sovereignty”) but, at the same time, maintains a fairly
strong nation state (including a national debt, a federal Supreme Court, and a national army).
Generally speaking, since the American Revolution, the Jeffersonian-Hamiltonian dyad has
remained a perennial feature of the US’s political character—at times conflicting with each
other and at times complementing each other. “On balance, though, the individualistic strain has been relatively stronger in this country than elsewhere, especially in the field of social welfare, where Americans of all classes have characteristically looked-upon
Government as a ‘last resort’” (Corning). It was in this context that government-financed health insurance was first proposed.

At 9:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

2:09 PM "Why is everyone so blind to what happened to our home values with the "evil" reassessments by our politicians."

So you think it was OK for people who live in new adn super expensivse houses to not pay the fair tax due? Do you think that your house can't be sold because of the "fair and just" tax that is on it? Are you nuts? Homes are being sold and you can't blame the economy on fair and equal real estate taxes. Take a look at the jobs that are sent to China and other off shore points. It is the "job creators" who are spending their tax savings on off shore investments and closing local plants to take advantage of the $.99 per hour wages that Senseta is now paying in China. Why don't you people who follow FOX take a break from being spoon fed the news and do a little reading and thinking for yourself? There is no hope for America while your type thinking remains and the truth gets burried under the Karl Rove PR machine.

At 7:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm 65. I have High Blood Pressure
and Diabetes. I am just about 10 pounds overweight. For the past 6 years I have been paying $660.00 a month to be on my wifes healthcare plan. I recently experienced shortness of breath and chest discomfort. My Doctor ordered a stress test. First Priority Health
BC/BS rejected the request as not called for. My nephew age 50 went to the ER because he has No Insurance complaining of chest pains. He was admitted, given several tests including a stress test. Ultimate diagnosis, Anxiety!
Figure that one out. At least I'm still alive, but no thanks to insurance. Should I drop it and just go to the ER next time? Obviously not because I take prescription meds and have a pre existing condition. $660.00 per month xs 72 months comes to a staggering amount of money! I think I'm now having chest pains!
Fortunately I also have Funeral Insurance which I hope covers burying me.

At 6:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey (:24

I am pointing out something that happened to me and my house ( built in 1995). Simple Carl Rove and company have nothing to do about it!

I'm getting !@#$ed and my neighbor calls me names?! Thanks a lot.

Guess it only counts when its you.

At 6:49 AM, Blogger Aggie95 said...

democrats are funny people .... they tell me for years that George Bush never ever cut taxes on the poor and middle class and that in order to return to the prosperity of the clinton era we need to return to the taxing level of that time but now as they are about to get their wish they are all het up over that the clinton era tax rates will return ....all of them ....well folks do you want the clinton era properity or not ....cause that 80 billion your going to get from the evil rich ain't going to cut it .... seems to me the democrats have set themselves up for failure ... again


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