The democratic base of labor and justice are now seeing that the Affordable Care Act was never about access to quality health care....it was about consolidating the health industry into global corporations that will be just as unaccountable, greedy, and profit-driven as Wall Street. We already have 1/2 of Entitlement spending stolen in fraud so you can see the poor, elderly, and chronically ill will not fit their profit model and NOW SO DOES EVERYONE ELSE!! I have shouted from the start that this was the case.....3 years.....and all of your Third Way corporate pols in Maryland knew that was the goal. So did private non-profits like Maryland Health Care For All who insisted in only supporting the Affordable Care Act for that reason.....it is a Johns Hopkins organization created to co-opt the health care for all issue....see how Hopkins has all the policy issues covered? Just as with education, Maryland Health Care for All gathered a coalition of groups that probably really wanted access and quality care and the Director told them the ACA was the way to go.....knowing it wasn't. So with health businesses writing this health reform at state level all across the country.....as in Maryland we are seeing rules that limit access and boost co-pays while we see health business profits soar. Health fraud in Maryland is in the billions each year and none of the laws and oversight has been addressed.
We thank the labor unions and justice organizations who are now coming out in force to change the direction of these reforms. They are demanding the Affordable Care Act be dropped and a Universal Care policy be adopted. We need to see caps placed on the size of these health systems and a cap on profit. Remember, the one rule that limited Administrative costs to 2% has already been changed to create big loopholes in that one effort to control profit. Marylanders know Maryland Health Care for All is a scam and are forming several grass root Universal care organizations and labor unions have their own campaign.
WE NEED TO VOTE OUT OF OFFICE THE THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRATS WORKING FOR WEALTH AND PROFIT AND RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE CANDIDATES NEXT ELECTIONS!!!
Today I listened on WYPR as Rawlings-Blake's bill to send up to 5% of contribution to public worker's pensions goes to City Hall for approval. It has a small raise in wages. The problem with this is that inflation will have this wage hike gone while health care costs/cost of living continue to grow so this mayor is going the opposite direction from where the citizens of Baltimore need to go. REMEMBER, THE PROBLEM WITH THE CITY BUDGET IS MASSIVE CORPORATE FRAUD AND LOST TAX REVENUE....NOT HOW MUCH PUBLIC EMPLOYEES ARE PAID!!! WE ARE MOVING BACK TO MIDDLE-CLASS WAGES AND THESE THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRATS DON'T GET THAT!
Thank you unions for speaking out as we see that this health reform is not about access to quality care....it is about consolidating health systems into global corporations and being profit-driven and unaccountable. We must shout out that these health systems be capped in size and profit margins as we work for universal care!!!
Labor unions break ranks with White House on ObamaCare
By Kevin Bogardus - 05/21/13 05:00 AM ET Labor unions are breaking with President Obama on ObamaCare.
Months after the president’s reelection, a variety of unions are publicly balking at how the administration plans to implement the landmark law. They warn that unless there are changes, the results could be catastrophic.
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) — a 1.3 million-member labor group that twice endorsed Obama for president — is very worried about how the reform law will affect its members’ healthcare plans. Last month, the president of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers released a statement calling “for repeal or complete reform of the Affordable Care Act.”
UNITE HERE, a prominent hotel workers’ union, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are also pushing for changes.
In a new op-ed published in The Hill, UFCW President Joe Hansen homed in on the president’s speech at the 2009 AFL-CIO convention. Obama at the time said union members could keep their insurance under the law, but Hansen writes “that the president’s statement to labor in 2009 is simply not true for millions of workers.”
Republicans have long attacked Obama’s promise that “nothing in this plan will require you to change your coverage or your doctor.” But the fact that unions are now noting it as well is a clear sign that supporters of the law are growing anxious about the law’s implementation.
Many UFCW members have what are known as multi-employer or Taft-Hartley plans. According to the administration’s analysis of the Affordable Care Act, the law does not provide tax subsidies for the roughly 20 million people covered by the plans. Union officials argue that interpretation could force their members to change their insurance and accept more expensive and perhaps worse coverage in the state-run exchanges.
Hansen, who is also the head of the Change to Win labor federation, told The Hill that his members often negotiate with their employers to receive better healthcare services instead of higher wages. Those bargaining gains could be wiped away because some employers won’t have the incentive to keep their workers’ multi-employer plans without tax subsidies.
“You can’t have the same quality healthcare that you had before, despite what the president said,” Hansen said. “Now what’s going to happen is everybody is going to have to go to private for-profit insurance companies. We just don’t think that’s right. ... We just want to keep what we already have and what we bought at tremendous cost.”
If the administration were to expand the subsidies to cover the Taft-Hartley plans, it’s likely that the price tag for ObamaCare would rise, though it’s unclear by how much.
Union angst over the healthcare law is being matched by some Democrats on Capitol Hill. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) has said the law’s implementation could be a “train wreck,” while other senior Democrats, including House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), have expressed reservations.
Both parties agree that ObamaCare is going to be a major issue in the 2014 midterm elections, especially because the bulk of the law is scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1 next year.
Labor recently shared its concerns with senior Democrats.
Earlier this month, the subject of how multi-employer health plans would be treated under ObamaCare was brought up at a private May 8 meeting between union leaders and the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee.
“A number of people were making this point at that meeting. People said that their members are upset about this and the more they learn about it, the more upset they are,” said one union official.
“I was pretty blunt about it,” said Hansen. “I told them it was a very serious issue. That it was wrong. Taft-Hartley plans should be deemed as qualified healthcare providers and I also said it’s going to have political repercussions if we don’t get this fixed.”
Hansen wants the Obama administration to use its regulatory powers to address the matter; a legislative remedy is all but impossible in the divided 113th Congress.
“When [the Obama administration] started writing the rules and regulations, we just assumed that Taft-Hartley plans — that workers covered by those plans, especially low-wage workers — would be eligible for the subsidies and stay in their plans and they’re not,” Hansen said.
Union anger on multi-employer plans has been percolating for months. In January, The Wall Street Journal reported that UNITE HERE and the Teamsters were pressing the administration. UFCW was also mentioned in that report.
Asked why he decided to raise the volume on his worries about ObamaCare, Hansen said he needed to speak out in support of his members.
“I owe it to my members to do everything I can to see if we can make this law better,” Hansen said.
He added, “[Administration officials] have given us a lot of time and attention. We just don’t agree and I still think that I have taken the correct position. They have been responsive as far as trying to get the meetings. It’s just we can’t get it across the finish line and we need to do that.”
Hansen, however, said he has no regrets about endorsing Obama or supporting the healthcare reform law. UFCW is a major Democratic donor, contributing to several of the party’s candidates and giving to last year’s convention in Charlotte, N.C., and this year’s inauguration.
The union president said changes to his members’ health insurance might lead to problems at the ballot box for candidates.
“What happens in 2014 could be at issue here. ... There is going to be a lot of disenchantment with how did this happen and who was in power when it happened. No matter what I say, that’s going to be there,” Hansen said. “They are upset already and it hasn’t even taken effect already.”
Sam Baker contributed to this report.
YOU HEARD IT RIGHT HERE THREE YEARS AGO.....NOW IT IS BECOMING OBVIOUS TO ALL!!! IT IS ONLY ABOUT CORPORATE PROFIT!!
Obamacare: Unaffordable Coverage
By Stephen Lendman on April 27, 2013 4:41 pm
Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) co-founders Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein examined evidence on “skimpy health insurance among low-income, insured Americans.”
A PNHP press release said:
“(E)xtensive data (show) that tens of millions of insured Americans have grossly inadequate coverage.”
The underinsurance problem grows. The Journal of General Internal Medicine (JGIM) approved publication of their analysis.
It’s titled “Life or Debt: Underinsurance in America.” It’ll appear next week. Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) increased the problem.
According to Himmelstein, it’s “lowering the bar for health insurance.”
“The new coverage sold through the insurance exchanges will leave many families paying 40 percent of their health costs out-of-pocket even after they’ve laid out thousands for premiums.”
“And the administration is allowing states to institute co-payments under Medicaid, even for the poorest of the poor.”
Under ACA, “a 56-year-old making $46,100 will pay a premium of $10,585 for coverage through the exchange and still face up to $6,250 in co-payments and deductibles.”
“Over the past 25 years the financial protection offered by health insurance has steadily eroded. The consequences are grave, not only financially but also medically.”
“For instance, we know that heart attack patients who face high co-payments delay coming to the ER, threatening their lives.”
Underinsurance is the new normal. ACA “will reduce the number of uninsured from 50 million to 30 million, but the new coverage is full of holes.”
“Americans deserve the kind of first-dollar, comprehensive coverage that Canadians already have.”
“But that’s only affordable under a single-payer system that cuts out the private insurance middlemen.”
Growing millions of Americans face life or debt. A 56-year-old earning $45,900 (399% of poverty) qualifies for Bronze coverage. It costs an estimated $4,361.
Covered services require $4,167 more for deductibles and co-payments.
At 401% of poverty ($46,100), subsidies disappear. Himmelstein explained. Premium costs are $10,585. Deductibles and co-payments add another $6,250.
Growing millions can’t afford it. Ralph Nader called ACA “a pay-or-die” system. It underinsures. It leaves millions out. It’s unaffordable. It’s more deform than reform. It’s a scam.
It’s a healthcare rationing scheme. It’s a boon to predatory providers. It’s a plan to enrich insurers, drug companies, and large hospital chains.
It does nothing to control costs. They’re spiraling out of control.
Himmelstein and Woolhandler called cost-sharing “neither necessary nor particularly effective for cost control.” Clear evidence proves it.
America has high cost-sharing. Its costs are highest by far. In 1981, Canada outlawed co-payments and deductibles. It’s had “faster health improvement and slowed cost growth.”
Canadian provinces control costs. They do so by “tax-based funding, global hospital budgeting, binding, negotiated physician fee schedules, and a simple unified single-payer structure….”
Administrative burdens and costs are minimized. Scotland considers patients owners of their health care system, not customers. Its costs are half what Americans pay.
A stealth scheme plans to weaken Medicare. Doing so will force millions of low-income recipients into predatory private plans.
A JGIM companion article headlined “Prevalence and Predictors of Underinsurance Among Low-Income Adults.” Hema Magge was lead writer.
Under ACA, she said, millions of Americans “will gain Medicaid or private insurance in 2014.” Research shows that many middle-income adults are underinsured.
Less is known about underinsurance among low-income adults. More than one-third aren’t properly covered. Over one quarter of Medicaid recipients are underinsured.
Cost-related barriers among public and private care providers reflect a major growing problem.
On April 25, Charleston, W. VA Gazette editors headlined “Health: ‘Medicare for all.’ ”
PNHP’s Andrew Coates was quoted, saying:
Healthcare costs keep rising. ACA is an experiment doomed to fail. “At the root of this problem is the private health industry….” Large private insurers, drug giants, and hospital chains are beholden to Wall Street and shareholders.
Insurers profit by denying claims, raising premiums, and requiring higher co-payments and deductibles.
“They also drag down our health system with the costly paperwork and bureaucracy they inflict on doctors, hospitals and patients.”
“By replacing the private insurers with a streamlined single-payer system, we can save over $400 billion squandered annually on wasteful paperwork. That’s enough money to cover all of the uninsured and to eliminate all co-pays and deductibles.”
Gazette editors called his solution “exactly on target. It’s shameful that America is the only modern democracy without a national health system covering everyone.”
“(M)edical care should be a human right for all.”
Obamacare denies it. It requires virtually everyone to have health insurance. Millions unable to afford employer coverage will be ineligible for federal financial aid. On January 1, 2014, fully-certfied health insurance exchanges become operational.
Uninsured middle-income households eligible for subsidized private coverage may use them. Safety-net programs are for low-income households.
According to First Focus president Bruce Lesley, up to 500,000 children may remain uninsured. “The children’s community is disappointed by the administration’s decision to deny access to coverage for children based on a bogus definition of affordability,” he said.
ACA stipulates that coverage can’t cost more than 9.5% of family income. Recipients it considers able to buy insurance are ineligible for subsidies.
Affordability is based on individuals. Family coverage is nearly threefold higher. If employers don’t provide it, recipients are out of luck.
It bears repeating. ACA is a scam. Obama and Congress are beholden to Big Money interests. Washington is corporate occupied territory.
The business of America is business. Every agency is infested with industry officials and lobbyists. They control policy. What they want, they get. Ordinary people are betrayed.
ACA is one of many examples. It made America’s dysfunctional healthcare system worse. It enriches providers. It sacrifices health for greater profits.
It’s unaffordable. It doesn’t protect. It underinsures. It forces millions to choose between life or debt. It reflects irresponsible governance. Obama bears full responsibility.
OBAMA IS PROUD OF REDUCING DEFICIT SPENDING BY ALMOST A $1 TRILLION AND IF YOU LOOK BELOW MUCH OF THE SPENDING SAVED WAS FROM CUTS TO MEDICARE AND MEDICAID....THIS IS WHY YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO GO TO THE DOCTOR OR SEEK ROUTINE TREATMENTS. Maryland's O'Malley balanced his budget the same way .....cuts to health care spending, raising public sector health care co-pays, and pocketing money ear marked for the poor into state government coffers.
IT IS WHY PEOPLE ARE DYING AS A RESULT!!!
People are dying because trillions of dollars were stolen through health/entitlement fraud over a few decades. Trillions more of payroll taxes sent to the Treasury rather than the Trusts since Reagan era has health care underfunded. Trillions of dollars lost to corporate tax evasion has government coffers empty. Trillions more from businesses hiring undocumented workers and then categorizing them as 'independent contractors' and not paying payroll taxes. THAT'S A LOT OF TRILLIONS AND FRAUD!
It seems that one would correct these problems before they create a situation where people die from lack of health care.
But then, that doesn't maximize profits!
Health-Care Cost Slowdown Seen Saving Up to $770 Billion
By Alex Wayne - May 7, 2013 12:01 AM ET Bloomberg Financial
John Moore/Getty Images) The changes include greater use of generic drugs, higher out-of-pocket costs and more efficient care, a trend encouraged by the 2010 health-care overhaul, said David Cutler, a Harvard University health economist. People with health insurance saw increases in their medical costs slow from 2009 to 2011, signaling potential structural changes in the industry that could cut health-care inflation and save the U.S. hundreds of billions of dollars, according to two studies.
The changes include greater use of generic drugs, higher out-of-pocket costs and more efficient care, a trend encouraged by the 2010 health-care overhaul, said David Cutler, a Harvard University health economist. If they permanently slow growth, the U.S. may reap $770 billion in unexpected savings from projected expenditures by 2021, wiping out a fifth of the budget deficit, one of the studies found.
The research, published yesterday in the journal Health Affairs, suggest that while the recession accounted for almost 40 percent of the decline, hitting those who can’t afford care, other factors also were at work. The analysis will be part of the debate between President Barack Obama and Republicans over how to control spending growth for Medicare and Medicaid.
“Folks have gotten the message: The money flows are going to be different, and they’re very much responding to that,” said Cutler, who was a co-author of one of the reports.
The two studies aim to shed light on why the annual growth of medical spending slowed from a high of about 8.8 percent in 2003 to an average of about 3 percent per capita from 2009 to 2011, according to data reported in January by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Total health spending in the U.S. amounted to 17.9 percent of gross domestic product in 2011 or about $2.7 trillion, the agency said.
Indirect Effect While neither study calculated a direct effect from the 2010 Affordable Care Act, Cutler, a former Obama adviser, said in a telephone interview that its influence is “gathering steam over time. It’s not a coincidence these things are happening at the very same time that policies are starting to penalize re- admissions, infections and things like that.”
Opponents of the 2010 law have said the slowdown is almost entirely attributable to the recession, and they expect when the law kicks in full force next year, spending growth will begin to surge again.
In one study, researchers analyzed health spending from 2007 to 2011 by employees with insurance supplied through 150 large companies. The growth of their medical spending dropped from more than 5 percent annually in 2009, adjusted for increases in out-of-pocket spending, to less than 3 percent in 2010 and 2011, the research found.
‘Something Else’ “I don’t want to downplay the importance of the recession,” said Michael Chernew, a professor of health-care policy at Harvard Medical School in Boston who also was an author of the study. “But even if you get rid of at least the direct effect of the recession, there was really something else going on.”
The indirect effect is harder to gauge, he said. While large firms maintained health insurance for their employees, the recession may have pressured them to work harder at holding down spending growth, he said.
Cutler’s research compared the U.S. government’s growth projections for health spending from 2004 to 2012 with actual increases in the period. It found that the real growth rate was about half of the government’s prediction, leading to a gap of more than $500 billion in 2012 between the projections and spending.
Multiple Reasons The paper calculates that the recession accounted for about 37 percent of the slowdown in health costs from 2003 to 2011. Declining private insurance coverage and cuts in payments by Medicare, (USBOMDCR)the government health plan for the elderly and disabled, accounted for another 8 percent and the remaining 55 percent is “unexplained,” Cutler wrote. That’s where the structural changes come in, he said.
If the current lower-than-expected rate of growth continues, the country may reap savings of as much as $770 billion through 2021, the research found.
Keith Hennessey, a lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and former director of the U.S. National Economic Council under President George W. Bush, said he believes growth will increase again once the health-care overhaul kicks in starting next year.
Hospitals and doctors supported the law “because they thought the increased revenues they’d get from increased demand for their goods and services would exceed lower payments for those goods and services, which suggests to me total health spending will be increasing,” Hennessey said. “As a general rule in designing federal health programs, more coverage costs taxpayers more money.”
Earlier Findings That Cutler data also contradicts an April 23 finding by health economists at the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation of Menlo Park, California, and the Altarum Institute of Ann Arbor, Michigan, which said the recession accounted for about 77 percent of the slowdown.
“The one thing that is still clear is that I think we’re all in agreement that not all of the slowdown is attributable to the economy or to the recession,” said Charles Roehrig, the Altarum economist who was one of the authors of the earlier report.
Also in Health Affairs, research by the nonprofit Center for Studying Health System Change in Washington challenges the idea, promulgated by hospitals and insurers, that cuts in payments by public programs such as Medicare and Medicaid lead to a “cost-shift” to employers and other private payers.
Rate Spillovers Hospitals with relatively slow growth in Medicare payments from 1995 to 2009 also saw relatively slow growth in payments from private insurers, said Chapin White, a researcher at the center. A 10 percent reduction in Medicare payments led to a 3 to 8 percent reduction in private payment rates, he said.
“These payment rate spillovers may reflect an effort by hospitals to rein in their operating costs in the face of lower Medicare payment rates,” he wrote. “Alternatively, hospitals facing cuts in Medicare payment rates may also cut the payment rates they seek from private payers to attract more privately insured patients.”
The results argue against repealing cuts in Medicare payments, he said, because that may lead to increased charges to private payers as well.
To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Wayne in Washington at email@example.com
WHAT WE ARE SEEING IS A HANDOVER OF ALL THINGS MARYLAND TO MEGA-CORPORATIONS. BELOW YOU SEE BALTIMORE IS COMPLETELY RUN BY MANOR CARE OWNED BY THE CARLISLE GROUP. IS THAT WHO YOU WANT RUNNING YOUR LOCAL CARE FOR SENIORS?
Other Senior Care providers near: Baltimore, MD
Assisted Living Home Care Nursing Home Dementia Care
ManorCare Health Services - Rossville
Quail Run Assisted Living Yes
ManorCare Health Services - Roland Park
ManorCare Health Services - Towson
ManorCare Health Services - Ruxton
ManorCare Health Services - Ruxton
ManorCare Health Services - Woodbridge Valley
Springhouse of Pikesville Yes
THIS IS WHO MANOR CARE IS: THE CARLISLE GROUP AND THEY JUST WENT PRIVATE IN 2008. THAT MEANS WE CAN'T SEE WHAT THEY ARE DOING. CARLISLE GROUP IS THE LARGEST HEDGE FUND IN THE WORLD.
Healthcare-Now of Maryland
is a statewide grassroots organization working for affordable, accessible quality health care for all Marylanders. We come from all walks of life. We are workers and professionals, Black and white, women and men, insured and uninsured. We believe that health care is a basic human rights and that a single-payer system is the best method to achieve universal care, eliminate administrative waste, control costs, obtain public accountability and reduce excessive private profits.
In 1990, a group of activists concerned with health care reform met in Baltimore. They specifically embraced single-payer as their preferred solution. A national organization, Universal Health Care Action Network (UHCAN) was founded in 1992 to work on health care issues. The next year Healthcare-Now of Maryland was founded and although the national organization does not have state affiliates, we have, on occasion, worked with them on issues of mutual concern.
During its existence, Healthcare-Now of Maryland members have:
- Lobbied for the introduction and passage of single-payer legislation in Maryland and testified and demonstrated in Annapolis on behalf of single-payer.
- Opposed the 1994 attempt by BlueCross/BlueShield to convert to a for-profit. In 2002, we fought against CareFirst’s effort to convert.
- Spoken to numerous civic and political organizations on single-payer, the health care crisis and the need for comprehensive solutions.
- Participated in forums and rallies in support of universal health care and against attempts to privatize health care.
- Organized meetings that featured experts on a wide-range of health care issues.
- Supported single-payer legislation on the national level and demonstrated against the proposed Clinton health care legislation.
Progressive Democrats of America
Universal Healthcare: A Labor Prospective
Join us as we welcome Robert Score, Recording Secretary of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), Local 1 in New York, NY. Robert will be discussing universal access to healthcare from a labor union perspective, local and state actions with universal single payer advocates, and report on activities in Albany on May 21.
Legislation relating to the Healthcare for All agenda
PNHP Physicians for a National Health Program
is a single issue organization advocating a universal, comprehensive single-payer national health program. PNHP has more than 18,000 members and chapters across the United States. Since 1987, we've advocated for reform in the U.S. health care system. We educate physicians and other health professionals about the benefits of a single-payer system--including fewer administrative costs and affording health insurance for the 50 million Americans who have none. Our members and physician activists work toward a single-payer national health program in their communities. PNHP performs ground breaking research on the health crisis and the need for fundamental reform, coordinates speakers and forums, participates in town hall meetings and debates, contributes scholarly articles to peer-reviewed medical journals, and appears regularly on national television and news programs advocating for a single-payer system. PNHP is the only national physician organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to implementing a single-payer national health program. THIS IS THE GROUP WORKING FOR WHAT IS THE ONLY WAY TO ENTITLEMENTS HEALTHY------SINGLE-PAYER SYSTEM.