The Future of (Obama) Healthcare: Enrollment Numbers and Penalties

Obamacare and taxes

The final hours of tax day are upon us. And, last week, the final days of the open enrollment period for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act came to a close. Enrollment exceeded the 7 million figure the government hoped for, but various surveys suggest that information about healthcare coverage, costs, and enrollment still isn’t as clear to the public as most people would like.… [Read more]

Obamacare and Drug Costs

ACA and Drug Costs

Despite a ban on discriminatory health insurance practices against the sick, insurers continue to charge higher rates for treatments required for the management of chronic diseases. The goal here is for insurance companies to offset the cost of such clients, so that they can offer lower monthly premiums to healthy people who will yield a profit and help share the burden of those expensive treatments.… [Read more]

Tax Traps to Beware of in 2014

Taxes

When Americans all across the country rang in the New Year, many breathed a sigh of relief for more than a few reasons. First of all, taxpayers no longer have to wait for Congress to finish constituting the tax laws that impact their 2013 returns and, secondly, the American Taxpayer Relief Act — which went into effect last spring —  will extend many advantageous provisions for recently filed returns.… [Read more]

Healthcare at The End of 2013

US Healthcare 2013

Listening to the rants of those outraged with Obamacare, you’d think our current healthcare system is something to be proud of, and probably difficult to improve upon. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth.

This article reviews some of the problems with our current healthcare system, and how some of the changes ushered in by Obamacare (more officially known as the Affordable Care Act, [the “ACA”]) might help.… [Read more]

All By Myself

All by myself

It’s a challenge to feel ‘musical’ when surrounded by so much negativity. The “Say It In Song” space has always been used to connect songs of any era and genre to current political events but, given that songs often evoke powerful emotions, it has been difficult to post songs when political tensions are already running so high (or low, if one is taking the disgust factor into consideration).… [Read more]

Diagnosing the Causes of Medical Debt in the U.S. (Infographic)

medical bills

With the rollout — and consequential fallout — of Obamacare, the real importance of healthcare reform had been temporarily swept aside to clear the stage for politics. While the dust settles on the budget battleground, we are revisiting the initial reasons behind the reform. As the average age and weight of the people in the United States increases, health issues become more pressing.… [Read more]

Where Do We Go From Here?

Where do we go from here?

During this past week the debt ceiling was raised and a government shutdown was ended after 16 days of political rhetoric and hand-wringing. The attempt by the radical right wing of the Republican Party to defund the Obama administration’s signature piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), was a complete failure. The Tea Party Caucus of the minority party held the federal government hostage over this one issue — at least initially — and they walked away with nothing and at the end of the day.… [Read more]

Collateral Damage

Collateral damage

As a result of their attempt to block the Affordable Care Act, the American people have become collateral damage in the latest Republican assault on the Presidency of Barack Obama. They have shutdown the federal government with smiles and glee in their heart — knowing, but not caring about the ramifications of such actions. Just as Robert E.… [Read more]

Dear Mrs. Vera: Please explain why people object to Obamacare.

Vera, with purple, wool do

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Please explain why people object to Obamacare.

Regards Sincerely,
Mrs. Petunia Kevorkian

Dear Please Put A Cork In It,

There are as many reasons for not liking something as there are people not to like out there, and our form of representational government insures that most of these unpleasant individuals will be front and center, right in the debate over Obamacare being held in the delightful thought experiment known affectionately, when you are trying to get in its pants, or abusively, if it lets you get into its pants, as Congress.… [Read more]

Ending the “Doctor Shortage”

navydoc

We Americans do not have the world’s “best” health care, just the most expensive.

Health Care reform must consider skyrocketing costs if any progress is made. We walk a tightrope between cost and quality.

When I slung gin over the bar, one learnt rather quickly from frazzled nurses that “M.D.” too often stood for “Me, Doctor!”  The human body is a complex beastie, but we need choices other than which expired medico to raise from the dead, Dr.… [Read more]

Going Around in Circles

Going around in circles

The title of this week’s “Say It In Song” pick is one that came to mind several times, one of which was during President Obama’s press conference at which he talked about progress being made in states that have accepted the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

If the states would allow for the Medicare expansion, and let the ACA do what it’s supposed to do, the forces of competition will help to do what is currently happening in California: insurance companies working within the healthcare exchanges and their exorbitant premiums are competitive.… [Read more]

Fairness and Equality

Prodigal Son

The other day, I listened to a priest talk about the Parable of the Prodigal Son. As he spoke, I started to think about what it really means to be a Christian and a human being in America today.

By no means am I a religious person, but the philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth has always been one of my guiding lights.… [Read more]

“It’s a Sad Day for Conservatives,” a.k.a Good news for healthcare reform

rickscott-shot

The  attention-grabbing title, “I am very disappointed in Governor Rick Scott” was enough to let me know that I would soon have something to smile about. Red State’s Eric Erickson’s morning e-newsletter said the following:

I was one of the few national conservatives to support Governor Scott in 2010 during his primary. He is a fundamentally great person.[Read more]

Are We Better Off?

For this week’s wrap up, filmmaker Gene Cartwright’s video provides a succinct response. The 2012 answer to Ronald Reagan’s 1980 Campaign question to President Jimmy Carter is clear. At no time can every individual in America answer,”yes” but this short film provides a fact-filled answer that no reasonable questioner can deny. Without the actions presented in the video, the nation would most certainly be MUCH worse off.… [Read more]

Canadian Health Care – Lesson Two

Hockey Health Care for all! The Canadian Way

SOCIALISM!!! For the Tea Party loonies, it is the maple leaf-shaped shadow, the dark spectre of Johnny Canuck that looms larger and ever southward to scare the living bejeezus out of the red staters, a foul-faced harbinger of American healthcare doom. Yer near and yet so far obedient scribe is certain the sad charade masquerading as contemporary US health care debate is driven by the eye-popping ability of the supposed pundits to twist and torture a simple concept beyond any sensible meaning.… [Read more]

The Choice: A Writer’s Dilemma

2firefighters

What should I write about this week?

I was thinking about my topic for this week’s column and trying to figure out what I should write about. There has been so much outrage perpetrated by the Republicans this week; and well, I just couldn’t decide.  Here are some possible topics…

Should I write about the three weekend fundraisers for Mitt Romney that were held in the Hamptons – that posh playground of the 1% – this last weekend, where one anonymous wealthy woman commented (from the comfort and privacy of her $80,000-plus Land Rover luxury sport vehicle) about how we, the “common people,” like her “college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies — everybody who’s got the right to vote…” — how we “don’t understand what’s going on.” She believes that because we’re poor, we obviously aren’t as smart and educated as she is, and therefore, we totally don’t understand why the rich should have even more tax cuts and we commoners should stop complaining about how tough our tiny little lives are.… [Read more]

Wrap It Up, July 1, 2012

Time for Change

We started the week with a simple question: “Where’s the humanity?” What made us think about this was an article from an overseas newspaper that reported a man died because of the lack of access to health care — caused, in part, by policy. We found ourselves understanding that processes and procedures allow organisations to run more efficiently, but when those same means of operational effectiveness result in loss of life, all for the sake of following codes, then those procedures should be re-evaluated.… [Read more]

Obamacare is the Law of the Land: The Battle Begins

supreme-court-health-care-law

Today the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favour of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as “Obamacare”. Surprisingly, Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the more liberal justices when he provided the fifth vote in this 5-4 decision that argues the federal government can require citizens to buy health insurance or face a fine. Chief Justice Roberts said in the decision:

“Our precedent demonstrates that Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A (the individual mandate) under the taxing power, and that Section 5000A need not be read to do more than impose a tax.… [Read more]

Romney Revealed – Yet Again!

Image: ThinkProgress.com "Outsourcer in Chief"

Several news media have suggested that Mitt Romney cannot win the presidency without the Latino vote. I’m not so sure about this, as what matters is voter turnout.

As we all know now, President Obama, fed up with the do nothing, obstructionist Congress, acted on his own by issuing an executive order stopping deportation of young Latinos, and allowing them to continue in college.… [Read more]

Money Trails

Money

We hear a lot every election cycle (particularly the federal elections) about lousy voter turnout. In 2010 (a non-Presidential election), less than 40% of the voting-age population actually showed up or walked to the mailbox to cast a ballot. The 2008 Presidential election brought a higher turnout, but it was still less than 60%. For a nation hell-bent on “love it or leave it” patriotism, voter apathy among Americans seems rampant.… [Read more]