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IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

Posted by nikoleta (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 7, 13 at 11:15

This is what "If you like your health plan you can keep it" looks like under Obamacare.

FTA: "IBM's shift is an indication that health-insurance marketplaces, similar to the public exchanges proposed under President Barack Obama's health-care overhaul, will play a bigger role as companies move coverage down the path taken by many pensions, paying employees and retirees a fixed sum to manage their own care.

In notices signed by Chief Health Director Kyu Rhee, IBM has told retirees in recent weeks that to keep receiving coverage, they will need to pick a plan offered through Extend Health, a large private Medicare exchange run by New York-based Towers Watson & Co.

Medicare is the federally administered system of health insurance for people age 65 and over, and the disabled. Some people buy Medicare Advantage plans, administered by private insurers, and others buy policies to cover gaps in Medicare coverage.

IBM told retirees that its current retiree coverage will end for Medicare-eligible retirees after Dec. 31, 2013, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and confirmed by IBM.

"Cost increases under our current retirement group health care plan are no longer sustainable for you," IBM said in the notices. "Health care costs under IBM's current plan options for Medicare eligible retirees will nearly triple by 2020, significantly impacting your premium and out of pocket costs," the notice said.

Exchanges such as Extend Health generally present policies from a range of insurers and let participants choose what best meets their needs and budgets. The aim is to create competition that keeps costs down.

Instead of subsidizing retiree health premiums directly, IBM will give retirees an annual contribution via a health retirement account that they can use to buy Medicare Advantage plans and supplemental Medicare policies on the exchange, as well as pay for other medical expenses. Retirees who don't enroll in a plan through Extend Health won't receive the subsidy.

Some companies began experimenting with exchanges around eight years ago after accounting changes forced public corporations to disclose future health-care obligations."

Here is a link that might be useful: source


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

So, in your opinion, if Obamacare is repealed, before it takes effect next year, corporate America will backpedal? To where they were 8 years ago? When they started using exchanges?


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

You should hear what they did to their ACTIVE employees' 401K plan.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

I must have missed something. Did the ACA mandate businesses make no changes to their company paid benefit plans?

Is it unusual in past years to have companies change their plans because of the rising costs to them?


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Ack! my 'cover' is blown! LOL

IBM has directed us to ExtendHealth (insurance exchange) to set up Medigap, Part D, Dental and Vision insurance for 2014. We have a telephone appointment to talk with an exchange counselor in mid-October. By that time IBM will have decided what it will contribute to an HRA (Health Reimbursement Arrangement -- tax free 'help' we can apply to premiums or other health-related costs). They will continue to pay almost half of our Part B premiums. My DH's pension will continue.

This is going to be a change from the group rate health coverage we got through IBM for years; we paid $744 total for our Medigap "Plan F" equivalent for 2013. Remains to be seen just how much more we will pay, but we've saved thousands over the years.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 7, 13 at 14:51

No, really, we need to keep things as they are - you know, like with me paying $15,500 for my 2013 coverage.

The insurance companies need my money more than I do, and when the new health system starts they (and everybody else) are all going to be forced out of business by it.

Even though the bill was watered down to suit the insurers.


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This, of course, is all Obama's fault and the "horses" that brought him to power and reelected him. So shut up and take out a second mortgage on your yacht to pay for health insurance and demand that Obamacare be defunded.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 7, 13 at 17:55

I would if I had a yacht. Have had to use the money for medical insurance payments instead, which will then pay for a yacht for somebody at the insurance company.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

bboy,

don't get too excited about affordable health care.

Our current premium with Anthem is $1,338.00.

For like coverage on the Ohio exchange with Anthem, Aetna, or Ohio Health, it's $1,285.00

That's affordable health care? What has changed? The insurance companies got exactly what they requested of Mr. Obama. Bring us more customers!


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

But brush, can you be denied for any pre-existing condition anymore? What about lifetime caps? Still have those?


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What about deductibles and copays, brush?


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What about the grand kids Brush........can't be denied for any reason, no life time limits, able to stay on their parents insurance until age 26.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 7, 13 at 22:12

I'm paying $1220/month just for me. And in recent years there has been a big jump every year - I think last year was the year I was paying $836.

It's untenable.


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How on earth do you manage that?

Single payer, I say, single payer......it works


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

Edited to remove duplicate post.....even though it bears repeating

This post was edited by chase on Sat, Sep 7, 13 at 22:25


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

How on earth do you manage that?

That's the question you need to ask, not about copay!

People who are covered on employer plans have no idea how we do it!

Copay today is $35/$60 (specialists).
Exchange is $65/$95
Coinsurance on exchange is 20% after meeting deductible.
Current coinsurance is 0 after meeting deductible.

I've never been denied for pre-existing conditions because I have always been insured. Most people who do have conditions and aren't on a plan, won't be able to afford a plan. That's why they are not insured.

Did you all know there is a surcharge for pre-existing conditions? I think it's $65 per person, per month, per condition. Add that on to premium.

Of course there are some changes to be thankful for, "if"...."IF", you can afford the premium to entitle you to those changes. Without paying the high premium and having coverage, pre-existing, age 26 benefit, free screenings, etc. add up to zero benefits.

Example.

If a woman can't afford health insurance but receives the free screening (mammogram) and discovers she has DCIS.

How does she pay for the $40,000 treatment? Credit card? Home equity loan?

It's like golf course membership. You get free golf on Friday "if" you can pay the $26,500 per year membership. :(

Ask anyone who is 55 and older and not insured by company plan, if they can afford to pay what I'm paying or what bboy is paying. I know their answer. So do you.

This post was edited by brushworks on Sun, Sep 8, 13 at 8:16


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At the link is actual pricing for silver and bronze plans, including those for people who are 60 yrs old, around the country.

A lot of it depends on income and the subsidy - if any.

Here is a link that might be useful: link


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Wow..if only I was 40, and earning below poverty level wages.

If only.....LOL


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Just one more example of people losing income and being denied health care benefits.

A group of substitute teachers in Mercer County have been told that national health care reform may take a large bite out of their earnings potential.

The Hamilton school district has told its substitute teachers they will be limited to working a maximum of four days a week in the coming school year because of the federal health reform law’s future requirement that full-time employees be provided with health insurance.

A memo mailed to the substitutes in late June said that the restriction resulted from a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that will require employers to provide affordable health insurance for full-time employees and their dependents. Full-time is defined as an average of 30 or more hours per week.

“This memorandum will serve as official notice that, as of the 2013-2014 school year, strict limits will be placed on the number of working hours of part-time/temporary employees,” read the letter signed by director of human resources Katherine Shilenok-Wright.

Unintended consequences.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

That news story makes no sense.


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Scroll down further, Brushworks.

A couple, 60 years old, earning $30,000 a year would pay $150 for the second least expensive silver plan.


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David,

$30,000.00 a year? And the deductible is? Obviously the premium is lowered by taxpayer supported subsidies. I don't qualify for that plan. No tax credits for us.

JZ...the story does make sense. They are preparing for 2015.

Read the story and tell me why it doesn't make sense.

Here is a link that might be useful: Trenton


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It's President Obama not "Mr. Obama" except to the haters.


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The Hamilton school district has told its substitute teachers they will be limited to working a maximum of four days a week in the coming school year because of the federal health reform law’s future requirement that full-time employees be provided with health .

These are substitute teachers who are already part time. So they are not getting health insurance now and they won't be getting it in the future. They are part time employees now and will continue to be part time employees in the future. So what has changed?

The only thing that has changed is that now those part time employees will be able to buy their own health insurance. For the life of me, I can't understand why that would bother anyone.

Scoundrel employers are using Obamacare as an excuse to stiff their employees. They should be ashamed.


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It's President Obama not "Mr. Obama" except to the haters.

But since your cowardly, hypocritical self failed to correct Marshall's "Obama", shall I assume you still fear him? LOL


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Brush, you might want to check out the article at the link, talking about the huge decreases in premiums in Ohio, even without the subsidy.

Here is a link that might be useful: link


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You know, david, it's going to be tricky for all those anti-Obamacare people to get off of one bandwagon and on to another one. The Forbes guy seems to be getting ahead of the story. There are going to be a whole bunch of conservatives fancy-dancing when the premiums start going down. Will they start coming up with stories about how they were for it all along and were just misunderstood? Can't wait to see that performance.


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Of course it makes sense, JZ. I'll walk you through it.

Some subs are very good, and they're the first ones called every morning. Most school districts have 50 or more employees, which means if they allow an individual sub to work 30 or more hours per week, they're obligated to provide insurance to the tune of several thousand dollars just for that one sub. That's an unnecessary burden employers don't have to accept. They're rewriting schedules and cutting hours across the country, as conservatives warned they would. The predicted job losses continue as predicted, and liberals are still in denial that Obamacare is hurting workers.

Hope you have a clearer understanding now. What the district is doing makes perfect sense.


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if they allow an individual sub to work 30 or more hours per week,

Oh goody - this is one of my favorite subjects to rant on - the treatment of part time workers. If a sub is working more than 30 hours a week, he or she SHOULD be treated as a full time employee. This is a BS back door method to treating substitute teachers unfairly and I think it should be illegal. Believe me, teaching is not the only industry where this this sleaziness takes place.


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Isn't it great that the substitute teachers will now be able to get affordable health insurance via the exchanges, without messing with employers?

They never had it before.


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That too. What could anyone possibly have against people being able to get health insurance?


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Some subs are very good, and they're the first ones called every morning.

Why not make them employees then?


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jerzeegirl -- I won't know if IBM has ceased to act in our best interests until October. That's when they will reveal how much of a subsidy they will pay on the insurance plans we choose via ExtendHealth. We are already thousands of dollars ahead, having had very low premiums for very good polices during all the years DH was an employee and all the years he has been retired.

I've never understood how US businesses can be competitive if they must fund health insurance for their employees. Businesses in other countries don't have that burden. It's been unfair internally too because huge corporations like IBM could negotiate lower group rates.

Waiting to see what's next!


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Without any kind of government interference, aka the Affordable Care Act, people like myself would go on being uninsured, unable to afford even the cheapest health insurance or pay the outrageous co-pays, and wouldn't even be eligible if we could afford something due to many pre-existing problems. We'd live with the constant hope that nothing would happen to us, requiring any kind of expensive treatment or hospital stays.

What kind of a country do we live in where only people who earn a fair to decent income can get the health care they actually need, and people who earn low incomes are left out in the cold?

This is going to be a wonderful thing for us! I only wish it could have been better.


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We are already thousands of dollars ahead, having had very low premiums for very good polices during all the years DH was an employee and all the years he has been retired.

That is definitely the way to look at it! Let us know how it turns out for you.


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Jodi I understand because I went through the insurance issues with my daughter. She was still in college and when she could no longer be on my employment insurance we could not get insurance because of her asthma. I had to pay doctors and all health benefits out of pocket until she got through law school.

I will never understand why these nah sayers are so upset as if the insurance companies were the virtue of providers. That the rates were not going up so high every year that corporations were already cutting people due to rising cost of insurance.

The insurance had gotten so high many companies were not offering insurance and if they did, they did not offer the employees that benefit until they had worked for the company for 6 months to a year.

It is the law I understand the hatred of President Obama but I so wish people would get over this issue and understand people are out there in need of health care.

It was getting unaffordable or impossible to get for many including babies that could not be cared for because profit was the insurance companies bottom line. Channel the hatred in another direction for goodness sakes.


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It's that if you like your present insurance you can keep it...ummm nope. Now Time Warner has announced they will no longer provide insurance for their retirees as well. I just don't understand why unions are so unhappy over Obamacare now?


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mrskjun -- Exactly who do you think jacks up the health insurance rates? Clue: It's not the government. How do you think 'health care' has become so expensive in the USA? Clue: There's no governmental control on doctors or hospitals or pharamceutical companies to charge as they please -- except within Medicare and Medicaid. Why do other first world nations enjoy better health for less? (Oh, there is is again, government controls!)


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"If a sub is working more than 30 hours a week, he or she SHOULD be treated as a full time employee.

Nonetheless, I have explained to you how Obamacare robs substitute teachers of the opportunity to work a five day week.

It doesn't have to "make sense" to you. It only has to make sense to employers, and of course it does.

Obamacare is an unnecessary expense they can avoid by simply rewriting schedules.

Is there any part of the story you still don't get?


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Just think. Obamacare will remove the requirement for corporate employment to obtain affordable, group health care. That means that if you're stuck in some job you hate because its the only way you can get insurance, because you had cancer 14 years ago, now you can quit and go find your own affordable policy.


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Nonetheless, I have explained to you how Obamacare robs substitute teachers of the opportunity to work a five day week.

Let's get this straight. The only people who are robbing substitute teachers are their employers.


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Just think. If only.

How about a child is born with a heart defect and the parents caring for their child and the insurance will no longer pay because that child has capped his/her lifetime medical coverage amount. I guess some would prefer the child no longer receive medical treatments for the rest of his/her life.

Remember ..................... During the Republican Debate, Ron Paul was asked about a hypothetical young man without insurance who gets sick. Ron Paul said you have to live by your choices.

When the moderator asked, "So we should let him die?" and then the audience started wildly cheering, "Yea, let him die!".


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How about a child who is born with a birth defect and can't get any insurance because thats a pre-condition?


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My question is ...what options, solutions do you have theta are better?

All this slamming and never one ide about what to do to fix the issues with healthcare in the US.

Of course you don;t need any solutions if you think what you have is just fine.

Is that what you think? It's fine the way it is? If not what grand ideas do you have to fix the problems?

It's easy, way easy, to criticize , much harder to find solutions...much , much harder.


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Let's get this straight. The only people who are robbing substitute teachers are their employers.

Yep.


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"Let's get this straight. The only people who are robbing substitute teachers are their employers."

Nonsense. Employers are simply following the law Democrats wrote. Employers not offering insurance are prohibited BY LAW from hiring full time workers. Looming enforcement of this idiotic mandate has "changed the calculus" for employers, just as we knew it would.

Inexplicably, an administration that loves to say "calculus" forgot that employers, unlike the bumbling politicians who passed the law, have to make "the calculus" work. They're not going to stand by and let Democrats saddle them with tens of thousands of dollars in unnecessary expenses. They're going to do the rational thing, and rewrite their schedules.



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Employers not offering insurance are prohibited BY LAW from hiring full time workers.

So employers are going to cut off their nose to spite their face. Only the stupid ones will.

Also you are disseminating incorrect information. Employers not offering health insurance are not prohibited by law from hiring full time workers. That is an absolutely ridiculous statement. Tell you what, why don't you do some research and come back when you actually know what you are talking about.

This post was edited by jerzeegirl on Wed, Sep 11, 13 at 18:46


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"Employers not offering health insurance are not prohibited by law from hiring full time workers."

Nonsense. Employers who fail to provide insurance to full time workers as required by law, will suffer the consequences Democrats prescribed when they wrote the law. It's not new information, and you should have known this years ago.


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You are in a persistent misinformed state of mind.


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At the link are the facts about the employer mandate.

Here is a link that might be useful: link


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I wish any lurkers that believe nik is spouting bunk would speak up. Because obviously nik thinks someone out there believes her. We all know it's none of us.


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For once I'd like Nik to offer a positive solution to all that she rails against instead of continually tearing down, being negative and slamming everything.

I have never heard one positive idea from her in 5 years...not one.


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Thank you for posting that link, David.

JZ, If you want to understand what you currently do not, David's linked article is a good place to start.

Esh, I would refer you to the same article.

Relax, chase. Democrats are expecting nothing more than a few minor glitches. In a matter of days, obamacare will speak for itself, as folks experience it first hand. The American people will take it from there.

The gnashing of teeth should be hilarious over the next year, as middle class dupes come to terms with what obamacare is really costing them.

Here is a link that might be useful: How employers comply with obamacare


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Nik, how would you like to see health care dealt with in the US ?


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Employers not offering insurance are prohibited BY LAW from hiring full time workers.

This is the statement you made.

It is totally false.

There is no prohibition BY LAW from hiring anyone you damn please.

Employees with under 50 employees (96% of the companies in the US) don't have to provide insurance.

Employers with over 50 employees (only 4% of the companies in the US) may be penalized for not providing health insurance, but hiring full time workers is not prohibited by law as you state.

Do you really think the government is going to start dictating to businesses which workers they can or can't hire or if it imposed prohibitions on hiring based on their lack of insurance.


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In a matter of days, obamacare will speak for itself, as folks experience it first hand

What I wonder (besides of course Chase's question about what nik would like to see done about healthcare here in the US) is what will be nik's next thing to repeat over and over until she can't. You know, like 'had enough yet America'. Well, America answered that question in the 2012 election. And I think we'll answer the question of ObamaCare by being happy more people can get health insurance. And we'll be behind making changes to the system to improve it, and perhaps getting us to single payer one day. Instead of what nik likes to do which is find it "hilarious" that people want to improve the state of healthcare in this country.

And now that I think about it, I think nik has answered chase's question. She'd like to do nothing. If you can't afford healthcare you're a loser that doesn't deserve it. Should have made better decisions in your life. Because doing nothing is better than having to pay one penny towards someone else getting healthcare, right?


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I thought that " Do Nothing" was the GOP's healthcare plan. At the moment, they seem to like the idea of a delay rather than defunding. I don't think a delay is going to happen regardless of what they try to hold hostage.


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There is probably going to be some kind of delay. 12 million union members aren't happy with Obamacare. So seems the only answer is to kick the can down the road. Doesn't have a thing to do with the GOP.


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Just wishful thinking on your part mrsk. On October 1, the exchanges will open and people will start buying health insurance and it will be the beginning of a new era in this country.


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"Just wishful thinking on your part mrsk. On October 1, the exchanges will open and people will start buying health insurance and it will be the beginning of a new era in this country."

Is that wishful thinking on the part of Mrs? Saying one believes that something will happen doesn't mean one wishes it so, necessarily. This post is asserting how Mrs feels; something we cannot know unless we rely on her say-so. I don't see where Mrs posted that she wishes "There is probably going to be some kind of delay."

If I say "It's probably going to freeze my garden tonight," it sure doesn't mean I wish for this to happen. It just means that I think it will probably happen. There's a difference, no?

I think it's perfectly okay to not be optimistic about any given situation, just as it's okay to say everything's going to work out fine.


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Interesting perspective from Gingrich.........he is bang on. No positive ideas, no alternatives , just nay saying.

For the life of me I cannot understand how intelligent people cannot understand that if they don't like what has been legitimately passed into law they need to offer viable alternatives to replace it.

Mind you that assumes intelligent people with viable solutions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Newt calls it like it is


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Elvis: Bzzzzzz. Swat.


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"Employers with over 50 employees (only 4% of the companies in the US) may be penalized for not providing health insurance, but hiring full time workers is not prohibited by law as you state."

Wrong. The key word is "penalized." Look it up.


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"Nik, how would you like to see health care dealt with in the US ?"

Openly. Like we were promised.


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Care to share any specifics of how you seeing health care being reformed ?


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It's a hoot to hear people complain that business still has to pay some of the health care bill.

What happened to all the cries of "Socialism" when we wanted single payer?

Maybe they have to drink this watered-down medicine before they can will accept a real 'cure'.


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Nik, Do you have a dictionary? Well if you do open it first to the word prohibited and read what it says. When you are done open it to the word penalized and read what it says.

Prohibited means something is illegal and against the law. Penalized means you pay a fee and move on. They even have a name for this fee. I am sure some companies will pay the fee and others will choose to get insurance for their employees. Regardless of which they choose, they will still be able to hire the employees they want (no matter what you think).


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"Openly"

What do you mean by that, nik, as applicable to the sentence "how would you like to see health care dealt with in the US ?"


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Been there, done that.

Americans said hands off our health care, but the politicians didn't listen. Instead of looking at ways to help the minority of folks without insurance, Democrats chose to create a massive, intrusive bureaucracy and impose it on an unwilling public.

The system that worked for most of us no longer exists as employers decide on which changes make the most business sense. There is nothing Americans can do to stop the train wreck, nor return their full time jobs as long as Obamacare is the law of the land.

But it's OK. We have an election coming up in little more than a year. If folks think they are better off with Obamacare, there is nothing to be fixed. If folks dumped into exchanges have better plans than the ones they lost, there is nothing to be fixed. If people who lost full time jobs are happy, there is nothing to be fixed. If the people are not pleased with what Obamacare has done, they will want politicians to do something about that.

It's all good. We have an exceptional system of government designed to remove leaders who lose touch with their constituents. It was also designed to move slowly. We just have to be patient.


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Unfortunately, some who who lost full time jobs don't care.

They are being subsidized by the people who do have full time jobs and kind of like sleeping in.


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Ah, nik, still stinging over the 2012 election? "designed to move slowly?" What happened to the crowing success of the 2010 election? That one moved swiftly you said then, now it is moving slowly?

Which is it? Or is it perhaps that voters thought that Republicans would actually serve them when elected 2010, help with the jobs/economy thing, only to find out they had no intention of doing so .... Doesn't seem like Republicans are going much further along that road so I doubt 2014 will be the success you think it will.

But that's only, you can keep up the "designed to move slowly" spiel then too.


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Why should American businesses continue to be burdened with the health care costs of their employees when businesses in other nations are not? Some third world nations have next-to-none or no concern about their citizens' care, and most compassionate first world nations have single-payer health insurance.


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I thought Nik & Demi's posts were sensible and coherent. The fact that someone disagrees/doesn't like them is irrelevant as to whether or not they stated truth.

"Ah, nik, still stinging over the 2012 election? "designed to move slowly?" What happened to the crowing success of the 2010 election?"

Now Esh, what was the point to asking Nik if she was "still stinging over the 2012 election?"

As to this: "That one moved swiftly you said then, now it is moving slowly?" Did Nik actually say that? Seriously; enquiring minds want to know.


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Does anybody ever dare envisage a health care system where your health insurance is separate from your employment?

So, if you don't like working at your present job, you can just quit and go look for a better job, or become self-employed, without having to lose your health insurance and risk devastating bankruptcy if something untoward happens?

Wouldn't that make our society more free?


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Unfortunately keeping health care status quo is not an option.

Employers cannot sustain the increased cost by the insurance carriers. They will, and have been, transferring more and more of that cost to the employee and/or limiting coverage.

Government employee health insurance costs are skyrocketing and that is being passed to the taxpayer.

It has zero to do with Obamacare, although there are some who refuse to look at the situation with an open mind, and everything to do with a for profit industry that has been out of control for decades.

chisue, single payer does not necessarily mean that employers are not contributing to healthcare costs. In Ontario a large portion of our single payer system is paid for through a payroll tax for companies with more than 20 employees.


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"designed to move slowly?"

Absolutely, esh. Expand your knowledge base and learn something new. Look it up.
Hi Elvis, Thanks for the kind words. I think most of the posters here have good hearts, even though some seem to struggle more than others with attacking ideas instead of other posters.


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Ah nik ... if only you had a mirror you would see yourself in those very words.


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Brings to mind "I'm rubber and you're glue, everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you." Everyone you imagine Nik criticizing being rubber (mirror), naturally.

But maybe that's just me. ;-)


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I think most of the posters here have good hearts, even though some seem to struggle more than others with attacking ideas instead of other posters.

*

Talk about giving people the benefit of the doubt!

YOU win the good heart award, Nik!

I've always said that health care should not be married to employment.

Unfortunately, for the few that were uninsured something could have been offered without taking choices away from people that were happy with their coverage.

But, the intent was not to insure the uninsured.

The intent was to take away choices from the producers and to redistribute wealth, and reduce health care and choices for the producers.

Redistribute misery.

What Democrats do best.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

David, it doesn't make sense that someone should be forced into working a job they hate just to maintain health coverage, or affordable health coverage.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

Chase -- Aren't the businesses just *collecting* the health care taxes for the government -- same as the grocery collects taxes on non-food items it sells? Are businesses with over 20 employees required to contribute to the costs, beyond the cost of collection/payment?

My DH and I *collect* 13.42% of taxes from guests renting our Maui condo -- and pay them to the state and county.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

The intent was to take away choices from the producers and to redistribute wealth, and reduce health care and choices for the producers.

Since you don't have a job, what do you know about what's going on out here in the trenches. Definitely not what you think or are spouting.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

Chisue no , the payroll tax is a percent of their payroll paid by them to the government specifically for healthcare .

In Ontario health premiums are not deducted from employees pay cheques.

Individuals contribute towards the cost of health care via their income tax.

In short health care is funded two ways. One by corporations via a payroll tax and the other directly by the individual via income tax.

Corporations are actually OK with paying the health care payroll tax as it is considerably cheaper than providing the health care insurance themselves.

Many large corporations say it is one of the reason they look favourably on Canadian expansions. Their healthcare costs are so much more affordable than in the States.

NOTE: Tis is just Ontario. I don't know how other provinces fund health care.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

"David, it doesn't make sense that someone should be forced into working a job they hate just to maintain health coverage, or affordable health coverage."

Unintended consequences coming from a program started by that great Socialist in the Sky, FDR.

His legacy lives on.

Hay


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

The system that worked for most of us no longer exists...

Just as I suspected. I had mine, screw anyone that didn't have theirs. And turn a blind eye to the fact that the current system was not sustainable, and you wouldn't have yours either for much longer.

Typical.

I guess we have our answer to chase's question and finally nik admits she didn't want anything to change. Because she had hers.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

Elections DO have consequences. The ACA was NEVER about affordability or "care." Just another in-your-face progressive control tactic.

And hey, don't ya think it's kinda comforting to know the IRS will be in charge of enforcing/collecting payments....as well as having ALL your personal financial and health info at their disposal, as well as 8 other Federal agencies - according to my Congressman.

Stealth wealth redistribution at its finest, eh?

Welcome to the reality of AmeriKa and Big Brother.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

Posted by jerzeegirl 9 (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 16, 13 at 9:49

The intent was to take away choices from the producers and to redistribute wealth, and reduce health care and choices for the producers.

Since you don't have a job, what do you know about what's going on out here in the trenches. Definitely not what you think or are spouting.

*

Your post for no reason other than to attempt to dismiss my opinion because you think you know something about my personal life is pathetic, and inappropriate.

That fact has nothing to do with the validity of my opinion about this topic and the fact that I am entitled to share my opinion. If you don't agree with it you could have scrolled on by, but you got nasty.

Par for the course with you, JZ.

You seldom miss a chance to get nasty with me when I've done nothing but give my opinion.

Ain't you tired miss jerzee ain't you tired?


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

"Unfortunately, for the few that were uninsured something could have been offered without taking choices away from people that were happy with their coverage."

Exactly right. The system worked, and most Americans were insured.

Two weeks from today, the minority of Americans in whose interests the old system was sacrificed will have options they did not have previously. They will be pleased.

As the majority discovers it is losing options it once enjoyed don't expect it to be pleased with the new system, or the politicians responsible for imposing it upon them.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

And when people have coverage they never could have had before, will they be pleased with the Republican politicians that voted over 40 times to take it away?

Always a gamble ....


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

And what happened when Eric Cantor proposed legislation that would help people with pre-conditions get health insurance.

Teaparty: ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

Par for the course with you, JZ.

And par for you is pontificating about everything under the sun whether you know what's happening or not.

I have health insurance and NOTHING IS CHANGING! None of my colleagues' insurance is changing. Why would you make such a blanket statement that does not apply across the board? To cause trouble that's why, miss demi.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

Posted by jerzeegirl 9 (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 17, 13 at 14:39

Par for the course with you, JZ.

And par for you is pontificating about everything under the sun whether you know what's happening or not.

I have health insurance and NOTHING IS CHANGING! None of my colleagues' insurance is changing. Why would you make such a blanket statement that does not apply across the board? To cause trouble that's why, miss demi.

*

It's a sad commentary that the fact that I gave my opinion about Obamacare on an opinion forum causes you trouble.

You obviously aren't tolerant of the opinions of others unless they agree with yours. I find you're seldom able to not make a nasty comment if someone's opinion differs from yours.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

You would know, demi; you would know.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

Posted by jerzeegirl 9 (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 17, 13 at 15:43

You would know, demi; you would know.

*

No, I don't make personal comments like you do when people only give their opinion, as in making disparaging remarks about what you consider my "glaring lack of compassion" when I tout personal responsibility.

There are many others through the years.

It's not enough to give your opinion, you have to disparage me and others, personally, for giving ours.

So, no, I don't do what you do.

God bless.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

as in making disparaging remarks about what you consider my "glaring lack of compassion" when I tout personal responsibility. I guess that really hit a nerve, since it was said three years ago, and you continue to bring it up. Why does that bother you so much? If it's not true, most people would just ignore it.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

There will undoubtedly be some growing pains and perceived unfairnesses with the Affordable Care Act, but overall it will be a great benefit to people. Make a note to re-read this thread about two years from now when all the paranoia and the anecdotal, isolated stories that are supposed to prove how bad the ACA is have withered away, and all the doomsayers have hopefully moved on to some new, imagined disaster or conspiracy....


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

Posted by jerzeegirl 9 (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 17, 13 at 16:17

as in making disparaging remarks about what you consider my "glaring lack of compassion" when I tout personal responsibility. I guess that really hit a nerve, since it was said three years ago, and you continue to bring it up. Why does that bother you so much? If it's not true, most people would just ignore it.

*

I'm not surprised you don't understand because I question whether you have the capacity, or at the least the desire, to put yourself in someone else's shoes that does not think lock step with you, at least from what I have seen from yourpostings on this forum.

What you said about me could not be FURTHER from the truth, and THAT is why it stuck with me.

Until you said that I had never met anyone that didn't know anything about me and attacked my character falsely, to my face, for no reason at all other than they disagreed with my politics.

THAT stuck with me, and the fact that you continue to do it.

However, there have been many others that exhibit behavior such as yours.

They've all been on this forum.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

What you said about me could not be FURTHER from the truth, and THAT is why it stuck with me.

\Maybe it's the way you express yourself but to some it comes off as a callousness that is really kind of shocking. You can say whatever you want about me - I don't care and believe me I am not going to bring it up three years from now.

Furthermore, I don't want to put myself in your shoes. I spent my entire life trying to avoid being in shoes like yours. I don't want to think like you, just as you don't want to think like me. I think we can agree on that.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

"Make a note to re-read this thread about two years from now when all the paranoia and the anecdotal, isolated stories that are supposed to prove how bad the ACA is have withered away, and all the doomsayers have hopefully moved on..."

I hope you are right, Kudzu. I don't imagine many of us cynical ones would take any satisfaction in saying 'I told you so.' I really don't believe anyone doesn't want the ACA to work, and work well. Some of us just don't believe it will, that's all. So sue me. ;-0


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

What you said about me could not be FURTHER from the truth, and THAT is why it stuck with me.

\Maybe it's the way you express yourself but to some it comes off as a callousness that is really kind of shocking. You can say whatever you want about me - I don't care and believe me I am not going to bring it up three years from now.

Furthermore, I don't want to put myself in your shoes. I spent my entire life trying to avoid being in shoes like yours. I don't want to think like you, just as you don't want to think like me. I think we can agree on that.

*

The thing is, I don't say personal things about you.

I only note when you say them about me.

I have absolutely no interest or need to say personally disparaging things about you for giving your opinion.

I can't say the same for you.

I hope there is never a day when I refuse to use my intellect to try and understand what it's like in someone else's shoes.

I guess each to his own.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

elvis-
I don't share your cynicism, but I find your point of view to be entirely valid. In 2 years, I'll buy you a beer if my optimism was unfounded. Hell, I'll buy you a beer even if it all works out pretty well!


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

Buckler's N.A., please ;-)


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

Buckler's N.A., please ;-)


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

"I hope there is never a day when I refuse to use my intellect to try and understand what it's like in someone else's shoes."

Somehow, I don't think that will be a problem for you, Demi.

"I have health insurance and NOTHING IS CHANGING! None of my colleagues' insurance is changing."

Sounds a lot like "I've got mine."

However, not everyone is as lucky as we are. There has been a devastating impact on a growing number of Americans. They've lost lost jobs, hours and insurance as employers look for the best way for their companies to comply with the dictates of the law.

Just because there are no changes for me does nothing to help the growing number of people being hurt.

Democrats expected employers to do something quite unlikely, and to take on unnecessary expenses they could avoid by simply rewriting their schedules. I quickly realized that calling thirty hours a week "full time" would distort multiple systems in our economy, leaving unskilled workers with even fewer opportunities to find full time work.

Democrats never saw any losses coming. Some here insisted scheduling is way too complex for employers to adjust in order to save money.

Of course, they were wrong.

Employers can hold off (or hold on) for another year, but eventually the law will catch up with them. Enjoy your uninterrupted insurance and employment for now. As you say, you still have yours. But don't get too comfortable. Your employer can still dump you and rewrite the schedule next year if it helps his bottom line.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

if it helps his bottom line

A concept that conservatives fully support. Don't tell businesses how to run their business! Let them make their own decisions based on what is good for them.

Now suddenly you are against such a move?


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

I just googled "republican plan to replace Obamacare" . It appears that the notion that the Republicans have offered no plan to replace Obamacare is wrong.

I have no idea how good the plan is because I haven't really looked into the details. I do know that Obamacare is incredibly complex with what appears to be as many twists and turns as tax laws have. I expect it that there will be many unintended consequences of the law similar to companies moving to part time employees instead of full time.

Before anyone repeats the media's claim that the Republicans have not offered an alternative, I suggest you do some research.

Here is a link that might be useful: Plan to replace Obamacare


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

from your link:

"And yet when Republicans talk about health care, few actually point to Price’s bill as an alternative plan, which only reinforces the perception that the GOP has no plan beyond repealing Obamacare. “No,” Price laughs when asked if his plan has gotten the attention it deserves. Why not?

“Health care is complex, and most people don’t want to necessarily deal with it until they’re either forced to, or there is a clear path forward for it,” he says. “What we have proposed is a comprehensive solution to the health-care challenges that we face. But as the political winds blow, right now most folks are looking at Obamacare and saying, ‘Well, let’s see what happens.’”

Republicans are divided on the question of how best to achieve their ultimate goal of full repeal and have had trouble reaching a consensus on most issues relating to health care. In April, after conservatives revolted, House leadership was forced to abruptly cancel a vote on a health-care-reform measure championed by Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.); the measure would have created high-risk pools for individuals with pre-existing conditions."

As well as the Ryan plan of "saving" Medicare by giving everyone over 65 a voucher for $10,000 and letting them find their own insurance on the individual, private for-profit insurance market.

Given that at age 60, $10,000 will get you a high deductible policy that covers relatively little, I wonder what the premiums would be when you're 70. Or 80. Or 90.

I wouldn't discount the current ideology permeating much of the right - that gvt has no business in health care, that excluding people with pre-conditions is fine, and that further deregulation of the for-profit insurance markets is the way to go.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

Before anyone repeats the media's claim that the Republicans have not offered an alternative, I suggest you do some research.

Then why are they not promoting the crap out of it? They should be. It would give them a TON more credibility.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

How about this?

Here is a link that might be useful: RCS American Healthcare Reform Act


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

I don't know esh...maybe they don't want to spend 3.9 million dollars of taxpayers money promoting their plan, like they are doing in Oregon with Obamacare. That money could feed a lot of needy people in that state.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

They spend plenty of money that I don't agree with ... but the fact is if they have a plan and they don't talk about it, show how it is better than Obamacare ... as far as I concerned then they don't have a plan.

And I'm sure a little money isn't what is holding them back. They have friends with very deep pockets. Sheldon Adelson? Koch brothers?


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

The second one is more of the same push to further deregulate the medical insurance industry - get rid of individual state regulations, allow companies to sell what ever across state lines, and not replace the regulators with something at the federal level.

And again, for the high-risk pool, that was shot down in flames by the current crop of radials in the House when Cantor proposed something similar.

Until the wingnut ideologues get out of there, nothing is going to happen except make it all worse.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

It may be that specific Republicans have a plan but the Party does not.

If they had a plan they could get behind they would be using it to support their mission to repeal Obamacare.

If they have a plan, why have they not offered up even one single amendment to the existing plan? Why do they have 40 some votes to repeal and no votes to replace?

If they indeed do have a plan then they are incompetent in how they are managing their "fight".


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

I think the Republican Study Committee (RSC) should keep on studying. Maybe it will keep them busy and out of the way while some effective health care reform occurs....


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

But don't get too comfortable. Your employer can still dump you and rewrite the schedule next year if it helps his bottom line.

As they have always been able to do. And they've always defined full time at around 30 hours to avoid paying all kinds of benefits. Not just healthcare. Where've you been? Corporations have been screwing their employees for a very long time to improve the executive's bank accounts. All of a sudden you have a problem with that and blame it on Obama. Your logic is bizarre, to be kind.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

"A concept that conservatives fully support."

The bottom line is not a political concept. It is a basic business concept.

"It may be that specific Republicans have a plan but the Party does not."

At this point, it doesn't matter. Obamacare is the law of the land. The people deserve to live with the "signature achievement" Democrats created for them. After a year, they'll know if they want to thank Democrats for the law, or throw them out and start over with new electeds and a new law.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

"A concept that conservatives fully support."

The bottom line is not a political concept. It is a basic business concept.

Ok forget politics. Do you support allowing business to maximize their profits by making their own business decisions on healthcare for their employees within the limits of the law?

Do you?


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

"At this point, it doesn't matter. Obamacare is the law of the land."

.......if it doesn't matter why all the attempts to repeal it or "defund" it ?

The facts are it is the law of the land.

Passed by both houses and signed into law. Upheld by the Supreme court AND reaffirmed with the reelection of this President and his platform.

There is a process to deal with laws that need tweaking or even replacing and the process is NOT blackmail by threatening to shut down the government.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

"Do you support allowing business to maximize their profits by making their own business decisions on healthcare for their employees within the limits of the law?"

Of course. When did we empower anyone to "allow" businesses to make a profit? I don't recall empowering government officials to limit how much profit a business can make. That is not the role of our government.

Business owners have a duty to comply with the law, but not to take on unnecessary expenses. Employers can comply with the law by rewriting schedules, as many of them are doing.

Of course business owners are entitled to make their own business decisions. On what authority would an American citizen not be entitled to run a legally compliant business as he or she sees fit?


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

"Business owners have a duty to comply with the law, but not to take on unnecessary expenses."

And exactly what do you think providing insurance for the heaviest user category of medical services is? It's an unnecessary expense.

You do know that senior citizens increase by 8000 per day. It's retirees who are sucking the system dry. You, nikoleta, and your peers are THE #1 reason that the health care system in the US is changing.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

Of note - the "exchanges" that IBM and Wallgreens are moving to are private 'exchanges' set up by the insurance companies themselves - not the Obamacare exchanges.

What the companies are finding is that their employees and retirees have more choice in policies, and are better able to taylor their insurance needs to their own personal situation.

Walgreens will subsidize the cost of the policies, and more than 160,000 workers will be affected.
The medical plan includes more traditional HMO and PPO policies, as well as three high-deductible plans, where workers shoulder higher out-of-pocket costs in exchange for lower monthly premiums. This year, the company only offered two high-deductible plans.
Walgreens will contribute the same total share to health care benefits next year as is did this year, though it is not disclosing the size of the subsidy. Some employees, however, may see premiums rise if they pick a more generous plan, said spokesman Michael Polzin.
The company's tab for health care costs for next year remained essentially flat, allowing it to keep its contribution to workers level, he said. In future years, the company's intention is to continue picking up the same share of the cost as it does today, Polzin said.

So before, Walgreens only offered two high deductible plans. Now their employees can go pick what better suits them.

All of this has nothing to do with Obamacare, unless the two high-deductible policies they offered before didn't meet the new minimum standards. And I don't know that.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

Of course. When did we empower anyone to "allow" businesses to make a profit? I don't recall empowering government officials to limit how much profit a business can make. That is not the role of our government.

So then you should be happy that Obamacare lets businesses make the best decision for them.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

"So then you should be happy that Obamacare lets businesses make the best decision for them."

That's not what it does. It narrows options for businesses to operate profitably.

Say you're a business owner with 49 full time employees and one or two really good part time workers you want to put on full time as soon as possible.

Eshga's Nutty Nibbles doesn't offer insurance, but everybody gets to work a forty hour week, and some weeks they get overtime. You have worked your tail off to get this far, putting as much profit as possible back into your business, while at the same time providing full time employment that helps feed a lot of families. You're at work hours before and hours after your employees have put in a full day, because you built this business from the ground up and you want to keep it healthy and growing.

Along come the Democrats, swaggering in with new directives about how they're going to run the country, and how you're going to run your business. Right off the bat, they present you with a challenge.

By giving just one more worker a full time job, you become an employer of fifty or more full time workers. That makes you responsible for providing their insurance, or paying thousands of dollars in fines. Either way, the law sets up your business to take a hit. How does this help your bottom line? You don't dare offer any more folks more than a 29 hour week, because under the law, your company resources will be shifted away from growing your business and you are required to put those resources into the hands of insurance companies or government.

Eshga, you are much too smart to let politicians force you into committing business suicide.

I think you keep Eshga's Nutty Nibbles profitable by avoiding the unnecessary burden imposed on your company with the employer mandate. You can change your workforce to part time and still comply with the law. And because you are a rational person, that's what you do.

Things are more challenging for Marquest's Magic Massage Masters and Math Mentors.

With thousands of full time, but uninsured employees all over the country, Marquest will take a multi-million dollar hit unless she makes some fast changes in how she runs her business.

She looks at the variables. The law says with fifty or more full time employees, she has to provide insurance or pay a fine. The law says thirty hours a week is full time.

So Marquest considers her options, with the health of her bottom line her top priority. If she doesn't make money, she doesn't stay in business. If she goes out of business, people lose their jobs. She's not going to let that happen if she can help it.

Like Eshga, Marqest is too smart to let clueless politicians destroy her livelihood with their burdensome, poorly thought out rules and unforeseen consequences. Marqest will comply with the law, of course, but she insists on making rational decisions every step of the way.

So she recalculates her cost of doing business with her current workforce and schedule. Then she rewrites employee schedules in accordance with the law, limiting them to part time work, thereby keeping her business profitable and growing.

Why would politicians expect to achieve "affordable health care" with a plan that renders full time, thirty hours a week employees unaffordable to employers who were supposed to pay the bill?


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

So, the company doesn't offer insurance. The company won't offer insurance. The workers don't have insurance at all now, unless they pay for it themselves out of pocket.

And they're going to cut the hours.

But with Obamacare, the employees will be able to go onto the exchanges and buy their own policies - much better choices, much better rates. Where as before, they had to either do without, or pay exorbitant premiums because they're in the individual market.

And since the employees realize what a jerk their boss is, stiffing their hours so they can't get health care and ignoring the major component in Obamacare for small businesses - where they can get tax credits if they do offer insurance, they start looking really hard for other jobs with employers who are smarter.

This post was edited by david52 on Thu, Sep 19, 13 at 15:51


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

"...they start looking really hard for other jobs with employers who are smarter."

But since they're probably unskilled laborers (if they had skills, they might have better jobs w/benefits), they may not find other jobs, especially if the other employers with simililar skill-set jobs have also cut back to part-time.

I hope that's not the case, David, but maybe you shouldn't be sounding quite so smug just yet.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

Since we're playing a stupid assumption game, my money is on the now insured via health insurance exchanges ex-employees who quit their company because their idiot boss wouldn't take advantage of the tax rebates for offering them insurance, they'll all go enroll in a community college, earn an associate degree, and end up working in the revitalized medical field.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

"...they'll all go enroll in a community college, earn an associate degree, and end up working in the revitalized medical field."

Whatever provides the catalyst to give them a kick in the pants and go do what they maybe should have done earlier, is fine by me. BTW David, I remember that you have had some very disparaging things to say about community colleges in the past. I'm glad to see that you have come around in this respect.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

Whatever provides the catalyst to give them a kick in the pants and go do what they maybe should have done earlier, is fine by me.

*

Amen.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

I know a dozen people who would quit their jobs tomorrow and either start their own business or work somewhere else if they weren't chained to their current job because of insurance/pre-conditions.

And now they can.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

It does open up a lot of options, doesn't it, David?


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

"But with Obamacare, the employees will be able to go onto the exchanges and buy their own policies - much better choices, much better rates."

Yep. Taxpayers will pick up part or all of the tab for their insurance. Workers across the country are being left with 72.5% of a job. Some of those folks will still have to stretch their reduced incomes to cover some portion of their premiums. Fines are cheaper, so that's an option some will take. But then...they still won't have insurance. And the bad news doesn't end there.

When all those part time workers start getting their food stamps and obamaphones along with insurance subsidies, the pressure on agency budgets will intensify as never before. At the same time, there will be fewer tax dollars coming in to cover an exploding population of folks no longer working full time, and no longer self sufficient. This is no way to run a country.

I understand why obamacare means so much to you, David. Your needs are finally going to be met, and the burden you (and your family) have carried over the years is about to be lifted. At the same time, I am confident that Democrats' passing unwanted legislation against the will of the people was the worst possible way to go about meeting your needs and the rest of our uninsured minority.

Our system was designed to work slowly, and it's chugging along toward October 1st. I look forward to seeing how the American people take to living under such unpopular, heavy handed legislation.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

It seems to me that employers that are moving their employees health care to the exchanges are really acting in the employees best interest, their's too of course , but it's a win win.

Employees that move to an exchange can actually change jobs and not have their insurance carrier change or maybe even loose coverage all together.

Employers get to significantly reduce the cost of health care coverage for their employees which is good for the bottom line.

I think that once people really understand the advantages to them and their family acceptance will grow.

The plan is not perfect . Too bad the GOP won't work to make it better instead of putting everything back to square one with no alternative plan.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

and obamaphones

Sigh. Why do we bother? When somoene continually brings up old debunked information, they should just be ignored.

Especially, when that person is so gleeful when thinking about all the people she thinks will be hurt by the ACHA.

It's one thing to think it's not a good plan. It's another thing to be so happy people will be hurt by it.

And if people are actually not hurt by it, and are actually helped by it, Nik will move on to the next thing and never admit she was wrong. As usual. Par for the GOP course.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

When all those part time workers start getting their food stamps and obamaphones along with insurance subsidies

Reading this I was suddenly struck with the notion that nik does not believe any of these things at all because nobody in their right mind can believe this. Nobody is THAT dyspeptic.

My theory is that she is a creative writer who posts the most outrageous things just to get people going. It may even be an art project.

Because of this new enlightenment that I've had, I think that from now on she is going to be an SOB. There is no reason to feed that troll since her answers are ridiculous at best and disingenuous at worst, and frankly it's no fun to debate someone whose views are so phony.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

Unless you're mostly subsidized, the exchanges are not a very good option. You mostly get a choice of HMOs with a limited provider list. You will only be able to use the providers on the list. Depending on the plan, a number of local doctors, urgent care centers, and hospitals are not accessible. You may or may not be able to go to your previous providers.

Plus, you have to pay 30% out of pocket costs for a silver plan, and 40% out of pocket costs for a bronze plan. That's after your deductibles, which can be another $2000 or more out of pocket if you make $28k per year.

Catastrophic plans are not subsidized, and not much cheaper than bronze of silver plans. Or, you can get a gold or platinum plan if you have more disposable income. But why would you? - the benefits and options are really narrow. You would be better off going away from the exchanges if you don't have a subsidy, and get a better policy for the same or a little more money.

This is by design. The exchanges offer comparatively crappy plans, with insurers hoping that you will come to them directly to get a better plan off of the exchanges. You won't get your subsidy, but unless you are really poor the subsidies aren't enough anyway.

Spending 10%, 20%, or more of your take-home income on premiums, deductibles, and co-pays is a good deal for people who are sick with a catastrophic illness, but not for people who are healthy.

This cuts into their disposable income - which isn't much around here after paying for rent/mortgage, utilities, groceries, and transportation. If you're bringing home less than $30k per year and living on your own, you are not living the high life.

I know my own 26-year-old daughter is going to sit this year out, unless she gets a job where the employer provides insurance. The preliminary numbers, as of last week, are not affordable and she does qualify for a subsidy. We have been playing around with the numbers for the last several weeks.

Right now she works in a 5-person shop and there is no employer subsidized insurance. She lives on her own and has a very tight budget, drives an old car, is trying to figure out how she is going to afford any non wood-based heat this year, if it comes to that. It's not like she has a lot to spare after all of the taxes she already pays. There's not much room for another $250-$300 per month for subsidized health insurance that doesn't cover much and doesn't let her go to her current providers.

As a practical matter, the subsidies offered aren't enough to bring in the young and/or healthy, who really don't gain much from being in the exchanges, but lose much of their disposable income that is used for living expenses.

Not offering enough subsidies to hook people in was a strategic error.

They are better off taking the penalty, which can only be assessed if the IRS owes you a refund anyway. So retool your deductions so that you end up owing the IRS a small amount, and skate through for a year or so.

There is nothing "affordable" here unless you are so poor that you are getting generous subsidies. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

...single payer.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

I'm sorry Lionheart,

I was just being cranky and you don't deserve that. You are always very thoughtful in your posts.

In my post, saying exchanges may be good for some existing employees , I should have said ..... assuming they were being subsidized by their employers.

However, I do believe the health care insurance situation in the States has gotten complicated beyond what it needs to be.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

lionheart, I hear you. I was understanding because of the limited things that could be done to get this bill passed they would not be able to make it affordable for everyone. I was just happy that it was a start. Once it gets started as with every program it will be tweaked and improved. Maybe at some point we will get what other countries have like Canada.

You only have to look at Medicare to know that because we finally got the first step in place it will eventually get to a place that everyone will be able to afford Health Care. The same fights went on when Medicare was first introduced. Now if you tell any senior they have to pay out of pocket they would try to take your head off.

Give it time. It is just the beginning. The sad thing is the Republicans know it and that is why they are fighting so hard to stop it NOW. You only have to look at history to confirm the outcome.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

You mostly get a choice of HMOs with a limited provider list. You will only be able to use the providers on the list. Depending on the plan, a number of local doctors, urgent care centers, and hospitals are not accessible. You may or may not be able to go to your previous providers.

In my area, other than for those fortunate enough to be employed with a large company in "The Industry," HMOs will be what most employers provide the employees.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

Those of us with employer insurance do work within a network of providers some of which are our preferred doctors and some of which are not. For example, the recommended oral surgeons around here refuse to be in-network for anyone. They say they refuse to compromise on their prices and that they are worth what they charge. My son had extensive jaw surgery and I will say that it went perfectly and he's never had a problem with the outcome. So maybe they are right .... We paid several thousand dollars out of pocket on that.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

Sorry, double post.

This post was edited by esh_ga on Fri, Sep 20, 13 at 15:03


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

There were a lot of people that opted out of company subsidized insurance because they could not afford the employee contribution part.

They would opt out of the 401K for the same reason. Employer insurance was not cheap. One job I had we paid 100 a month from our paycheck and they were not Cadillac plans. $20-$40 co-pay for doctor visits, after out of pocket $250.00. Your plan paid 80% of cost for hospital stay. No vision, and a extra $20 a month for dental. That was a lot for someone making minimum wage.

The employee cost of our plans went up every year.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

Only Vermont and New York have something where all the premiums are the same, regardless of age.

So a 20-something is paying the exact same premium as a 60-something. Kind of like how they do it in large corporations and big state schools and so on.

Thats not the case elsewhere, where the premiums for the younger people are considerably less than for those of their elders.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

"I'm sorry Lionheart..."

No offense taken. I didn't think it was that snarky anyway. :-)

"However, I do believe the health care insurance situation in the States has gotten complicated beyond what it needs to be. "

"Complicated" is flattering. It is increasingly like some delusional schizophrenic had a bizarre, twisted idea and decided to make it reality. :-)

It doesn't matter though. It's largely unaffordable. I think people will stay away from buying insurance unless they are getting a huge subsidy.

A subsidy that covers less than one-third of the premium still leaves two-thirds to be paid out of pocket. That's bad enough, but add on the thousands in deductibles and co-pays for low wage earners and this is a curse, not a blessing.

From a "program" point of view some may consider it a success. From a practical, end user point of view, it is probably dismal. We'll see, I guess.

I don't know about single payer. It's an idea that has its pluses and minuses, but a lot of countries make do with insurance - countries such as France and Germany and quite a few others. Single payer is still the minority in the world, technically speaking. That's not a diss; just an observation.

However, those countries pay their doctors and nurses a lot less than we do. I can't imagine any primary care physician voluntarily being satisfied with making $100k or less. Nurses would have to take a cut too. And of course, technicians and the like would have to be happy with being paid less. I don't think that's going to happen.

According to some pretty reliable estimates, wages and benefits account for about 60% of hospitals' expenses.

We have situations where mega hospitals are buying up smaller hospitals and then raising prices. They also buy up private group practices, incorporate them into the hospital's own network, and then demand a 40% increase in payment.

This might be an anti-trust issue, which is appropriate for government to tackle.
==================

"You only have to look at Medicare to know that because we finally got the first step in place it will eventually get to a place that everyone will be able to afford Health Care. The same fights went on when Medicare was first introduced. Now if you tell any senior they have to pay out of pocket they would try to take your head off. "

Medicare is a relatively small percentage of earnings. If it was 30 or 40% of earnings, it would go nowhere. We would end up with either a revolt or a corrupt underground economy because people are not willing to deprive their families of necessities in order to fund total strangers. It is still well below the pain threshold.

In other words, we'll take some hardship and abuse, but only so much. :-)

That's part of the secret; people have to be convinced that they are getting a good deal in order to buy into something. In this case (the exchanges), the young and/or healthy are not getting a good deal, so they will probably avoid the exchanges as much as possible.

With Medicare, I think that if you decided to double the rates tomorrow, there would be an uproar. Plus a lot of folks supplement Medicare with reasonably affordable supplemental insurance, depending on how much coverage they want and how much of a premium they can afford. As you probably know, Medicare doesn't cover everything and there are out of pocket costs, which can be high under some circumstances.

Of course, there are a number of practices that do not take on additional Medicare patients because the reimbursement from Medicare is puny in some cases. They have to keep the ratio of Medicare patients smaller than their whole population of patients. The other patients, who pay more either individually or through insurance, offset the cost of Medicare patients making it possible for Medicare patients to be treated at a financial loss to the provider.

I think it's not quite accurate to view Medicare as a practical, standalone, completely self-sustaining program. There are holes and flaws and some portion of it is dependent on other payers taking up the slack.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

Note to JZ:

You are not "debating" anyone when you engage in personal attacks. That is why the forum rules are clear and an unambiguous. "You may challenge another's point of view or opinion, but do so respectfully and thoughtfully, without insult and personal attack."

That means you focus on the flaws in the argument, rather than the "flaws" you judge others with a different point of view possess.

Here's what I said: "When all those part time workers start getting their food stamps and obamaphones along with insurance subsidies, the pressure on agency budgets will intensify as never before. At the same time, there will be fewer tax dollars coming in to cover an exploding population of folks no longer working full time, and no longer self sufficient."

Here's how you responded. I don't see a counter argument anywhere in there.

Posted by jerzeegirl 9 (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 20, 13 at 13:43

"When all those part time workers start getting their food stamps and obamaphones along with insurance subsidies..."

Reading this I was suddenly struck with the notion that nik does not believe any of these things at all because nobody in their right mind can believe this. Nobody is THAT dyspeptic.

My theory is that she is a creative writer who posts the most outrageous things just to get people going. It may even be an art project.

Because of this new enlightenment that I've had, I think that from now on she is going to be an SOB. There is no reason to feed that troll since her answers are ridiculous at best and disingenuous at worst, and frankly it's no fun to debate someone whose views are so phony.
---------------------------------------------------------------------- -----------

If you want to participate in a debate, JZ, you have to learn how to construct an argument. I think it's quite logical that people reduced to part time work will be showing up to get food stamps, obamaphones and other benefits they need and are entitled to, and that this will in turn put pressure on agencies at a time when tax revenues will be collected from folks with only part time jobs. You get to disagree with that argument by making a counter argument.That's how you participate in a debate. Calling somebody a troll doesn't count.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

Just for your edification, nik, here is the definition of a troll:

A troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog), either accidentally or with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

I believe I can point out instances where that's exactly what you do. I concede I could have said that you aren't a troll but your behavior is trollish but that's making a fine distinction.

Now I don't consider it a personal attack when I point out that the information you are posting is not truthful. I think it's a public service to point this out, as others have done in the past. You see, I have a big problem when people make stuff up. You have recently made a number of statements that are provably incorrect. You never took them back or even said whoops, even though it was pointed out on various occasions that you were incorrect. Then you allow your false statements to marinate in the ether, without retraction, so others of your ilk can read and quote from them also, thereby assuring continuation of a chain of misstatements.

Perhaps if you answer people's questions and acknowledge when you post incorrect statements, you could have an interesting and enjoyable debate. That is all I am going to say on this topic.

This post was edited by jerzeegirl on Fri, Sep 20, 13 at 18:08


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

"They would opt out of the 401K for the same reason. Employer insurance was not cheap. One job I had we paid 100 a month from our paycheck and they were not Cadillac plans. $20-$40 co-pay for doctor visits, after out of pocket $250.00. Your plan paid 80% of cost for hospital stay. No vision, and a extra $20 a month for dental. That was a lot for someone making minimum wage. "

I don't doubt that, but if your employer is kicking in money it's not good to turn down free money unless you're desperate.

Most folks would kill for that low rate of $100/month today. Was this a long time ago? Just wondering.

"The employee cost of our plans went up every year. "

This is a problem for health care everywhere, not just the USA. I don't know of any country who continuously contains health care costs at or below the rate of inflation. Maybe the UK, but I haven't crunched those numbers so I don't know for sure.

Between 2000 and 2008, health care spending increased approximately the same percentage for the US (60.2%) and Canada (61.9%). Both exceeded the inflation rates. The cumulative inflation rate for the US between 2000 and 2008 was 25%. Canada's cumulative inflation rate was roughly the same as ours. Health care spending, however, increased about 2.5 times more than the inflation rate in both countries over the same period.

That's the biggest challenge in health care everywhere - keeping health care inflation rates reasonable. No one does that really well.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

lionheart, I was not comparing price to price of Medicare cost to Obamacare, What I was comparing is the same arguments from the Right is the same as was said about Medicare.

Medicare today is very different than it was when first introduced. Once ObamaCare is tweaked be it single payer or the next steps I feel it will be just as popular as Medicare.

Really it is not going to take very long that the sick that show up at a hospital will not be cared for if they do not have insurance. Everyone is just a trip away from needing medical help.

As our society think food stamps are bad if you cannot feed yourself who cares, because you need help and show up at a hospital and need help without insurance I can see patients being cared for that have insurance and the ones w/o insurance will just have to wait. If they die waiting..,,,Oh well they should have not been poor and had insurance.

The doctors and hospitals are looking for money they are not into the charity business. Anyone that think they can continue to go without insurance because they cannot afford it pray they do not have an accident or their bodies do not do something that they think would never happen because they are young and healthy.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

Won't it be a great day when health care and education are more important and get more funding than defense?

It will happen. It has to happen.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

Thank you Lion, for taking the time to construct these most recent 2 posts of yours; IMO they were very thoughtfully put together and frankly factual. Mercifully, I don't see anyone arguing with the facts you presented.

I also agree with your POV.

We received our notice of the medical exchange option with our paychecks today, and were advised that although anyone has the choice to opt out of the present group coverage we have in place, since our present insurance meets certain criteria, changing would entail some changes that I deem not to be to our advantage. My co-workers feel the same way. So here's the biggest employer in my county not participting in the ACA. Bottom line is that nothing changes for me--at least not right now. Our employee group hasn't cost the government anything in the past due to our insurance and that will continue, at least for now. OTOH, the "pool" won't be getting a contribution from our group. I wonder how many other employee groups are doing likewise.

I'm wondering who is going to pay for the ACA. I know one could say it's not my problem, but I would answer that's not true.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

So here's the biggest employer in my county not participting in the ACA.

I don't think that is the right way to interpret what your employer did.


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RE: IBM retirees losing corporate health plan

As a practical matter, the subsidies offered aren't enough to bring in the young and/or healthy, who really don't gain much from being in the exchanges, but lose much of their disposable income that is used for living expenses.

And what happens to any of these young and/or healthy when they suffer a catastrophic accident or get MS or some other chronic, debilitating disease? I guess they can then apply for ACA coverage. This is when I cry "personal responsibility". There should be at least a waiting period of 6 months to a year for coverage for anyone who declines coverage and then applies and expects their condition to be covered under the ACA. People might then be inclined to determine whether it's worth it to pay a fine.

We buy auto insurance even tho' we don't expect we'll be in an accident. We insure our homes and property even though we don't expect that our homes will burn down or suffer other loss. So, why should we take a chance on our health? A chronic illness or bad accident could cost many times as much as a house that needs to be rebuilt.

Catastrophic care for the young and healthy makes sense.


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