Disgruntledpatriot's Blog

April 14, 2010

State of Massachusetts versus non-profit insurance providers

Filed under: Sick and Tired — Trever Bierschbach @ 7:05 am
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Could Massachusetts be a crystal ball into our nation’s future.  The Boston Globe has some of the story, so I will paraphrase.  Several health insurance providers in Massachusetts are going to lose money this year, they have all posted losses upwards of tens of millions of dollars.  In order to prevent losses next year they want to raise their rates, but the State said no.  Not only did it say no, but it told those that had stopped taking new customers that they would have to open their rolls again.  Of course the usual ‘greedy insurance company’ comments can be found at the Globe, echoing the anti-capitalist class warfare propaganda of the left.

What the article fails to point out, all of the insurance companies involved, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mass, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Tafts Health Plan, Fallon Community Health Plan, Health New England, and Neighborhood Health Plan are all non-profit companies.  These companies have been operating at a loss for over a year, some due to the recession, but some also due to rising health care costs.  Let’s get this straightened out right now.  Rising health care costs is not the fault of insurance companies, pay close attention to the word game.  The left keeps saying they have to keep health care costs down, and then goes on to bash insurance companies for it.  They are twisting your perspective.  Insurance companies do not control the costs of health care, hospitals, doctors, drug companies, etc. control those costs.  In fact insurance companies form contracts with health providers for how much the insurance provider will get paid, not the other way around.  Beside that is the fact that even the liberal media are starting to report that premiums will go up under the new reform, something that only a select few have been pointing out all along.

Now, to make this impact real let’s look at what these companies do for their customers and communities.  Benefits that will be lost if these companies are forced to close their doors.  Beside the fact that thousands would be left without health insurance there are also charities and grants that would suffer.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts gave away over $5M in 2007 (most recent tax statement they had posted) in grants and charitable contributions.

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care’s foundations has given away over $110M in the past 25 years in grants and charitable contributions.  They also sponsor community programs for health living and youth education.  In 2007 they started a $5M project for children’s (6-12) wellness.

Tufts Health Plan has been doing charitable contributions even before they started their foundation in 2008.  In 2007 the insurance provider awarded $1.1M in grants and continues to continue their charitable practices above what the new foundation provides.  In 2008 the foundation gave away $2.5M to more than 60 local non-profit organizations dealing in health and wellness.

Fallon Community Health Plan has a Charitable Giving Almanac that is chock full of volunteer work, charitable giving, fund raising, and other community outreach.  A brief perusal of it shows hundreds of thousands of dollars donated.

Health New England, along with participating in charitable events, has a wellness van that travels their coverage area teaching wellness and preventative care.

Neighborhood Health Plan has a community benefits report that shows they have awarded or given away over $1.5M in grants and contributions.  Above and beyond this they list their involvement in community outreach, domestic violence prevention, and a slew of other community programs.

Looking at this communities in Massachusetts would lose untold millions in charity and grants, much of which other non-profit organizations rely on to survive.  Further research will show that these companies are far from ‘greedy corporations’.  They offer low, or zero copay for preventative care.  Some offer no caps for outpatient mental health care.  Most encourage their employees to get involved in their communities.  I do not think that Massachusetts will benefit if these companies have to cut back on contributions to cover operating costs.


July 20, 2009

Three Things

Filed under: Sick and Tired — Trever Bierschbach @ 9:06 am
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I tried to think of one thing to write about today, but over the weekend I found three things that show this current administration is no more in touch than any other, and if we don’t pull in the reins now we may as well hand the keys to the kingdom over right away.

Massachusetts: Massachusetts universal health care system is out of money, and they need to pass a budget fast.  The proposed solution…drop thousands of LEGAL immigrants from the system to cut costs!  WHAT?!  Wait a minute, drop LEGAL immigrants, those people who came to this country legally, applied for citizenship, followed all the rules, and now they are going to be cut from a program that all other citizens of Mass. have?  Pay attention readers, pretty sure this is a principle of science or something, when you have an experiment on a small scale, the results are usually compounded if carried to the large scale.  Every state that has universal health care, whether for some citizens, or all citizens is facing budget problems.  Why would anyone think that doing it for the whole country might have different results?  Arguably the smartest mind of the modern age said it best…

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
– Albert Einstein

I do not believe there is a country out there, with universal health care, that has gotten it right yet.  What makes us think that our government can do it?  We are leaders, not followers, we should be coming up with something new, not implementing a plan that has already been shown to fail on so many different levels.

Hate Crimes Bill and the F22: You might say these two things have nothing to do with each other.  You would be right.  You might also say these should be handled separately, and again you would be right, but would it surprise you to know they are on the same legislation?  That’s right ladies and gentlemen, members of congress tacked a Hate Crimes Bill onto legislation that will decide whether to continue funding for the F22!  Now, I don’t care whether we have the F22 or the Joint Strike Fighter.  Granted the F22 means jobs for the U.S., but for practicality’s sake you could give our boys Cessnas and BB guns and we would still have the best air force and navy, but that’s not the point.  Supporters of the Hate Crimes Bill were afraid that it would not pass on it’s own, so they tacked it onto a bill that was a sure thing, and now both might be at risk.

We need to start demanding that the clowns that work for us stop this lump-legislation.  If a bill does not have enough support to stand on its own then it SHOULD NOT PASS.  That is how congress is supposed to work, a bill should not get passed if it cannot pass on its own, or laws are put on the books that would not otherwise be there.  I also wonder, why do we need a Hate Crimes Bill at all?  Isn’t any crime, a crime of hate?  Do you hear about criminals ‘loving people to death?’  Or, robbing their neighbor because they like them so much?  If a man is killed who just happens to be gay, or is killed BECAUSE he is gay, isn’t he still dead?  Isn’t the crime still murder?  Our Hate Crimes issue has got to be the most prejudice part of the justice system, and they want to add more groups to a list that should be all inclusive.  If you want Hate Crimes legislation, then make it all encompassing.  If an African-American kills a white guy, because he is white will it be a hate crime?  If a white baptist kills a white catholic because he is catholic is it a hate crime?  What about that abortion doctor that was murdered, he was killed out of hate for what he did, but will the person be charged with a hate crime?  In all of these cases I believe the answer is no.  Hate Crimes legislation is supposed to prevent crimes against minorities by making the punishment harsher, but all it does is continue to separate us, and label us.  If a person is murdered, with intent, it should be assumed that the motive, or one of the motives is hate.

CIT Group: Have you ever heard of them?  I hadn’t until this weekend.  They are a lender to small and medium-sized businesses, and they have over 3,000 clients in this area of their business.  They are the third larges rail-car leasing firm domestically, and aircraft financier worldwide.  They are the #1 vendor leasing company in the U.S. serving almost 500,000 consumer end customers.  What does all that mean?  Well, besides the obvious, they are how small businesses stay in business.  When your local retailer needs to gear up for Christmas, they obviously can’t buy all the needed stock up front.  They take out a loan, buy the merchandise, and pay off that loan after the holidays.  CIT group provides that service to a substantial number of small businesses.  Some experts estimate that CIT Group, through the clients they finance, is responsible for 70% of the jobs in the country.  Now, to the important part of this topic, CIT Group is trying to avoid bankruptcy, and like many banks they went to the government.  They were turned down.  Why is it that all these other banks, who finance huge companies, companies that regularly send jobs oversees, get bailouts, but a financier of small and medium-sized businesses gets turned down?  Clients of CIT Group aren’t sending jobs oversees, you can’t have a guy in India stock shelves in Tulsa!  Thankfully, the board of CIT Group has managed to scrape together a $3 Billion loan to help, but they were told the government was drawing the line on loans to anymore financial agencies.  With only about 20% of the $700 billion stimulus recently passed actually having been spent, one wonders what the other 80% is gonig to that is more important that saving small and medium-sized businesses.

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