Tuesday, May 29, 2007

H973 mutilated: The NC state Senate finishes the damage to H973 by trying to privatize Medicaid: WE NEED A ONE PAYER SYSTEM

My letter to Susan Fisher, one of the (better) representatives in the NC State Legislature re: what a botched and mostly useless mess is H973 and why Medicaid should not be privatized:

Dear Susan Fisher (Fisherla@ncleg.net), one of our representatives in the NC State Legislature:

You stated in your newsletter that came out today, Monday:

"Health :
_ North Carolina took a step this week toward giving those who suffer from mental illness the same level of insurance coverage available for physical illnesses. The bill (H973) would bring North Carolina in line with many other states in the region. It exempts companies with 25 or fewer employees from the expanded requirement and many companies with 100 or more employees would be exempt because they are self-insured. That means the change will apply initially only to about one in six workers in the state. Thirty-four states already have mental-health parity. The bill now goes to the Senate. Senate leader Marc Basnight (Marcb@ncleg.net) says members of his chamber support expanding private mental health coverage.

Ms. Fisher: First of all 38 states have mental health parity. Only two have excluded Substance Abuse. The program above is not mental health parity and the name should be changed to something like, "NC State Legislature idea of what mental health parity should look like." Leave the citizens out of this, would you? Its what the legislature and the lobbyists want----not the people who elected you.

This does not even tackle parity as associated with Medicaid or Medicare. This bill has become a joke.

And the matter about supporting the privatization of Medicaid??
Shall I tell you what that would look like, speaking from the provider end of things and as associated with having to deal with the authorizations associated with state funded mental health clients??

Instead of being able to fax in an efficient one page sheet of information to Value Options and receive a letter back authorizing that within 1 week to 10 days, what I will have to do (as there will be more middle men and women to be paid) in order to obtain more sessions for my psychotic patients who threaten homicide and cut themselves is to go through tiers of authorization, calling people on the phone, to be put on hold, to be given to someone who has no idea what they are doing.

PLEASE DO NOT PRIVATIZE MEDICAID. The NC State Legislature has done quite enough damage already and is not even able to mandate that people like Hooker Odom pay attention to the recommendations of the Joint Legislative Committee. STOP: GO HOME: while we still have some shreds of mental health still hanging around.
Another swell Buncombe county representative who is priding himself on taking an ax to H973: Mr. Thomas:

Recently, as in last week, a first term Republican NC Senator was stated by local news services to have had a 'sucess' in terms of limiting mental health parity. He claimed the trophy of preventing companies with fewer than 25 employees from having to be 'mandated' as re: mental health parity as associated with H973, the mental health parity bill that was just massacred by the NC Senate.

And large companies typically have their own insurance. So, who does that leave as having been served by mental health parity: VERY FEW. Success my ass: this is blood money...off the back's of NC citizens. This is blood money: the lobbying money from the insurance industry and the likes of NC100-----an organization watching over private dollars of ignorant people who have not done their homework.


Indeed, American business cannot even compete any longer as the private sector is shackled with the leg-irons of having to create insurance for its employees (when they can be held to doing such; its evident that most of them want nothing to do with it):

A Katrina Health Care System
By ATUL GAWANDEThe New York TimesMay 26, 2007
"...the costs of our job based healh insurance system---costs adding $1500 to each car Chrysler builds here, but almost nothing to those built in Canada or Europe----have so broken the automaker's ability to compete that giving it away became the smartes thing Daimler could do....Daimler Chrylser sold off its Chrysler division for three pebbles and a piece of string...for an 82 year old company that built more than two million cars and trucks last year, took in $47 billion in revenue, and owns 64 million square feet of factory real estate in North America alone...analysts say it was a great deal for Daimler. Why? Because the buyer, Cerberus Capital Management, agreed to absorb Chrysler $18 billion in health and pension liability costs." http://greenpagan.blogspot.com/2007/05/katrina-health-care-system.html


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