Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Update on H973: still hung up in Insurance Comm. of NC House;Jeb Bush now@Frye Hosp;

I talked to Ann, Representative Martha Alexander's assistant earlier this afternoon (Alexander is the main sponsor of H973). She was present during the 11 a.m. Insurance Committee (NC House) meeting. She painted a picture of a less confrontational set of representatives as re: H973. She stated she did not know if this was associated with them 'having made their minds up', or not. She stated that there were 3 'experts' associated with support of the bill, one of them being the head of psychiatry at UNC Chapel Hill Medical School; another a consumer's parent. On the opposing side were 2 lobbyists: 1 representative of a group with the descriptor of NC100 (if this isn't a Republican non-think tank, I'll eat my hat: http://www.nc100.org/?page_id=13); the other associated with representation of a group of health insurance companies (not BCBS; she remarked that their lobbyist had presented in opposition to H973 last week).

I told her that certainly instead of the entire matter crashing, mental health practitioners and consumers would want mental health to have parity. Ann stated, when I asked her, how did Representative Alexander feel about this, "We haven't discussed that yet." She advised me, when I queried her, that Ms. Alexander is in frequent conversation with NCPA, North Carolina Psychological Association.

The bill is to be entertained----yet again---next Tuesday, 11 a.m., in the Insurance Committee of the house. It will have very few days after that to move thru its trajectory in any other committees and then the NC Senate. I'll be back in a few minutes after I have gotten some more specific feedback from Ann, at Representative Alexander's office.
"A man with a briefcase can steal millions more than any man with a gun." Don Henley, of The Eagles, from: "Gimme what I want"
I would personally like to know why the Republicans of NC are running this Dem state (Dem governor, in name only, I know) :

RE: the citizens of NC want H973, mental health parity bill, passed

May 16, 2007

I would personally like to know why the Republicans of NC (NC100) are running this Dem state (Dem governor, in name only, I know) :

RE: As per the lobbying against H973, the mental health parity bill, stuck in the maelstrom, sucked down by faux-Dems posing as Republicans in the NC House Insurance Committee, as lobbied against by a stealth group known as NC100 http://www.nc100.org/: Perry Morgan perri.morgan@nc100.org, lobbyist: every one of your points can easy be rebutted :

Mr. Perry, you stated:
Item 1: "The problem of mandating health insurance coverage and benefits really revolves around affordability and fairness - affordability by those who must pay the premium cost and fairness to all kinds of North Carolina businesses and their employees."

Let's have a little discussion about 'corporate welfare' and 'corporate malfeasance', Mr. Morgan.

Yes, indeed: this is what private, for-profit insurance companies have in store for us; an 19% 'corporate welfare' support system for non-Medicare 'Medicare' insurance like HUMANA and let me advise you that, as a provider, if you want to have nothing but paperwork---and no $$$$ as associated with payment due----coming at you as associated with these private, 'non-medicare'/Medicare/ HUMANA kinds of companies, then absolutely, you are correct and your mission as an 'administrator' has absolutely
BEEN MISSION ACCOMMPLISHED (and spare me w/ the talk about the NYT being a left-wing rag; what is very much true is that there are so few papers now that do anything except just synchophantically 'scribe away' that the number of newspapers with an IQ of greater than 80 can be counted on one hand).

item 1: The New York Times > MedicareInsurer Faces Reprimand in Medicare Marketing CaseROBERT PEAR The New York Times"Some agents for Humana have enrolled Medicare recipients in products that "they did not understand and did not want," an official said.....

Item 2: http://www.timegoesby.net/2007/05/the_fraud_of_me.html
"....Some physicians will not accept fee-for-service plans and some co-payments are shockingly higher than with traditional Medicare...."

Item 3: Mission accomplished on Medicare "reform":
http://www.needlenose.com/node/view/4018By SwopaMay 7 2007 - 1:22pmFrom the New York Times today:
"...federal officials said that the fastest-growing type of Medicare Advantage plan generally does not coordinate care, does not save money for Medicare and has been at the center of marketing abuses.... the cost to the government is also higher because it pays the private fee-for-service plans, on average, 19 percent more than the cost of traditional Medicare

Item 4:
OPINIONChildren Versus Insurers PAUL KRUGMAN The New York Times40 days agoUniversal health care may happen one of these years, but the choice between providing health care to uninsured children and subsidizing insurance companies is playing out right now.

Item 5:
Senate Bars Medicare Talks for Lower Drug Prices ROBERT PEAR The New York Timeselap('1176951003');27 days agoRepublicans in the Senate argued that private insurers were already negotiating large discounts for Medicare beneficiaries.

Item 6:
EDITORIALThe Medicare Privatization Scam THE EDITORS The New York Timeselap('1177127403');25 days agoIt is time to level the playing field and force private plans to really compete with traditional Medicare.

The sooner that the citizens of NC realize that their state legislators have been bought and paid for by the likes of NC100 and BCBS, the better will be their ability to tackle the problem. Yes, let's throw open that moldy old trunk.

To suit, take a look at Senator Martin Nesbitt's son's NASCAR hauling truck : http://www.martnesbitt.com/photo%20truck.jpg sponsored by Blue Cross/ Blue Shield/ NC.

I like Senator Nesbitt and admire his candor. However, its his problem that he has chosen to be affiliated with BCBS/NC. Their representative argued against mental health parity, H973, LAST WEEK, as associated with the insurance committee where H973 is STUCK.

Here's an item that made me nauseous (bear in mind that Frye Hospital in Hickory, NC, is associated with one of a handful of psychiatric units in Western NC)
Tenet hands Jeb Bush a big windfall
Jeb Bush will get over $450,000 in the next year from Tenet for being a board member -- about three times what the average director makes at major U.S. corporations.


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