Saturday, June 23, 2012

Health Care History and No Turning Back

Hello Community, I find this article intremely interesting.
This writer's article shows the history of our government
elected official trying to establish meaningful health coverage
for all USA citizens. Every attempt was met with opposition
either from companies,groups, or You
Many gave on trying to make a change or other events would
intervene to prevent any meaningful change.

Now, history appears to be repeating itself.
A President who is determined to make a change, a lasting
change to our healthcare system.
Major socio/economic/political events happening that
could deter a meaningful change again.

We are waiting for the Supreme Court ruling on the
President Obama's health care reform. Yea or Nay

No one knows how that vote will go.
Here is what I know.

You can not "put the genie back in the bottle" and may not
want too.

President Obama's health care proposal has the health care
industry making adjustment to its policies regardless to
how the vote come in.

United Healthcare is already changing it policies to align
with many of the proposed Health Reform law requirements.
9 million people will benefit from that change.
I suspect other healthcare companies will follow ( or possibly lose
2012 is proving to be a year filled with "high drama".

I am stay tuned for further developments.
Juniques Multi Cultural Connections

US health care reform efforts through history
By CONNIE CASS  Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court's upcoming ruling on President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law comes after a century of debate over what role the government should play in helping people in the United States afford medical care. A look at the issue through the years:

1912: Former President Theodore Roosevelt champions national health insurance as he unsuccessfully tries to ride his progressive Bull Moose Party back to the White House.

1929: Baylor Hospital in Texas originates group health insurance. Dallas teachers pay 50 cents a month to cover up to 21 days of hospital care per year.

1935: President Franklin D. Roosevelt favors creating national health insurance amid the Great Depression but decides to push for Social Security first.

1942: Roosevelt establishes wage and price controls during World War II. Businesses can't attract workers with higher pay so they compete through added benefits, including health insurance, which grows into a workplace perk.

1945: President Harry Truman calls on Congress to create a national insurance program for those who pay voluntary fees. The American Medical Association denounces the idea as "socialized medicine" and it goes nowhere.

1960: John F. Kennedy makes health care a major campaign issue but as president can't get a plan for the elderly through Congress.

1965: President Lyndon B. Johnson's legendary arm-twisting and a Congress dominated by his fellow Democrats lead to creation of two landmark government health programs: Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid for the poor.

1974: President Richard Nixon wants to require employers to cover their workers and create federal subsidies to help everyone else buy private insurance. The Watergate scandal intervenes.

1976: President Jimmy Carter pushes a mandatory national health plan, but economic recession helps push it aside.

1986: President Ronald Reagan signs COBRA, a requirement that employers let former workers stay on the company health plan for 18 months after leaving a job, with workers bearing the cost.

1988: Congress expands Medicare by adding a prescription drug benefit and catastrophic care coverage. It doesn't last long. Barraged by protests from older Americans upset about paying a tax to finance the additional coverage, Congress repeals the law the next year.

1993: President Bill Clinton puts first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in charge of developing what becomes a
1,300-page plan for universal coverage. It requires businesses to cover their workers and mandates that everyone have health insurance. The plan meets Republican opposition, divides Democrats and comes under a firestorm of lobbying from businesses and the health care industry. It dies in the Senate.

1997: Clinton signs bipartisan legislation creating a state-federal program to provide coverage for millions of children in families of modest means whose incomes are too high to qualify for Medicaid.

2003: President George W. Bush persuades Congress to add prescription drug coverage to Medicare in a major expansion of the program for older people.

2008: Hillary Rodham Clinton promotes a sweeping health care plan in her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. She loses to Obama, who has a less comprehensive plan.

2009: Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress spend an intense year ironing out legislation to require most companies to cover their workers; mandate that everyone have coverage or pay a fine; require insurance companies to accept all comers, regardless of any pre-existing conditions; and assist people who can't afford insurance.

2010: With no Republican support, Congress passes the measure, designed to extend health care coverage to more than 30 million uninsured people. Republican opponents scorned the law as "Obamacare."

2012: On a campaign tour in the Midwest, Obama himself embraces the term "Obamacare" and says the law shows "I do care."

The West Oakland Stories is Gaining National Attention

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Learn how the West Oakland Attitude produced some great people we read about, even today!!!

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

You are part health care reform history

Hello Community, You are witnessing  history in the making.
For years, it was said, the health care system that we all have been subject to,
could not be changed. That "that is just the way it is!"
Are you enjoying being part of another myth buster!!!!!
The "is" can be changed!!!!
We are part of a monumental movement. Forget politics for a moment.
This is a social/economic event of epic portions.
Many will benefit from this new direction in health care.
The old way is becoming the historical note of the future when change is being

reported. When the question is asked "What significant event in 2012 occurred to

change the health care system that stood for 50 plus years?"
You are being given the answer today. You will be able to answer that question with


You can not put the "genie" back in the bottle!!!!

Visit Juniques Multi Cultural Connections

12 Jun 2012
Obamacare: Some GOP Governors Likely to Implement it if Supreme Court

Upholds Health Care Law
By MICHAEL ONO | ABC OTUS News – 11 hrs ago

The fate of Obamacare -- the health care law championed by the White House -- is

with the Supreme Court, which is expected to hand down a decision this month. If

-- and it's a big if -- the court rules fully in favor of the law and its requirement that

the government can require Americans to buy health insurance, it will put some

Republican governors in the uncomfortable position of working with the federal

government to implement a law they dislike.

Take Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey.

Democrats in the New Jersey legislature can expect him to work with them on

implementing a state-regulated health insurance exchange, something is required

under the health care law.

Part of the law requires that individuals buy medical insurance by 2014, but when

they do, people and small businesses can purchase subsidized insurance through

state-regulated exchanges.

Christie vetoed a measure in New Jersey to create exchanges back in May, but

sounded grudgingly receptive to future action in his veto message to the state's

general assembly. As governor, he applied for and accepted $8 million in grants

from the Department of Health and Human Services to set up an exchange.

"While I am unwilling to approve the establishment of a statewide health insurance

exchange at this time, I am mindful that the requirements of the Affordable Care Act

still stand today and I intend to fully oversee New Jersey's compliance in a

responsible and cost-effective manner should its constitutionality ultimately be

upheld by the Supreme Court," said Christie in a letter to the New Jersey General


Christie, regarded as moderate on many issues, has established himself as a

Republican willing to fight the federal government. He has rejected federal money

on numerous occasions. Still, many Governors, like Christie, have accepted federal

grant money and are preparing to meet the 2014 deadline in the health care law.

"I don't think he's also going to stand as obstructionist for a law that has been

passed by Congress and upheld by the Supreme Court," said Ben Dworkin, the

director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University.

Still, conservative activists are watching to see what Christie and other governors

do. Some are concerned that governors will allow Obamacare provisions to pass at

the state level.

"I only hope that we can we can explain these different things to him and to

educate his staff on why it's economically beneficial not to implement this in New

Jersey," said Steve Lonegan, the New Jersey State Director at Americans for

Prosperity, a conservative group founded with support from David and Charles


Christie probably won't be alone among Republican governors, who may have to

scramble to implement the law if the Supreme Court lets it stand. If states don't

establish their own programs by 2014, the law allows the Federal Government to

intervene with its own health exchanges. Most states have applied for federal grant

money but only a few are close to implementation.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, like Christie, and has vetoed legislation in her

state, citing the pending Supreme Court decision as a reason to delay. But

Martinez has also accepted federal grant money. New Mexico will receive $34

million from HHS to establish its insurance exchange.

"I am in general support of the creation of a framework to establish a state

insurance exchange because I believe it is important that New Mexico maintain

control over the design of a market-based exchange, instead of allowing the federal

government to define the process," said Martinez in her veto to the state


Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana went even further when he issued an executive order

last year to establish insurance exchanges. His state is getting $6.8 million from

HHS. Republicans control the Indiana State Legislature.

Where does Mitt Romney stand on exchanges?

Romney has repeatedly said he is "for repealing Obamacare on day one." But his

newly minted transition head, Mike Leavitt, has no problem with the concept of

state health insurance exchanges, according to Politico.

"We believe that the exchanges are the solution to the small business insurance

market and that's gotten us sideways with some conservatives," he said.

Massachusetts is one of two states that have state health insurance exchanges.

Romney is largely tied to the healthcare law that gave birth to those exchanges and

Leavitt, a former Utah Governor and former head of HHS under George W. Bush,

benefited financially when his firm received a contract to build Utah's exchange


If Romney is elected in November he will likely work with Congress to repeal and

replace the Obama health law with his own healthcare plan. On Romney's website

there is a healthcare page that mentions his plan to "Ensure flexibility to help the

uninsured, including public-private partnerships, exchanges, and subsidies."

9 Million Health User can benefit from "Obamacare"!!

Biggest Health Insurer Will Keep Parts of 'Obamacare,' Regardless of Court Ruling
National JournalBy Jonathan Miller | National Journal – 14 hrs ago

The Health Care Industry will follow this lead. This is a nation's 1st!!!!
Took a man with strong conviction and courage to pioneer this move!!
Say what you may. With the strength to carry this through , this provide probably would
still practice "business as usual" . Taking a LOSE - LOSE to WIN-WIN

This is HUGE news. "Obamacare" already accepted by United Healthcare
UnitedHealthcare, the nation’s largest health care provider, will keep major and popular parts of President Obama’s health care initiative, regardless of how the U.S. Supreme Court rules.
The announcement affects roughly 9 million consumers in the U.S.

11 Jun 2012
Biggest Health Insurer Will Keep Parts of 'Obamacare,' Regardless of Court Ruling

National JournalBy Jonathan Miller | National Journal

UnitedHealthcare, the nation’s largest health care provider, will keep major and popular parts of President Obama’s health care initiative, regardless of how the U.S. Supreme Court rules.

The company announced Monday that it plans to continue to provide customers with preventive health services without co-pays or out-of-pocket charges. The company will also allow parents to keep children on their health plans until age 26.

UnitedHealthcare will also observe the law’s prohibition against lifetime limits on insurance payouts and canceling coverage after a patient gets sick, unless that patient intentionally lied on the insurance application.

The announcement affects roughly 9 million consumers in the U.S. The U.S. Supreme Court is reviewing several major challenges to the law, and is expected to issue rulings this month that could dispatch all or part of the law.

“The protections we are voluntarily extending are good for people’s health, promote broader access to quality care and contribute to helping control rising health care costs,” Stephen J. Hemsley, president and chief executive of UnitedHealth Group, said in a statement. “These provisions are compatible with our mission and continue our operating practices.”

Health and Human Services' chief health information technology officer, Farzad Mostashari, said it was part of a larger trend of the health reform law delivering permanent improvements to the health care industry.

"It goes to show how there are some changes afoot that are in the direction that we need to move," Mostashari told National Journal in an interview. "I'm greatly encouraged by what a lot of the commercial plans are doing."

The health insurance industry lobby also welcomed United's announcement.

"This is an example of health plans stepping up to give consumers peace of mind about their health care coverage," Americans Health Inusrance Plans Spokesman Robert Zirkelbach said in an e-mail.

Meghan McCarthy contributed.


Baby Boomer New Inheritance

Baby boomers: Get ready for a double whammy.
For years now, there's been a lot of talk about boomers getting tremendous windfalls as their parents pass on. Many boomers, in fact, have been lagging behind in their savings, betting on—hoping for—big bequests, especially since many of them suffered big losses in 2008.
But for a growing number of boomers, things aren't going according to plan. The postwar generation is living longer—and many are spending their savings along the way. And, of course, many of them also took a hit in 2008.

The result is that, as a group, boomers likely won't be getting as much of an inheritance as they hoped. Even worse, far from receiving a bequest, a growing number are tapping some of their own savings to help their cash-strapped parents make ends meet.

For families, the result is often a lot of scrambling, dashed dreams, and conflict and angst as parents and children try to come to grips with the lean new reality—and divide up a smaller pie.

Stephen Webster
 "There are way too many adult children I see who are looking at Mom and Dad's estate as their ticket to a secure retirement," says M. Holly Isdale, an estate planner in Bryn Mawr, Pa. "But with people living longer, much of the money is likely to be spent."

How much longer? Thanks to medical gains, a 65-year-old man has a 60% chance of living to age 80 and a 40% chance of reaching 85. For women, the odds are 71% and 53%, respectively. All of this has made the 85-and-over age bracket the fastest-growing segment of the population. In an era of low interest rates, volatile financial markets, and rising costs for health and long-term care, finding money to cover those years isn't always easy.

Consider the case of Nancy Becker, the co-owner of a small business in Waterbury, Conn. Her parents, Morris and Dorothy Stein, were diligent savers. "But they didn't imagine living well into their 90s," says Ms. Becker, whose father died in 2006 at 92 and whose mother died in 2011 at 97.

Ms. Becker and her two brothers inherited a house in Vermont from their father. But they spent about $180,000 of their own money—an amount that exceeds the value of the Vermont property—to cover living expenses for their mother in the final three years of her long life.

Ms. Becker, now 63, says she certainly doesn't begrudge her parents for outliving their savings. The Steins built a thriving plumbing and heating business that now employs Ms. Becker and her husband, among other family members. Still, as Ms. Becker's in-laws enter their 90s, she worries that "their money is running out, too."

 Financial losses can also put a dent in the older generation's reserves. Donald Hoeller, 86, of Glendale, Wis., says he and his wife, Bernadette, 85, had hoped to bequeath "several hundred thousand dollars" to each of their six children. But an office complex in which the couple invested 60% of their retirement savings recently landed in foreclosure and litigation.

So, Mr. Hoeller says, "I don't know if they will get anything."

His daughter, Mary Hoeller, 58, says that while she never counted on an inheritance, "times are tough"—and she now has the added worry that her parents may run out of money. A divorcee who is paying college-tuition bills for the youngest of her three children and wants to help another child with medical-school tuition, Ms. Hoeller says her income has declined substantially since 2008.

"I am very frugal," says Ms, Hoeller, a mediator in Indianapolis. But "who wouldn't want an inheritance from their parents? It would be a good thing."

Scaling Back Bequests

Many parents, of course, won't exhaust their savings. The Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College estimates that baby boomers and their offspring could inherit as much as $27 trillion over the next four decades, with the progeny of the wealthiest pocketing much of the windfall.

But there are signs that expected bequests are under pressure. According to Boston College's Center for Retirement Research, from June 2006 to June 2010, falling asset values reduced projected inheritances for baby boomers an estimated 13%. Stock prices have since recovered, although house prices in most markets have not.

Even the affluent are pulling back. Among those with $250,000 or more in investible assets, only 41% said preserving inheritances was a top concern, down from 54% in 2009, according to a Merrill Lynch survey released earlier this year. Due in large part to a 22% decline in projected future bequests of $500,000 or more, the amount individuals expect to transfer fell by 19% from 2008 to 2009, according to Michael Hurd, director of the Center for the Study of Aging at Rand Corp., a nonprofit research organization.

Just as telling is a recent study from Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. in Milwaukee. When asked how prepared they feel to live to various ages, one in three surveyed adults age 60-plus said they didn't feel prepared financially to live to age 85; almost one in two said the same with regard to age 95.

Suffering in Silence

Not surprisingly, many families are loath to discuss these issues.

In addition to serving as a reminder of the older generation's mortality, a conversation about inheritance or Mom and Dad running out of money can provoke anxiety in parents. Many are uncomfortable disclosing the details of their finances in the first place, even more so when they're worried about disappointing their children.

Adult children, in turn, aren't eager to ask their parents about money for fear of coming across as greedy. Some feel guilty for thinking about their own financial needs at a time when parents could be facing steep medical or long-term-care expenses.

"Due to the new realities of longevity, adult children—who have rightfully assumed they would inherit something substantial from their parents and have lived their lives accordingly—can no longer count on that," says Lillian Rubin, a sociologist, psychologist and author. Adult children, she adds, "often feel guilty for even thinking about" inheritance.

Nonetheless, financial advisers say, it is important for families to talk—if only to establish realistic expectations.

Peter Bell, 59, says he and his parents "have always been very open about talking about finances." That frankness has helped them through some tough choices in the past few years.

Mr. Bell, the president of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association in Washington, D.C., "always assumed" his father, Jerry, 87, and mother, Florence, 88, would leave a substantial inheritance.
After his parents lent his brother money several years ago, Mr. Bell says, they "decided I would get the house and everything else would be split."

But when the elder Bells decided almost two years ago to move into a continuing-care retirement community, it became apparent they would need the proceeds from the sale of their home to finance the community's $425,000 entry fee. Worse, because the depressed Florida real-estate market hindered their efforts to sell their home in Delray Beach, the couple had to borrow the $425,000 entry fee from their son.
"We have always considered our money as family money," says Jerry Bell, who anticipates repaying 85% of the loan from the proceeds of the home's recent sale. "When the kids needed help, we were there for them. And when we needed help, they were there for us."

Measures to Take

If parents anticipate running short of money—and if they and adult children are able to start a dialogue—there are several steps families should consider, financial planners say. Among them: Have parents recalibrate their budgets, downsize to a smaller residence, buy an annuity or longevity insurance to lock in a lifelong income, or take out a reverse mortgage.

In situations where children have adequate financial resources, some advisers recommend the children pay a parent's health-insurance premiums, purchase a long-term-care insurance policy for him or her, give a set amount of money each month or purchase the parent's home to generate cash for living expenses. (Before implementing a strategy, talk with your financial and tax advisers.)

The process can lead to conflict, although the tension typically remains beneath the surface, says Claudia Fine, an executive vice president at SeniorBridge, a New York-based company that provides care-management services.

Very often, she adds, she sees conflict arise over expenditures on caregiving. "Because feelings about inheritance are not expressed, families have a hard time sorting out their differences."

Siblings Sort It Out

Linda Fodrini-Johnson, 67, suspects inheritance calculations play a role in differences she and her three brothers have over managing the finances of their mother, Bernice Bidwell, 90.
Ms. Fodrini-Johnson says she and one brother, 60-year-old Craig Bidwell, "don't need to inherit" from their mother, who recently had a stroke and suffers from congestive heart failure. But disabilities have prevented the other brothers from working in recent years.

"There is tension," says Ms. Fodrini-Johnson, who lives in Walnut Creek, Calif., and runs a company that provides care-management services. "You hear it and feel it, but nobody articulates it because it would be disrespectful to Mom."

She points to a recent disagreement over her mother's hair. She wanted to take her mother to a hairdresser instead of using the one at her mother's assisted-living facility. But other siblings resisted.

No one came out and said it was about the cost, Ms. Fodrini-Johnson says, but that seemed to her to be the motivation. The siblings also debated whether to remodel and rent their mother's San Francisco home—so it could bring in some money—or allow a grandchild to serve as temporary caretaker of the place.

To avoid conflict, Ms. Fodrini-Johnson says, she solicits her brothers' opinions and explains the reasons for her decisions as well as the details of her mother's finances. But as her mother's power of attorney, she has the final say
Her three brothers declined to comment on the hairstylist incident, or said they didn't know about it. Two brothers, Craig and 63-year-old Gary Bidwell of San Francisco, say they discussed renting their mother's house to bring in extra income to offset her expenses.

No Expectations

When it comes to the idea of an inheritance, the three brothers are of similar minds.
Robin Bidwell, a 59-year-old in Colfax, Calif., says he sustained an injury at age 48 that has prevented him from working. While he receives a pension and Social Security, "I wasn't able to put money away. I don't live the life I want to live, but I don't look to my mother's inheritance to be on top of things," he says. "I believe my mother's care is first and foremost. That, to me, is more important than anything."

"An inheritance would help, but I am not looking forward to it," says his brother Gary, a 63-year-old who retired on a disability pension in 1998. "I don't want an inheritance if I have to lose someone I love."
Like many adult children, the third brother, Craig, says he hopes to receive an inheritance—in his case to help pay for a new home he and his wife plan to build. However, the retiree says he is grateful that his mother is able to afford the high-quality care she receives.

"Whatever my mother has is hers," he says. "It's not my inheritance. I didn't work for it. My brothers didn't work for it. My parents worked for it."

Ms. Tergesen is a staff reporter in The Wall Street Journal's New York bureau. She can be reached at

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