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Recent Comments

Re: “Shane Broadway to lead Higher Education

Doland apparently did a fine job at McNeese and is the ONLY university president to voluntarily move his football program from FBS (then I-A) to FCS (then I-AA). When the Southland was reclassified USL (now Louisiana-Lafayette) withdrew from the Southland to remain in I-A, while he opted to keep the football program in the Southland to preserve local rivalries and keep costs down. Considering that McNeese at the time was the most successful of the Southland programs (with three Independence Bowl appearances) it was a gutsy move.

Posted by Well on 06/29/2011 at 7:33 AM

Re: “The Republican plan to end Medicare

Empire of Dirt, Grandma if she is a typical American does NOT want the medical coverage she paid for. While I ridiculed the Ryan proposal in my prior comment, remember that most Americans receive $3 in Medicare benefit for every dollar paid in. If Grandma gets what she paid for, she ends up even worse off than if the Ryan plan is adopted.

Currently an employed person pays 1.45% of earnings and the employer pays a matching 1.45% as well. To be solvent the rate has to be more like 4.35% on the employee and 4.35% on the employer.

Right now, I'd settle for a stop-gap. Move employer rate to 1.5% as modest as a modest tax increase can be and push the employee rate to 2% or even 2.5% to buy time to find better cost controls.

In much of Europe (you know where single-payer or single provider tend to rule) the common thinking tends to be high taxes for those who are living breathing people and low rates for fictional people (ie. corporations) so that they have profits to spin out in the form of wages and investment income.

I am a "high roller" in that I have just snuck into the top quintile of national income. My medical costs including Medicare taxes(not including out-of-pocket not reimbursed by insurance or my HSA) are 6% of my wages. My employer pays the equivalent of 7% of my earnings. So 15% of earnings/potential earnings go to insurance, deductibles, premiums, and medicare tax.

The root problem remains that Americans fail to do the math to understand what is their own best interest. That best interest is "choice" but not as defined by the GOP.

You can choose plan A, where you get 100% coverage of everything except medicine. You get a primary care provider you stick with (advance notice required to change, one change per year). You don't get specialists, tests, surgery or hospital admission (except in emergency) without the coordination of your primary care provider sending you to the public hospital or hospital that has signed a contract. You get a subsidy for your medicines but generally, you don't get the new still under patent prescription drugs until the patent free generic has been shown to not provide sufficent benefit or has been shown to have too many side-effects.

You can choose plan B. Go to any doctor you want. Go to a specialist without a referal. If you want that freedom it comes with a cost. You have to pay at the time of service and the national health plan will reimburse based on their contract rate, you pick up the difference or you or your employer can buy a gap coverage insurance plan.

Yes taxes would have to go up, but even those who choose to have option B will likely come out ahead even buying gap coverage. Employers will have the burden of higher taxes unless you do the math and realize worker's comp coverage costs will be slashed as it stops being a health care system/lost wages insurance/death benefit plan and is simply about replacing lost wages and providing a death benefit with little medical benefits involved at all. Many employers will no longer have the cost of offering health insurance because unless it is a highly competitive sector, most will have no need to offer insurance beyond the national plan.

Posted by Well on 06/03/2011 at 3:03 PM

Re: “The Republican plan to end Medicare

Medicare overhead is purportedly 1.5% to 0.5% depending on who is doing the guesstimating. Private health insurers generally skim 15% of all premiums for overhead and profit.

Ryan wants to cut total dollars spent on Medicare. Run it through a middleman who will take at least 10X more dollars as a percentage of spending for overhead and profit.

So total dollars available to reimburse doctors and hospitals has to fall. My duly elected Senator in the Victory Bldg told KARK that Medicare is failing because the current system provides insufficient reimbursement.

How does reducing the dollars for reimbursement reverse that trend?

Posted by Well on 06/03/2011 at 2:11 PM

Re: “Republican mythmaking on bin Laden

They offered to turn him over to a country that wouldn't come under pressure from the United States. So that means no nation with an extradition treaty with the US and no nation likely to have given him up.

Come on Max, the Taliban offer wasn't to turn over Bin Laden, their offer was to help him secure safe passage to a new haven. He found that on his own with our ally Pakistan.

Posted by Well on 05/03/2011 at 9:30 AM

Re: “NPR drops Juan Williams UPDATE

He was fired for admitting he has a bias against Muslims when he is on a plane. This is a guy who has a great track record on civil rights issues admitting that he has a bias.

Thank you NPR. Now we know that it is bad to be honest. It is bad to confess that we ever allow bias to enter our minds. We will make a great deal of progress overcoming bias if people cannot confess their failings.

Posted by Well on 10/21/2010 at 10:15 AM

Re: “What if it had been a Hog hat?

Look she tried to be provocative and it worked. The consequences suck.

No person purportedly covering a sports team should be wearing that team's merchandise nor that of their opponents or others in their league (and I saw opponents and others in their league because the earlier description of Florida as a "hated rival" is laughable 8 meetings in 18 years of SEC membership does not a rivalry make).

Posted by Well on 08/16/2010 at 3:22 PM

Re: “The blah in the Spa

They couldn't charm their way into paying full price at a car dealer.

Posted by Well on 08/13/2010 at 10:11 AM

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