Thursday, April 26, 2012
by: Sahil Kapur- April 26, 2012, 1:30 PM 603995
A lesser-known but important provision in “Obamacare” that regulates how health insurance companies spend their money is yielding benefits for consumers, a new study finds.
By this August, insurers are projected to send consumers a total of $1.3 billion in rebates, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis released Thursday — $541 million to large employers, $377 million to small businesses and $426 million to people with their own insurance plans.
The rebates are the result of a rule in the Affordable Care Act that requires insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent or 85 percent of premium earnings on health care — as opposed to marketing and administrative activities — or otherwise provide rebates to their consumers.
White House spokesman Jay Carney highlighted the figures at the top of his press conference Thursday as “yet another sign of how the Affordable Care Act is already strengthening the health care system for millions of Americans.”
It’s the latest salvo in the ongoing partisan tug-of-war — one that’s expected to continue through the election — where Democrats take every opportunity to tout the law’s benefits and Republicans seize on unfavorable reports to paint it in a negative light. The law is expected to loom large in the 2012 election and Republicans have the upper hand when it comes to public opinion.
A Senate report prepared by Democrats estimated last year that the rebates would have been as high as $2 billion if the so-called Medical Loss Ratio provision took effect in 2010.
The insurance industry has rebelled against the MLR requirement and maintained that the rule would ultimately do more harm than good.
“Given the inherently unpredictable nature of health care costs, it is not surprising that some health plans expect to pay rebates to consumers in certain markets,” said Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans. “However, the coverage disruptions and other unintended consequences of imposing a new arbitrary federal cap on health plan administrative costs are likely to outweigh any benefit these rebates will provide to consumers.”
Monday, April 23, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
We paid a tax rate of 20.9% last year. Romney's tax rate? 13.9%*
Mitt Romney would protect a tax code that allows millionaires like himself to take advantage of loopholes and tax havens. Well isn't that special?
"Could it be Satan?"
hit on link to do your personal calculation:
*latest available records. The Romneys filed an extention request on their 2011 tax returns.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Saturday, April 7, 2012
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Debunking the Republican Talking Point of Blaming Democrat Control of the House For the National Debt
The complex chart above gives a great insight into the timeline of our National Debt. Click on it and expand the view and spend some time tracking the increases and declines. The chart is Debt compared to GDP the only true way to track National Debt.
A snap shot analysis shows 5 major spikes in growth of the National Debt:1). 1915-1919, Democrat House and President, Cause: WW I
2). 1933-1945, Democrat House and President, Cause: Republican gifted Great Depression & WW II
3). 1981-1993, Democratic House and Republican Presidents, Cause: Trickle Down Economics
4). 2001-2009, Republican House and Republican President, Cause: Trickle Down Economics
5). 2009-2012, R/D House, Democratic President, Cause: Republican gifted Great Recession and Trickle Down Economics.
Major Declines in National Debt:
1). 1919-1932, Republican House and Republican President, Result: The Great Depression
2). 1946- 1981 Democratic House and D/R Presidents. Result: Greatest pay down of debt in history
3). 1993-2000, D/R House and Democratic President. Result: Greatest economic boom in history.
A summary of the evidence is clear: debt is caused NOT just by spending but also by tax and economic policy, economic downturns, and war. Yet of the 5 spikes in National Debt, 4 have been caused Republican economic policy including nearly all of the most recent increases in National Debt.
Only 1 of the 5 spikes in National Debt occurred for reasons other than Republican economic policy and that was the spike of 1915-1919, caused by WW I.
Republicans are currently trying to deflect blame for the $9.2 trillion in debt ran up by the last 3 Republican presidents by blaming Democrat's control of the House of Representatives. The record of the last 100 years shows clearly that the single biggest pay down of National Debt occurred under the longest control of the House by Democrats, 1945-1981, and that steady record of fiscal responsibility was only broken by the advent of Reagan's budget busting Trickle Down Economics of tax give-a-ways to the rich.
When Republicans blame Democrats for their economic incompetence it sounds like bullshit because it is bullshit.