United States – Affordable Care Act (ACA) aka Obamacare

October 14, 2017

United States – Affordable Care Act (ACA) aka Obamacare

Padmini Arhant

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) aka Obamacare has been discussed in detail on this site. Please refer to posts related to this topic.

The recap on ACA – The mandatory insurance tied to penalty proved extremely profitable to insurance industry with no obligation on insurance providers in skimming premiums or expanding coverage.  On the contrary, the insurance offered today under ACA has high deductibles on treatment for various health conditions not necessarily pre-existing and some procedures required to treat certain health issues are not covered regardless of the health plan available in the market place.

Not surprisingly, those against amending the health care law i.e. Obamacare are not in touch with reality and pledged to establishment rules and symbolic trends at vast majority expense.

The mandatory subscription enforced in the existing Obamacare is unethical and undemocratic especially in the absence of commitments from insurance industry to meet their end of the bargain.

The compulsory insurance subscription enforced via Obamacare is rejected by many citizens opting to pay the unconstitutional and illegal penalty rather than enriching the industry barely offering coverage to subscribers on variety of health problems experienced by them.

When industries in the economic sector and politics join forces for vested interests exploiting ordinary citizens, the market economy sustainability is challenged woefully affecting businesses aimed at mega profitability beyond affordability.

The consumer force determines business success or failure and industry survival. In resistance to any modifications and fair adjustments of Obamacare at congressional level due to political partisanship, the industry is ultimately taken up to tasks to comply with standards and maintain reliability barring policies set to protect major shareholders and top 1% windfall guaranteed in Obamacare.

Average citizens do not have the luxury as the privileged class to squander hard earned savings without any value in return.

Health is critical and taxpayers tax dollars expended wisely in universal health care with comprehensive plan could not be a tall order for an industrialized nation allocating disproportionate spending on military and nuclear weapons as well as foreign aid to affluent allies while leaving citizens entirely at health care merchants and insurers mercy with legislations overwhelmingly favoring campaign financiers from the industry.

The unique position among lawmakers to defend industries agenda neglect constituents plight allowing major companies in the health care industry to evade responsibility on rising costs and declining health package.

In terms of lawmakers in the U.S. Senate vote to rectify anomalies in Obamacare, the reasons from them do not reconcile with their trajectory. The Senator posing with terror factions responsible for terrorizing and killing thousands of innocent children, women and men in Syria having reservations on Obamacare amendment reflect personal issues with incumbent administration rather than genuine concern for the people affected under current health care law.

Unfortunately, prioritizing individual gains at public loss is the convention in politics fostering waywardness in the extraordinary conditions imposed on citizens in the hyped health care reform short on benefits and delivery making Affordable Care Act / Obamacare anything but affordable.

Anything in ACA defense only project the content of law missing in practicality that in itself invalidate the legislation not binding on all sides to be meaningful and effective.

Health care for all in the appropriate disbursement of tax funds in caring for the sick, elderly and healthy of any age is significant to qualify for advanced nation status.

Peace to all!

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Author & Presenter PadminiArhant.com

Spouse in Divine Mission














Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare

September 22, 2017

Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare

Padmini Arhant

The affordable care act aka Obamacare is anything but affordable. The law overwhelmingly favoring health insurance industry with mandatory subscription tied to penalty upon failure to do so is undemocratic and unethical. 

Anyone in good conscience would not endorse a law that burdens average citizens to bear the costs on ever increasing health care expenses due to unregulated industry profit margins exceeding market affordability.  

The Affordable Care Act allows free ride to health care and insurance industry with no obligations to rein in surging premiums and diminishing coverage despite compulsory insurance subscription.  Obamacare is bonanza for insurance industry with 35 million subscribers forced into plans barely meeting minimum health care requirements like annual exam and consulting visits to doctor’s office not to mention higher deductibles and copayments.  Meanwhile, the propagated advantages of the law such as accepting patients with pre-existing conditions are not only charged exponentially by insurance providers but also the costs are transferred to healthy subscribers in the expense reallocation. 

In short, the affordable care act is a proof of successful lobby from the health care and insurance industry rewarding those complicit in the enactment of law that is inadequate in coverage and enforces subscription beyond reasonable means to enable insurance industry control over patient care and health management. 

Politics playing central role in upholding laws that are favorable to campaign financiers viz. health sector in this instance at electorate financial woes and losses impact economy and electoral outcome. 

The lawmakers focused on loyalty towards SuperPac for re-election often forget voters dissatisfaction expressed through ballots on issues not addressed responsibly and in worst case scenarios rejected for misplaced priority.

Congressional and administration actions would be meaningful and effective upon legislations passed to alleviate problems of ordinary citizens as regular taxpayers expecting their tax dollars to be invested in their health, education and job security besides infrastructure and clean environment.

The disproportionality enrich industries with policies entirely benefitting them.

Setting aside political alliance and affiliations, the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare replacement eliminating mandatory subscription is the preliminary step towards health care reform. The shared responsibility between state, federal and health industry in offering quality health care meeting basic to advanced health coverage is the standard any system could provide excluding none regardless of socio economic background. 

The cost factor in a market economy allowing choices via healthy competition would promote decent health care options currently unavailable due to major stakeholders monopoly in the industry. Universal health care is dismissed on the notion of extraordinary costs and liability originating from health industry practice and strategy to maintain status quo.

The contemporary law bearing on the industry is negligible shifting the responsibility on subscribers i.e. the insured to comply with various demands limiting affordability. The incentives to the industry are far greater to accommodate enrollment in health care plan that are not necessarily distributed down the line to end consumer. As a result the healthy and those experiencing health problems are faced with escalating price and insurance industry maneuvered eligibility criteria.

United States joining nations that pay attention to citizens health and well being made possible with investment in best medical care for all is prudent to improve failing health and tax structure. 

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Author & Presenter PadminiArhant.com

Spouse in Divine Mission 

The Affordable Care Act Reality 

July 30, 2017

The Affordable Care Act Reality 

By Padmini Arhant

The Affordable Care Act became comprehensively effective in 2014 and not 2010.

The subsidies to Insurance companies are not passed over to end consumer as co-payments and deductibles have been higher despite the law.

The premiums have not been cheaper while the insurance industry has been rewarded with 35 million subscribers through mandatory subscription.

There is no penalty on Insurers unlike on subscribers and employers on non-compliance.

The constant slogan on 20 million losing insurance would happen under the current law. The reason is the funding enabled largely on higher payroll taxes and individual mandates burdening small business, the middle income groups, the youth and healthy population.

The fiscal budget for 2018 on mandatory spending covering Medicare and Medicaid costs at $582 billion and $404 billion respectively are expected to rise further with bulk of the payments derived from general tax revenues becoming the primary source. The current 43% would soon increase to 62% affecting the younger groups, the middle class and baby boomers in work force.

There are already proposals to hike taxes for the income bracket between $150,000 – $300,000 in the tax reform bill sparing those earning above the target income to accommodate anamolies in the present health care bill that would exacerbate consumer spending with ripple effects on retail business and the economy.

Politics punishing the middle class and lower income neither qualifying for Medicaid nor benefiting from tax credits with health insurance premiums exceeding qualifying deductions is economically unsustainable with inevitable backlash from the electorate.

The ACA needs amendments in these areas with facts and figures reconciling reality.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Author & Presenter PadminiArhant.com

Spouse in Divine Mission









United States – Health Care Bill

July 26, 2017

United States – Health Care Bill

By Padmini Arhant

The latest unsuccessful attempt to pass health care bill is perhaps due to lack of coordination and substance not in adherence with requirements.

The main aspects of the bill for robust health care law starting from eliminating mandates with penalty, Medicaid expansions not contractions, reviewing tax features for balanced appropriations, addressing opioid funding and state autonomy for health care benefits to suit respective needs with or without federal assistance.

The existing law enforcing penalty for failure to subscribe insurance and coverage lapse is pro-industry and neglect reality related to unfortunate and unpredictable circumstances that happens in life forcing people into unaffordability. There is a need for law to be flexible and democratic rather than the present conditions binding on the middle and lower income group who do not qualify for Medicaid.

With the current partisanship on this crucial bill, the focus is shifted from strengthening health care benefits to preserving  industry profitability against affordability burdening healthy citizens and segments unable to meet legislative and industry criteria.  Any reservations are seemingly political than practical.

United States fiscal budget FY 2018 –  Medicare and Medicaid costs under Mandatory spending are $582 billion and $404 billion respectively per The Office of Management and Budget. Mandatory Spending Control Mechanisms, Congressional Budget Office.

Medicare Hospital Insurance program entirely funded by payroll taxes right now alongside Supplementary Medical Insurance program and drug benefit provided by combination of payroll taxes and premiums making up 57 percent and the balance 43 percent from general tax revenues contributing to budget deficit. The long term appears costlier with escalating healthcare costs demanding 62 percent from general tax revenues to fund Medicare. The irony is the Affordable Care Act largely dependent on higher payroll taxes shifting the burden from the wealthy to younger population in the work force and small businesses – usually in the front line dealing with challenges during economic downturn.

Neither the present law nor the proposed health care bill demonstrate courage to rein in on ever rising health care costs with monopoly in health care, insurance and pharmaceutical industry confirming the political status on legislations passed to favor oligarchy over ordinary citizens.

No matter how the existing health care law and embattled legislation are viewed and interpreted, the average and healthy citizens are penalized for political reasons with little or no concern on the economic impact and real experience not propagated information with serious ramifications to follow. 

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Author & Presenter PadminiArhant.com

Spouse in Divine Mission


Health Care – Prevention is better than Cure. This article is dedicated to all Americans regardless of age, gender, socioeconomic background and importantly health status. The podcast on this article will be available shortly. The topic will continue further on funding medicaid expansion, opioids epidemic and health industry regulation. 

By Padmini Arhant

All citizens need health care access without having to differ medical consultation and treatment programs or going overseas witnessed in the trend created by unaffordable hospitalization and medical care costs in the United States.

United States with GDP per capita approximately $51,000 for 2016 and California @ $59,000 remaining the largest economy in the nation with $2.3trillion GDP – 12.43% of National GDP $18.5 trillion struggling to afford health care for all understandably frustrates citizens in the state that also clarifies escalating health care costs and insurance premiums in parallel with no point of intersection.

Taxpayers having the option to allocate pretax earnings towards health savings account is critical for health maintenance choosing the best suitable plan that fits their budget and health needs.

Medicaid Expansions for the poor, lower and middle income groups eliminating current caps to permit significant percentage of population not meeting present criteria would produce healthy results in cutting expenditure that is otherwise keeping them from dependable health plan.

Medicaid for basic to complete recovery based on individual medical conditions would save healthcare spending arising from neglected and preventable health issues costing patients, insurance and the states alike.

The topic will resume on Medicaid funding with dissection of federal and state disposable income, wasteful spending that could be divested in citizens health care and more.


Health care law – The Affordable Care Act in the United States is not quite affordable for many due to health care costs constantly on the rise along with insurance premium. With health insurance covering only certain percentage on health bill the remaining is expected to be paid by patient. This is apart from copayment and deductibles on the related item.

The law is claimed to protect 20 million people who are brought under the ambit via mandatory subscription tied with penalty on failure to do so. This enactment proved a bonanza to health insurance companies in their deal to offer coverage for a price not nearly meeting average consumer purchase power.

Then there are issues with insurance companies declining coverage on some ailments not necessarily pre-existing and when they do cover, they are not without terms and conditions to an extent of transferring the burden on to consumer.

Under the existing health care law, the provisions to allow subscriptions for patients with pre-existing illness and extension on dependent children until 25 years of age pegged to parents or primary subscribers is a partial relief and again the price is not any cheaper as insurance premium is twice or more than regular cost for subscribers with any pre-existing symptoms or treatment.

The insurance companies with different tier plans covering 60% – 80% maximum and the rest left for consumer to contend with, the bottom line is health care and insurance industry exorbitant price makes it difficult for modest income consumers to absorb significant portion of the bill.

The Affordable Care Act focus limited to health insurance subscription while allowing health care and insurance industry to maintain extraordinary gains with soaring costs beyond consumer affordability reflects monopoly in a market economy.

Ordinarily the price determined in a market economy based on demand and supply together with competitiveness from multiple providers contributes to price adjustment and consumer price index.

Health care being vital for survival and wellbeing, the rapid escalation in costs against controlled inflation deprives citizens with basic and contingency subscriptions from affordable care.

Again, any subsidy and discounts are usually offset with treatment vs. drug costs rather than comprehensive package covering entire medical expense inclusive of medicines and any other requirements enabling full recovery.

The argument that tax credits for out of pocket medical expenditure paying towards any surplus typically works in favor of higher income bracket while middle and lower income group with relatively less taxable income falling short to take advantage of deductions in annual return.

Another development in health care practice now is the insurance industry run health care centers and medical foundations hiring medical professionals and practitioners safeguarding insurance company policy on quantity over quality in patient consultation keeping accessibility to necessary medical exam and procedure to bare minimum or unavailable.

Similarly, the tradition on insurance company approval every step of the way is continued with any refills on prescription drugs not linked to opioids also left at the insurance company discretion overriding medical advice and illness status.

Unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act inability to address these persisting problems pose a greater challenge for average consumers forced into compulsory insurance subscription benefitting the insurance industry more than the subscriber.

Furthermore, the enrolment of consumers with pre-existing situation is hardly a loss for health insurance company since payments towards ongoing treatment to patients in this category are compensated by young and healthy individuals’ subscription under current law.

On health management, the middle aged healthy subscribers routine physical exam every two years also restricted with insurance company protocol requiring payment for lipid profile viz. cholesterol and other critical blood tests to rule out any potential disease. These rules are enforced on insurance plan across the board and not confined to lower or higher payment plan.

The prevalent health care woes outlined above are factual leading to worse scenarios for many struggling to stay alive in the heavily profit oriented environment.

The debate on nothing wrong with aiming for jumbo profits is possible in full employment and fair income distribution economy in contradiction to reality.

The argument has no meaning in economic situation where profitability exceeds affordability widening the gap between haves and have nots especially in economically disadvantaged segments and amongst income group both young and old with the former starting life and latter nearing retirement on meager savings or none at all.


What needs to be done? 


Any legislation – present or future only concerned about health insurance, health care and pharmaceutical industry profits unaffected rain or shine need to pay attention to the system being not quite effective in delivering service to the most vulnerable as well as others not receiving the value for money in protecting health and life.

The antitrust law compliance facilitating more competition is the fundamental course to curb ever increasing costs on minimal to prolonged medical care including prescription drugs and any medical device.

Tax breaks matching employer contribution to employee and those with dependents would create a flexible plan.

Tax credits with full deductions for self-employed and small business owners enable more choices for consumers in the market place.

Medical Savings Account (Medi-Fund) – Financial institutions like banks, credit unions and cooperatives set up accounts exclusively for medical expense with better interests on deposits and lower borrowing rate would ease expense for families having members suffering from minor to major illness. The funds are to be FDIC insured to prevent risks and guarantee anytime withdrawal for medical purpose. The ATM debit card for medical use would serve well during emergency.

Students unable to stay on parents or guardians’ insurance plan should be eligible for federal and state medical grants together with college or educational institution initiated private endowments for student medical aid.

Senior Citizens – Expanding Medicare as well as covering drug costs with choices to buy through government agency sponsored pharmacy. Additionally, any retailers discount on prescription drugs qualifying for tax rebate would also be helpful.

Medicaid Expansion under Obamacare – Supreme Court decision allowing States to exercise discretion based on voluntary Medicaid expansion emphasized status quo. As such Medicaid expansions are made possible by lower and middle-income tax payers and not the wealthiest of the wealthy in the economy.

As explained in the article below  – any subsidies and premium tax credits capped at 138% and 400% of federal poverty level (FPL) to qualify for Medicaid and tax deductions under Obamacare enables marginal members provided their taxable income is sufficient to offset credits again excluding higher medical expenses for patients with pre-existing conditions and those pre-disposed to any genetic disorders.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Author & Presenter PadminiArhant.com

Spouse in Divine Mission


Health Care Bill – Myths and Facts

By Padmini Arhant

The heated debate on Health Care Bill pending votes in the United States Senate arguably attracts attention and tension.

Health Care Bill – Understanding the details would perhaps ease friction allowing focus on appropriate action.

OBAMA CARE:  Taxes, subsidies to insurance customers, Medicaid expansion program.

Obamacare requiring all Americans to subscribe to health insurance or pay tax penalty – A bonanza for health insurance industry bringing 35 million subscribers with mandatory insurance law tied to penalty.

The media reporting that repeal is expected to sharply increase the number of people who don’t have insurance which could in turn lead insurers to raise premiums.

This means the insurance for those unable to subscribe Obamacare compulsory insurance is essentially paid by healthy insured customers enabling health care industry mega profitability.

Obamacare mandate on large employers to offer health insurance or be fined.  Most corporations were offering some form of health insurance to employees negotiated in salary benefits prior to Obamacare rule. The penalty factor guarantees health insurance industry revenue.

In a real democracy and market economy choices combined with competition would facilitate affordability rather than mandatory law favoring monopoly in health care and health insurance industry. 

Health coverage to the poor – Medicaid criteria.

Prior to Affordable Care Act – In all states, Medicaid provides health coverage for some low-income people, families and children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities. In some states the program covers all low-income adults below a certain income level.

Obamacare Medicaid eligibility is based on income at or below 138% of federal poverty level (FPL).

Department of Health and Human Services determined FPL is used to evaluate Medicaid eligibility. The FPL is defined as set minimum gross income a family needs for survival that includes food, clothing, transportation, shelter and other essentials…allowing for inflation every year. The poverty level data is presented according to family size beginning with single person in a household upto family of 10 i.e. a couple with eight children. Then onwards the amount is incremental for additional person in a family.

FPL figures are released in January of the year.  FPL for 2017 for single person household is reported as $13,860. The single person would qualify for Medicaid under Obamacare with income level at $19,127 (i.e. 138% of FPL $13,860 for 2017).

Obamacare premium tax credit and cost sharing reductions supposedly leads to Medicaid eligibility.

Premium tax credits are generally available to people with household incomes between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) and are based on factors such as plan rates where you live.

In this instance, the single person household seeking premium tax credit would qualify upon annual income anywhere between $13,860 to $55,440 – this would be affordable when tax payable is more than insurance costs including deductibles and out of pocket payments.

Where does that leave others who neither belong in 138% FPL nor 400% FPL for premium tax credit and instead reminded of heavy penalty for not subscribing to health insurance?

The cost sharing reductions usually shifted on to subscriber by insurance industry given the insurance costs and health industry extraordinary profit margins not addressed in Obamacare or GOP health care bill.

GOP bill offering reimbursements for at least two years  to health insurance companies on the assumption of major loss to insurance providers for subsidies that reduce out-of-pocket costs for low income customers of Obamacare plans proves industry winning favor from both left and right of the political aisle.

Subsidies to reduce out-of-pocket costs for low income customers. The subsidies never affect insurance industry as no reduction in health insurance costs experienced with distribution across consumer base that penalize the healthy to bear expense. Even otherwise the subsidies are eventually paid for by middle income tax payers in the state and national economy. 

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Author & Presenter PadminiArhant.com

Spouse in Divine Mission







PadminiArhant.com – Recognition of Issues – 2015

August 27, 2015

By Padmini Arhant

Health and Environment leads the issues concerning life and habitat.

Health is important for survival.  Healthy living contributes to productivity and quality life.

The fundamental facilities like clean drinking water, sanitation, proper accommodation and health care access are lacking for scores of inhabitants across the globe.

Political, economic and social complexities deprive locals from basic requirements in life.  Above all warfare and internal turmoil disrupt normal state with enormous toll on health and infrastructure.

In the urban areas, health is affected from eating habits, lifestyle, stress level and surroundings including common genetic factor and general well being.

Healthcare costs still remain unaffordable for vast majority in the developed and developing nations worldwide.

Accordingly, the nation prioritizing national health would strive for universal health service without preconditions and restrictions to people from all walks of life.

The healthy choices in food are available now compared to a decade ago.  This is a preliminary step towards recognition of health as critical for existence.

However, greater efforts and actions are required in enabling population in lower economic strata with similar consumption. Obviously price is the bottom line for many with inflation reflected in food market.

Regrettably, healthy food is relatively expensive than unhealthy products leaving significant mass susceptible to health problems.

Multinational Corporations (MNC) dominance in food manufacturing beginning with farming, harvesting, sales and distribution hinder incentives to farmers in growing organic foods and produces availability at reasonable price.

In fact, organic food could be cheaper upon high market demand long stymied by MNC monopoly in agriculture commodity trade and food supply.

The corporations focus on profits over consumer health exacerbates conditions for vulnerable segments in society.

Corporations could make profits and achieve targeted earnings without compromising on healthy options especially the ingredients in various food merchandises with potential harm increasing health risks to average citizen and regular patrons.

Government agency such as food and drug administration effective measures and timely interventions on any serious violations are instrumental in averting food related health crisis.

The food and premise inspection of restaurants and food merchants sometimes evade responsibility due to corruption.

In developing nations, the street hawkers and vendors observing plain guidelines in food handling and safe practices would eliminate exposure to known and unknown health woes for customers in this category.

Briefly, health cannot be neglected for any reason. Simple decisions to improve health by checking on diet and physical activity could enhance living standard.

There are many form of exercise suitable to individual preferences and the one that cost nothing is walking leaving no excuse for sedentary routine.

Yoga is balanced with meditation for mental relaxation that complements overall benefits in mind body function.

Health and Environment are directly linked with clean, healthy, innocuous and secure atmosphere imperative for life sustenance on planet.

Environment pollution and contamination is a major challenge resulting in preventable illnesses regardless of age.

The contributions in promoting health and environmental status will be highlighted and honored for continued progress in this field.

Environment topic will be presented shortly.

Peace to all!

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant










United States – Single Payer Universal Health Care

October 1, 2013

By Padmini Arhant

United States health care debate renewed in 2013 provides opportunity for national movement seeking single payer system otherwise known as universal care in consideration of costs analyses favoring taxpayer dollars investment in comprehensive health care benefits for all.

The status quo evidently has at least 46 to 50 million Americans uninsured with Medicaid and Medicare criteria only allowing those qualifying the category.

Notwithstanding these programs constantly threatened with possible elimination under fiscal responsibility pretext amid bipartisan approval of wasteful spending in illegal warfare, sponsoring terrorism and multi billion dollars aid to Israel other than regional funding to safeguard nuclear Israel’s security.

In the health care reform passed in 2010 – the failure to enforce premium cap and measures to maintain affordability contributes to exorbitant costs depriving patients from receiving necessary medical relief and life saving procedures now and in the future.

Furthermore, effective January 2014 the mandatory subscription in the bill with penalty on non-compliance designed to favor health insurance industry would exacerbate citizens suffering in the dire economy heightened with misplaced priority to fund terror activities in Syria and expansion of militarism in the Asia Pacific titled pivot to Asia and Africom in the African continent.

Single payer implemented in other industrialized nations proved to be economically prudent and financially profitable to participating companies in the standardized method avoiding unnecessary expenses while facilitating diverse health care options through private management. 

The tax dollars divestment in socialized medicine for national distribution would essentially constitute quasi operation with  private sector focus on services relevant to health care needs.

Accordingly taxes collected from taxpayers allocated to guaranteed health care protect lives substantially reducing present Medicare and Medicaid spending upon amalgamation of auxiliaries under universal care ambit.

Single payer option is the legitimate right of all citizens and protects small businesses along with medium and major corporations from dealing with minimum to optimum commitments towards employees in the exponentially rising health care and pharmaceutical payments adjusted against salaries and wages that could be expended in retail consumption of utilitarian products serving as the economic stimulus.

Although choices for people to explore suitable plan would be a bonus in the national health scheme, the marginalized demography affected in the lack of free health care provisions would primarily gain from federal and state funded medical assistance.

United States budget appropriation directed in public and national interests could produce positive outcome and issues such as social security, health care, education and environment besides job creation deserves due attention with effective policies leading to sustainable progress.

Healthy nation means higher productivity critical for economic growth and long-term prosperity.

Single payer or national health care is an entitlement that could no longer be denied to citizens in a nation that disproportionately misuse tax revenues on destructive cause.

Finally, United States citizens unified stance on universal health care urging Congress to act in recognition of republic will is the cornerstone to bring about the anticipated change improving economic conditions for the struggling class in society.

Peace to all!

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant


















United States – Health Care Crisis

February 3, 2012

By Padmini Arhant

Health insurance costs and coverage was extensively discussed during health care debate in 2009.

Health care industry being a powerful stakeholder in politics, like all other legislations results in industry’s favor through campaign donations pledge winning executive and congressional support against public or national interest.

Consumer Watchdog Campaign is focused on reining in the escalating health care prices through ballot measure.

The important step needs every average consumer action to deter unaffordable premium and co-payment hikes despite the passage of the so-called health care law especially with mandatory insurance purchase scheduled to be effective in January 2014.

Your commitment is the only remedy to challenge corporatism undermining democracy on every issue concerning your life.

Please come forward and help this campaign to secure individual and your family’s future.

Since the matter is time sensitive, your prompt response is required for the campaign success.

Thank you for your participation in citizens’ movement on national issue.

Peace to all!

Padmini Arhant

Consumer Watchdog message is presented for public attention and involvement to save lives and make health care affordable to all.

Please visit the official site for more information and to print or request a petition.

Consumer Watchdog Campaign – Make Health Insurance Companies Justify their Rates:

“We are doing it!  Today we launched our ballot initiative drive to force health insurance companies to publicly justify their rates and get permission for rate hikes.

If you are a registered voter in California, your signature today can stop outrageous health insurance premium increases.  Please:

  1. Click on this link: Justify Rates.org.
  2. Follow the instructions to print out the ballot initiative petition on that page.
  3. Sign, date and return it to the address provided as soon as you possibly can.

Why is your signature so important?

If we can gather the signatures of 505,000 registered voters, the measure will qualify for the November 2012 ballot and give voters the right to stop price gouging by health insurance companies.

This is a volunteer qualification campaign, so we can only accomplish this big task with your help.

At the JustifyRates.org website you can print out, sign, date and return the ballot initiative petition, or request copies of the petition in the mail.

Why is this campaign so important?

The five largest health insurance companies made a combined profit of $11.7 billion in 2010.

That was a 17% increase over 2009 profits and a 51% increase over the $7.8 billion made in 2008, according to the California Department of Insurance.

California is one of the few states that does not require health insurance companies to get approval before raising rates.

We wrote this ballot measure for patients like Alison Heath. Alison says,

“Since October of 2010 we’ve had premium increases of 46% and on top of that they have increased our co-payments and annual deductibles. We feel like hostages, unwilling to give up our health insurance and frightened to imagine what they’ll try next. They know we are trapped and will try to take whatever they can from us.”

If you want to help Alison and change this outrageous profit structure, join our effort.

Please print out, sign, date and return this short ballot initiative petition as soon as you possibly can.

We must gather all signatures in just a few short weeks in order to get this measure on the ballot.

If we succeed, Californians will have the right to vote to lower their outrageous health insurance premiums.”

Many thanks for all your support,

Jamie Court
Consumer Watchdog Campaign

P.S. Consumer Watchdog Campaign To Make Health Insurance Companies Justify Their Rates, a committee of consumer advocates with major funding by Consumer Watchdog Campaign Committee. Consumer Watchdog Campaign is a nonprofit consumer protection organization. Your contributions are not tax-deductible.

9/11 Health Care Act HR 847 Legislative Victory

December 24, 2010

By Padmini Arhant

Congratulations! To Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Senate Majority leader Harry Reid and other respectable members on the successful legislation of the health care act to help the 9/11 rescue workers.

The action was long overdue and nonetheless the bipartisan approval is praiseworthy.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi leadership and the House representatives’ outstanding contribution in various legislation deserve appreciation.

Similarly, the Congressional members are requested on behalf of the ‘DREAM ACT’ beneficiaries to kindly recognize their plight and enable them in achieving the American dream – freedom, economic and social progress.

Please provide them the opportunity to defend and serve the great nation they call ‘home’ as Americans with your final vote upon returning from the holidays i.e. by the end of 111th Congress.

Contrary to the reference as the ‘lame duck’ Congress especially the Senate rose to the occasion during the week with three major national victories viz.

The Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Repeal, START Treaty and 9/11 Health Care Act – made possible with the moderate Republican members’ bipartisan cooperation that is required now and in the future to move our nation forward.

It is easier to do ‘What is politically expedient?’ than delivering ‘What is morally right?’

In the Bush Tax cuts deal – the agreement between the Republican minority and the White House overriding the democratic Congressional efforts is a travesty given –

The Honorable Senator Bernie Sanders’ filibuster attempt exceeding nine hours with a passionate plea to spare the middle class and lower income Americans from national debt burden in the tax cuts for wealthy and,

The earlier House bill under Speaker Nancy Pelosi leadership that addressed the status quo appropriately.

When three out of four legislations passed recently in bipartisanship without compromising on the American families deteriorating situation and national security interest, the reason offered on the tax cuts to the wealthy at average Americans’ expense as ‘Republican minority dominance’ beckons the question –

Is the fight against those standing up for the people or the ones serving the self and special interests?

Thus far the overarching initiatives and determination to win at all costs to the people and humanity’s detriment indicate the misplaced targets.

Hopefully, leadership will supersede politics from now onwards by prioritizing the decisions’ pros and cons in the short and long run.

Such transformation cannot be realized without vigorous public participation in the political process.

The United States Congress, the activists and individuals in different capacity were instrumental in the reversal of Capitol Hill ‘lame duck’ session.

Good luck! In the future endeavors to every member in Congress, White House and political affiliates.

America is indeed smiling!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Health Care Reform effective 2014

November 26, 2010

By Padmini Arhant

In the health care reform, the ramifications are currently experienced by a vast majority dealing with the health insurance industry detrimental policies on premium hikes and care denial, if not delaying treatment on preventable and serious illnesses.

The health care victims’ anguish cannot be ignored and expecting them to endure the health industry unfair practices for another three years is harsh and already affecting many patients’ lives.

As discussed in the July 10, 2010 post titled “Health Insurance Industry Policy between 2010-2014 – Impact on the Average American Life,” published on this site – the American plight is elevated rather than alleviated in the present environment and,

Beyond 2014 the health insurance industry with a large client base through mandatory insurance are yet to demonstrate that quality health care at competitive costs will be available to all regardless.

The BigPharma deal on prescription drugs and general medications having direct impact on senior citizens and chronically ill patients share similar conundrum with others in the health industry.

These are critical concerns among the suffering individuals and families that need to be addressed effectively by the authorities behind the health care reform and more importantly the health industry – the real beneficiary in the immediate and long run.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Health Insurance Industry Policy between 2010 -2014 – Impact on the Average American Life

July 10, 2010

By Padmini Arhant

Further to the article published on this website – “Amendments to National Health Care Legislation,” 04/07/2010 under “Health,” category, the predicted Insurance industry practice is taking toll on ‘average’ American lives.

Source: Bay Area News Group July 4, 2010

By Sandy Kleffman – skleffman@bayareanewsgroup.com – Thank you.

“Health Care Nightmare,” – Minor conditions lead to major insurance costs

Ralf Burgert had no idea how costly toenail fungus could be.

The San Rafael resident got rid of the common infection by treating it with the prescription medication Lamsil. But he could not believe the reaction when he applied for a health insurance policy on the individual market a short time later.

Because of the toenail fungus, an insurer informed him, he would be in a higher-risk insurance pool with a 50 percent jump in premiums.

Consumer advocates say they are often perplexed by the minor health issues that can create serious problems for people seeking health insurance. Each company sets its own policies.

People have been rejected for such common conditions as acne and high blood pressure, said Judy Dugan, research director for Consumer Watchdog.

“If you are pregnant, (insurers) will run the other way screaming,” she added.

“They don’t want to insure a baby until they have looked it over to make sure it’s absolutely healthy.”

A Fremont doctor said she was shocked when one insurer rejected her application because of her eczema, seasonal allergies and a brief bout with viral meningitis, despite a full recovery.

At age 45, Angelique Green, chief medical officer of the Tri-City Health Center, considers herself very healthy, with low cholesterol. She has never smoked, and her hobby is hip-hop dancing.

“To say no to somebody and not even try to work with them, that’s just wrong,” she said.
“It was very frustrating.”

Consumer advocates say they want to make sure that insurance companies do not become more aggressive with denials or dramatically hike premiums for those with pre-existing conditions during the next four years.

“The insurers now compete based on their ability to deny (coverage) to anybody who might actually need care,” Wright said.

“That will change, but not in the near term, and that’s a problem we will have to reckon with.
“It’s particularly important to be vigilant between now and 2014,” he said.

“We would like to see that the regulators closely monitor the denial rates for pre-existing conditions and the reasons for the denials.”

Insurance industry representatives call such concerns misguided and say they do not expect any major changes in underwriting policies before 2014.

“We have a competitive market in California, so health plans want people to buy their coverage, and they will charge a competitive price,” said Patrick Johnston, president and CEO of the California Association of Health Plans.

He noted that the insurance industry generally supported eliminating medical underwriting and guaranteeing coverage to applicants, as long as the change came with a government mandate that most people buy insurance.

Pre-existing conditions are not an issue for the 21 million Californians who have group insurance, usually provided through employers, because group plans accept people regardless of their medical histories.

But they can be a big worry for the 2.5 million Californians who buy insurance on the individual market.

California and many other states will soon set up new high-risk pools for those who have found it difficult or impossible to obtain coverage.

California will receive $761 million to fund this new pool, a dramatic increase over the $33 million for the state’s existing high-risk pool. But this money will not cover everyone with pre-existing conditions, and some may find the still-to-be-determined premiums too costly.

As a result, many people with pre-existing conditions are expected to remain in the individual market during the next four years and experience frustrations as they attempt to find coverage, consumer advocates say.

Consumer advocates such as Wright say people with pre-existing health conditions often encounter serious problems in obtaining coverage that hopefully will be resolved in 2014.

“Many people find it bewildering that it’s exactly the people who need coverage who are the ones who cannot get it,”

As more and more people get denied for smaller and smaller medical problems, both the industry and individuals have figured out that this is not sustainable,” he said.

“The system is broken.”

Redwood City resident Terri Mullen agrees. When she experienced work-related stresses in 2008, her doctor suggested she see a therapist and try anti-anxiety medication. Little did she realize the problem this would cause.

When she later applied for an individual insurance plan, a firm told her she would be in a high-risk pool with much higher premiums because the therapy and medication were signs of a serious mental illness.

Now, she says, “I’m not stressed out anymore – I’m mad.’

By Padmini Arhant – Health Care Snags Drags on…

As noted in the cited article, the victims’ experience is precisely the reason for the requirement on the health care reform to be effective immediately rather than in 2014.

Although, the health insurance industry like other Wall Street behemoths dictate their terms and conditions in every legislation to water down the impact, the legislators still hold the key to an effective and meaningful law on every national issue from financial, energy to health care bills.

It’s not surprising to note the insurance industry representatives’ emphasis on ‘the government mandate to buy insurance,’ to enable the industry compliance with respect to pre-existing conditions and coverage offer to applicants.

The problem lies with the insurance industry’s policy against the mandatory subscribers with pre-existing illnesses and affordability factor for comprehensive quality care even in 2014 and thereafter.

Meanwhile, the insurance industry is determined to continue the status quo with coverage denial and placing subscribers under high-risk pool for minor ailments between now and 2014.

Since it’s a life and death matter, those who are declined coverage by the insurers face the worst possible situations as there is no guarantee to their health care access until the health care legislation becomes the law in 2014.

Despite the expected federal funding increase to the states to address the high-risk pool, the amount projected as inadequate to cover the patients with pre-existing illnesses forcing them to deal with the escalating premium costs in the market for individual subscribers.

That’s why the ideal solution to all of these issues would be to amalgamate the existing federal programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, VA, COBRA and establish a “Single Payer” system for a “Universal Health Care” made available now to save life.

Nations thrive with healthy population contributing to a productive and prosperous economy.

It’s never too late to enhance the health care law for health care is a necessity and not a privilege.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

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