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Dollar$ for Exchange$

Here’s an interesting thing:

[HHS Secrreatry Shecantbeserious] expected to be running zero exchanges … Congress has not yet appropriated the money to let [her] hire exchange employees.”

So, no money, no plan, and no transparency.

Rotsa ruck, Kathy.

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Add One More Obamacare Lawsuit


The founder of Domino’s Pizza is suing the federal government over mandatory contraception coverage in the new health care law.

Tom Monaghan, a devout Roman Catholic, says contraception is not health care and instead is a “gravely immoral” practice. He’s a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court, along with his Domino’s Farms, which runs an office park near Ann Arbor.

Monaghan offers health insurance that excludes contraception and abortion for employees. The new law requires employers to offer insurance that includes contraception coverage or risk fines. Monaghan says the law violates his constitutional rights, and he’s asking a judge to strike down the mandate.

The government says the contraception mandate benefits women and their role in society. There are similar lawsuits pending across the country.

Read more:

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Health Care is a Right

Seems there are still folks out there that believe they are entitled to unlimited, unrestricted health care, as long as someone else is paying the bill.

(Jorge) Mariscal moved from Mexico to the U.S. when he was 1 year old. Now as a 24-year-old graphic-design student, he considers it his home.He says he nearly returned to Mexico after doctors said he wouldn’t be able to receive a kidney transplant in the U.S. because he is undocumented. 

Chicago Tribune
Since he came here when he was 1 it is obvious someone brought him. Why has he lived here for 23 years without ever registering?

Why did he stay here vs. going to Mexico for his surgery?As an illegal immigrant, Jorge Mariscal waited eight years for a kidney transplant he feared would never come.After years of uncertainties, Mariscal said he’s excited about his future and grateful for the help he received. But he remains frustrated with a health care system that he worries might leave out an untold number of illegal immigrants in need of lifesaving treatments.“Why can’t we be treated the same?” he asked while sitting in his hospital room. “Health care should be a human right, not a privilege. At least give us the chance to fight for our lives with dignity.”

Why can’t you get a job with benefits that will pay for your medical needs? Why is it OUR collective responsibility to pay for YOUR health care?
Where is the dignity in demanding that someone else pay for your care?

Mariscal’s treatment is far from over. The pills he’ll need to make sure his body doesn’t reject the new organ can cost upward of $10,000 a year for the rest of his life. And paying for those, just like the surgery, is complicated by his immigration status.He applied for a grant through the Simon Bolivar Foundation, a medical nonprofit, that would help cover his first year of anti-rejection pills. But without health insurance, he expects he’ll have to pay for most of his medication.

In 2014 under Obamacare he will be able to purchase health insurance without restriction. I wonder if he will buy insurance then or expect the rest of us to pay for his care.

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Kasich and the ObamaTax

[Original post updated and revised]

Contrary to some reports, the newly enacted House Bill 613 is not an attempt by the Ohio GOP to “[enable] socialized medicine.”

In fact, it’s designed to put strict limits on how “Navigators” in the new Ohio Exchange can operate, and requires them to adhere to the same regulatory and licensing guidelines as real agents, including obtaining Errors and Omissions coverage and completing Continuing Education requirements.

In fact, you can read the actual text of the bill here.

As FoIB Patrick Paule points out, the bill “also underscores the important role that ODI will play in the process.

I don’t want navigators (who aren’t licensed and have no E & O) to have free reign to do whatever they want in Ohio.”

Excellent points!

I’ll try to connect with the bill’s sponsor, Barbara Sears, for her thoughts on how this will likely play out.

[Special IB Thank You! to reader Patrick Paule]

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Nurse: 50cc’s Johny Walker, Stat!

Gotta love the Kiwi’s:

The 65-year-old Taranaki man suddenly went blind when vodka he had been drinking reacted with his diabetes medication. He regained his sight only after hospital staff administered expensive whisky.”

Seems that the gentleman, a catering tutor, was celebrating his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary (yeah, I didn’t get the math there, either) with hooch his students had gifted him. When he found himself unable to see, he made haste to the nearest hospital. As, surgeons cut him open, they got a string whiff of “nail polish remover” and believed they’d found formaldehyde poisoning. The standard treatment is to administer ethanol, which tends to counteract the methanol (a component of formaldehyde):

Auckland City Hospital intensive care medicine specialist Tony Smith said administering ethanol was a well-established treatment for methanol poisoning.

It worked because the ethanol competed with the methanol and prevented it from being metabolised into harmful formaldehyde, which can cause blindness.”

So what was this magic potion?

Johnnie Walker Black Label. It was good whisky, yeah.”


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Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell:MVNHS©-style

So, what do (sickly) grandparents and their (sickly) grandchildren have in common?

They both get to travel the Liverpool Pathway, and at least half of them aren’t even asked about it:

Almost half of dying patients placed on the controversial Liverpool Care Pathway are never told that life-saving treatment has been withdrawn … around 57,000 patients a year are dying in [MVNHS©] hospitals without being told that efforts to keep them alive have been stopped.”

Well, why should they be?

After all, it’s not their money being spent on care. And, of course, there’s the remote chance that they (or their parents) might raise nasty, totally unnecessary objections. Of course, this is entirely logical: what sense would there be in disclosing the distasteful fact that while health “care” is free, there’s a finite supply of it, and that supply is much more efficiently spent on folks who have some hope of survival, right?

Now, if this sounds familiar, it should: the ObamaTax’s IPAB’s Death Panels are right around the corner to enforce this course of (non-)treatment on us.

Pleasant dreams!

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An Exchange of Ideas


Almost 3 years after Obamacare was signed in to law and there is as much, if not more uncertainty than before. All the campaign promises, “You can keep your plan if you want”, “Your premiums will drop by $2500 (or 3000%)”, and so forth have been proven to be lacking in honesty and integrity.

We are a little more than a year away from the deadline for FULL implementation (1/1/2014) and still the states have no real clue what is expected of them with regard to the exchange.

This should come as no surprise since Washington has arbitrarily usurped the legal authority of the states to set policy provisions, approve contract language, establish reserve requirements, minimum loss ratio standards, as well as setting and reviewing rates.

Confusion abounds.

States, carriers and consumers alike have been left in the dark when it comes to rules, guidelines and interpretation. The law, as written, says one thing, but then the HHS Dept. decides it means something else.

The law applies to everyone equally . . . unless of course you were granted a waiver or exception.

HHS has decided the law even trumps your religious rights and beliefs when it comes to items such as birth control or abortion.

So why should the rules concerning exchanges be any different?

In an open letter to HHS, Gov. Terry Branstad (Iowa) raised several (still unresolved issues and questions) regarding Obamacare and the exchange.

1)     Please provide a complete list of regulations that will have to be reviewed, revised and re-opened for public comment prior to implementation as a result of the Supreme Court ruling (e.g., the Medicaid eligibility regulations, exchange regulations related to interface with Medicaid). What is the schedule for re-issuing these regulations? 

         2)    When will final rules be issued on essential health benefits, actuarial value and rating areas? 

3)     The federal government has already extended deadlines for applying for Level 1 and Level 2 Exchange Establishment funding into 2014. Can we expect extensions of the deadlines for other areas of implementation given the uncertainty caused by the Supreme Court ruling and the linkage between Medicaid expansion and exchange eligibility and enrollment functions? In addition, will the deadlines change for states implementing a partnership exchange? Will the deadlines be extended for states implementing a federal exchange? Can you confirm that states will be able to switch from a federal model to a partnership or state model until 2019 and that funding will be available to enable that transition? 

4)     When will the details of the federal partnership options be available? These cannot be considered as an option without details including cost estimates and how state and federal systems are expected to link. How will the long term funding of the federally-facilitated healthcare exchanges be sustained? 

5)     States considering a state-based exchange need to know whether there will be a charge to use the federal data hub, advance premium tax credit/cost-sharing reduction service, risk adjustment and transitional reinsurance programs. Will there be a charge? And, if so, how much will it be? 

All good questions, along with 45 more on this site.

We were also promised that “Gitmo” would be closed by this president. Almost 4 years later and the prison is still open.

Makes you wonder when, or if, Obamacare in its’ final form, will happen.

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Cavalcade of Risk #171: Call for submissions

Emily Holbrook next
week’s Cavalcade of Risk – Entries are due by Monday (the 26th).

To submit your risk-related post,
just click here to email

You’ll need to

■ Your post’s url and
■ Your
blog’s url and name
■ Your name and
■ A (brief)
summary of the post

PLEASE remember: ONLY posts that relate to risk (not
personal finance tips and the like). And please only
submit if you are willing to link back to the carnival if your submission is


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Reason #215 to Have Term Life Insurance: Zombies


Zombies and Term Life InsuranceThe zombie apocalypse is coming. Oh yes — it’s true. Just look around. The signs are everywhere. We are a nation entranced by zombies, as evidenced by the popularity of AMC’s hit series The Walking Dead.

And you think you’re golden because you have a zombie survival kit chock full of torch making materials, bottled water and a wood chipper. But do you have the most critical weapon needed to fight zombies and protect your family? That’s right — we’re talking about term life insurance.

You see, a term life insurance policy is indestructible to zombies. No matter what happens to you in a zombie apocalypse, the life insurance company will still pay a benefit to your family. Of course, we’re assuming the company itself has not been taken over by zombies, in which case, you’re out of luck. But we digress.

Term life insurance policies do have some limitations around the payment of the death benefit when a claim is filed. But mostly those limitations are themselves limited, as such:

  • Suicide Exclusion – Life insurance companies will not pay a death benefit for suicide in the first two years of the policy.
  • Contestability Period – Life insurance companies have the right to contest a death claim in the first two years of the policy. Mostly the company will investigate to make sure there were no material omissions or misrepresentations on your application. In other words, if you lied or didn’t disclose something important (like cancer or heart problems for example), the company may not pay.

Hmmm — no mention of zombies. We’re going to go out on a limb (pun intended) and say you’ll be covered in a zombie apocalypse.

So continue to stockpile cans of Spam and nose plugs until the fateful day comes. And when it does, go out there and fight the good fight knowing your life insurance company has your back!


Related Topics:

Unusual Ways to Die: Oh the Irony

Unusual Ways to Die: Scared to Death

Outlive Your Term Life Insurance Policy: Know Your Bites

Ohio Draws a Line [UPDATED]

[Although we rarely do this, I am changing the published headline of this post to more accurately reflect what's actually going on. HGS]

This just in:

Ohio will let the federal government run its health care exchange, a key portion of health care reform, Gov. John Kasich said today.”

Oh, well, guess that means we avoid a nasty state constitutional crisis.

And this is priceless:

Benefits of a federal exchange start with cost … annual operating costs of a state exchange would range from $19 million to $34 million, excluding technology. Fees from providers and insurers would pay most of those costs.” [emphasis added]

Yeah, be sure to let us know how that works out.

Not to mention: Buckeyes now get the privilege of susbsidizing the folks in states that set up their own Exchanges, forcing up our costs while driving down theirs (at least for a while).


[Hat Tip: FoIB Holly R]

UPDATE: Unlike Ohio’s Gov Kasich, Pelican State Gov Bobby Jindal was a bit more forceful in rejecting a state-built ObamaExchange. Co-blogger Mike tips us to the Governor’s official rejection:

The full extent of damage the PPACA causes to small businesses, the nation’s economy, and the American health care system will only be revealed with time. The State of Louisiana has no interest in being a party to this failure by implementing a state based exchange.”

That’s gonna leave a mark.

UPDATE THE 2ND: And now add Texas to the list:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry officially notified the federal government on Thursday that the state will not set up an exchange to help people buy health insurance.”

I’m wondering if perhaps thinking that my title for this post was inappropriate.


: Thanks to the folks at RedState, here’s the latest tally of states which have told Shecantbeserious to take a flying leap off the nearest ObamaExchange:

South Carolina




South Dakota











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