Sea World to Cut Hours for Part Time Employees

Friday, September 13, 2013 6:27 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

That you currently need insured to receive care. Why do we need a middleman handling the financials between me and my doctors?

That's what's busted about the system. Health insurance isn't insurance in the traditional sense (a protection against emergency or unforeseen situations) - it's your entry into the system at this point. You need it to get health care.

That, to me, is the problem.

Obamacare isn't guaranteeing everyone health care as much as it's putting everyone into insurance coverage.

There's a difference there.

But every time somebody tries to reasonably suggest a fix (medical savings accounts anybody?) that takes this common sense approach...they get labeled as the anti-christ right winger who wants to kill babies. I agree 100% that INSURANCE is the problem. It should be for catastrophic events only.

I suggest that the goal of having 100% insured population means absolutely nothing when the quality of care sucks. Fix quality and cost FIRST...then see who needs a helping hand.

That said...I'm not sure that pre-ACA health care in this country was nearly as "broke" as the alarmists made it out to be in order to force this fiasco down our throats. I have my doubts that ACA had as much to do with health care as simple politics.

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Friday, September 13, 2013 7:02 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

That you currently need insured to receive care. Why do we need a middleman handling the financials between me and my doctors?

Here's where I'll surprise some people.

I would say that happened because of the flaw in the tax code that encouraged employers to provide the "benefit" of health insurance at a significant tax advantage rather than pay the employees increased wages and have them pay for health insurance *if they so chose.*

Here's an article from US News (& World Report?) that suggests eliminating that loophole by treating insurance as regular income. http://tinyurl.com/lccfjav

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Friday, September 13, 2013 7:41 PM

I always heard it came about due to wage/price controls during WWII--employers offered health insurance 'cause they couldn't increase wages.

But I agree it's a mistake to tie health "insurance" (it ain't insurance) to your job. Gator's suggestion to eliminate the tax deduction is a step in the right direction, but good luck getting it passed. Too many people expect this to be provided by the employers now.

Heck, I'm amazed at the number of people who apparently have no idea that you can buy health insurance just like auto/home/life insurance. "With Obamacare you'll be able to shop for health insurance on the exchange." Ummm, I've been doing that on websites since I started buying my own insurance 10+ years ago, and I'm pretty sure I wasn't the 1st!

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Friday, September 13, 2013 8:16 PM

That I need to have insurance doesn't bother me as much as the fact that they're constantly getting in the way. My wife had "the scare" and they want all kinds of proof about her history before they'll pay for the biopsy. What kind of sense does that even make? Would it have been better to roll the dice and let it go? If it was cancer, that's not a win for anyone... increased cost and a dead patient.

The ACA had some things that were totally right, in terms of things like banning the pre-existing condition coverage denial, and other patient rights, but the individual mandate and this hourly requirement to offer insurance were not well thought out.

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Friday, September 13, 2013 8:39 PM

In over a decade of therapy, the individual that struck as the single most depressed human I have ever come across was an employee for Nationwide Insurance in Columbus. His sole responsibility was finding loopholes in individuals' insurance claims/forms so that they could deny them. Every time he got a claim denied...kick-back. The bigger the claim, the bigger the kick-back. This system is still in place.

I saw him after his 3rd suicide attempt, and only after quitting his job and starting over did he ever regain anything close to sanity.

I also look at this issue from the perspective of children.

We have the world's 4th worst rate of child poverty. We rank very poorly in infant mortality rates. Over 10% of children in this country have no health insurance, which, as was mentioned, is standing in the way of care. There are 16 million innocent victims suffering with no choice in the matter while politicians bicker, and, as was mentioned, we continue to feed a broken system.

Insurance companies are, from my perspective, the entire problem.

Our health is a business.

I agree that the changes to insurance companies' rules (not denying for pre-existing conditions, etc.) were the right move. So how did they respond?

Our rates are all jacked up so that their bottom line can stay the same.

You know how many countries in the developed, industrialized world do not have some sort of universal health care?

The US is pretty much the only one.

I actually pulled myself off every insurance panel (as a therapist)...and now only take money out of pocket from clients on a sliding scale.

Therapy, "unplugged". It's a win win for everyone but the insurance companies. In the end, clients spend less per session than what a co-pay would be, and I have no mountain of paperwork (which, by the way, also gets denied a good portion of the time for a "t" not being crossed correctly) to complete...nor do I have to wait 6 months to get paid for a session.

Last edited by OhioStater, Friday, September 13, 2013 9:00 PM
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Friday, September 13, 2013 9:19 PM

Kevin, I am so voting for you for Surgeon General. Or maybe Psychotherapist Admiral.

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Friday, September 13, 2013 10:08 PM

Why do we need a middleman handling the financials between my and my doctors?

I don't disagree. One of the many flaws I see in our current system is that the end consumer have no ability to make choices for care.

When I ended up in an ambulance in late 2011, I didn't have the opportunity to study which ER would offer the best quality of service at the best price; they took me to Northwestern Hospital while I held gauze pads against my wrist to staunch the bleeding. Northwestern didn't offer me a menu of options; they put me in the psych ward for a week.

But: the system we have, for many people, puts a middleman between us and our doctors. I took a severance package in 2012 that included 6 months COBRA. As that came close to running out I looked at getting insurance on my own and it was prohibitive. I couldn't afford it on the wages my part time job paid, nor could I afford going to a doctor and the cost of medication without coverage. I'm fortunate; I have a part time job with a company that offers limited insurance coverage to part-timers.

Health insurance isn't insurance in the traditional sense (a protection against emergency or unforeseen situations) - it's your entry into the system...

I agree, and I don't. Health insurance should be a protection against emergencies. But in the health care system we have, it's not.

I get why health insurance companies prefer having customer delivered to them in large group by employer health coverage plans; they can reduce their costs.

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Friday, September 13, 2013 10:19 PM

I have a feeling once Obamacare kicks in and screws up the economy even worse than it is now the enitre country will be plunged into REVOLUTION.

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Friday, September 13, 2013 10:27 PM

A) Obamacare has already started to kick in. No revolution yet.

B) The economy is far less screwed up now than when Obama took office.

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Friday, September 13, 2013 10:31 PM

If you think the system's working ASK SOMEONE WHO ISN'T

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Friday, September 13, 2013 10:50 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

janfrederick said:

I'm not sure who is paying for uninsured emergency room visits now, but I think it would be better to take care of that problem collectively.

By not allowing uninsured emergency room visits.

Yeah, that one certainly struck home. I've been a practicing physician for almost three decades and have worked in an ER since 1997. You would be amazed at what comes into our ER. More than half of the patients checking into the ER should not be there. In fact, I would say it is closer to 75%.

One of my nurses was at the triage desk today and was complaining about how stupid people are. Her comment was, "Whatever happened to Darwin's theory of Survival of the Fittest. The problem today is that EVERYONE survives."

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Friday, September 13, 2013 11:05 PM

I'm working 12 hours a week. I think the system's working.

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Saturday, September 14, 2013 12:22 AM

I would love to see the metrics used to rate us the 4th highest child poverty rate...? There is no way that is a consistent standard across borders. Poor in the US is middle (upper?) class in most countries.

I fail to see how policies that have employers incentivised to drop workers hours to less than 30 per week helps the cause. Rather than focus on health care for the poor...I'd suggest the more humane approach is to concentrate on high paying jobs for the parents...so those kids are out of poverty. ACA has the opposite effect...

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Saturday, September 14, 2013 12:42 AM

Just because you learned something doesn't mean it can't possibly be true.

If you'd prefer a different source (one where the "4th ranking" emanated), you can find that little factoid here.

No one is saying that it's worse to be poor in Iowa as compared to being dirt poor in Ethiopia.

Last edited by OhioStater, Saturday, September 14, 2013 12:49 AM
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Saturday, September 14, 2013 12:48 AM

But I think what he is saying is that it's not normalized between countries. That the national median income here is probably vastly different than in a country like Slovakia.

In turn, living with income 50% below the national median is very different here than in poorer countries. So much so that while we have more people that meet that criteria, they could very well have a better life than the non-poverty kids in poorer countries that the US is being compared to. The article even states that the US is six times richer than the two countries it's ranked between.

That is to say, being poor in the US is probably better than not being poor in those countries.

From the article:

And UNICEF is using its own "poverty line" here; the more typical international definition is a family that lives on less than $1.25 or $2 per day. Almost no Americans qualify for this definition.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Saturday, September 14, 2013 12:51 AM
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Saturday, September 14, 2013 7:17 AM

Another issue with the US poverty rate is that it doesn't include non-cash assistance the poor receive--it's only based on cash income. So the food stamps, Medicaid, housing vouchers, etc. have no effect on the official poverty rate.

This talks about what the "poor" in this country actually have:

According to the government’s own data, the typical poor family lives in a house or apartment that’s not only in good repair but is larger than the homes of the average non-poor person in England, France or Germany.

Obviously there are truly poor people in this country, but it is far less than official statistics would lead you to believe.

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Saturday, September 14, 2013 10:05 AM

It is obvious that in terms of REAL poverty...American children are nowhere near 4th place. That statistic is derived and utilised with political motivations.

However, there is a real concern with our poverty level rising during the "28 hour per week" recovery. The trend is bad. ACA is certainly a strong drag on economic recovery.

If illuminating the children's woes is a motivating factor...there is a strong argument that eliminating ACA would be best for the kids. We need to get their parents out of poverty and back work. I believe this is much more humane than supporting job-deterrent policies like ACA.

I want everybody to have the American dream...not Bandaids.

Last edited by Aamilj, Saturday, September 14, 2013 10:06 AM
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Saturday, September 14, 2013 10:24 AM

That is to say, being poor in the US is probably better than not being poor in those countries.

I did say that as well, although it was in an edit that was being made as you were also typing. :)

Next time I help a homeless kid from Canton I'll be sure to pat him on the back and remind him that he should be thankful he doesn't live in Siberia. Or Slovakia. That should help him escape the cycle of poverty in no time. We'll watch the end of Life of Brian together and have a good laugh and a high five.

Regardless of how you interpret or digest the numbers, 1) There are a hell of a lot of impoverished kids in the United States (not living in homes of well-repair, mind you), and 2) Our current system of insurance-based access to health care is preventing them from getting what is, in my view, something they are entitled to have access to as a fundamental human right in a society as advanced and resourceful as ours.

So Sea World cut back on hours, which means less money for the employee, and the only reason they were cut is b/c SW can't maintain a budget with the expense of health insurance needed for those workers at 30 hours per week...so we're all back to insurance as the problem once again.

It's really boggling how we got so in bed with insurance to begin with. As a provider, I hate them (well, hated them...I simply don't work with them anymore), and I've never met a client who had any good things to say. They do their best to screw over both provider and providee on a daily basis.

And Mike...thanks for the vote of confidence. :) Admiral...hmm. I could have a fancy hat.

Last edited by OhioStater, Saturday, September 14, 2013 10:43 AM
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Saturday, September 14, 2013 10:42 AM

Then, to me, that "4th highest child poverty rate" statistic is absolutely meaningless. Of course, if we were to concentrate on fixing that problem, I could think of many places to start that would have the opposite effect of forcing Americans to purchase health insurance (which, I don't care what the Supreme Court ruling was, is unconstitutional).

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Saturday, September 14, 2013 10:45 AM

Regulus said:

I have a feeling once Obamacare kicks in and screws up the economy even worse than it is now the enitre country will be plunged into REVOLUTION.

Do you only regret that you have but one Cheeto-stained computer keyboard to give for your country?

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