This explains a lot.

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Re: This explains a lot.

Postby tufluk » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:18 am

UPS to End Insurance Coverage for 15,000 Working Spouses

By Mary Jane Credeur and Alex Nussbaum - Aug 21, 2013

United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS), one of the biggest U.S. employers, plans to drop health insurance coverage for about 15,000 working spouses of white-collar employees to curtail rising costs.

Many spouses in the U.S. workforce will have access to employer-provided insurance under President Barack Obama’s health care-system overhaul, and UPS will remove them from its coverage, according to a copy of a memo to employees first published online by Kaiser Health News. Spouses who don’t work or lack employer-provided benefits will still be eligible at Atlanta-based UPS, according to the memo.

In its memo, UPS said the coverage shift is a response to expenses from the 2010 Affordable Care Act and “the rising cost of health care in general.” U.S. businesses have been increasing premiums to cover working spouses for years, said Paul Fronstin, a director at the Washington-based Employee Benefit Research Institute. Still, he said the total exclusion by UPS may be a first for a company its size.

“Is it a harbinger of things to come? Possibly,” Fronstin said in a telephone interview. “Once a major employer like UPS takes a step, all of the others will at least start looking at it.”
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Re: This explains a lot.

Postby tufluk » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:21 am

GE, IBM Ending Retiree Health Plans in Historic Shift
By Alex Nussbaum - Sep 9, 2013

America’s biggest employers, from GE to IBM, are increasingly moving retirees to insurance exchanges where they select their own health plans, an historic shift that could push more costs onto U.S. taxpayers.

Time Warner Inc. (TWX) yesterday said it would steer retired workers toward a privately run exchange, days after a similar announcement by International Business Machines Corp. General Electric Co. (GE) last year said it, too, would curb benefits in a move that may send some former employees to the public insurance exchanges created under the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

While retiree health benefits have been shrinking for years, the newest cutbacks may quickly become the norm. About 44 percent of companies plan to stop administering health plans for their former workers over the next two years, a survey last month by consultant Towers Watson & Co. (TW) found. Retirees are concerned their costs may rise, while analysts predict benefits will decline in some cases.

“Things are going to change dramatically,” said Ron Fontanetta, a partner at New York-based Towers Watson, which advises GE and other large companies. “Over the next two to three years, we see a much more aggressive rethinking of what employers are going to provide.”
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Re: This explains a lot.

Postby tufluk » Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:35 am

Bugslayer wrote:Because the big pharm and insurance companies have paid off the GOP!



From the NY Times:

October 14, 2008


Drug Industry, Having Long Smiled on G.O.P., Now Splits Donations Equally
By ROBERT PEAR


WASHINGTON — After favoring Republicans by a ratio of more than two to one for most of the last decade, pharmaceutical companies and others in the health care industry are now splitting their contributions evenly between the two major parties, campaign finance reports show.

Lobbyists and executives in the industry say the swing reflects the fact that Democrats control both houses of Congress, are expected to increase their majorities and may win the White House, giving them a dominant voice on health policy.

“There’s a new world order,” Ken Johnson, senior vice president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said when asked why Democrats were getting more of the industry’s money.

The figures illustrate the maxim that money follows power, all the more so since public programs account for a growing share of spending on prescription drugs: 34 percent in 2006, up from 23 percent in 2000. So the companies’ fortunes depend more than ever on government decisions, and leading Democrats have offered proposals that would further expand the role of the public sector in financing and delivering health care.

The industry has shown strong Republican leanings in the past. While Democrats in Congress have severely criticized drug makers and health insurance companies, Republicans have worked closely with them on many issues, fending off countless proposals for stricter regulation.

But a new trend in campaign contributions emerges from data reported by Pfizer, Amgen, Johnson & Johnson, other companies and their trade associations.

In the 2008 election cycle, pharmaceutical companies — their employees and political action committees — have donated $20 million to federal candidates and the parties, with 49 percent going to Democrats and 51 percent to Republicans, according to the data, compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, an independent group that tracks campaign finance. Not since 1990 has the split been so nearly even.

By contrast, Democrats got just 31 percent of the industry’s donations in 2000 and 2006, 26 percent in 2002 and 34 percent in 2004.

Contributions by the American Medical Association show a similar pattern. Democrats have received 52 percent of the $882,000 in contributions reported by its political action committee in the current election cycle. In prior elections, the doctors’ group favored Republicans, giving them 61 percent of its donations in 2002, 80 percent in 2004 and 70 percent in 2006.

Fred P. DuVal, treasurer of the Democratic Governors Association, said: “Parity between the parties is now the operating principle for many corporate political action committees in the health care industry. That’s a sea change.” Mr. DuVal is a government relations consultant whose clients include Pfizer and Aetna.

The leading campaign contributors in the pharmaceutical industry in 2007-8, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, have been Pfizer, Amgen and Johnson & Johnson. All three heavily favored Republicans in the last four election cycles, but the proportion of money going to Democrats now approaches or exceeds 50 percent at each company.

“People in the pharmaceutical industry have not suddenly changed their spots,” said Representative Pete Stark, the California Democrat who is chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health. “They understand who will be writing legislation in the next few years. They want to be at the table.”

The trend is well illustrated by the shift at Pfizer, the world’s largest drug maker. The company’s employees and its political action committee made 85 percent of their contributions to Republicans in 2000. Republicans got 81 percent in 2002, 69 percent in 2004 and 67 percent in 2006. But Democrats have received 51 percent of the $1.2 million in contributions reported in the current election cycle. On its Web site, Pfizer now boasts that its political action committee supports equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans.
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Re: This explains a lot.

Postby tufluk » Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:50 am

From Forbes:
Op/Ed

8/27/2013 @ 8:00AM |53,022 views

It's Fact, Not Anecdote, That ObamaCare Is Turning Us Into A Part-Time Nation
Grace-Marie Turner

The Obama administration continues to discount the huge impact its health overhaul law is having in turning America into a part-time nation, calling reports anecdotal and not based on complete data.

To paraphrase Groucho Marx: Who are you going to believe? Me, or your own eyes?

An avalanche of “anecdotes” continues to pile up as workers across the country are having their hours cut and their health benefits slashed across a broad range of industries.

Loren Goodridge, the owner of 21 Subway franchises, says he has no choice but to cut the hours of his employees to 29 a week to avoid the law’s penalties.

The negative effects of the law reach the education industry as well. St. Petersburg College, a public university in Florida, is reducing the hours of 250 faculty members because the college says it cannot afford to provide them with health insurance.

Joseph Hansen, the president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union that originally supported the law, says the health law will have a “tremendous impact as workers have their hours reduced and their incomes reduced.”

Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that the ratio of part-time to full-time jobs has completely flipped this year from historical trends. Last year, six full-time jobs were created for every one part time job. This year, only one full-time job is being created for every four new part-time jobs.

The shift to part-time has accelerated over the past several months because of the “look back” provision in ObamaCare that sets the baseline this year for the number of full-time workers a company employs to determine their compliance with the employer pay-or-play mandate.

The administration may have been trying to stop the damage when it announced in July it would delay for a year the reporting requirements for the health law’s employer mandate – the requirement that businesses with 50 or more employees provide health coverage that is acceptable to the government or pay a fine of $2,000 to $3,000 per employee per year.

The statute is very clear that the employer mandate is to take effect on January 1, 2014, not a year later as the White House now has directed. The House of Representatives was more than happy to give the administration legal authority to delay the employer mandate and passed legislation in July to make the delay legal. But, astonishingly, the president vowed to veto the legislation if it were to reach his desk – which it will not because Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid will not bring it up for a vote. The president would rather rewrite the law by administrative edict instead of following the Constitutional route of asking Congress to change it.

The damage is real, and the one-year delay is unlikely to have a significant impact on hiring. Businesses are not going to hire full-time workers for year or less only to have to fire them next year.

According to a survey by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 71% of small businesses say the health care law makes it harder to grow. One-half of small businesses that must comply with the employer mandate say they will either cut hours of full-time employees or replace them with part-time workers. Twenty four percent say they will reduce hiring to stay under 50 employees.

Not only is the law taking a toll on part-time workers, but it also is increasing costs for families. ObamaCare’s new health insurance tax alone will raise premiums by $8 billion next year, increasing an average family’s premium by more than $350.
And big businesses are being hit, too.

A recently-leaked letter from Delta Air Lines to the Obama administration states that the “cost of providing health care to our employees will increase by nearly $100,000,000 next year,” much of it due to Obamacare.

The delivery giant, UPS, is cutting eligibility for spouses of employees who have access to health coverage elsewhere. It says that the costs the law imposes are forcing changes, citing the law’s research fee and a tax of $63 per member to help shore up the health exchanges. Other factors are the act’s ban on annual and lifetime coverage limits and its requirement to cover dependent children up to age 26, UPS said. The University of Virginia also is limiting spouse health benefits.

Forcing employers to provide health insurance that soaks up their profits or cuts into operating revenues causes a cascade of distortions. Clearly, the law already is resulting in layoffs, fewer hours, and reduced hiring. It may even force some businesses to shut down.

In our still struggling economy, we should be making it easier for businesses to grow. Instead the law is causing huge dislocations in the labor force and imposing major new costs on businesses — money that could have been invested in growth and new hiring.

Washington needs to recognize the damage that ObamaCare is doing to our economy and, as a first step, delay the law’s implementation for a year. Then a new Congress can put us on course to health reform that will actually help our economy grow and improve our health sector.
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Re: This explains a lot.

Postby irban » Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:55 am

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Re: This explains a lot.

Postby tufluk » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:07 am

by Wynton Hall 11 Sep 2013 240 post a comment


SeaWorld has announced plans to slash thousands of part-time workers' hours to no more than 28 hours a week. Reducing part-time workers' current 32 hours a week down to 28 weekly hours will avoid Obamacare's 30-hour full-time trigger that forces employers to provide comprehensive health insurance benefits or face up to $3,000 per employee in fines.

SeaWorld's public relations department offered scant details on its plans but said the move "is intended to bring consistency to the part-time designation across the SeaWorld Parks system." SeaWorld says part-time workers' hours will be cut beginning in November but would not answer whether Obamacare prompted the decision.

"There is no other reason to change your cap from 32 hours to 28 other than" Obamacare, former Walt Disney World executive and University of Central Florida hospitality management professor Duncan Dickson told the Orlando Sentinel.

He added: "I hear my kids [students] talking about getting their hours cut. Everybody's very attuned to the 30-hour thing."

SeaWorld is not alone in cutting hours to avoid Obamacare. Last week, Investor's Business Daily published a list of 258 employers who have slashed worker hours or laid off workers in advance of Obamacare's grand opening in 19 days.
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Re: This explains a lot.

Postby IHearChains » Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:17 am

some issues that should be addressed


SeaWorld has announced plans to slash thousands of part-time workers' hours to no more than 28 hours a week. Reducing part-time workers' current 32 hours a week down to 28 weekly hours will avoid Obamacare's 30-hour full-time trigger that forces employers to provide comprehensive health insurance benefits or face up to $3,000 per employee in fines.


Lower the trigger to 26 hours per week. That should address the issue. :roll:
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Re: This explains a lot.

Postby irban » Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:35 am

IHearChains wrote:
some issues that should be addressed


SeaWorld has announced plans to slash thousands of part-time workers' hours to no more than 28 hours a week. Reducing part-time workers' current 32 hours a week down to 28 weekly hours will avoid Obamacare's 30-hour full-time trigger that forces employers to provide comprehensive health insurance benefits or face up to $3,000 per employee in fines.


Lower the trigger to 26 hours per week. That should address the issue. :roll:

Real research, versus anecdotal evidence, indicates this isn't happening.

Fox Ignores Economists To Stoke Fears About Obamacare Fueling Part-Time Jobs

And if you're suspicious of the links to studies put out there by that lefty Media Matters, you can take heart that even reliably repub politico reported this...

Obamacare isn't destroying jobs
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Re: This explains a lot.

Postby IHearChains » Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:19 pm

Quoting your politico link...

"For one thing, there simply aren’t as many would-be part-timers as the critics expect: The Obama administration estimates that fewer than 1 percent of employees work 30 to 34 hours a week (and thus would be easiest for employers to shift below 30 hours), are employed by businesses affected by the employer mandate, and do not have insurance. And only some of these workers would likely be at risk of having their hours cut."

"True, some employers say they are cutting employees’ hours to avoid the requirement to provide health coverage to full-time workers, which the ACA defines as those working 30 hours or more a week. But they are the exception. A small survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis finds that only 4 percent of companies had shifted to more part-time workers in response to health reform."

Fewer than one percent of workers fall into that category, yet 4 percent of companies are found to be making the shift. Hmm, very interesting.

I'm not a purveyer of gloom and doom on Obamacare, but I do like to see honest skepticism about whether it is actually going to help the people who really need it. It seems to me that 4 percent of companies making that shift is kind of significant. It's "only 4 percent" and somehow that proves Obamacare is working? I am missing something.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/08/o ... z2eiO4Zgke
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Re: This explains a lot.

Postby tufluk » Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:43 am

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Re: This explains a lot.

Postby Bugslayer » Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:05 am

Tuf....do you read this stuff as you write it? Thank you for making my point! I said the pharm and insurance companies have been lining the GOPs pockets for years, which is why we have piss poor healthcare and pay the most for it! You post a story about how big pharm has been paying off the GOP for the last few decades, but as of 2008 they are now splitting their money equally, you mean as soon as they saw they were losing the election to a party that has been for healthcare reform for those same few decades the GOP was on the take, they thought they might want to make some inroads to the new leaders in charge? So you believe since now that the big insurance and Pharm is now trying to buy the Democrats it removes the culpability of the GOP for being on the take for decades as the healthcare prices rocketed way out of control, and insurance prices with them? ROTFL

Which party was it that screamed about the public option hurting the insurance companies? the very same insurance companies who are bailing on the healthcare program? Trying to insure it doesn't work so they can keep bilking us! Big Pharm and insurance conglomerates are still in bed with the GOP....but they are cheating on the side with the Dems just in case!

As far as companies hiring part-time workers instead of full time workers to avoid paying benefits, that's been going on since the 80s when Reagan broke the unions. They either hire part time employees or hire through a temp agency, John Deere has ben doing it for years. It will continue until companies don't offer coverage to anyone forcing EVERYONE to buy private insurance.....the public option would have avoided all this, but the GOP just couldn't "afford" to let it happen.

Over the last few decades the world has went to hell in a handbasket.....and the GOP had their hand on the handle the entire time! They have ruled pretty much non-stop since the 50s....if things are screwed up, they were the ones in power when it went down....they deserve the blame.
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Re: This explains a lot.

Postby grodney » Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:58 am

tufluk wrote:This has been fun, but I'm tired of those whose argument for every subject is, "I don't need to respond with reasoning because you are a bad person".

I leave you libs to your self-reinforcing circle jerk.


If only.

But at least as long as you're here, you're proving the original point of the thread. Of course it wasn't about racists, per se, that's just an added bonus with you.
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Re: This explains a lot.

Postby 10up » Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:19 am

It isn't "reasoning" you worthless, worthless, asshole... It's "racism". There's no need to respond to ignorance and hatred with anything but scorn.
Your rants don't have any semblance of "reason" in them. They are mislead diatribes born out of your very skewed perception of the world and the people in it. The only response anyone could give is some form of "Oh my god how could you believe that and say it in public?"

I wish you would leave. I still don't understand how you have any support in this community. You're so unbelievably ignorant it's painful for me to know you associate with people whom I know and (in some cases) respect.

But as it stands? I'm content to call you out publicly anytime I catch your awfulness seeping out. I think you're just lucky not a lot of people frequent this thread... maybe I should collect all your hateful rhetoric in a blog somewhere. Really get your name out there. Anybody wanna tell me Tuf's real name? I'd love to see him publicly standing behind his own mouth.
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Re: This explains a lot.

Postby irban » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:31 am

IHearChains wrote:Quoting your politico link...

"For one thing, there simply aren’t as many would-be part-timers as the critics expect: The Obama administration estimates that fewer than 1 percent of employees work 30 to 34 hours a week (and thus would be easiest for employers to shift below 30 hours), are employed by businesses affected by the employer mandate, and do not have insurance. And only some of these workers would likely be at risk of having their hours cut."

"True, some employers say they are cutting employees’ hours to avoid the requirement to provide health coverage to full-time workers, which the ACA defines as those working 30 hours or more a week. But they are the exception. A small survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis finds that only 4 percent of companies had shifted to more part-time workers in response to health reform."

Fewer than one percent of workers fall into that category, yet 4 percent of companies are found to be making the shift. Hmm, very interesting.

I'm not a purveyer of gloom and doom on Obamacare, but I do like to see honest skepticism about whether it is actually going to help the people who really need it. It seems to me that 4 percent of companies making that shift is kind of significant. It's "only 4 percent" and somehow that proves Obamacare is working? I am missing something.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/08/o ... z2eiO4Zgke


At least we're trying to resolve problems with the health care system. I wish the repubs would lead, follow or get out of the way. They had their chance for input, and chose flat out obstructionism. Not because they don't think there is a problem, but because they're afraid it will work, and make the Dems look good. Hell, Affordable Care and the Massachusetts system are based on a plan devised by a right wing think tank, back when they actually did some thinking.

Unfortunately for the citizens of the red states that are doing everything they can to keep people from signing up, most repubs are choosing to stay in the way.
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Re: This explains a lot.

Postby IHearChains » Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:02 pm

Bugslayer wrote:I said the pharm and insurance companies have been lining the GOPs pockets for years, which is why we have piss poor healthcare and pay the most for it!


I'm not taking partisan sides on this, and anyway as you noted, both parties are involved. But here is the reality.

Take the profit out of it and we will have no new drugs. A pharmaceutical company spends hundreds of millions to develop a single new drug. It takes about a decade of salary for hundreds of highly skilled chemists, biologists, MDs, pharmacists, and engineers, just for one drug. How terrible of them to try to recoup that investment. The drugs they sell for profit provide the funds to support the ongoing R&D on the next drugs for alzheimers or cancer or you name it.

Do you think those new drugs are just supposed to fall from the sky? C'mon man.

Imagine if HIV drugs hadn't "fallen from the sky" and AIDS had gone totally unchecked. Those evil "pharm" companies! They must be stopped!

If you think healthcare is piss poor now, check the life expectancy before those antibiotics and vaccines "fell from the sky".

The ironic thing is, the people who whine about pharmaceutical profits owe their lives to those profits, and don't even think twice about it.
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