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Articles by run75441

What News Was in My In-Box, Nov. 30, 2022

2 days ago

Healthcare and the Environment appear to be the issues talked about in this installment of links. It was pretty clear this week in what showed up in my In-Box. Two of the topics I marked and suggesting you might read them. One is Healthcare Insurance Claim denial. The other is Solar Panel efficiency.

I am not surprised healthcare insurance is denying claims because they can. The longer they can delay a payout the more money they make.

The recommended reads:

Healthcare Insurance is becoming more and more like the healthcare insurance company depicted in the movie “The Rainmaker.”

“Great Benefit’s (healthcare) insurance like a bad slot machine. It never pays off.“

Well, almost like this. I am hearing this more and more from various

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Are railroads to blame for the rail strike threat?

3 days ago

Just doing a review of the potential strike being by railroad workers. To sum up the issue(s), proposed wage increases barely keep up with inflation, health care premiums nearly doubling, and a lack of paid sick days in the agreement. It doesn’t sound like that much of a big deal. More in a bit.

In recent years, railroads reduced the workforce by 30%. Or, a smaller workforce is moving more freight. Smaller workforce results in less Overhead and producing stunning profits for railroads over the last five or six years. This is playing into working Labor overtime to accomplish their assigned tasks. As one union mechanic stated,

“He is routinely working 14-hour days on a team tasked with replacing sections of rail.”

Labor cost is smaller than

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Medicare Advantage Healthcare and FFS Medicare

5 days ago

Medicare Advantage Over Payments

In the conclusive summation of the latest KFF report on Medicare Advantage Healthcare plans which KFF also has in place, is this:

Historically, one goal of the Medicare Advantage program was to leverage the efficiencies of managed care to reduce Medicare spending. However, the program has never generated savings relative to traditional Medicare. In fact, the opposite is true. As a result, Medicare Advantage plans have been able to offer an increasingly robust set of extra benefits not available to beneficiaries in traditional Medicare.

Medicare Advantage plans are to generate savings by bidding below the CMS benchmark for covering Part A and B services.

The plans have been able to offer extra benefits not

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Poor Healthcare Outcomes Resulting from Discrimination

6 days ago

Introduction to a Real World Issue: Taken from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Health (NIAID) headed by Dr. Anthony S. Fauci.

Health disparities are gaps in the quality of health and health care mirroring differences in socioeconomic status, racial and ethnic background, and education level. These disparities may stem from many factors, including accessibility of health care, increased risk of disease from occupational exposure, and increased risk of disease from underlying genetic, ethnic, or familial factors. NIH-designated U.S. health disparity populations include American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Blacks/African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, sexual and

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Five Stats making ASC Healthcare execs nervous

7 days ago

As I have said before, I get many things in my In-Box. Beckers Healthcare ASC News Review is one of them. If you do not know what an ASC is, I have included a definition. U of M Hospital has a few of the around Ann Arbor.

Ambulatory Surgery Center = modern health care facilities focused on providing same-day surgical care, including diagnostic and preventive procedures.

The stats in this news clip I thought were interesting enough to post separately rather than in a news roundup.

“5 statistics making ASC execs nervous,” beckersasc.com, Patsy Newitt.

With rising operation costs, nurse shortages and a push toward industry consolidation, independent physicians and ASCs are having a hard time staying independent. 

Five stats reflecting

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Arizona Election is Over Except for Maricopa County

8 days ago

I expect the issues in the Republican led Maricopa County will take a while to resolve as there will be an election recount. AG candidate Abraham Hamadeh will require answering. His wish for the state to declare him the winner before a recount will need answering too. Doubt it.

In Don’t Cry for Arizona Yet, We Are Getting There, I wrote about Maricopa County which is just north of where I live. Just a refresher:

Moving on . . . To the north of where I live is Maricopa County. It is the largest county in Arizona by population. It is one the most heavily populated counties in the nation. I am sure you are aware by now of the slowness in which Maricopa County is reporting the results of the national election. Candidate for Governor Kari Lake

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Student Loan Debt Relief Repayment Paused

10 days ago

“Student loan repayment pause extended while waiting for debt relief,” (qz.com), Ananya Bhattacharya

Student loan repayments were set to restart in the new year of 2023 if not forgiven. Another six more months breathing room has been granted before those repayments start again. The US Department of Education (DoE) announced the extension on November 22.

The original moratorium was to coincide with the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness plans for millions of former students. As announced, forgiveness would shave off up to $20,000 for each eligible borrower. The political backlash and court actions by Republicans is meant to stymie anything by Biden and Democrats. There is no logic behind these actions. Subsequent legal actions in

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Seating a Cherokee Nation Delegate 187 Years Later

10 days ago

I get freebie articles from various publications on the internet. They solicit me for a subscription to their publication. I can not find fault with any of them. If I did subscribe to all of them, read them all; I would find myself at my desk 100% of the day. I do need to get up and walk a few miles each day. It is good for my body, mind, and the German Shepard.

In this publication of The New Republic? The Cherokee Nation has the Congressional right to having a non-voting delegate to the House as granted 187 years ago. Like other things with Congress, it ignores responsibility and this grant in particular. Not unusual for a political Congress to do nothing.

American territories such as the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana

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Moms, Kids, and the Makeup of Congress

11 days ago

What matters most to families, moms who have to make things happen, and dads who struggle to provide for their family. This is a rerun from “Annie Asks You” emphasizing our job is not done. The work is unfinished and for a brief moment we came close. We are not done. I hope you enjoy the read.

“Moms, Kids, and the Makeup of Congress,” annieasksyou…, August 12, 2022

In this intolerable heat, I’ve been thinking a lot about poor single moms and their children. Lacking air conditioning, where do they go for relief? How do they manage?

Last year, the Federal government gave tangible help to these families and others. One of the most enlightened, potentially most important pieces of the American Rescue Plan was a Child Tax Credit that guaranteed

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Where are we with Social Security and Medicare?

13 days ago

“Social Security and Medicare finances bolstered by growing economy,” (axios.com), Neil Irwin.

Two different pieces of information going on here. The pie chart below shows were we were in 2021 for Medicare. I have not compared the pieces of information to see if they conflict.

I do not have charts for Social Security, I can only imagine in my head the outcome. A million people died so the funds go to the living. The trustees of the programs released their annual report on their financial stability Thursday. They projected it will take longer for the trust funds supporting the programs to run out of money than previously estimated.

Social Security: The trust fund for Social Security’s retirement and survivor benefits is projected to run out

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America’s Missing Workers, Who Are They?

14 days ago

Before you start chattering at me about this and that detail, let’s get an understanding. I am supply chain and manufacturing or manufacturing and supply chain. If there was a job opening in either and with appropriate pay, I was more than likely in.

Companies hiring me usually did so because they had a problem. When I solved it in a couple of years, I was also expendable after 2 more years. Usually a recession would roll around, the company was sold, or it changed direction necessitating a cut in the Labor Force. Even then, I kept them profitable according to one Division Controller (Bill Dold) who asked how I was producing the results during the early eighties.

This article is intriguing (at least to me) and it is fairly recent concerning

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Voting for politicians, unions, and propositions November 2022 – Edited

15 days ago

Other things were on the ballot this election also. In Maricopa AZ, Proposition 469 failed. The proposition would have raised the sales tax a half a cent to fund roads in two counties. In the City of Maricopa, the increased half-cent tax passed. In the county (Pinal), it failed. Meanwhile city residents are whining about road conditions, accidents, and drivers. Speed limits, stop signs, and red lights are just a suggestion.

A statewide proposition failed also. It would raise the sales tax 1 tenth of one percent to fund fire stations in the state. One has to wonder why such propositions fail.

We finished up an election of Senators, Representatives, Governors, and other state offices. There was also a number of propositions on the ballots too.

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Affordable Healthcare in Oregon? Maybe . . .

16 days ago

Oregon becomes the first state to make Affordable Healthcare a fundamental right.

May 2021, the Oregon Legislature referred the proposed amendment to the voters. Known then as Senate Joint Resolution 12, it passed on a near-party-line vote. Democrats supported it. Republicans opposed it (what-a-surprise). Then-Democrat Betsy Johnson, who was running for governor as an unaffiliated candidate, joining the opposition.

Voters were deciding whether to amend the state’s constitution creating a new fundamental right for every Oregon resident to have, “access to affordable health care.”

The language of Measure 111 was simple, stating:

“It is the obligation of the state to ensure that every resident of Oregon has access to cost-effective,

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What News Was in My In-Box, Nov. 16, 2022

17 days ago

Each week, I go through the reads, I am getting in my In-Box. I would like to think there are some of these articles which might make for an interesting read to Angry Bear readers. They keep pestering me to subscribe. As it is now, many I skim. If it interests me I might take it a bit deeper. I always like to analyze, “what am I going to do with this information? Much of it is a moment in passing and it slips to the back of the pile. Later on, its-I saw this somewhere. Where did I put it?

Hope there is something worthwhile for you.

Healthcare

“Licking the Spoon’ Can Help Patients Take Their Meds.” MedPage Today, Diane N. Solomon.

“Public Health in Peril: The Supreme Court’s 2022 Term,”MedPage Today, Lawrence O. Gostin. Our 235-year-old

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‘Kill them’: Threating 2022 Midterm Election workers

18 days ago

“‘Kill them’: Arizona election workers face midterm threats,” (msn.com), Linda So, Peter Eisler and Jason Szep

Some more information on counting votes. Guess where?

Election workers in Arizona’s fiercely contested county of Maricopa faced more than 100 violent threats and intimidating communications. This was occurring during the run-up to Tuesday’s midterm Election. Most of the threats alleging election conspiracy theories were promoted by former President Donald trump and his lackies. After the election, we were watching Kari Lake stomp around yelling at Maricopa County officials.

What is strange about this? Well for one thing, Maricopa County has a majority Republican County Board of Supervisors. Four of the 5 supervisors are Republican.

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Don’t Cry for Arizona Yet, We Are Getting There

21 days ago

I am sitting here in Arizona in Pinal County. Pinal County is a small and rapidly growing county. The small city I live-in is growing with leaps and bounds. Builders are adding homes with a rapidity I have never seen before. Or at least they were till recently.

Mortgage rates, greedy builder’s prices, and the supply chain have caused the market to slow. The pricing of our home jumped $10,000 a week after we bought it. I had already locked in a 30-year assumable VA loan at less than 2.75%, kept my cash, and went in with a much lower down payment than ever before. Not rich, but we are comfortable.

The housing and business market will more than likely be sustained due to a large aquifer. Such a resource also leads to carelessness in usage and

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Democrats wrest control of Michigan Legislature for first time in almost 40 years

22 days ago

I lived in Michigan for 27 years having moved from Madison Wisconsin. If I had my choice, we would have stayed in Madison. It was damn cold in the winter. We were still able to do things though.

Michigan was not quite the same. It was never really home for us. Just too many things not right. The politics were deeply Republican in our county. The roads were in poor to fair condition, taxes were too low, and the county favored business.

Voting was another manner. The districts were drawn so as to favor Republicans with the exception of Detroit. As long as we lived there, the state Senate was always Republicans and a majority of the time the House was also. We had two Republican Governors and one Democrat with each serving two terms a piece. We

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Promoting the 2022 Election – Michigan Signs

23 days ago

“U.S.A. the Envy of World After Ten Billion Dollars in Campaign Ads Changes Almost Nothing,” The New Yorker, Andy Borowitz.

Three questions in a row commentary. Were you convinced? Did you wonder about who was trying to influence the election the most? Which ones, Republicans, Democrats, Polling firms, TV News, Magazines, News Papers, the masked militia at the polling boxes, trump???

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (The Borowitz Report) – The United States of America has become the envy of the world after a ten-billion-dollar expenditure on political advertising changed virtually nothing.

People around the globe marveled at a democracy so robust it could withstand an outlay of cash greater than the gross domestic product of nations such as

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Letters from an American – November 9, 2022

23 days ago

“November 9, 2022,” Letters from an American, Prof. Heather Cox Richardson, (substack.com)

Yesterday was a good day for democracy. Americans turned out to defend our principles from those who denied our right to choose our own leaders. There was little violence, the election appears to have gone smoothly, and there are few claims of “fraud.” As I write tonight, control of the House and Senate is still not clear, but some outlines are now visible. 

Usually, the party in power loses a significant number of congressional seats and state seats in the first midterm after it takes the presidency. Today, President Joe Biden spoke to reporters and noted that the Democrats had the best midterm elections for governors since 1986 and lost fewer House seats

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What News Was in My In-Box, November 9, 2022

24 days ago

Some Good Commentary this week. I would pay attention to the articles on Medicare Advantage. There has been a lot of complaints. If you are on Traditional Medicare, Be careful as they have been switching people over to Advantage Plans without asking. Sounds like the Fed believes people have too much cash in savings according to one article in “Economy.”

Lots to read and catch up on in the world.

Politics and Law

“Regulators Move Against Two ‘Misinformation’ Doctors,” MedPage Today, Peter McCullough and Sherri Tenpenny. Two doctors accused of spreading misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines are facing challenges from state and national medical organizations.

“The Sad Death of Affirmative Action,” The New Yorker, Jay Caspian Kang. Erwin

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Decreasing Labor Force Since Pandemic Due to Ageing

25 days ago

Have not done this in a while, maybe a long while. It was late 1996 and Participation Rate was up at 67%. It stayed up there till 2001 and Greenspan began a gradual decrease from in the Fed Rate from 6.0% down to 1.75%. I believe we had a small recession back then. Greenspan was trying to avoid it from becoming worse. 2001 was the last time the country saw Participation Rate at 67%.. The country has not seen a 67% Participation Rate since 2001 (redundant alert).

Instead, you can see the Seasonally Adjusted Participation Rate decreasing slowly to 2008 and then a little faster

decrease afterwards recently. Much of this is due to baby-boomers retiring. Politicians were using Unemployment Rate (U3) to make statements either criticizing the

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Climate Change Motivates Students to Vote in Midterms

26 days ago

A brief introduction. I received an email about a week ago asking if Angry Bear would be interested. I wish I had posted it then. The survey reflects what students of all ages are thinking about Climate Change. A good read . . .

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A BestColleges survey reveals the majority of students think climate change threatens their personal safety — and that policymakers should do more to address it.

“40% of Likely Student Voters Say Climate Change Motivates Them in Midterms,” Best Colleges, Jessica Bryant as edited by Rebecca Long.  October 26, 2022

Climate change is an urgent problem in the eyes of most students — so much so that it’s driving them to vote this November.

In a new BestColleges survey of 1,002 current or prospective

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Assessing the constitutionality of modern-day gun restrictions using “historical analogues”

26 days ago

Both of these articles by Mark Stern are good reads. He gets the point across without using the typical legalese in explaining his stance. It is interesting, how Judge Reeves places the responsibility right back in SCOTUS and Thomas’s lap. In other words, they have to decide how to work through the history quagmire created by Thomas. The court is not deciding based upon Constitutional interpretation which the Nineth Amendment covers. The court is attempting to decide based upon what was in the writers of the Constitution heads at that time. Judges and lawyers are not trained in history, neither do they have library of historical knowledge, and finally this goes well beyond legal interpretation.

“SCOTUS decision in New York concealed carry law is a

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Medicare’s $200 billion Gross Drug Spend

26 days ago

Medicare is almost $200 billion in gross drug spend: Who gets the blame? — 46brooklyn Research

This is a complex issue as there are many moving parts to drug pricing and their costs. Perplexing in describing the drug spend issues would seem appropriate. I am not even sure if this long post will adequately define the issue of how drug prices are set. However, here is another article which I believe may break this down even more so.

Later on that one.

Just like Social Security, Medicare issues a yearly report. There is one combined report discussing both the Hospital Insurance program (Medicare Part A) and the Supplementary Medical Insurance program (Medicare Part B and Prescription Drug Coverage known as Part D). The Office of the Actuary in

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What? Biden Strengthens Medicare with Policies Simplifying Enrollment and Expanding Access?

27 days ago

How can that be?

Something the Biden administration did made access to Medicare easier by providing quicker access to Medicare. The Medicare improvements incorporate no delay in coverage, better access (SEPS), and eliminates late enrollment penalties for Part B under certain conditions.

According to CNN news and other news outlets, Biden has taken credit for things he did not do. Rather than mistakes made in announcing economic improvements, the news compounds a slip of the tongue by President Biden. As a whole, the country is far better off than what we experienced in 2008.

To lean all about the Medicare improvements, I have included Charles Gaba’s commentary on these Medicare improvements as brought to you by the Democrat passed

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Wages versus Product Markup

28 days ago

Courtesy of EMicheal in comments. Kind of the point, I have been making for a while now. Labor wages are not the big driver of inflation.

Corporations are increasing non-cost related prices and blaming it on inflation. But it’s not because of inflation. It is a cause of inflation. The public newscasters are selling their wares, ignorance, or lies on TV or the internet. It is a deliberate miscasting of the economic issues.

Prices are rising not because of worker related wages. Labor income is increasing at a rate more slowly than inflation. Raw materials are not the prime driver pricing either. Companies are raising prices above and beyond costs because they can. No reason needed. And all of us are paying the price. Kevin Drum . . .

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“Especially the Mail-In Ballots, that is Where the Big Issue Was”

28 days ago

Are You Sure About that?

Not sure why a man with an orange face and orangish thin hair holds such sway over so many people. He has done so little for the people who follow him. They believe his every word.

In Arizona, the poll watchers are out at each of the polling boxes. Not sure what they are going to see as each person deposits the enveloped ballots. My wife and I took ours to the Post Office. Armed and masked men taking pictures of people casting their ballots. Some people are intimidated. The courts only tell them to maintain a certain distance away.

[embedded content]
Trump-loving GOP poll watcher stammers after CNN reporter fact checks him in real time – Raw Story – Celebrating 18 Years of Independent Journalism

John P. Child,

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MOHELA Tells Republican States It is Not Involved in Lawsuit

29 days ago

“Major student-loan company (MOHELA) just undermined the GOP-led lawsuit halting Biden’s debt cancellation,” (msn.com), Ayelet Sheffey.

Oct 12, 2022, Biden’s Student-Debt Relief Goes to Court Today. Here’s the GOP Argument, (businessinsider.com), Ayelet Sheffey.

Republicans representing Arkansas, South Carolina, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri all said the states could suffer revenue loss from student-loan forgiveness, even as Biden’s defense said any loss was “too speculative and attenuated.”

The resulting Republicans complaint caused the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals (October 21) to place a temporary stay on Biden’s student-loan forgiveness program. The stay was in response to the complaint filed in Missouri by six Republican-led

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Mainstream Media Is Obsessed With Inflation

November 3, 2022

Commentary by Left Jabber @ “Left Jabs.” I had the fortune to run across this commentary at Mike’s Blog Roundup as presented by DriftGlass. Left Jabber is taking a different approach than I did in my earlier post. He is saying the same thing about Biden’s fiscal policy the last two years, It made for a better economy.

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Editorial Board of The Washington Post. The headline reads:

“Congress and Biden have to help the Fed fight inflation“

Note the Board — in all its august-ness — is putting this imperative out there, without a shred of irony, two weeks before a midterm election. Even as Republicans everywhere are screaming “inflation” — with multiple exclamation points — in all media, all the time. Even as they pair that word with

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