30 December 2007

The story of wingnut welfare

or how I learned to love the Edwards' campaign:

For these billionaires, the ROI of the Conservative Movement is absolutely spectacular. At the micro level, for example, if you want to create an aristocracy, then you want to eliminate any taxes on inherited wealth, despite what Warren Buffet or Bill Gates might say about the values entailed by that project. So, the Conservative Movement goes to work, develops and successfully propagates the term “death tax” — which they may even believe in, as if sincerity were the point — and voila! Whoever thought that “family values” would translate to “feudal values” and dynastic wealth? At the macro level, their ROI has been spectacular as well. Real wages have been flat for a generation; unions have been disempowered; the powers of corporations greatly increased; government has become an agent for the corporations, rather than a protector of the people; the safety net has been shredded; and so on and on and on.

As I understand, those were the days

Your mom

29 December 2007

Why you should care about ERISA

ERISA is the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. I will blog more about it later (as well as changes I think should be made). In short, it regulates and probably preempts (that is, trumps state and local laws) dealing with your employer provided health insurance or retirement plans.

ERISA generally blows. It is not a very consumer friendly statute. Usually the cost of the benefits you should have received is the only damages you can get if your health plan fails to deliver what it should. So you get no attorney fees or money for diminished health or lost job and the like. As I said, blows with a capital LOWS.

If you can't wait: www.dol.gov/dol/topic/health-plans/erisa.htm

In my view it should incorporate elements of the Fair Crediting Reporting Act (FCRA)--namely the damages sections.

Regence Blue Cross of Oregon made $79 Million!

From disclosures Regence provided provided to the Oregon Insurance Division (required by Oregon statute) we know that Regence earned over $79 million dollars in 2006. $79,849,176 to be exact. With $162,971,602 in administrative expenses. Oregon is a relatively small state and Regence is Oregon's largest health insurer with 464,565 members.

You can obtain more information about all the Oregon health insurers from the Oregon Insurance Division.

Thank goodness that money is not going to making people healthier and delivering care!

Why you should not weep when the NYT stops publishing

Why should Bill Kristol write for anyone, much less NYT? What ideas does he bring to the table?

This makes me sad.


Kristol wanted his employer to be prosecuted.

A Reason to Amend ERISA

I love this lawyer's blog. Reason No. 622 why ERISA should be amended.


Finally: Health Insurer Loses.

Health Insurer cannot drop you after it decides you cost too much.