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Diametrics 101

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“Insurance” and “public welfare” really don’t belong in the same sentence.But this is the sentence that President Obama and his advisors have constructed.Of course, not all the blame should be directed at Obama.He was just carrying out the socialized medicine program concept that has been a major plank of the Democratic Party since FDR was in office.The only difference between him and his Democratic predecessors is that he went ahead and did it.His predecessors, including Hillary Clinton and Ira Magaziner, just talked about it, which left them, and the American public, in far less vulnerable positions.
And as we all have come to learn, this (“Obamacare”) is an exercise in self destruction because these are diametrically opposed concepts.People who set up insurance companies weren’t motivated by public welfare.On the contrary, their single goal was and is to make money.If public welfare happened to improve because of their insurance arrangements, so much the better.
Now insurance comp…

Obamacare and Healthcare.gov -- the latest

Even someone without any media savvy would know by now that Obamacare is an epic failure.  This blog isn't about beating a dead horse as much as it is about the gap between government policy and government administration.

What inspired me to comment on this maelstrom was an item in documents just released by the House Oversight and Reform Committee.  These documents reveal that Obamacare website (Healthcare.gov) was only equipped to handle 1,100 users a day before it was launched.  In a “Stress Test” conducted September 30th, the document notes:
            “Currently we are able to reach 1100 users before response time gets too high. “

When this number is surpassed, the system slows down.  How much it slows down is difficult to determine since the above text is vague.  No cycle time information, no information about how much time is added to do simple tasks, nothing.  What is known is that, as widely reported in the media, most users failed to even log onto to the system, …

A Calming Idea

This has to be the most muddled topic on the "current events" registry.  Ask anyone what "Obamacare" means, and the range of responses might astound you.  I wouldn't know even know how to structure an opinion poll or survey on the subject.  Any relevant respondent "data" would be confined to the "open responses" section of the survey.  The only common threads I have observed are generally strong personal feelings about the subject and frustration mired in confusion. 

Any organization that communicates group health care plan information is, by default, communicating Obamacare.  This can unwittingly attach itself to the weak link between the general public (which includes employees and covered family members) and Obamacare.  So anyone communicating to this audience must be aware of the underlying emotional stew. 

It would seem prudent to develop a calming strategy along with the exchange of any factual information.  Just pumping out facts (e.g…

Wellness Opportunities

Just Got Word LLC will soon publish an article in a selected trade magazine discussing organizational wellness opportunities, wellness obstacles, and what it all means within the context of Obamacare.  The problem is, with companies spending more and more money every year on increased premium payments, there is little or no money left over for wellness infrastructure investment.  So the 'pay for sickness' cycle keeps on turning, while everyone on some level knows what needs to be done to turn the whole thing around.  It's just a question of either finding the money to do it, or being very resourceful. Interested in learning how to launch a participatory or health-contingent wellness program with limited resources?  Watch for the article in a major HR trade magazine.

From SPDs to SBCs

Some US employers are betting on a great deal of the Health Care Reform Act being repealed when (not 'if' -- at least to these bettors) the Democrats are swept out of office in the impending national elections.So no need to make a lot of changes; after all, a good deal of it will be discarded anyway.Whether or not this is a prudent strategy remains to be seen. In the meantime, provision after provision of the Act is getting phased in while the repeal zealots continue to hold their breathe.

We note that it has been since September, 2012 that the Act has required employers offering health insurance to provide a Summary of Benefits and Coverage ("SBC") to all employees. Not to be confused with “SPDs” (Summary Plan Descriptions), SBC’s come with specific content and formatting rules. While SPDs must be "understandable" and "plain-spoken" as mandated by ERISA, SBCs must be “short” and in “plain language.”This is a new acronym basically re-expressing …