Posts Tagged ‘MnSure’

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IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY…in spite of:

November 19, 2013

REVISITING THE NEW NORMAL

In 2009, I penned my first blog featuring the New Economy that emerged after the housing bubble led to the crash of 2008 shortly before Obama was elected President of the United States.  Six months later, I joined those that were advocating –not a return to what it was before the bubble burst- but a RESET.

As I look back over my postings, I see I have not wavered….but indeed, the world around me has.

This morning Paul Krugman’s column reminded us of that New Normal as he wrote about Larry Sommers position recently at the IMF:

The financial crisis that started the Great Recession is now far behind us…yet our economy remains depressed.

…we had a huge housing and debt bubble.  Yet even with this huge bubble boosting spending, the economy was only so so – the job market was ok but not great, and the boom was never powerful enough to produce significant inflationary pressure .

We have an economy whose normal condition is one of inadequate demand-of at least mild depression-and which only gets anywhere close to full employment when it is buoyed by bubbles.

Krugman speculated on the “why” – from slowing population growth to aging population to persistent trade deficits since the 1980sall leading to the economic realities of today.  It is what it is.  It will be what it is for a long time. It’s the new normal of 2008-9; but it’s become reality.

A sobering point of view or a wake up call?

 

GOOD FOR US…and Rhode Island, Vermont, Arkansas and Washington

The MN Council of Health Plans stood up; The Governor listened, and Minnesota continues on with what appears to be a successful implementation of MnSure – our plan for implementing the ACA.

Approximately 140,000 Minnesotans fall short of ACA requirements.    Most of those underinsured are carrying policies of 1 year duration with the highest out-of-pocket cost for those insured.  Many of those are policies that were  issued by the scamming insurance companies. 

So I was glad to see that the legitimate insurance companies that have been chosen for MnSure stood their ground, and Dayton listened. 

One more time, that makes me proud to be a Minnesotan. 

The Republicans started a spin and campaign; the Press saw an opportunity to improve ratings if they focused on it and our whole country became obsessed with whether Obama lied, was a bad manager,  or was out-of-touch. 

Some of us who have done the fact-checking know he is caught in the spin, as we have covered this in past ramblings since the issue exploded.  It feels like we are the minority but I believe the intent of the ACA was to help America elevate health standards to the level and standards set by our world allies…a fact not often discussed or shared with the complaining public.  Does it have problems?  Yes.  Has it been a rocky start-up? Yes.  Does this differ much from Social Security or Medicare? No.

I hear the naysayers and am reminded of the dinner table ranting of my father on payday in the late forties/fifties/early sixties.  The Government was stealing money from him.  Anyone who worked hard all his life (like Hap Kranz did J) would not live to collect Social Security.  They would die by the time they were 65.  And truth was – at the time, 65 was an accepted life expectancy. Nevertheless, Hap retired with no plan of “What next” but darn glad to see that social security check show up month after month after month until he died at the age of 87!

The ACA spin and continuing craziness signals to me that our patriotic friends on the right want to line up with second-tier countries as they fight with all their might to keep an inadequate system.  I am not sure why, but am beginning to explain it away as that alignment helps them preserve their superiority as they are compared to others in that tier.

As for the Press?  No words can describe my distain for the live news media who have clearly demonstrated “ratings” trump all.  Nevertheless, I am encouraged as slowly but surely, I hear more of them pulling back on their stance and attempting to re-position.  This gives me hope that in the end, sanity will prevail.

AND THEN THERE IS WALMART!

One cannot help but notice the Walmart attempts to foil the public recently….ad after ad saturate the airwaves as Walmart tries to “prove” they’re the best- priced around; ads of actor “employees” telling how much they love working at Walmart.  Not too much emphasis on child labor uses around the world to create knockoff products that can be sold for less, nor manipulating of price points to lower popular items while inflating others to compensate, nor of the policy of building where land is cheap and there is no infrastructure – causing increases in taxes – or in other words, government and citizen financial support!

And certainly no explanation for why the NATIONAL LABOR BOARD just found Walmart illegally disciplined and fired over 100 employees in a dozen states.

Although I expect there is some hyperbole on both sides, you gotta ask yourself why this latest TV campaign.  I’m casting my vote for a PR campaign aimed to stop the bleeding, as more and more real facts about their business practices are divulged.

 

And with that, I will save my ranting  about Brett Favre’s mental state for another day.  Suffice it to say – concussions in the games may have made it worse, but twenty years before all that physical abuse on the field, he was killing off brain cells fast with alcohol.  This I witnessed firsthand as his caretakers tried to get him up, dressed and to the event that was honoring him as Player of the Year…all so that he could stand on stage, a drunken mess, and accept the recognition.   So perhaps some of the blame for his mental issues today might just have been self-inflicted.