Tuesday, May 28, 2013

High-End Health Plans Scale Back to Avoid ‘Cadillac Tax’ [AFL-CIO criticizes Obamacare]

New York Times ^ | May 27, 2013 | REED ABELSON 

Say goodbye to that $500 deductible insurance plan and the $20 co-payment for a doctor’s office visit. They are likely to become luxuries of the past.
Expect to have your blood pressure checked or a prescription filled at a clinic at your office, rather than by your private doctor.
Then blame — or credit — the so-called Cadillac tax, which penalizes companies that offer high-end health care plans to their employees.
Although the tax does not start until 2018, employers say they have to start now to meet the deadline and they are doing whatever they can to bring down the cost of their plans. Under the law, an employer or health insurer offering a plan that costs more than $10,200 for an individual and $27,500 for a family would typically pay a 40 percent excise tax on the amount exceeding the threshold.

Tom Leibfried, a legislative director for the A.F.L.-C.I.O., one of the unions whose plans are vulnerable to the tax, says the demands that workers pay more for their care is a perennial aspect of labor negotiations. “We’re very concerned about the hollowing out of benefits in general,” he said. “What the excise tax will do is just fuel that.”


(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...

Stupid

The Weekly Standard ^ | May 27, 2013 | P.J. O’Rourke 

“You’re stupid,” is not something even his most severe critics usually say to President Barack Obama. But on Friday morning I picked up the Wall Street Journal and learned that the president had given a speech about the war on terror saying, “This war, like all wars, must end.”
That story was at the top of the front page. Immediately below was a photograph of flowers being laid at a makeshift memorial near the Woolwich Royal Arsenal where machine gunner Lee Rigby was hacked to death by terrorists.
This war, like all wars, must end when someone wins it. The president—speaking at the National Defense University, of all places—said, “the core of al Qaeda . . . is on the path to defeat.” And so it may be. But meanwhile, the core of al Qaeda, its aims and its beliefs, is also on the path to Boston and London and any number of other places.
On page 7 of Friday’s Journal was the headline, “Suicide Bombings in Niger Linked to Mali Islamist Group.” On page 9 was a report of terrorist Hezbollah militias aiding the terrorist Assad regime in attacking the rebel-held Syrian city of Qusayr where the rebels themselves are allied with yet more Islamic terrorists. And on pages 4 and 8 were more bad tidings from that perpetrator, abettor, and friend of terrorism, Iran. Iranian fundamentalists, in the chokehold they have on the country’s political system, are improving their grip. And, “according to current and former U.S. officials,” Iran has “escalated a campaign of cyberassaults against U.S. corporations. . . . The hackers were able to gain access to control-system software that could allow them to manipulate oil or gas pipelines.”
All that on a slow news day.....

(Excerpt) Read more at weeklystandard.com ...

Physical documentation

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Experience

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Riot!

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Not one winner!

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Enemy of my enemy!

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Personal responsibility, no excuses!

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Life is good...

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Time for your audit, Comrade!

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Unless

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Fox in the hen house!

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Scandal Fatigue

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DOH!

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The rest is history

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Same

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When they were little!

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Trust me!

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Outraged

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Nothing to fear?

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Protection

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Buck Stops...where?

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Pro-Life

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Equal Protection

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What If the Next President Is Even Worse? (Guess who he uses as an example? Yep!)

Yahoo! News / The National Journal ^ | May 28, 2013 | Ron Fournier 

George W. Bush in 2001 declared war on a tactic (terrorism), and empowered Big Brother to tap phones, launch drones and indefinitely imprison people without due process.
Barack Obama in 2008 declared those Bush policies an overreach, and pledged to curb drone strikes, protect media freedoms, and close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Instead, he escalated drone strikes and spied on the media. Gitmo is still open for its grim business.
These are facts. And yet, they are distorted by extreme and narrow-minded partisans, supporters of both Bush and Obama.
Conservatives contend that Bush single-handedly prevented a major terrorist strike after Sept. 11, 2001. They demagogue efforts to shift the pendulum back toward civil liberties. Last week, when Obama finally proposed a modest reassessment of the Bush doctrine, Sen. Saxby Chambliss claimed that the efforts "will be viewed by terrorists as a victory."
Liberals hypocritically gave Obama a pass for furthering the same policies they condemned in 2008.....

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...