Labor Law Guy

12 Steps Every Employer With A Health Plan Should Do Now To Manage 2012-14 Health Plan Risks & Liabilities

Posted in Random Musings by laborlawguy on August 2, 2012

None dare call it fascism.

August 1 marked the effective date of yet another Affordable Care Act mandate:  the controversial contraceptive coverage and other women’s health preventive coverage benefits mandates.  Although many mandates have taken effect over the past two years, few employer plans are adequately updated.  Here’s some suggestions about what employers and fiduciaries responsible for group health plan sponsorship or administration and their vendors should do now to manage exposures arising from current Affordable Care Act and other federal health plan rules.  Following the Supreme Court’s June 28, 2012National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius ruling, most employers and insurers of employment based group health plans now are bracing to cope with radical changes in their health plan related responsibilities scheduled to take effect in 2014. 

While anticipating and preparing to cope with these future changes health plan sponsors, fiduciaries, administrators and advisors need to manage the substantial and growing health plan…

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Sneezing Pollsters Cause People to Hate U.S. Health Care

Posted in Random Musings by laborlawguy on November 5, 2009

A University of Michigan study, which sent a poll-giver to a mall, elicited different responses when the pollster sneezed before giving out the surveys and when the poll-giver didn’t sneeze.

In the sneezing scenario, poll takers were far more likely to hate the state of U.S. health care. Without the sneezing, the results were more favorable to health care. Interestingly, the sneezed-in-front-of (but not upon) also thought they were more likely to get a heart attack soon, or even get murdered.

My, some effect from just sneezing (and coughing)!

If Immigration Reform (Amnesty) Passes, Be Ready for the Deluge

Posted in Random Musings by laborlawguy on October 14, 2009

Nancy Reagan purportedly once quipped as she looked out into a rally crowd, “Look at all those lovely white people.” Of course, this was probably a liberal-media-fabricated quotation used to portray the Reagans as racist, but when it comes to immigration reform in the Obama administration, the Democrats may well be cooing, “Look at all the lovely brown people,” as they envision the votes they can get through amnesty–even way off into the future.

With about 12 million Latins here illegally already (maybe more), that’s a pretty big influx of Democratic votes coming down the pike, or so the thinking goes, but ask the Mexican people what the result of amnesty will be and they’ll tell you–even more illegals crossing the border.

According to a Zogby poll, 56 percent of Mexicans say amnesty will spur further border crossings, not less.

And now comes the whopper: If they could, 36 percent of all Mexicans, or roughly 39 million people, would move to the U.S. in a heartbeat.

A few million here and a few million there, to paraphrase Everett Dirksen, and pretty soon you’re talking Democratic dictatorship.

As they would say in the Obama White House, “Precisely.”

Workplace Suicides on the Rise

Posted in Random Musings by laborlawguy on October 12, 2009

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has revealed a stunning finding: Workplace suicides are on the rise, with 251 occurring in 2008, up 28 percent from 2007’s total of 196.

Of the 2008 total, 94 percent of the victims were male, 78 percent white and 14 percent managers. Almost half (48 percent) died from gunshot wounds.

The findings are part of BLS’s annual Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (COFI).

The United States is not the only nation with this problem. France Telecom has seen 24 of its staffers commit suicide in the past 18 months, while 13 more attempted suicide. In Japan, tabs are kept on “death by overwork” (karoshi),  and so far this year there have been 377 karoshi deaths in Japan.

I Had No Idea We Finish So Many of Our Co-Workers Off

Posted in Random Musings by laborlawguy on September 18, 2009

I’ve been following the case of the murdered Yale medical student Annie Le with some interest, developed  mainly from speculation about the incident that I stumbled upon in the blogosphere.

At first I bought into the theory that she was done away with by a jealous lover when she tried to break off the relationship to get married, but now the New Haven, Conn., police have squished that scenario, attributing it all to workplace violence.

Then just today I stumbled on another account of Ms. Le’s murder, which included this paragraph about murder as part of the wider problem of workplace accidents and fatalities:

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Health and Safety Administration, workplace violence in its most extreme form, homicide, is the fourth-leading cause of fatal occupational injury in the U.S. Statistics indicate there were 564 workplace homicides in 2005 in the United States, out of a total of 5,702 fatal work injuries.

So, nearly 10 percent of all fatalities at work are workers slaying one another? That’s a startling statistic to me. I wonder if the stats include off-site gack jobs, or if it’s just workplace-based murder. Either way, this is an alarming and shocking stat.

Time to retire.

Guess Who Pays If/When Obamacare Passes

Posted in Random Musings by laborlawguy on September 17, 2009

I still get a laugh out of all the people out there who think health care reform=free health care. Just walk into an office, get treated, and walk out. No bills, no copays–Uncle Obama gave it to you for free!

Let’s look at the employer mandate coming under Obamacare; the mandate  says that employers must buy insurance for all their employers or pay a fine into a government pool.

Your boss is just going to suddenly start paying for your health care, right? Mostly wrong. A survey by Towers Perrin found that 87 percent of employers were ready to cut salaries or employees to pay for higher costs associated with health care; only 11 percent said they’d accept reduced profits.

That’s one way to get free health care: Get terminated and go on Medicaid. So I guess is one sense, Obamacare might be free. But at a huge cost.

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Marketing Gone Awry? Controversy Over Flying Swine Flu Pig

Posted in Random Musings by laborlawguy on September 9, 2009

Swing-Flu-Flying-PigWhile developing an e-mail flyer to market their Swine Flu Preparedness Poster, people at Personnel Concepts ultimately nixed the image pictured here of an ailing pig flying around the globe.

Some thought it humorous, but others found it insensitive to people who were actually suffering (and even dying) from the disease. (On the flyer, the image appeared as a much smaller image, to be accurate.)

We’ll leave it up to you, dear reader, to see what you think. Let us know via comments if you approve or disapprove.

See What the Democrats Are Blocking From Health Care: Free Choice to Start

Posted in Random Musings by laborlawguy on August 21, 2009

Some guy named Giovanni has put together a list of the amendments blocked by House Democrats that would’ve guaranteed individual Americans free choice in their health care, along with a host of other details that Obama is pitching as being in his plan when in fact they’ve been consistently and consciously blocked in favor of top-down (government-mandated) health care decisions.

Read it and weep: “Obama’s Lies About Obamacare.”

What’s a QALY and What’s It Got to Do With You?

Posted in Random Musings by laborlawguy on August 19, 2009

Short answer to the second question: Plenty.

QALY stands for “Quality-Adjusted Life Year,” and it’s a concept used in British health care to determine if you’ll be allowed a certain treatment.

Say a certain operation will award you with one additional QALY, the National Health System (NHS) will pay up to £30,000 for that treatment. And no, QALY’s are not cumulative. If the treatment results in five QALY’s, you still get just £30,000 (a tad under $50,000) for your health care.

If that’s not enough to fund the operation, you get to live (or die) with whatever ails you.

The faceless bureaucratic agency that thus assigns death to British citizens goes by the impossibly oxymoronic acronym of NICE (National Institute of Clinical Effectiveness).

What’s all this got to do with you, an American?

Again the short answer: Plenty.

The reason for this is that Obama and his health care cronies/advisers are enamored of both QALY and NICE and will implement them here no matter how much they deny rationing of health care is under consideration. Just read the books by Obama’s main men in health care reform–Tom Daschle and Zeke Emanuel (yes, brother of Chief of Staff Rahm)–and you’ll see the heartlessness with which they intend to treat the elderly.

Except for their loved ones and themselves, of course, as they’ll set up a two-tiered health care system–one for the populace (we taxpaying scum) and the other for the high and mighty in government and their cronies: Nationalized, rationed medicine for us; privatized, gilt-edged care for them.

Change we can truly believe in.

A Sad Variation of No Room at the Inn Under Obamacare

Posted in Random Musings by laborlawguy on August 17, 2009

Thanks to someone named John David Lewis, I’ve been awakened to (and frightened by) another glorious feature of HR 3200, the House of Representatives’ so-called health care reform measure.

Under HR 3200, limitations on hospital readmissions will be imposed. Since a huge portion of the expense of running Medicare comes from hospital readmissions within 30 days of the first admission, the measure seeks ways to limit readmissions.

The solution? You won’t be readmitted unless enough people with the same diagnosis as yours have been released prior to your arrival at the hospital. The number of releases will be determined by a new health czar, and his/her decision will be above the law. You cannot sue or challenge any decision by the czar in court.

Let me give you an example. Joe has a heart attack on Nov. 1, and then suffers another one on Nov. 28. When he arrives barely alive at the hospital, a faceless clerk will check the records to see if enough heart attack patients have died or been released to justify Joe’s readmission.

“Sorry, Mr. Jones, but we can’t admit you yet. Can you wait until two more heart attack patients die?”

Of course, Joe may be one of those two himself.

Now, is this a grand system or what? The government will set quotas on hospital readmissions, and no one in the country (barring Congress, which would never interfere absent an open revolution by the citizenry) can challenge the system legally or administratively.

All decisions are final. Including the one that leads to your death on a gurney in a hospital lobby.