Tag Archives: Janet Colliton

American Health Care Act leaves many uninsured

By Janet M. Colliton, Daily Local News, 3/13/17

It is sad to say but, if you wanted to draft a bill that caused as many Americans as possible to lose their health care coverage, you would be hard pressed to find a better candidate than the American Health Care Act, a bill recently passed out of two U.S. House of Representatives committees. Thankfully it has not been enacted yet. A bipartisan Congressional Budget Committee report is due and is expected to indicate the impact.

Regardless of complaints both from the right and from the left, House Speaker Ryan indicates that this bill is the best chance to rescind the Affordable Care Act and he therefore discourages attempts at voting the bill down or proposing amendments. One suspects that, after seven years of opponents’ calls to eliminate Obamacare, the feeling is that something, anything should be passed to show that it can be done. On the other hand this is a heavy price to pay to make a point….

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Obamacare replacement only a blast from the past

by Janet Colliton, Daily Local News, 1/16/17

As President Elect Donald Trump stands ready to take the oath of office as 45th President this Friday, the dialogue on Republicans’ long awaited repeal of Obamacare, President Obama’s signature health care legislation, has risen to a fever pitch. You would have thought that, after six years and about 60 continuous votes to repeal the law, Republicans would have had a proposal ready to pull off the shelf and say, “Here it is. Here is our replacement!”

It appears it is much more difficult to construct than to destruct. Frankly, it would seem that the most obvious source of opposition to the Affordable Care Act has been that it was proposed by Obama.

High among concerns for citizens who are insured are believed provisions to permit insurers to deny coverage for preexisting conditions. This concern is denied by many Republicans. Although President-Elect Trump has promised there will be “insurance for everybody” we do not seem to know even at this late date what shape that might take. …

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What Obamacare got right

By JANET COLLITON, Daily Local News, 08/06/12

Sometimes surprises arrive in the mail that quietly tell you how a new law is working or not. This has recently been true for me of the Affordable Care Act, popularly referenced as Obamacare.

Honestly, it is rare when I receive mail at home from my health insurer and it brings good news. I expected one of the ubiquitous statements “This Is Not A Bill,” which I have mentally shortened to “TINAB.”

Instead, to my surprise, I found a check enclosed for more than a thousand dollars with the notation “Health Insurance Premium Rebate – Individual Subscriber.” It was actually a check from my insurer.

While I will not name the company, this is the explanation accompanying the rebate. It is a refund of excess premiums from the insurance company as a result of Obamacare. Here is what it said.

“This letter is to inform you that you will receive a rebate of a portion of your health insurance premiums. This rebate is required by the Affordable Care Act – the health reform law.”

The Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to issue a rebate to you if they do not spend at least 80 percent of the premiums they receive on health care services, such as doctors and hospital bills, and activities to improve health care quality, such as efforts to improve patient safety.

No more than 20 percent of premiums may be spent on administrative costs such as salaries, sales and advertising….

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Block grant proposal needs citizen response

by Janet M. Colliton, Daily Local News, 6/4/12

…Republicans are calling attention to problems with a block grant proposal that originated with the Department of Public Welfare and would be included in the Governor’s budget.

Pennsylvania Rep. Gene DiGirolamo of Bucks County, Republican Chair of the House Human Services Committee, has called on members of the public to oppose the change that is up for consideration. Here is more information from his earlier press release issued March 7. It is important enough to quote at length.

“During the House Appropriations Committee’s budget hearing today (March 7, 2012) with the Department of Public Welfare, Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, R-Bucks, Republican chairman of the House Human Services Committee, strongly opposed the administration’s deep cuts to human services and the block grant proposal in the governor’s 2012-13 budget outline.

“Mr. Secretary, I am deeply concerned about both the Human Services Development Block Grant proposal and the steep reductions in funding for services. These 20 percent cuts are unsustainable and will result in dramatic increases in social welfare needs that cannot be borne given the current economy,” DiGirolamo told Public Welfare Secretary Gary Alexander. “I have spoken with the actual providers of these services who have told me how devastating they will be on the most vulnerable in our society.

“This is an attack on and a complete reversal of the promises made to protect the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians by many administrations during the last half century,” DiGirolamo continued. “On our watch, we will observe the destruction of essential support for people who have nowhere else to turn.” Continue reading