Why Obama Care Rates Are Rising; Or, Why Aetna Can Take Their Damn Ball and Go Home!

aetnaanthemprofits

We the people of the Untied States (meaning our government, which is us…) need to be more careful whom we let onto our playground.

Aetna, a for-profit insurance company that participates in covering Americans under Obamacare, is crying and whining that they are losing money covering previously uninsured Americans, who signed up for the low-cost insurance programs. How much profit is enough? Aetna is making enormous bottom-line profits!

They are currently trying to conduct mergers with other insurance companies, one being Humana. Like a spoiled rotten kid on the playground, they told the and the Justice Department, if the merger was not approved, they would pull out of the Obamacare exchanges. Actually, this sounds more like healthcare blackmail to me.

Huffington Post reporters, Jonathan Cohen and Jeff Young, blew the story wide open when they obtained and printed a copy of Aetna’s CEO threatening the DOJ.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/aetna-obamacare-pullout-humana-merger_us_57b3d747e4b04ff883996a13

 

In a very clear and concise article, posted on August 29, 2016, Wendell Potter, a writer for Moyers & Co., details exactly, the profits and returns from all aspects of Aetna’s business. They are making handsome profits. Here are some of the highlights.

  1. […]”since January 2014, the date Bertolini mentioned above, Aetna has reported operating profits of $6.7 billion. That’s right. Even though Bertolini said Aetna hasn’t yet turned a profit on its Obamacare business, overall it has pocketed nearly $7 billion.”
  2. “Since March 5, 2009 — the day President Obama kicked off the debate on what would become Obamacare — Aetna’s stock price has increased 631 percent.”
  3. “Now, here’s something else you need to know that most of the media ignored. Aetna made a boatload of money between April and June of 2016. Both revenue and profits were up considerably over the same period in 2015. Aetna’s operating earnings increased 8.5 percent, from $722.1 million during the second quarter of 2015 to $783.3 million in the second quarter this year. Total revenues for the quarter increased to almost $16 billion.”
  4. 4. “During the first six months of this year, Aetna actually got almost as much revenue from taxpayers via the government’s Medicare and Medicaid programs ($13 billion) as it got from its privately insured customers ($14 billion). In fact, Aetna’s government business is growing while its commercially insured book of business is shrinking.”
  5. “And get this: Aetna and the other big insurers wouldn’t be getting as much profitable business from the government if not for Obamacare. Keep in mind that most of the newly insured Americans have coverage because of the Medicaid expansion made possible by Obamacare. Aetna and many of its competitors have benefited financially from this expansion because many states contract with private insurers to manage their Medicaid programs.”
  6. “And then there is Medicare. Aetna and many other insurers participate in the Medicare Advantage program, the private alternative to traditional Medicare, and they’ve figured out how to convert a lot of the billions of dollars in revenue they get from the federal government to profits.
  7. So, thanks to Obama — and more specifically, Obamacare — Aetna and its competitors are rolling in the federal dough.”

If this isn’t maddening enough, the obscene compensation that Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini receives further prove that greed is KING in the US. Again, I ask, how much is enough? According to the Hartford Courant, […] “CEO Mark Bertolini received $27.9 million in compensation last year, according to a filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. About $24.8 million of the package was due to gains in value on restricted stock that vested in 2015 and on stock options he was awarded 10 years ago and exercised in 2015. The total was up from $15 million in 2014. His compensation also included $1,034,483 in salary, $1.84 million in cash bonus, and $271,908 in perks, mostly from the cost of his using the corporate aircraft for personal use. The Courant calculates compensation as the sum of salary, bonuses, and value gained on the exercise of stock options and the vesting of stock awards, and the value of perquisites, such as the 401(k) match and personal use of corporate aircraft. Separately, he received $5.97 million in restricted stock and $8.14 million in stock options whose ultimate value will be determined in future years.

All that, combined with the profits Aetna had made are not enough, not enough to justify continuing coverage Americans who need insurance?

Let’s review.

Since the start of Obamacare, they have made $7 Billion in Profit.

In the last six months, Aetna made nearly as much from Government contracts for Medicaid and Medicare $13 Billion as they did from their privately insured customers, $14 Billion.

GO HOME AETNA. GOOD RIDDANCE. But, our pails and shovels, all of our Medicaid and Medicare customers will come back to us, you get NONE OF THEM. They will go the nonprofit insurers like Kaiser, who’s CEO was quoted in Potter’s article as saying, “I view it through the lens of my mission,” Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson told Modern Healthcare reporter Bob Herman last week. “It obligates to us to figure it out, not to get out.” Tyson said his company, a $61 billion system that includes health plans, hospitals, and medical groups, is “absolutely” sticking with the exchanges over the long term. “The idea that I would turn my back on a segment of the American population who really needs the coverage and the care — I’m in for the long haul,” Tyson said.

Let’s hear it for Americans’ health before obscene profits and compensation packages!

You can make a profit fine, but not pornographically on the backs of sick Americans.

Let’s all send this idea to our congress people and Senators; they are always at a loss for good ideas.

 

Read More

http://billmoyers.com/story/cry-river-aetna/

http://www.courant.com/business/connecticut-insurance/hc-boston-aetna-20160408-story.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/aetna-obamacare-pullout-humana-merger_us_57b3d747e4b04ff883996a13

This post was first published in the Column “Lean to the Left” in the Santa Clarita Gazette.

snap autumn

Re-collect, Re-member, Re-create, Revive!

Sometimes we need to look back in order to move forward.

Sometimes, we need to re-collect the experiences of our past, pull them back together, re-member them—by pulling the often cast-off parts back toward the center. If we can do this, with the goal of assembling our life’s narrative, ordering it like plot points in a novel or film, it can give us some perspective. Perspective can help us to identify patterns in our lives, our thinking and our relationships, both positive and negative.

This lens of perspective gives us opportunity to identify our own self-assumptions. It can offer clarity. What do we want to keep, what is still serving us and useful and what needs to be left behind in the re-creation of ourselves and our lives?

Every day is a chance to explore, edit and re-create ourselves into our best, most fully-realized Self.

Check out my new website!  http://mythologicalmidlif.wix.com/heroinesjourney

“We’re not on our journey to save the world but to save ourselves. But in doing that you save the world. The influence of a vital person vitalizes.” Joseph Campbell

Computer genii

Best Back to School Advice …..

Computer genii Indifference Student in college Legs of kids

Some kids love to go back to school, they have lots of friends and socialize well! They love the ritual of new sneakers and new pencils; they rebound from disappointments and defeats and learn from their mistakes, in class and on the playground. Some kids have a more difficult time. They may be shy, they may not fit in with the crowd, they may be different somehow. . . Some children hate going back to school.

We need to pay attention to our children, we need to be mindful of the ones who don’t fit in; in grade school, middle school, high school, college and beyond.

Children and adolescents who feel isolated and alienated are often lonely, sad and sometimes, angry and volatile. They all grow up. They grow up and very bad things can happen when their mental heath needs are not diagnosed and treated.

We need to make young people’s mental heath a priority, because for some, back to school is Back to Stress, Peer Pressure, Bullying and Performance Anxiety. This desire to fit in with a group doesn’t change as we get older.

If we could cheerlead our community’s mental health with as much gusto as we cheer for our sports teams, club teams and celebrities we would go a long way toward eliminating the kind of violence we have seen so much of the last few years.

Dylann Roof, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church South Carolina, 2015. 9 dead.

Elliot Rodger, UCSB, 2014. 6 dead, 14 injured. Shooter commits suicide.

Adam Lanza- Sandy Hook, 20012. 28 dead. Shooter among the dead.

James E. Holmes-Movie theater screening Aurora, Colorado, 20012.  22 dead, 58 wounded.

Seung-Hui Cho- Virginia Tech, 2007. 32 dead. Shooter commits suicide.

“The FBI found that education environments were the second-largest location grouping for active shooters, totaling 39 incidents at K-12 and institutes of higher education from 2000 to 2013” ( Washington Post).

Maybe if someone—a teacher, a parent, an Aunt or Uncle, or family friend— had intervened; maybe if these shooters had been treated or hospitalized, this terrible legacy would never have begun. Because sometimes, those who didn’t fit in during childhood, grow up to commit atrocities as adults.

Let’s be mindful not just of ourselves, but of one another, for yes, when it comes to mental health, we are each other’s keepers.

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) students from various sororities hug outside a sorority house where two women were killed in the Isla Vista neighborhood of Santa Barbara, California May 27, 2014. Students at the University of California at Santa Barbara returned to campus for a "day of mourning" on Tuesday, four days after the son of a Hollywood film director killed six students in a stabbing and shooting rampage across the seaside community. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW EDUCATION)

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) students from various sororities hug outside a sorority house where two women were killed in the Isla Vista neighborhood of Santa Barbara, California May 27, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES – Tags: CRIME LAW EDUCATION)

More info   http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2015/06/29/has-there-been-one-school-shooting-per-week-since-sandy-hook/

 

coast-waves_fJwFO1F_

Danger! Deep water—rip tides—dangerous surf

 

  Humpback Whales

What is it in your life that you keep pushing back under every time it surfaces?

The greatest accomplishments, the sweetest victories and even the pinnacles of success cannot be reached, thoroughly experienced and enjoyed without “Knowing Thyself.”

What good is it to be wealthy if you are alone and unloved? Where is the fulfillment of your gifts to the world if you are struggling everyday when you know you have so much to give?

We all have submerged wishes, desire, fears and faults.

If we are brave enough to take the journey into the deep

If we are brave enough to swim with them and give them a voice

If we are brave enough to face our deepest-selves, our own brokenness, and mortality

Then fear dissolves. Then real growth, movement, and fulfillment are possible.

You cannot say yes to the adventure and no to the dragons, they are the same thing.

 

Grieving is a beautiful and complicated thing.

ssc2003-06d1_Sm

Late in the evening on August 18th, I lost a dear friend. She had suffered a difficult previous six months with hospitalization, surgery, and rehabilitation. And, as I had found out the night before she passed, a very difficult life. Her children, a few good friends and I talked that night before… we shared a meal and memories of her through the years. I found out so many things I had not known about her. She spent her childhood with an abusive, “crazy” mother, living in the deep South; a difficult place for a free-spirited young girl to grow up. She suffered an abusive marriage from which she kidnaped her own children to escape. There’s more, including rape, the death of a child, escape into alcohol and drugs, a second divorce and still more. The terrible laundry list goes on, but that is not the point.

The soul has an inner capacity to rise from the ashes, that is as life-affirming as the smell of rain after a long drought. The woman I knew was my mentor and spiritual teacher, a woman of love and values, who never once complained to me about her life, what had happened to her and her family, or what had been inflicted upon her. Amazing in retrospect. She was a strong woman, with a strong personality. The woman I knew and studied with for fifteen years had a meaningful life and she was loved.

Though I had known her for about thirty years, we did not spend as much time together in the last ten. She had moved in with her son and his big family and I was busy raising my own. She was moving from 65 through to 75 and I was moving from 47 through to 57. She began to suffer from dementia in the last five years of her life. Her son would follow her in his car when she was driving, as her memory seem to be failing, to be sure she could find her way home. She was unable to remember who had called and who she needed to call, so she would write it down. Then she would lose the paper.

This was the hardest thing for me to wrap my head around. Her mind was so strong. I knew her in her prime. She had a fantastic mind. For her to lose that intellectual edge must have been horror filled. To look up, out the windshield and not know where you are, to be truly lost; Terrifying.

The sadness I feel at her loss, is not about her dying. Well, part of it is, but I believe that consciousness lives after death. I don’t know what form it’s in, or how, but I know in deep places that it does. Love is the only thing that is eternal. In the end, she was suffering, her body was done; it was time for her to go.

My sadness is for how difficult her life was, for how much she had suffered and how she had weathered so much abuse and betrayal, in her personal life, her family life, and her spiritual life. My sadness is in recalling what she had been in my life, and what life itself, through aging had taken from her. What life, if we are privileged enough to live to a ripe old age, will do to all of us.

My sadness is for all the words of love and forgiveness left unsaid. For the “thank you for all that you have taught me, showed me, given me-s”, left unsaid. For her grandchildren who won’t have their grandmother at any graduation. For her un-celebrated 76th birthday. For relationships that now can never be healed, unless by grace and forgiveness from within the wounded, who remain.

My sadness is for how we rush through life and the everyday banal moments, that we will treasure so deeply one day, pass unnoticed. Moments, that even for those without dementia or Alzheimer’s, most of us will struggle valiantly to recall. The sweet memories of my adult children as babies, the memories of my parents, now gone, and my childhood all swirl together in my soul, spiraling out behind me, like a trail of star dust, as I move forward into the unknown future.

I am of an age, where my sadness at the brevity of life, what I miss and missed are all only half an inkling away from conscious thought. Each rose smells sweeter, each jasmine tea more fragrant, each hug is more meaningful, each argument and sharp word more dangerous, as we each approach our own death, that will spiral us out into pure consciousness.

I still have so many goals and dreams for my life. I just finished a Master’s Degree and am going on for my Ph.D. I want to use what I have learned to help others live mindful, bountiful, love-filled lives. I also don’t want to be distracted from the life that is right in front of me, teeming within me and chaotically unfolding in the world. I find I am a vessel with plenty of room left for filling. The more love you pour out the more you can receive, the bounty is endless. Try to love everyone, say everything, forgive it all, every day. I’m working on it.

My sadness is the eternal fruit of wisdom growing, as my spiral widens.

ssc2003-06d1_SmPIA07901_ipm51images-1

“It’s important to live life with the experience, and therefore the knowledge, of its mystery and of your own mystery. This gives life a new radiance, a new harmony, a new splendor. Thinking in mythological terms helps to put you in accord with the inevitables of this vale of tears. You learn to recognize the positive values in what appear to be the negative moments and aspects of your life. The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.”

Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth

If you haven’t read any Joseph Campbell, check out The Power of Myth, it’s a wonderful easy read, very inspiring! Take a look here!     The Power of Myth

A Heroine’s Journey 4-Week Workshop! For Women 40+

Registration Now Open! Workshop starts September 29th!

wk shop 4 wk snap

“All people go through psychological rites of passage, trials, triumphs and transformations in their lives. The very real, physical, psychological and spiritual changes that occur from one stage of life to another, from the day we are born to the day we die, are natural and normal, you are not alone. EVERYONE is experiencing or will experience the changes you are navigating.

There is a treasure map within the human psyche that can help us prepare for these changes, weather storms and plot a new course for the future. I hope that you will join me for this life changing workshop, and learn new skills that can help you become the co-creator of your future!”

Myth pg 2.2 Event brite

For more information and to register go to

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mythological-midliferytm-a-unique-4-week-workshop-for-women-40-tickets-18284879567?ref=estw