Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Jobs’

In all this talk about Syria, we Americans may be forgetting that the biggest public policy shift in our lifetime is about to take place. The Affordable Care Act is rolling out on October 1st, whether Kerry manages to corral Syria’s chemical arsenal or not. Even though employers of 50 or more get a one year delay to implement a health insurance plan for their companies, and smokers get a one year reprieve from being charged more than non-smokers, Obamacare is scheduled to debut on time with:

“…health exchanges (marketplaces), community-rated health plans, tax credit subsidies, individual insurance requirements, prohibiting annual and lifetime limits on coverage, requiring insurers to accept all applicants without regard to their health status (pre-existing conditions) and limiting how much more they can charge them…” http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2013/08/delays-pose-big-problem-obamacare.html

What a monumental effort, making health insurance available for all just when we qualify for Medicare! Then I heard about thousands of hospital workers being laid off in TN, and naturally asked Bob what’s up. After all, we Boomers are just the beginning of a tsunami of health-related consumers to wash ashore; how could our country possibly be laying off medical personnel? Of course the easy answer is to blame the government, Obama and all his caring, that’s what the GOP would like us to believe.

Actually, hospitals across the country are massively laying off workers for a few reasons. One big one is the sequester – you remember that courtesy of the Tea Party. Our budget was cut by 1.2 Trillion, that’s trillion with a “T.”  Since nobody on The Hill could find a way to stop The Sequester, Moody had this to say: “…sequestration is expected to lower the revenues of hospitals, physicians, and other health care providers by $11 billion in 2013.” That’s Billion with a “B.”

Medicare under from budget sequestration could “exacerbate an already challenging operating environment for not-for-profit hospitals” that are facing “low revenue growth” from government and private insurers, Moody’s Investors Service said this week. The sequester involves about $1 trillion in across-the-board spending cuts, including a 2% reduction to all Medicare reimbursement rates, that took effect on April 1. http://www.advisory.com/Daily-Briefing/2013/04/10/Moody-Sequester-Medicare-cuts-threaten-hospitals

And the funny thing is, well it’s not really funny, but if you happen to live in a red state, with a governor who said thanks but no thanks to the Affordable Care Act, well the chances are that your favorite nurse, or physical therapist, or doctor may not be there is undeniable. http://www.wkrn.com/story/22942014/laid-off-workers-rally-outside-vanderbilt

You decide, is this job loss due to a bill that gives all Americans access to health care? Or is it due to an intractable Congress?DB_medicaid_map

 http://www.advisory.com/Daily-Briefing/2013/08/27/In-states-that-say-no-to-Medicaid-hospitals-worry-of-death-by-1000-cuts

 

Read Full Post »

Progress. It’s here to stay; technology races further ahead than most of us can imagine. How to stay at the cutting edge, how to know what’s next. Should we get the smaller “Tablet,” the thinner “Laptop?” One of my first newspaper articles in the 80s came about because I was tending a wood stove while Bob was carting his first “At-Home” computer up the stairs to his office. The juxtaposition of these two events piqued my funny bone. Bob likes to tell the story of the man who sold buggy whips.

He made the best, most beautiful buggy whips around. Just the right length, real leather, with handles that were oh, so ergonomically correct. The problem was it was 1896 and Henry Ford had built his first Quadricycle. You can see what’s coming, right? “And as the Quadricycle began to attract public attention, investors were intrigued. With the backing and influence of the mayor of Detroit, Henry Ford incorporated his first automobile company, the Detroit Automobile Company, in 1899. It had a short life, but Henry Ford’s career as an automaker had begun.” Who wants to be the buggy whip guy at the dawn of the automobile age?

Warning – Bob stop reading now! I just heard about a book I think I’ll be stuffing in Bob’s Hanukka stocking. “The Disappearance of Darkness” by Robert Burley http://darkness.robertburley.com is about the end of the analog photography era. When we were first married, Bob always longed for a dark room in any house we looked at. It didn’t have to be much, maybe a closet, a place where my amateur photographer could develop his film. It seems truly amazing that in the last 7 years Eastman Kodak has gone from being a top Fortune 500 company to a buggy whip. Steve Jobs was the Ford of our day.

Video stores and record stores are closing, maybe even bookstores? When you can make a memory book of photos for a Great Grandma, then type a little more and have my holiday cards done sealed and delivered (thank you Shutterfly); if our music can come from a cloud, what’s next?
photo

photo copy

photo copy 2

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: