Pennsylvania’s Proposed Health Insurance Reforms

Pennsylvania’s Governor Ed Rendell just introduced his program to reform the state’s health insurance. This proposed program is entitled Prescription for Pennsylvania. While it still needs to be approved by the legislature, it would definitely bring significant changes to health care in the state. Rendell’s overall goal is to provide health care to everyone, including about 767,000 PA residents who do not have any coverage. Below are some of the ways in which Rendell’s proposed plan will benefit residents of Pennsylvania.1. Affordable Insurance For AllA new program which is part of this “Prescription” is called CAP, which means “Covering All Pennsylvanians.” By this, the Governor intends to be able to bring affordable health insurance to everyone in the State, especially to those who make less than the State’s average income of $39,000. Two target areas that this program is looking to provide insurance for, are:Employed individuals who do not have health insurance
Small businesses owners who do not have health insurance2. Employed Individuals Who Do Not Have Health InsuranceGovernor Rendell’s own goal for those who are employed but have no insurance, but limited to those who make at least 300% of the poverty level of income, is to be able to provide health care coverage for around $280 per month. Apparently this is the actual cost of providing this policy that his counsel has determined. There are presently several insurance carriers offering health insurance> for this amount or less in Pennsylvania.3. Individual Health InsuranceGovernor Rendell’s goal for those who are employed but do not have insurance is limited to those who make at least 300% of the poverty level of income. The cost to provide health care coverage would be around $280 per month as this is the actual cost of providing a policy that his counsel determined. There are presently several insurance carriers offering health insurance> for this amount or less in Pennsylvania.4. Program Will Reduce Medical Costs To Make It More AffordableSeveral areas in the new Pennsylvania health insurance program are targeted in an effort to curb overgrown and unnecessary medical costs. These targeted areas will help reduce the billions of dollars spent each year and help to reduce the overall cost and make it affordable for nearly all. Here are some of the features that have been specifically mentioned in order to make it happen.A. Examination of Services Performed – Certain areas are being examined to potentially reduce current medical care costs such as reducing the length of hospital stays in order to prevent things like hospital infections. Another targeted problem will be those hospital stays that could have been prevented by better personal self-care or better physician services in the first place, such as treatment among people who have diabetes, asthma, and other various medical conditions. This also includes scaling back on certain procedures and tests that may be unnecessary.
B. Reduce Medical Costs By Enlarging Services. The annual cost of providing health care is billions of dollars. The Governor is looking to reduce this figure by cutting out unnecessary expenditures in order to lower costs of health insurance in Pennsylvania. By expanding medical facilities hours of operations to include evening hours and weekends, he believes there will be less of a need to use emergency rooms for everyday medical needs. Furthermore, Rendell hopes that by bringing everyone into the health insurance program, the overall costs of healthcare in Pennsylvania will decline.
C. Other Changes That Will Benefit Many – Other additional changes in the health insurance in PA program include:ยท Allowing Nurses To Perform More Services:Governor Rendell is proposing the use of medical attendants like nurses and possibly dental technicians in a wider capacity as they are trained to do more than they are generally permitted to do. For example, in a nurse-controlled medical facility, nurses may not be permitted to do things like stitching wounds, treating infected toenails, or removing moles, if these nurses were in a doctor-controlled facility, they would regularly perform these tasks. Costs will be reduced by allowing nurses to perform these medical treatments on a statewide basis, allowing doctors to perform functions that are targeted to their specialized training.Another example is the distribution of prescriptions during the birthing process. Many mid-wives and nurse practitioners already deliver as many as 10% of the babies in PA, and it seems like it should merely be the natural progression of their services into this arena, as well.Nurse care in such fields as has been mentioned here, and others, would reduce health insurance costs as nurses do not charge much as doctors do for their services.Reducing Costs Through Rebates:For those insurers that provide plans to small businesses, there may be a need to provide rebates. If an employer’s medical costs for their group plan uses less than 75% of the collected premiums, the insurer will need to provide a rebate to each of the employees. This will help keep costs down for employers – at least for those years where expenses are lower than expected.The question here is how do the insurers fund the claims for the groups whose claims exceed 200% or even 500% of their premiums?…if this is done on an overall loss ratio basis, it would be of great benefit to employers.With so many changes that will soon be effecting the health insurance in Pennsylvania in a positive way, it appears that many people will certainly be able to enjoy better healthcare. The Prescription for Pennsylvania may indeed be a real good thing, and only time will tell.

How To Find The Best Low Cost Health Insurance – Save More Money!

In any year the United States death rate for people who don’t have any health insurance is 30% higher than for people who do have insurance. Finding good low cost health insurance is a lot easier than most people think.Health insurance is simply the processing of medical claims against the actual medical costs. Low cost health insurance is readily available that is if you know where to and how to find it. There are a lot of different features to choose from in the health insurance plans and policies in the marketplace today in the United States.Most every other country in the civilized world insures the health of all of its peoples. Although we spend billions of dollars every year, there are 54 million people who don’t have any insurance at all. Although it may increase your risk, one good way to lower your costs is to ask for a higher deductible. If your health is good you’ll come out ahead, that is if there are no emergencies or accidents.You can get help easily from the online insurance agents just as you would local agents. They can help submit the proper forms and claims for health insurance you don’t have to have a local agent do it. The insurance agents who are not online can only quote from the companies they handle.In the future if your physician decides that you have a medical necessity and it’s not covered under your policy, the insurance company can decide whether they will pay for it or not. But in most cases it’s like pulling teeth.The insurance agents who are not online may be restricted and cannot offer you what you need that fits your budget and your health needs. Finding the best health insurance today is really faster and easier than ever to do online. A major advantage of purchasing health insurance online is the fact that you can save a lot of time and easily change your deductibles, coverage or payment options instead of going through a local insurance agent.A simple fact is that as you get older your health insurance policy becomes more important. Of course you should be just as concerned about having health insurance when you’re younger.If you get insurance and get in a bind you can easily charge your payments to a credit card if you have online insurance. This means you’re not likely to neither forget making a payment nor ever be without your insurance. It gives you another thirty days before you actually have to pay your premium. You can save even more because most insurance companies will give you an additional discount for automatic payments on your credit card also.For individuals who don’t have any pre-existing medical conditions, a standard health insurance plan with a higher deductible may be the best decision. Make sure to go over the policy and eliminate any extras you don’t need such as maternity care.Getting cheap or low cost health insurance means you will pay a lower price and sometimes get lower quality, but for some people the price may be the deciding factor rather than the quality of the health plan. With a bit of work and research you can easily get the lowest cost insurance available.There are many different types of plans so make sure you get an understanding of all the low cost health insurance policies that are available. Compare all the features to ensure you get the best deal. Some websites are set up in such a way to let you get several free quotes with one inquiry. This makes it fast and easy to compare rates to ensure that you’re getting the best deal possible.

Identifying the Educated Person

Education looked at as a social enterprise deemed essential for human survival, is a formal system extending from nursery school to prestigious universities. This is so in every civilised country in the world. Having gone through the system from infancy to youth and maturity, and acquired a formal education culminating in graduate and post-graduate qualifications, it is fair to assume that the end product would be an educated person. However, this is not always so. The word ‘product’ is unlikely to be associated with a truly educated person. It has the connotations of a process conducted on factory premises. This process, at best, is training for a specific purpose, such as a job, profession, or career. It also has associations of standardisation, which may cater to the ambitions of the vast majority of people. But the truly educated person, is his own person, and is unique. He or she stands out from the crowd. He/she is likely to be well-trained to hold a position of responsibility within an organisation, but that is not what defines him/her.What distinguishes the truly educated person is his/her independence of thought and strength of character. The mass market does not necessarily enthral such people. For such persons education does not stop with the acquisition of degrees. Education for them is a lifelong process. An educated person is unlikely to be a celebrity. They do not seek publicity at any cost. They are persons of integrity. They usually abide by the society’s norms, but will always challenge them, if they are unjust, or indefensible. However badly or indifferently they were treated during their lifetime, posterity will always accord them their due. Think of Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King,and Nelson Mandela. Of course great intellects of the calibre of Newton and Einstein are among the educated. So are those who developed their aesthetic sensibilities through art, music, drama and literature. Who would forget Michael Angelo, Beethoven, Shakespeare, and Tolstoy? What about the philosophers, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle? Innovators in any field or discipline, including religious leaders like Buddha and Confucius, were not only among the educated, but they were also great educators.That brings us to the role of the teacher in education. The teacher does not know it all. As Galileo said, ‘You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.’ Any other form of teaching would be indoctrination. Telling others what to think is not teaching. On the other hand, as Epictetus, the Greek philosopher said, ‘Only the educated are free.’ Teaching is a collaborative effort as exemplified by the Socratic dialogue. People learn not only from teachers at a school or university but from almost everybody around them starting with parents, close relatives, even neighbours, and continuing their education through books and other media. The educated person is all too aware, that he/she knows very little, and therefore is always prepared to learn.Increasingly, we are told that we live in a knowledge society, the post-capitalist society. This means that there are such sheer volumes of information now than ever there was on the planet. All this information is embodied in books, databanks, and software programmes, but their possession is not equated with education. It is the educated person who embodies and manages such knowledge in the interests of total global well being. As Bill Gates has demonstrated, with knowledge as the key resource, the educated person faces new demands, challenges, commitments, and responsibilities. We are not talking of ‘polymaths’ here, which is a concept from the past, perhaps only applicable to Leonardo da Vinci. The truly educated person now has to be a citizen of the world with deep and genuine empathy for others from quite different cultural milieu. It helps if the educated person travels to other parts of the world and gains first-hand experience of conditions far from home. ‘Think globally, act locally’ is likely to be the motto of today’s educated person.To conclude this essay two well-known educators are cited. They have listed what they think are qualities needed which define the educated person. John Taylor Gatto who was once named New York State’s Teacher of the Year lists the following:1) Establish an individual set of values but recognize those of the surrounding community and of the various cultures of the world.
2) Explore their own ancestry, culture and place.
3) Are comfortable being alone, yet understand dynamics between people and form healthy relationships.
4) Accept mortality, knowing that every choice affects the generations to come.
5) Create new things and find new experiences.
6) Think for themselves, observe, analyze, and discover truth without relying on the opinions of others.
7) Favor love, curiosity, reverence and empathy rather than material wealth.
8) Choose a vocation that contributes to the common good.
9) Enjoy a variety of new places and experiences but identify and cherish a place to call home.
10) Express their own voice with confidence.
11) Add value to every encounter and every group of which they are a part.
12) Always ask: Who am I? Where are my limits? What are my possibilities?Adapted from Gatto, John Taylor (2009) Weapons of Mass Instruction, New Society Publishers.A shorter list from another source reads:1) Has a deep and genuine empathy, striving to understand others, with the ability to withhold their own judgment until they are sure they do understand.
2) Is sensitive to the psychological, physical, moral and cultural milieu in which they find themselves, showing respect and caring at all times.
3) Has a clear understanding of their own values, wants and preferences without wishing to impose these on others.
4) Is independent within the constraints of collaborative living, in action and thought taking responsibility for the health and well-being of their body and their mind.
5) Understands the connectedness of everything in the world, and even in the universe and so acts responsibly in everything they do.
6) Is congruent, meaning that the person will be comfortable in their own skin, able to acknowledge their own feelings and the feelings of others without condescension.