Laudra's Lessons - "America's Bitter Pill" Analysis Part 1

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Laudra's Lessons - "America's Bitter Pill" Analysis Part 1

Written by: Laudra Eber

A few years ago I read a wonderful article on the healthcare crisis in Time Magazine.  I wasn’t the only one who thought it was educational and insightful as the article won the National Magazine Award for Public Interest.  So when Steven Brill expanded his narrative to include the antics leading up to the Patient Protection Act aka Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare, I had to buy “America’s Bitter Pill,” money, politics, backroom deals, and the fight to fix our broken healthcare system.

I haven’t finished it yet so am some distance from his solution but am well into the problems that the states, the hospitals, the insurance companies, the drug companies and the lobbyists caused to keep the ACA from becoming what it could have been had everyone had the same goal – a better, less expensive health plan for the American people.

 Brill talked to all of the mentioned group. The President of the United States answered written questions submitted to him about the high cost of treatment and the abuses in our system. In 2014 we spent three TRILLION dollars on healthcare, “that’s more than the next ten biggest spenders combined: Japan, Germany, France, China, the United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, Brazil, Spain, and Australia.”  And in many cases, particularly infant mortality, our outcomes are far worse.

Healthcare has turned out to be a windfall for hospital administrators (who earn way more than doctors), drug company executives, and salespeople of medical equipment.  Apple is considered a premier American company but Medtronic, maker of all sorts of medical devices has nearly double the gross profit.   Healthcare is the only industry where technical advancement has increased costs. 

Healthcare is America’s largest industry and it is profit dominated. If the cost of healthcare is cut, incomes have to be cut as well.  Right now healthcare executives are getting wealthier and care users/patients are getting poorer.  Sixty percent of the 1,000.000 bankruptcies in the US were the outcome of high medical bills.

Stay tuned for more information as this will be my topic for the next few newsletters, or you can buy the book by clicking HERE.

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All Things Equal

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All Things Equal

We are truly blessed to live in a state where ethnicities across the globe have come to settle, live, work and play on the sunny islands of Hawai’i.  The faces of the Aloha State span the ages too, with keiki to kupuna an important part of the fabric that weaves our community together.  I would hope to think that the idea of “Equal Opportunity” would be a non-issue in our very liberal and diversified state. But as all business goes, there are rules and regulations set in place to protect and advocate for equal opportunities for all classes. 

Here we briefly remind you Small Employers of your responsibilities when it pertains to regulations set by the United States EEOC – Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:

If you have at least one employee: You are covered by the law that requires employers to provide equal pay for equal work to male and female employees.

If you have 15 to 19 employees: You are covered by the laws that prohibit discrimination based on racecolorreligionsex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, or gender identity), national origindisability and genetic information (including family medical history). You are also covered by the law that requires employers to provide equal pay for equal work.

If you have 20 or more employees: You are covered by the laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability and genetic information (including family medical history). You are also covered by the law that requires employers to provide equal pay for equal work.

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National Immunization Awareness Month

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National Immunization Awareness Month

August is National Immunization Awareness Month which highlights the importance of vaccinations for people of all ages.  Vaccines are a necessary preventative measure against serious, sometimes deadly, diseases.

During National Immunization Awareness Month, we want to provide resources to ensure that employees and their families have access to this important piece of preventative care. Please read our Resources Article to learn how you can schedule a clinic at your company and other ways you can educate your employees.

As part of health care reform, most Carrier plans cover basic immunizations at 100% (with the exception of some Grandfathered/Grandmothered plans).  These include all of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended Childhood and Adult immunizations with flu shots being the most common.  We here at EBC would be happy to confirm your plan status and benefit coverage for immunizations.

Each week this month we will highlight a different group of people.  The first week is for infants to make sure that all the children who are not in daycare are still getting vaccinated. Other weeks will focus on older children, adults and pregnant women.

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