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3 years ago
| Government & Politics
Universities Bludgeon Adjuncts With Obamacare Loophole



When the Affordable Care Act passed in early 2010, many in academia—faculty and students alike—cheered on. But now that its provisions are going into effect, some of these same people are learning firsthand that Obamacare has some nasty side effects.


A new piece in the Wall Street Journal reports that many colleges are cutting back on the number of hours worked by adjunct professors, in order to avoid new requirements that they provide healthcare to anyone working over 30 hours per week. This is terrible news for a lot of people; 70 percent of professors work as adjuncts and many will now have to cope with a major pay cut just as requirements that they buy their own health insurance go into effect:


In Ohio, instructor Robert Balla faces a new cap on the number of hours he can teach at Stark State College. In a Dec. 6 letter, the North Canton school told him that “in order to avoid penalties under the Affordable Care Act… employees with part-time or adjunct status will not be assigned more than an average of 29 hours per week.”


Mr. Balla, a 41-year-old father of two, had taught seven English composition classes last semester, split between Stark State and two other area schools. This semester, his course load at Stark State is down to one instead of two as a result of the school’s new limit on hours, cutting his salary by about a total of $2,000.


Stark State’s move came as a blow to Mr. Balla, who said he earns about $40,000 a year and cannot afford health insurance.


“I think it goes against the spirit of the [health-care] law,” Mr. Balla said. “In education, we’re working for the public good, we are public employees at a public institution; we should be the first ones to uphold the law, to set the example.”



Read the rest at the link above...^^^

Wrong again....
3 years ago

The Affordable Care Act makes it possible for almost everyone in this country to have good medical insurance for a price they can afford. That is one of the best things our government has acheived for us in our lifetimes. It can be ammended and improved over time, just as Social Security and Medicare were. It's a great step forward for our country, and something to be proud of.

3 years ago

Almost everybody, huh...what about those not included but still have to settle up with the IRS at the end of the day?  I bet it suks for them...

3 years ago
  1. Get real.
Archie, I don't know you and you don't know me so...
3 years ago

That makes sense.  Who's real should I be, yours or mine.

To be honest I am at the point of whatever it is.  I will just wait for the bill. 

I agree, that this is helpful to many, but those left out who still are forced to pay into it.  It just amounts to bullshyte.

I don't care what you say honestly about this.  I will speak the truth for me, you speak it for yourself.  It's all good.

3 years ago

Oh, man, Suzanne is over here now?

Just ignore her, Archie. She gets her dander up very easily about almost nothing. If you said something that was actually offensive, her head would explode.

Hi Suzanne.

3 years ago

Christian, no worries.  I am not planning to stay.  I just see people praise the Affordable Health Care Act and I have obviously a different opinion.  I just feel the need to share.

There are those completely getting screwed by this and that is not okay.

Goodbye Christian ...

3 years ago
Insurance Analysts: Obamacare to Increase Out-of-Pocket Premium Costs, Despite Lavish Subsidies



"President Obama had repeatedly promisedthat his bill would “bring down premiums by $2,500 for the typical family.” In addition, they argued, Obamacare will spend trillions of dollars on health insurance subsidies, such that the uninsured wouldn’t be exposed to any purported rate hikes. But a new study by two members of the American Academy of Actuaries finds that tens of millions of Americans will be exposed to increased insurance costs, even when one takes the value of Obamacare’s subsidies into account."

3 years ago

"These higher costs on young people are especially significant because about two-thirds of the uninsured population is under the age of 40. Overall, the authors found that &ldquoremiums for younger, healthier individuals could increase by more than 40 percent” in the non-group insurance market due to Obamacare’s community rating provision."

3 years ago

Dissing what little progress America has made in health care insurance is ludicrous. The PPACA is lame, but it's better than what you had. All other countries have far superior plans. Ever wonder why the US is the only country left that does not provide universal health care?

People who oppose progress in health insurance are retarded.

3 years ago

I don't care that you're here, Suzanne. You can go wherever you want. Why would you leave? If anything, you'd fit right in here. Most members are Teabaggers and Republicans (some call themselves "Libertarians," but whatever. Same fukkin thing, just a different version).

This post was modified from its original form on 25 Jan, 19:19
3 years ago

Obamacare has not been fully enacted - I was a critic and I am going to openly state - put it to work and then start dissecting it, how can anyone hate something that has not even taken place.


Parts of it were implemented, like 26 y.o. staying on parents ins. plans and the GOP loved that one.


I am sure there is going to be parts that need total revision and it will be continuousally worked upon as it is massive.  I also expect it will be a vehicle for massive corruption, graft, greed, etc.


State by state insurances would have been better; but you have states run by republicans who want no health insurance for their constitutents.


That is the problem. 

"Better than what we had."
3 years ago

Exactly. And it can still be amended to inckude a public option - and that's what the right wingers are scared of.

3 years ago

that is true, they are petrified of that but the insurance industry will be massive and the care is going to be affected, there will be rules and regs to abide by and they will not give care to the chronically ill who are old. 


Rationing healthcare will happen at some point, it is inevitable.

State health care programs would have been far better but  there are too many stupid people who refuse to do this.  It is like civil rights and segregation of schools; it had to go federal because too many states refused to allow desegregation.  This is the problem and that is why the FEDERAL government takes over. 

3 years ago


This is the stuff that scares me and most Americans about the republicans and their weird ideas on healthcare.


Bobby Jindal slashed hospice care to the dying in LA.


Is this the mentality of the GOP?

This is the very reasons why people run and are scared of that party.

The GOP has no comprehension of social security, medicare and medicaid to dying people.

They give the avg. citizen the concept that they are on their own.

Older people don't like that thinking.

Again, soc. security and medicare are NOT entitlements but to the stupid GOP it is and all I hear continuousally is they don't want their families paying for it.


Well, Hello, I paid into it my whole life and I am suppossed to forfeit it now because the debt is too high and you don't want your kids paying high debts.


What about the present, why do we have to suffer for the future?  It is a ridiculous argument and not equitable because hard-working people paid into these programs and they expect us to forfeit it all.


Sorry, if the GOP continues down this road, they will never win any elections on a federal basis, esp. the presidency.


When I hear Sean Hannity continuousally whine about his kids future, I turn him off.  WHO CARES, I don't and like others,  people care about their own self interests.  Seniors won't admit that but in a voting booth, they will vote to preserve their safety nets first.


Altruism is nice but it doesn't help the person who needs it.

Who wants to suffer for someone else, a nun perhaps but not the majority of people.  It is nonsense. 

3 years ago

And what the average working Joe who has bothered to look at the details of this "Act" is scared of is that their hours will be cut even as they face being forced to purchase private insurance or be 'fined', they might even lose their jobs over this, as 10s of thousands already have!  and you people are DEFENDING it?  You are telling us that is "progress" and "decent"?  Are you all crazy?  



Xtian, its yourself who should leave this group, not Suzanne!  She is the very LAST person who would walk in David's house and call him an ignorant, bigotted racist.  Only a "benevolent do gooder" progressive would be dumb enough, and classless enough, to do that. Your Mama didnt raise you right.

3 years ago

Why is it that we need health insurance as it has become? Answer: because it has become so expensive for health care services. Why have health care services become so expensive for the average American? Because the Insurance Company and Government scam has raise the costs.


  1. Government and big Pharma monopolies on drugs
  2. Over use of prescription drugs like SSRI's by the monopolistic and compromised AMA.
  3. The AMA uses government to prevent competition. Do we really need a MD to do many of things that could be done without a doctor?
  4. Prices by health care providers are set artificially high because they know that the Insurance companies will only pay a portion of the billed price. That artificially high front line price makes the bills unaffordable.
  5. Government prevents competition across state lines by insurance companies giving them semi monopolies
  6. Insurance to medical groups are raised enormously by "defensive medicine" costs to avoid lawsuits Many expensive tests are unwarranted.
  7. Diagnostic equipment is expensive because of crony capitalism: Manufactures of that equipment have patent extensions and regulations prevents entry of competitors.
  8. USA subsidies prices on drugs and equipment for other nations via legislation that prevents negotiation on prices paid by Medicare and such
  9. Drug companies spend massive amounts on advertizing to drive sales. They are the single largest advertiser for major media which causes major media to under expose a expensive broken system
  10. The huge cost of the FDA approval raises the costs of drugs and medical devices Many of these later prove to be unsafe anyway.
  11. The FDA also suppresses new drugs and competition drugs from upstart companies on behalf of big Pharma. by sabotaging protocols


In the late 1960's, over 60% of the American people had some health care insurance and it was rising . Mostly, this was major medical/catastrophic. The cost of this and out of pocket expense for ordinary medical services was affordable. Now it is not. An estimated 75% of today's costs are due to the system. Reform of the above would return the costs to manageable levels and leave the people of this nation more healthy and more prosperous.


Note: the naysayers would tell us that there is more available medical care now and more comprehensive care so the intrinsic costs are higher. While this is true, it does not account for a increase of 400% above base line CPI for health care services. It does not account for productivity gains either. There are less receptionists and support staff/visit. Accounting/billing would be cheaper because of computers/software.....If it was not for the struggle with insurance companies on minor visits either, And while some lament that most expenses were out of pocket in the 1960's , the fact is that outside of major issues which would be insured under "major medical", those out of pocket costs would be at or below what co pays are now if reform was realized.


The problem here is costs.  The government has caused costs to go up, and now seeks to provide an answer for what has been made unafordable.   Of course, behind the scenes, the powerful will be the real winners will be the powerful special interests that are controlling the process.

This post was modified from its original form on 31 Jan, 11:43
3 years ago

The problem here is costs.


Always has been, always will be...

Government and insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies have no will to fix that problemTo force anyone to buy a product that is unaffordable to them and then to penalize them when they can't is totally fuked up.

3 years ago

Suzanne, they have no incentive to play fair when all they have to do is donate enough money to the Republicrat Party to get the state to play along with destroying America's health care system at ENORMOUS profit for themselves via everything and more that Jim posted above.

3 years ago

Do you honestly believe it is only the Republican party that benefits?  The democrats have long ruled my state and are quite in bed with the insurance industry.  I think it's a mutual love affair among politicians and insurance executives.

3 years ago

Suzanne, are you  asking me?  Heavens no.  I typed RepublCRAT - becase the public records show that both parties are equally corrupt.  But I have always said that, I have never been an apologist for either party! I actually hate them both for their collusion with industry against America and humanity.

3 years ago

I didn't think so Katii.  I completely missed the crat part

I hear ya.  I hold out very little respect or hope for either party.  They have lost grip with reality.

3 years ago

Essentially we have a one party system and a country that is looking more and more like Orwell's 1984. 

1984 Social Classes

3 years ago

Most of the "differences" between the Republicans and Democrats are crafted illusions by the media.  Notice "compromise" always envolves in both "sides" getting what they want. pays off their special interests  and passes the bills on to us and  to the not yet to be born via debt. 


Pretend and extend is the theme in DC. 

3 years ago

Jim:  i agree with you there, the media does fabricate a lot of shyte and they create illusions.


got emails from right wing sites saying how obama is not feeding our servicemen and women overseas breakfast anymore.  A total made up lie.  I will post it.  It is amazing.  It is all over the internet and the idiots believeing it are really indoctrinated by media talking heads for sure.


some republican legislature put this up on his website and started the rumor.


snopes took it up as an investigtion and the DOD had to step in and clear it up.


I got this in an email from VOTING AMERICAN - I like them but they go way too far sometimes, along with Romantic Poet blogs and Ulsterman Reports.  They need to always be fact checked all the time.

This post was modified from its original form on 01 Feb, 9:51
3 years ago


DOD Takes on ‘No Breakfast’ Internet Myth

By Jim Garamone American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10, 2013 – If it’s on the Internet, it has to be true, right?

Well, no.

There is no truth to the Internet myth that Washington budget cuts have taken away breakfast for service members in Afghanistan, Defense Department officials said.

Americans serving in Afghanistan can have up to four meals a day: breakfast, lunch, dinner and a midnight meal, if one is needed.

The Internet myth’s genesis came from a few forward operating bases in eastern Afghanistan’s Paktika province that are closing or being turned over to Afghan security forces. Instead of a hot, prepared breakfast, service members at those bases receive packaged meals known as “meals, ready-to-eat,” or MREs. This streamlines the logistics for these closing bases, officials explained. -- a website that looks into Internet myths -- rates this tale as &ldquoartly true.” The original email that sparked the controversy vastly overstated the extent of the “MRE for breakfast” policy. The original email also said the reason for the policy was because of DOD budget cuts. This is not true, defense officials said.

The vast majority of service members in Afghanistan are receiving a hot breakfast, officials emphasized.

This post was modified from its original form on 01 Feb, 9:49
3 years ago

Yeah Sheila, I don't know why people put out such ridiculous fabrications. Only the truly gullible believe this cr^p. That's why I take myself off such lists when I get something like that. I endeavor to not have strings that can be pulled.

3 years ago

IT should have been, and still should be, single payer. It would be much cheaper and there would be no profit on health insurance. THe fact that someone makes money denying someone else healthcare is as disgusting as profiting off of war. providers should have some profit motive, but not insurers.

But the "libertarians" will complain about "big Government" and "its not in the constitution..

3 years ago

Ask those countries with single payer how thats going for them, Chile.  They  are all broke,  and their citizens pay sky high taxes.  


Chile, there is a legal process to amend the constitution.  Go for it, but I think you will find that there are many more Americans - of all political stripes - who will be against letting a dangerously inept and thoroughly corrupted government manage their Sickcare.  Only a fool would ask for a stupid idea like that.

Oklahoma Doctors Vs Obamacare
3 years ago

Three years ago, Dr. Keith Smith, co-founder and managing partner of theSurgery Center of Oklahoma, took an initiative that would only be considered radical in the health care industry: He posted online a list of pricesfor 112 common surgical procedures. The 51-year-old Smith, a self-described libertarian, and his business partner, Dr. Steve Lantier, founded the Surgery Center 15 years ago, after they became disillusioned with the way patients were treated at St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City, where the two men worked as anesthesiologists. In 1997, Smith and Lantier bought the shell of a former surgical center with the aim of creating a for-profit facility that could deliver first-rate care at a fraction of what traditional hospitals charge.

The major cause of exploding U.S. heath care costs is the third-party payer system, a text-book concept in which A buys goods or services from B that are paid for by C. Because private insurance companies or the government generally pick up most of the tab for medical services, patients don’t have the normal incentive to seek out value.

The Surgery Center’s consumer-driven model could become increasingly common as Americans look for alternatives to the traditional health care market—an unintended consequence of Obamacare. Patients may have no choice but to look outside the traditional health care industry in the face of higher costs and reduced access to doctors and hospitals.

The Surgery Center demonstrates that it’s possible to offer high quality care at low prices. "It's always been interesting to me,” says Dr. Jason Sigmon, “that in any other industry, tons of attention is devoted to making systems more efficient, but in health care that's just completely lost." Sigmon, an ear, nose, and throat surgeon, regularly performs procedures at both the Surgery Center and at Oklahoma City's Integris Baptist Medical Center, which is the epitome of a traditional hospital. It's run by a not-for-profit called Integris Health, which is the largest health care provider in Oklahoma serving over 700,000 patients a year.

Sigmon says he can perform twice as many surgeries in a single day at the Surgery Center than at Integris. At the latter institution, he spends half his time waiting around while the staff struggles with the basic logistics of moving patients from preoperative care into the operating room. When the patient arrives, Sigmon will sometimes wait even longer for the equipment he needs.

Except for the clerical staff, every employee at the Surgery Center is directly involved in patient care. For example, both human resources and building maintenance are the responsibility of the head nurse. "One reason our prices are so low," says Smith, "is that we don't have administrators running around in their four or five thousand dollar suits."

In 2010, the top 18 administrative employees at Integris Health received an average of $413,000 in compensation, according to the not-for-profit's 990 tax form. There are no administrative employees at the Surgery Center.

Because bills charged by Integris are paid primarily by insurance companies or the government, the hospital gets away with gouging for its services. Reason obtained a bill for a procedure that Dr. Sigmon performed at Integris in October 2010 called a “complex bilateral sinus procedure,” which helps patients with chronic nasal infections. The bill, which is strictly for the hospital itself and doesn't include Sigmon's or the anesthesiologist's fees, totaled $33,505. When Sigmon performs the same procedure at the Surgery Center, the all-inclusive price is $5,885.

The Integris bill for the same nasal procedure went to Blue Cross of Oklahoma, so the patient had no compelling reason to question its outrageous markups. They included a $360 charge for a steroid called dexamethasone, which can be purchased wholesale for just 75 cents. Or the three charges totaling $630 for a painkiller called fentanyl citrate, which all together cost the hospital about $1.50. 

While patients and their insurance companies rarely pay the full price on a hospital bill, the bigger the bill, the more the hospital gets. Uninsured patients at Integris generally get a 50 percent discount, while private insurance companies pay closer to 60 percent of the full bill, which is still greater by orders of magnitude than what the Surgery Center collects.

Integris Health declined to make a spokesperson available to be interviewed for this story. But in a statement, the company defended its outrageous bills on the grounds that it needs a way to cover losses on services offered free. Whatever the merits of that argument, Integris must also cover ov

See my above list on "costs"
3 years ago

Why do we have to have time consuming and expensive visits to a MD to get a prescription for a known condition? We should be able to buy much of what is prescribed over the counter. If needed, a medical associate can diagnose and if they have a question, it can be referred to a MD at the same visit.


Why are there monopolies on many of the drugs....why are the same devices and diagnostic equipment up to 3X as expensive in the USA as in foreign countries?.....We know the answers to this: it is lobby's and political influence. The only thing that changes with a "single payer" is the insurance companies might be cut out. But that would be at the expense of the government deciding what and how much would be paid and who would be prioritized in treatment. This leads to price controls that reduce the incentives for competition and innovation. And THAT further reduces supply. And a black market, as we see in many countries in Europe where it is common practice to pay under the table to get to the head of a line for a procedure. The danger of the use of political influence to gain a advantage over others is also intrinsic to government controlled health care via a single provider. 


Note, the lame excuse by Integris that the almost 6X cost of the cited operation was due to "free services" provided? Really? If this was to be believed then it would mean that for every paying patient, this company would be providing "free" services to 5X as many patients..


Again, this is a question of costs, and the idea the government, which is controlled by special interests including powerful the health care companies lobby's, is the solution to a endemic problem is mis guided.  . 

"Cheapest" Obamacare plan
3 years ago

( – In a final regulationissued Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IR assumed that under Obamacare the cheapest health insurance plan available in 2016 for a family will cost $20,000 for the year.

Under Obamacare, Americans will be required to buy health insurance or pay a penalty to the IRS.

The IRS's assumption that the cheapest plan for a family will cost $20,000 per year is found in examples the IRS gives to help people understand how to calculate the penalty they will need to pay the government if they do not buy a mandated health plan.

The examples point to families of four and families of five, both of which the IRS expects in its assumptions to pay a minimum of $20,000 per year for a bronze plan.

“The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000,” the regulation says.

Bronze will be the lowest tier health-insurance plan available under Obamacare--after Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Under the law, the penalty for not buying health insurance is supposed to be capped at either the annual average Bronze premium, 2.5 percent of taxable income, or $2,085.00 per family in 2016.

In the new final rules published Wednesday, IRS set in law the rules for implementing the penalty Americans must pay if they fail to obey Obamacare's mandate to buy insurance.

To help illustrate these rules, the IRS presented examples of different situations families might find themselves in.

In the examples, the IRS assumes that families of five who are uninsured would need to pay an average of $20,000 per year to purchase a Bronze plan in 2016.

3 years ago

This new theft called "Obamacare" truly pisses me off, but not nearly as much as the fact that  people actually PUSHED for and DEMANDED this piece %#&!*% "Act" be forced on everyone, and to this day are STILL DEFENDING it.  That majorly pisses me off.   I have zero patience for willful ignorance that results in harming others.

3 years ago

Yeah, and the whole "pass it to know what's in it" is scary.

3 years ago

With universal health care, the quality of service goes down, doctors are overburdened with the larger influx of patients. The countries, like Canada and in the UK, that have universal, also have supplemental private insurance options. But, usually only the rich can afford it.

The German and Swiss model is a combo of universal and private that is supposedly working for them. I'd have to read up on it more.
3 years ago

"pass it to know what's in it" ........Kinda like the neo-con version which is "we have to overthrow a government to see what we'll get".  Same mentality.  Jump first and think later. 

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