Employers’ Shift to Private Health Exchanges May Cost Employees More

By | April 7, 2015

  • April 7, 2015 at 1:35 pm
    Hmmmm says:
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    This is more than frightening that if someone should be hit with a devastating illness, even with insurance the co-pays, deductibles and restrictions of coverage on an individual basis could still bankrupt them. My head is telling me that employers needs to control the cost, my heart is hurting over the added cost of illness for many people.

    • April 7, 2015 at 2:19 pm
      Agent says:
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      Hmmmmm, This is nothing new and what was predicted. The lie was told that the average family would save $2,500 per year. Boy, was that a whopper. Higher premiums, higher deductibles, higher out of pocket expense. It really doesn’t matter what an employee chooses, the options are few. Employers can no longer just offer better plans at ever increasing rates.

      • April 7, 2015 at 2:53 pm
        FFA says:
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        My wife went to Ear Doc for a Hearing Screening. Guess what is not covered under the brilliant OBama Care Plan… So, in addition to the high co pays, high ded, add another $160.00 on to the total out of pocket.

        • April 7, 2015 at 3:15 pm
          Agent says:
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          Hi FFA. I hear you. I have some small groups with Blue Cross under the now mandated plans. I got a renewal in. To keep the plan they had, rates went up about 20%. A number of options were presented. To go way up on the deductible, maximum out of pocket, co-pays, it was just a more modest increase. The fix is in. Get used to higher cost and less coverage for the dollar.

        • April 7, 2015 at 4:28 pm
          Agent says:
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          Hey FFA, I saw an interesting Help Wanted Ad today.

          Wanted: German Co-Pilot to fly AF1.

          • April 8, 2015 at 12:59 pm
            Stan says:
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            Very tasteful, Agent.

  • April 7, 2015 at 2:57 pm
    Ron says:
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    Another endorsement for Universal Health Care.

    • April 7, 2015 at 5:09 pm
      FFA says:
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      Medicare nor Medicaid will pay for anything Hearing including the screening as well as hearing aids (my parents).

      My Private Coverage I used to have would cover this up to 50%. They also made vision available.

      How would Universal Health help? More important for good teeth but not good hearing or vision? Why on earth would he just ignore Vision? At least make it optional.

      I view it as an argument against Universal Health Care as he ignored the Voluntary Products. My Group is too small for private carrier options.

      Another argument against Govt Intrusion is the Worker Comp in IL. If a sole prop / copr officer wants to be included, he has to be charge at $52,300 or more regardless if he makes less. I am being told by a Franchisor that the law requires all owners to be included.

      That’s what happens when the Govt sticks their nose into private business – cost go up and up and up.

      • April 7, 2015 at 5:20 pm
        Agent says:
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        FFA, in Texas, an owner/officer can elect to be either covered or excluded by WC. It is their option. For those who get out and work with the employees, they have to be classed the same as the employees. For executives or owners who just run the show from behind the desk, they get the Executive Officer class. I would say it is about half and half with mine. Very few of the executives want to be covered, just get it for the employees. The ones with some exposure take the coverage.

        • April 7, 2015 at 5:26 pm
          FFA says:
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          I have not come across a single owner / officer that wants to be included. But charging their payroll at a bare minn of $52,300 up to a possible $230,000???? Even if they are only drawing $40,000???? I have a start up franchise that is expecting maybe $20,000 his first year and we have to hit him at $52,300.

          • April 7, 2015 at 5:42 pm
            Agent says:
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            Well FFA, every state is different. In Texas, the maximum that can be charged for an executive is $62,400 no matter how much they make. If they make $40,000, that is what they pick up. If they make $500,000, they are charged for $62,400. I had one on monthly reporting and the office manager was reporting the officers entire salary which was humongous and they got a substantial refund at audit. Now, they just report him at $5,200 per month and they stay straight on reported payroll.

          • April 8, 2015 at 8:15 am
            KY jw says:
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            That’s a lot more than the work comp min/max for sole proprietors or officers in Kentucky, too.

          • April 8, 2015 at 1:50 pm
            Puzzled in PA says:
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            Keep in mind though that this is a payroll for calculation of premium. The rate for many lower classifcations is under $2 per $100 of payroll. The total charge for a $52300 payroll would be $1,046 versus $800 at the lower salary. It’s not that costly for the protection and they don’t then get charged for taking the profits out of the business for personal use as many owners / officers may do.

          • April 8, 2015 at 2:39 pm
            FFA says:
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            In IL, the owner steps one foot onto job site, his entire payroll is at the highest class code. One of my peers told me he has manufacturer insured. Owner walks through shop from pk lot to his office and stays there all day. Owner got charged at the highest code.

            In my plumbers case, based on $52,300, even though he is on job site less then 5%, he gets charged at the plumber code even though he don’t do the actual job. Cant even get him executive supervisor code.

            Nothing else to say other then its IL. Be glad your not here.

          • April 8, 2015 at 3:29 pm
            KY jw says:
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            Hey FFA, regarding classification of owners for work comp. That’s actually standard work comp rules. (yes, I used to be a work comp auditor)

          • April 8, 2015 at 6:30 pm
            FFA says:
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            KY, Much to my surprise – I am aware of the standard Comp Rule I just thought that was an Il exclusive – – NCCI told me to put him in the Supervisors Code.
            I was surprised. Company wanted to rate him differently all together. Cant get the same answer out of two people…

      • April 8, 2015 at 8:13 am
        KY jw says:
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        The crap that is available now is not universal healthcare. I agree that vision, hearing, even dental should be standard coverages.

        For what it’s worth, Tricare (the military universal healthcare plan) DOES cover vision and hearing as regular doctor visits and dental is partially covered. Oh, and you don’t have to go to a military base for care. We go to local civilian doctors & dentists. It’s sometimes a pain to get referrals, but for the most part, it’s awesome insurance.

      • April 8, 2015 at 5:30 pm
        Agent says:
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        Hey FFA, how about injecting some humor in the middle of all this rancor? Since it is Masters week at Augusta, it reminds me of a good joke.

        There was this man who was avid golfer and played incessantly even though his marriage was on the rocks, neglected and lost his business, had no relationship with his kids etc. One day, he was playing and keeled over dead. Satan met him at the gates of hell and welcomed him. He said, Just look what I have in store for you. I know you were a big time golfer. I have a replica of Augusta National here and showed him. I will give you the best and latest equipment, a tour bag with your name on it, the best golf clothing and shoes. The guy was overjoyed and said – what is the catch? Satan looked at him and said that unfortunately, you don’t get any golf balls to play with. Now that is really H – – – .

  • April 7, 2015 at 5:20 pm
    integrity matters says:
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    How about the little ditty regarding the Cadillac Tax. None of knows how much that is going to hurt. Pretty nice of Obamacare to want everyone to have affordable healthcare coverage. However, if your employer is so generous to purchase a plan that is too costly, they are going to tax us at a 40% rate. How does that make it more affordable for the average American? Why should the government care on how costly the coverage is, especially since they are not paying for it??

    There is no justification for the pillaging Obamacare is doing to our healthcare system.

    • April 8, 2015 at 8:20 am
      KY jw says:
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      I completely agree that the “Cadillac” tax is outrageous. I do NOT understand what the purpose is.

      We should be encouraged to purchase top of the line coverage. That would benefit the insurers the most, because while some will use the heck out of it, risk averse people will purchase it “just in case” and quite possibly not need it.

      That’s just my opinion. I am not a fan of the healthcare law anyway, but this punishment for purchasing the best insurance you can afford is insane.

      • April 8, 2015 at 11:22 am
        Agent says:
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        It is really pretty simple KY. Obamacare’s whole purpose was control of the market and having substandard plans to offer to the public on the guise of “controlling cost”. Obviously, it didn’t control cost and has forced people into poor plans with less coverage, higher out of pocket expense, higher deductibles.

      • April 8, 2015 at 11:41 am
        Agent says:
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        By the way KY, do you like your native son Rand or is he not your cup of tea? He does have an interesting background and was a doctor prior to becoming a Senator. I like a lot of what he says, but Libertarians give me the willies on a lot of issues. No doubt he would be a better President than the current occupant. In fact, the current dog catcher in Moline would be a better choice.

        • April 8, 2015 at 1:14 pm
          Stan says:
          Hot debate. What do you think?
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          Agent, serious question, what about Rand’s platform gives you the willies? I am impressed you recognized the nuance behind his libertarian viewpoint, versus a party line blowhard like Cruz.

        • April 8, 2015 at 3:32 pm
          KY jw says:
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          Agent, I’m no fan. He comes off really blonde. I honestly don’t know what he advocates, I’ve only heard his less intelligent comments that really make Kentucky look like a backwater hick state.

          • April 8, 2015 at 4:24 pm
            Agent says:
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            KY, I guess you haven’t been listening to him very closely. Now that he is running, he will have to put some ideas forth and see how it flies. Anything anti-Progressive is a strong point, reducing government spending and waste, getting the government off the businessman’s back, getting rid of EPA are all positives. Unlike Ron who analyzes and then votes for Obama, I actually pay attention to candidates and what they stand for.

          • April 8, 2015 at 6:39 pm
            Stan says:
            Hot debate. What do you think?
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            Yeah, Agent, you tell them! Get that dirty nasty government out off the businessman’s back and onto the real problem: regulating texting while driving! That is small government!

            lol you’re such a dumbass Agent. I even tried to give you a shot here, and you still found a way to blow it.

          • April 9, 2015 at 5:39 pm
            Agent says:
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            Stan, I bet your mother is real proud of how you turned out with three degrees, no worthwhile job and a Progressive Marxist to boot. Then, add a ton of insult and BS and we have the real Stan. That is why I wanted you to go into the Army. Get your college loans paid off and they might actually make a man out of you. So far, you are a hopeless troll.

          • April 10, 2015 at 2:08 pm
            Stan says:
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            This might shock you Agent, but my mother is almost as Red as you are.

            Agent, were you in the Army?

  • April 7, 2015 at 5:23 pm
    Agent says:
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    Integrity, isn’t this why several thousand companies and a number of unions sought and got and exemption from compliance? Those unions were screaming bloody murder at having their Cadillac plans destroyed by the law of unintended consequences.

    • April 7, 2015 at 5:28 pm
      FFA says:
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      Speaking of the Union Coverage, my two brothers union covers Vision & Hearing. My Sisters covers that too.

      Another argument against govt intrusion into Health Care.

      • April 7, 2015 at 5:44 pm
        Agent says:
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        I understand Rauner is still after the unions up there and isn’t there a vote coming up where unions members can opt out of their dues and choose not to be members? Clarify for me.

        • April 7, 2015 at 6:18 pm
          FFA says:
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          I am not sure so much Union Breaking. More if giving people choice. If they want to be in the union and pay the dues, they can. If they don’t want to be, the union cant force them in and it will not be a condition of employment.

          People have a choice…. What a concept. Freedom of Choice.

          • April 8, 2015 at 10:09 am
            Agent says:
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            Hey FFA, do you know how to brainwash a liberal?

            Give them an enema!

          • April 8, 2015 at 10:26 am
            Celtica says:
            Hot debate. What do you think?
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            Agent, does your daddy know you are playing with his keyboard?

          • April 8, 2015 at 10:39 am
            Destro says:
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            I can only imagine the union thuggery that will be involved when union members decide to opt out. I’m assuming they will be blacklisted and/or bullied into paying dues.

          • April 8, 2015 at 10:45 am
            Ron says:
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            Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

          • April 8, 2015 at 1:31 pm
            bob says:
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            Ron:

            Such a balanced moderate, he mocks Fox News at every opportunity and rarely mentions stations that have people like Rachel Maddow.

            Also never acknowledges the few facts that ONLY Fox News has correct.

            Instead, labels the entire station and all the people who watches it…

            Then claims republicans dish out labels.

            Do you ever listen to yourself on the broad scale of what you say?

          • April 8, 2015 at 2:19 pm
            Rosenblatt says:
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            Ron wrote “I never watch MSNBC and have stated that multiple times. Atre [sic] you referring to Fox News as lame stream media? They are one of my sources for news.”

            That statement (made before your posts, bob) proves your comment that Ron mocks Fox News at every opportunity is wrong.

          • April 8, 2015 at 4:07 pm
            FFA says:
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            “I can only imagine the union thuggery”

            Seems to be a general feeling the Trades Union is failing their members not being able to keep them employed and still have to pay their dues… One of my brothers was bitching that the sect at the union hall makes more per hour then he does and he is a Journey Man.

  • April 8, 2015 at 11:26 am
    Agent says:
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    Ron, we know how much thinking you have done for yourself. You were so stupid, you voted for Obama and proud of it. You think Progressivism is a good thing. Have you got your Hillary button yet? She is just as bad and a serial liar to boot.

    • April 8, 2015 at 11:39 am
      Ron says:
      Hot debate. What do you think?
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      Agent,

      Unlike you I will address your post directly.

      1. I did not vote FOR Presidenmt Obama, I voted against the yahoos the Republicans selected as their candidates. Therefore, I am not proud of my vote.
      2. I am not sure why you are against progress. It is the reason you live such a comfortable lifestyle and have a career in insurance, which is one of the most progressive industries in the world.
      3. I do not like Hillary Clinton and have stated that multiple times. As long as the Republicans can put forth a reasonable candidate or the Democrats come up with a better candidate, I will vote Republican in 2016.

      Now, spend less time letting Fox tell you what to think and go learn some reading comprehension.

      • April 8, 2015 at 11:47 am
        Agent says:
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        Ron, you should spend less time watching MSNBC or any of the lame stream networks to get your information. By the way, voting for the worst President in the past century because you were voting against Republicans is not using your noodle. I doubt that Romney would have made the mess Obama has made. You use flawed reasoning all the time and that was the best example.

        • April 8, 2015 at 12:00 pm
          Ron says:
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          Agent,

          I never watch MSNBC and have stated that multiple times. Atre you referring to Fox News as lame stream media? They are one of my sources for news.

          You said, “By the way, voting for the worst President in the past century because you were voting against Republicans is not using your noodle.” Are you saying that I should vote for the person I believe is the less qualified candidate? How is that using my noodle?

          Please quantify your statement, “I doubt that Romney would have made the mess Obama has made.” Are you referring to the recovering economy?

          You can’t prove President Romney would have been any better just as I cannot prove he would have been worse.

          I do not use flawed reasoning to make my voting decisions any more than you use race to form your opinion about President Obama.

          • April 8, 2015 at 12:44 pm
            Agent says:
            Hot debate. What do you think?
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            Ron, if you had a brain and knew right from wrong, you would have seen Obama coming from a mile away as I did. He is nothing but an empty suit Progressive Socialist as he has proven to be for 6+ years. After 4 years of his nonsense, you voted for him. That tells me all I need to know about your brain power.

            By the way, I saw an article sent to me about population losses in cities in the US. No surprise that Detroit leads everyone with population loss. By the way, Buffalo is number 5 among losses of population. All of the losers in the rust belt like Cleveland and others have had flight. Check it out on Google if you don’t believe me. Now, tell me why Buffalo is losing population.

          • April 8, 2015 at 1:33 pm
            Stan says:
            Hot debate. What do you think?
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            Agent, California is booming and its the most liberal state in the union. You really just dont have a goddamn clue what you’re talking about do you?

          • April 8, 2015 at 1:38 pm
            bob says:
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            Actually, you can prove it.

            A: The economy is not recovering anywhere close to where it should be. The labor participation rate is still dropping. It is not retirees. Removing retirees should not decrease the labor demand. In other words, the LPR having increased in every age group lower than 55, shows that the retiree jobs left and were not filled. This means the jobs are gone. Thus the only reason we have a low unemployment rate is due to the LPR. Otherwise, you can do the math and it would still be insanely high. This is NOT what a recovery looks like.

            B: You can look at the policies of Romney vs Obama. His healthcare plan would have been better than the ACA. He would have stopped QE which has been a failure. He would have let the housing market bottom out, instead of try to increase it as wages fell. You should be willing to admit that letting the housing market bottom out was the best solution. Not inflating housing costs, stating that somehow that would create more jobs. If any republican said this you would not support him.

            The list goes on.

            You voted for the more popular of two people. Not on the policies, as you always talk about the more popular of two people as well. It makes sense.

            Explain to me how Romney was a Yahoo anymore than Obama, the Junior Senator with next to no experience?

            Use quantitative measures. Prove you actually weighed it. Rather than saying Romney is a yahoo, what policies did you not like? How would Romney have been worse than Obama? Relate it in terms of propping up the housing market, increasing the cost of mortgage insurance (so he lowered the interest rate, increased the mortgage insurance rate, who got that? Big corporations). Relate it in terms of QE and stimulus which Romney would not have passed. Relate it in terms of Romney removing the ACA which you don’t like. Relate it in terms of his health plan, as to why you wouldn’t want it to replace the ACA.

            Make it tangible.

          • April 8, 2015 at 1:50 pm
            Ron says:
            Hot debate. What do you think?
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            Agent,

            You have yet to quantify how President Obama has made the country worse than what he inherited. Until you can do that, go pound salt!

            Yes, Buffalo has been losing population for decades. It was a whopping 0.9% reduction from 2010-14. What is happening is that many people are doing much batter and moving to the suburbs. The population of Erie County has increased 0.4% since 2010. Obviously not a significant number, but it is an increase. In addition, the popluation of NY State has increased 1.9% since 2010. Not exactly the mass exodus you have been incorrectly claiming.

            Stop with the lies and misinformation, grow up, and start answering to your false claims.

          • April 8, 2015 at 2:57 pm
            Agent says:
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            Ron, you use flawed reasoning with every post you make. By the way, I guess you are happy with the average growth rate in the economy for 6 years running at 1.5% to 2% when we should have been at 4-5%. I will take Romney with business experience anytime over a community organizer who has never run a business or is without a clue on how to actually how to promote conditions for private job growth. The only jobs Obama has created is more government jobs. Tell me why the labor participation rate has declined steadily, we have more on food stamps than ever and Disability Claims are out of sight. Is that your idea of recovery? How many recovery summers does he need to get things back on track? Please do not bother to cite the Trillion dollar stimulus as helping the economy. That ship sailed several years ago and did nothing but increase the debt and reward donors.

          • April 8, 2015 at 7:24 pm
            bob says:
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            That should have read lpr’s are lower in every age lower than 55.

          • April 9, 2015 at 9:15 am
            Ron says:
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            bob,

            A. Please tell me what the president can do, single-handedly to improve the LPR? Did you know that the highest increase in the LPR during a single presidential 4-year term occurred under President Carter and the highest the LPR has ever been was under President Clinton? Was the economy booming during President Carter’s administration?

            I believe there are 2 factors affecting the LPR. 1. High productivity. 2. People are not retiring when they should due to the fact that there IRAs and 401(k)s were beaten up during the financial crisis that occurred prior to President Obama’s administration.

            B. Romney’s health care plan in MA was very similar to the PPACA. He even stated while governor that it should be a model for the whole country. During the campaign he stated he like the benefits that the PPACA provided, but not the mandate. How else can the benefits be paid for? The president does not control the Fed who instituted QE. You cannot prove that QE was a failure, only pontificate, becasue we do not know the result if it had not been instituted. It is easy to say, “let the housing market bottom out” when it does not directly affect you. I would say that may have been the better strategy, but cannot know for sure.

            What I know for sure is that the economy has been gradually improving during President Obama’s administration. I am not saying it is necessarily due to his policieis, but it si true. I will even concede that the economy should be improving at a greater pace. However, you should concede that you do not KNOW if McCain or Romney’s policies would had better results.

            I did not vote for the more popular candidate. I voted for the candidate I believed was the better option.

            There are 2 things that soured me the most about Romney.
            1. His business experince. First, I do not believe business experience is good for a president. The governemnt was not designed, never has, and never should be run like a business. If it were, there would be a balanced budget requirement in the Constituion. In addition, the goal of a business is to maximize profits. The goal of the government is to provide security and for the general welfare of the people. Furthermore, his business was to pick winners and losers. Isn’t that something the Obama Administration was accused of doing?

            2. His comment about the 47% who do not pay Federal Income Taxes. First, this insulted not just me, but militery personnel and veterans, senior citizens, and the working poor who bust their asses more than many in the top 1%. Second, he was not even using current data. By the time that comment was made, it was only 43% indicating a lot of people have improve their financial situation to the point they are now paying Federal Income taxes.

            You talk about experience. Who had more experience in the role of President of the United States in 2012, Mitt Romney or Barack Obama?

            A the end of the day, I was concerned that any significant changes in policy may have turned the economy away from the recovery. Also, I did not have faith that Mitt Romney and the Republicans would have come up with a better health care reform plan and we would be in even worse shape now if they just repealed the PPACA. Until we get Universal Health care and remove the profit motive from health care, we will always have problems with either the cost of health care or availability.

          • April 9, 2015 at 9:29 am
            Ron says:
            Hot debate. What do you think?
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            Agent,

            Stop with the “flawed rreasoning” crap. It is being lazy.

            I never said I was happy with the current growth of the economy. I only said it is improving. You are the one who is stating that President Obama made things worse, yet cite that the economy is getting better.

            How can you possibly know what the growth rate of the economy should be? We experienced the 2nd worse economuic collapse in our history and the worst in over 70 years. There is no way to KNOW what the rate of growth should be.

            I have shown you multiple times that the number of federal government jobs has declined every year since President Obama took office.

            Regarding Romney’s business experience, First, I do not believe business experience is good for a president. The government was not designed, never has, and never should be run like a business. If it were, there would be a balanced budget requirement in the Constituion. In addition, the goal of a business is to maximize profits. The goal of the government is to provide security and for the general welfare of the people. Furthermore, his business was to pick winners and losers. Isn’t that something the Obama Administration was accused of doing?

            You asked, “Tell me why the labor participation rate has declined steadily, we have more on food stamps than ever and Disability Claims are out of sight. Is that your idea of recovery?” If you ahd any reading comprehsion skills at all, you would know that I have ansered this queastion a few times. But, here you go again. I believe there are 2 factors affecting the LPR. 1. High productivity.
            2. People are not retiring when they should due to the fact that there IRAs and 401(k)s were beaten up during the financial crisis that occurred prior to President Obama’s administration.

          • April 9, 2015 at 11:02 am
            Destro says:
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            “Are you saying that I should vote for the person I believe is the less qualified candidate? How is that using my noodle?” -Ron

            So are you honestly telling us that Governor Romney, a man with extensive history of running/governing businesses and his state…is less qualified than a freshman senator who voted “present” on anything that had a whiff of controversy to it? Whose previous experience was being a “community organizer”? Sure, totally seems legit.

          • April 9, 2015 at 11:23 am
            Ron says:
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            Destro,

            Yes. Who had the most experience in the role of President of the United States in 2012?

            What does it say that 2/3 of MA, where Romney had his most relevant experience, voted for President Obama. If Romney was such a successful governor, why could he not even come close to 50/50?

            Do not be lazy like Agent and use the “low information, Liberal voters” crap. They did elect him to be their governor once.

          • April 9, 2015 at 2:45 pm
            bob says:
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            Ron,

            To say a president cannot affect the LPR is hogwash and you know it.

            Moving on: The LPR is not the only sign of a healthy market. You always try to play these games comparing Carter in this case, or Reagan when it comes to spending. The you hold Regan accountable for the spending he didn’t want, and you don’t hold Obama accountable for the spending he actually got, which was what he wanted. I showed you Regan’s desired budget and your reply was “well, the buck stops with the president right?”. Such bull crap.

            Moving further and back on point:

            When the unemployment rate is edging down, wages are not up, and the LPR is dropping, which is clearly the reason behind the unemmployment rate going up, we know that the LPR rate being low is the sign of a bad market.

            You keep trying to twist crap to make Obama look better than he is.

            I won’t direct the rest. This isn’t a recovery. More people are on food stamps as well.

            I should also note: You say it is due to productivity. Horse. Crap. If productivity is high, you can get more out of less workers. Are you trying to state that the sales have capped out for the companies with high productivity rates?

            If their productivity is up, they would use more of their profits to invest into further profits, and expand.

            It wouldn’t suddenly mean businesses are capped out. You claim they don’t need employees.

            Apple has specifically stated they can’t get trained employees here currently.

            There is a huge demand for doctors. Is that going to be capped by productivity?

            What industry specifically won’t hire in other divisions due to higher productivity in order to increase their revenues?

            What you are saying goes against economics. Rich people love money and need to be regulated right? I know you believe this.

            So suddenly rich people don’t like to have more money, once their workers get too productive!

            Makes total sense!

          • April 9, 2015 at 4:05 pm
            Ron says:
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            bob,

            You really need to stop taking reading comprehension lessions from Agent.

            Do not tell me what I know and don’t know. You did not answer my question, “Please tell me what the president can do, single-handedly to improve the LPR?” I did not say a president’s policies cannot impact the LPR, only that he has no significant control. That is up to the private sector to hire. How many times do we hear from the right that “the government does not create jobs”, yet here you are expecting President Obama to create jobs. Make uop your mind.

            You said, “we know that the LPR rate being low is the sign of a bad market.” Does that mean the market was booming during President Carter’s term? That is not how I and 99.999999% of Americans remember it.

            I did not compare President Carter to anyone. All I said was that the LPR experienced it’s greatest increase during President Carter’s administration to show that it is a poor indicator of trhe econmy, period. Stop trying to put words in my mouth.

            I NEVER said President Reagan wanted to increase spending, deficits, the debt, and/or the number of federal governemtn employesss. Only that it happened during his administration and lead to the recovery in the 1980s.

            My problem is that President Reagan gets praised for rescuing the economy, which Keyesian principles were applied, but President Obama gets criticized for implementing very similar policies. Actually, less Keynesian principles have been implemented during President Obama’s administration has evidenced by the fact that spending, deficits, and the number of federal governmment employees has been declining.

            You asked, “Are you trying to state that the sales have capped out for the companies with high productivity rates?” Yes, from the standpoint of current demand.
            Please name me one successful businessperson who expands and hires or increase wages without an increase in demand? Companies are sitting on record profits because they can do more with less and are not seeing the increase in demand to justify expanding and hiring.

            How is it any president’s fault if there is a shortage in the supply of qualified people? Escpecially one who has tried to push through breaks to help people become more educated and better trained.

      • April 8, 2015 at 1:39 pm
        bob says:
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        First you say that he watches fox news as an insult,

        Then you say you refer to Fox News all the time for facts.

        Does Fox News fry everyone’s brain but yours I wonder?

        There that “I’m special” mentality is again. It’s the only reason you claim yourself a moderate. You think you’re special.

        So cute.

        • April 8, 2015 at 1:52 pm
          Ron says:
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        • April 8, 2015 at 2:25 pm
          Rosenblatt says:
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          bob – are you planning on commenting to any of these or are you just doing your “insult someone then refuse to engage in conversation” tactic again?

          http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2015/03/30/362531.htm/?comments
          APRIL 6, 2015 AT 2:17 PM

          http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southcentral/2015/04/01/362952.htm/?comments
          APRIL 7, 2015 AT 4:20 PM

        • April 8, 2015 at 3:01 pm
          Agent says:
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          Bob, Ron watches Fox News so he can listen to Juan Williams, Alan Colmbs and then hits the mute button on any conservative. Then, he criticizes how they report the news because that is not what he wants to hear. He should try CNN if he wants the left position. He can be one of the few of the viewers they have left.

          • April 9, 2015 at 9:30 am
            Ron says:
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            Agent,

            I watch Fox News, not Fox Opinion. However, I will watch Bill O’Reilly on occasion. At least he can be reasonable.

            If I wanted the Libberal viewpoint I would watch nearly any other “news” channel.

          • April 9, 2015 at 11:03 am
            Destro says:
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            Megan Kelly is pretty fun to watch on mute…

          • April 9, 2015 at 11:59 am
            Agent says:
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            Actually Destro, Megan is both fun to watch and listen to. She also has better guests on and has lively interchanges with them. O’Reilly has a little too much NY in him to suit me so I really don’t watch much of him since he keeps trotting out the left and I can’t stomach their offerings. The best part of his show is generally Waters World or Dennis Miller.

          • April 9, 2015 at 12:14 pm
            Ron says:
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  • April 8, 2015 at 1:01 pm
    Celtica says:
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    If the GOP is the party of personal responsibility, what is wrong with the costs of employee’s health care shifting to the employee?

    • April 9, 2015 at 5:26 pm
      Agent says:
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      Hey Ron, I googled Megan and numerous articles about her have both spellings so your insult has no weight. Everybody knows who she is and the program she hosts.

      • April 10, 2015 at 8:20 am
        Ron says:
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        • April 10, 2015 at 5:51 pm
          Agent says:
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          Who is being disrespectful? I doubt that “Megan” is offended if people spell her name both ways. Besides, Megan looks better in print than Megyn.

          • April 13, 2015 at 8:48 am
            Ron says:
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  • April 8, 2015 at 1:02 pm
    Stan says:
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    • April 8, 2015 at 4:14 pm
      Agent says:
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      Stan, our new Secretary of Defense wants to hire you for the Army and he said he will pay off your college loans. “Be all that you can be” in the Army. Maybe you will get lucky and get sent to the Middle East to defend our allies.

      • April 8, 2015 at 6:40 pm
        Stan says:
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        • April 9, 2015 at 12:01 pm
          Agent says:
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          Come to Texas and the first time you start in with all that Progressive Marxist crap, someone will take you out and beat the crap out of you.

          • April 9, 2015 at 12:33 pm
            Ron says:
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          • April 9, 2015 at 4:14 pm
            Agent says:
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            More welcoming than NY Ron. Some more examples of a good business atmosphere. Liberty Mutual is opening a new large office in Plano (Dallas suburb)and will be hiring 5,000 new employees. Toyota of America will be in the same complex for their new operation. Fed Ex also opening a new large office. State Farm already expanded to the Metroplex with several thousand transfers and new hires. The new complex in Plano is costing about $2 billion and will include housing, stores etc. What has NY done in a similar fashion to attract business?

          • April 9, 2015 at 4:30 pm
            confused says:
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            TX is more welcoming than NY? Someone from TX just wrote they hoped another person will get the crap beat out of them while the person from NY did not make any similar threats. Wouldn’t TX be LESS welcoming since the TX representative here is advocating for physical pain on others while the NY person isn’t? What am I missing??

          • April 10, 2015 at 8:33 am
            Ron says:
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          • April 10, 2015 at 12:26 pm
            Agent says:
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            Confused, you are really confused and apparently your reading comprehension (as Ron likes to put it) is a bit lacking. You didn’t read Stan’s insults prior to my reply, did you? He is a died in the wool Progressive Socialist/Marxist of the first order who can’t get a decent job anywhere and wonders why.

            Someone please explain to me why Blue States continue to have little or no job growth, why cities up there are losing population and why major corporations are relocating their businesses and headquarters to Texas and other Red States? Could Progressive taxation, regulation, high cost of living and doing business have something to do with it? Liberty Mutual has always had their HQ in Boston and they will remain there, but it is clear they are doing the same thing State Farm did in Illinois and are expanding south for the better business environment, lower taxation and regulation.

          • April 10, 2015 at 1:00 pm
            Agent says:
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            Ron, you take the cake on “dumb” statements. Texas doesn’t treat people badly here or they would stop moving here in record numbers. We actually do create jobs here which is sadly lacking in Blue States. We also have a lot of less fortunate in this state and they do collect their benefits just like in NY. We also have to deal with the tide of illegals crossing the river since Obama will not enforce the border and actually encourages them to come here. I hope Abbott puts them all on buses and ships them your way since you are so caring up there in NY.

          • April 10, 2015 at 1:29 pm
            Ron says:
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          • April 10, 2015 at 1:50 pm
            Still Confused says:
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            I read the comments Agent, but I’m still confused.

            First – did I comprehend your post correctly when you blatantly threatened to cause him physical harm?

            Second – Did I misunderstand Stan, and he made a similar physical threat of violence against you?

            I’m not asking if he called you any bad names. I just want to know where you think I misunderstood his post and prove to me he really did threaten physical violence on you.

            Please point out exactly what he said about psychically threatening you and I will admit I need reading comprehension skills.

          • April 10, 2015 at 2:10 pm
            Stan says:
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          • April 10, 2015 at 5:14 pm
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  • April 8, 2015 at 2:49 pm
    FFA says:
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    Another argument against the PPACA – just yesterday I got a request to submit additional info to verify my income. They are asking for my 1040 which I have already supplied for them.

    Even more stupidity, they are asking for the same thing from my wife when we file joint return. Total pages – about 20 – with ink charges, postage envelops ect….

    Not including the opportunity cost. I should be looking for new business. Instead, I am doing the same thing I already did again.

    To sum it up, Inefficient! What else should we expect with the Govt sticking their nose where it just don’t belong.

    • April 8, 2015 at 3:05 pm
      Agent says:
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      FFA, one of the worst experiences we face is to try to deal with the now infamous IRS. Just try to reason with a faceless bureaucrat in some far off office. Even my accountant gets very frustrated with them when they keep screwing things up. I think the IQ requirement with them is somewhere between idiot and imbecile.

      • April 9, 2015 at 1:30 pm
        FFA says:
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        agent, request came from Health Care.Gov folks, not the IRS.

      • April 9, 2015 at 1:52 pm
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        • April 9, 2015 at 2:19 pm
          FFA says:
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          Ron, generally I don’t insult people so I don’t get insulted. I also know people make mistakes and sometimes it just that… A Mistake.

          Be that as it may, He makes a good point regarding the IRS.

          • April 9, 2015 at 2:30 pm
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        • April 9, 2015 at 2:58 pm
          FFA says:
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          Additionally, Ron, I didn’t specify where the request came from. Unless he is in an exchange or dealing with it like I am, you would not know the lunacy and endless flow of paper work. Just the money wasted on the inefficiency of the paper work as well as duplicate requests.

          • April 9, 2015 at 4:13 pm
            Ron says:
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          • April 9, 2015 at 5:32 pm
            Agent says:
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            Ron, your flaws are too many to count. You like to needle me sometimes??????? How about every post you make? You don’t have anything positive to contribute to the forum so you go looking for my post to insult me. Sorry, you are infinitely unsuccessful in rattling my cage.

          • April 10, 2015 at 8:23 am
            Ron says:
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    • April 9, 2015 at 4:21 pm
      Agent says:
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      Sorry FFA. You were talking about your 1040 and verifying income so I thought you were having your annual run in with IRS. I have seen stories that many people have understated their income to get a larger subsidy on the Health Insurance. I am sure Healthcare.gov is ever bit as efficient as the IRS with their non-functioning website. What did it finally cost, $2billion. I bet that ISIS has already hacked it for personal info.

      • April 10, 2015 at 11:25 am
        FFA says:
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        No biggie to me agent. I’ve got bigger concerns. Them storms came real close to home. Half waiting to get called in on the Cat Bus. One of my step kids is a Red Cross volunteer. He has done some rotten things in his life, but he has always been a ready and willing volunteer no matter where they need him. He is waiting by the phone too. I had a request from a client that’s making a food run out there today.

        • April 10, 2015 at 11:46 am
          BS says:
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          I was wondering how you fared with the storms last night, FFA. Since you’re here and posting, I’m assuming you made it through OK? No major damage, I hope?

        • April 10, 2015 at 12:32 pm
          Agent says:
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          Yes FFA, we had our share of storms down here too. It must be Spring. The companies are sending out the disaster teams. Hopefully, we won’t have many of these this year. That is why people buy insurance, right? When the Joplin tornado hit a few years ago, there was a story that a guy tried to buy a Homeowners when he knew he was in the path. Funny thing, he couldn’t get one agent on the phone to write his coverage and ended up with a major loss. What a low information guy he was.

        • April 10, 2015 at 12:51 pm
          FFA says:
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          WGN reporting that 1 dead, 17 homes demolished and a bunch of people missing. I was on the out skirts of the major damage under tornado watch past 11:00pm. Lost power for about an hour & a half.

          I do have insureds in the affected area that I have not heard from yet… Waiting….. That “wedge” tornado was something I have never seen before.

          • April 10, 2015 at 12:53 pm
            FFA says:
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            Absolute brutality of Mother nature…. Midwest has endured some of her worst.

  • April 8, 2015 at 4:15 pm
    BS says:
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    Unfortunately, I can attest to this. For the past 5+ years, I had awesome coverage. No deductible. A couple of co-pays, and practically nothing out of pocket. Blood work, MRIs and all other tests were covered 100%. It cost a bit more than all the other plans, but considering some of my health crap, it was worth it.

    This year, my company did the private exchange thing, my ‘Cadillac’ plan is gone, and I ended up with the $350 deductible option. The coverage isn’t awful, but I’m still going to end up paying a lot more this year than I did last year for medical expenses. And it’s not just the deductible that gets me – it’s the co-pay. If they covered 100% after the deductible being met, I might not be as irritated, but only 80%? The average cost for an MRI is $2,611. I would be responsible for the $350 deductible, plus 20% of the remaining cost. $452 + $350 = $802. That’s $802 more than I would have paid out of pocket last year. And that’s not including the cost of the blood work that they have to do prior starting up the machine. I know that there is an out-of-pocket maximum, but considering I paid so little out of pocket last year, I’m not still not happy about it.

    Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that the new deductible option is $50 more a paycheck than what I paid last year, for far better coverage… *sigh*

    • April 8, 2015 at 5:16 pm
      Agent says:
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      BS, it sounds like your company got one of the better plans for you. There are horror stories out there about huge deductibles, much higher out of pocket expense just so the employer can afford something, then they take out more from the paycheck of the employee to “cost share”. This has not been a pleasant experience for employers as well, but it is the new reality of Obamacareless. Nancy said you would like it once you found out what was in it. Obama said you would save $2,500 for the typical family.

      • April 8, 2015 at 5:33 pm
        BS says:
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        Oh, I know it could have been much worse! And to be honest, I’m grateful to have insurance at all – especially when it comes to prescriptions.

        Around tax time, my insurance company sent me a recap of how much had been paid in drug costs. I paid approximately $1,000 out of pocket last year in medications. Considering what I normally pay per month for my primary medication, it wasn’t that big of a surprise. However, when I saw what the insurance company paid, I almost choked. They paid over $60K in drugs on my behalf last year.

        $60,000! That’s a salary. Or two, or even three, depending on the job. If I didn’t have insurance and the co-pay assistance through through the drug company, there is no way I would be able to afford my medications.

        I know a lot of people hate the ACA. I’m not a huge fan of it myself. Could they have come up with something better? Probably. Could they have implemented it better? Definitely. But as crappy as it is, if it helps more people get insured, get their meds and avoid paying obscene amounts out of pocket, I think that’s something positive. No one should have to worry about how they are going to afford $60K a year just to stay healthy.

        • April 8, 2015 at 6:06 pm
          Agent says:
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          BS, would it surprise you to know that many of the drugs people have been getting for years are being taken off the approved list? You had better check your formularies under your plan. Hope you don’t get hit too hard. Many name brands don’t have an equivalent generic. My wife has gotten hit hard, because she has a variety of medications she takes and they make you jump through hoops to get things like Hydrocodone for pain.

          • April 9, 2015 at 11:13 am
            BS says:
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            Hi Agent. Unfortunately, it doesn’t surprise me at all. I freaked out a bit when IJ ran the article about benefit management groups like CVS and Express Scripts not covering certain drugs anymore. Especially since my medication was specifically listed as one of the ones CVS was excluding. I immediately went to Express Scripts’s site to look up their uncovered drugs. Thankfully, they’re still covering mine. I’ve never been so glad to be with Express Scripts as I was at that moment.

            I understand that insurance companies are trying to force the drug companies to reduce their prices, and I applaud them for it. But for them to do it at the expense of their insureds, just infuriates me. Unfortunately, many medications aren’t one size fits all. While I’m fine taking generics for some of the meds I take, not everything has a generic alternative. And I can’t imagine not being able to access/afford the disease-modifying drug I need.

      • April 8, 2015 at 6:24 pm
        FFA says:
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        The never ending Co Pay regardless of what they say is OOP Max… Co Pays just keep going last year. They say its fixed for this year, but we were also told we could keep our plan and this would make things more affordable.

  • April 13, 2015 at 10:43 am
    JACK says:
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    LEAN FORWARD AMERICA!

    No worries…Hillary will give us free unicorns and make every thing better. I see 25 Trillion in debt on the horizon.

    • April 13, 2015 at 1:02 pm
      Agent says:
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      Jack, have you seen the latest campaign banner?

      Hi”LIE”ry for President.

      • April 14, 2015 at 6:16 pm
        Leaning forward says:
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        I personally ama fan of the “Hillary for Prison 2016” bumberstickers

        • April 15, 2015 at 11:00 am
          Agent says:
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          Did you see the new bumper sticker – Hi”LIE”ry – 2016?

  • April 13, 2015 at 1:38 pm
    FFA says:
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    At this point, why bother having an election. As much as I hate to say it, she is gonna win by a land slide. Another 8 years of nothing but lies.

    • April 13, 2015 at 1:51 pm
      Ron says:
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      • April 13, 2015 at 4:22 pm
        Agent says:
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        If the Republicans would stop pandering to the liberal leftists and produce a truly Conservative candidate with Conservative solutions to the nations problems, they would win in a landslide. The last two mid terms have proven that they don’t like Progressive solutions, Obamacare, unchecked spending and running up the nations debt. They also don’t like the fraud, scandals and being lied to non stop by liberals like Hilary.

        • April 14, 2015 at 8:31 am
          Ron says:
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          • April 15, 2015 at 10:03 am
            Agent says:
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            Sorry to disappoint you Ron, but Republicans lost because they have nominated moderate to liberal candidates trying to lure liberal Independents like you. Most Independents favor the Conservative side as has been proven by the last two mid-terms. All the Republicans have to do is nominate a proven Conservative, ignite their base and win over the Independents who don’t like Obama and the Progressive Democ(rats). Leather face Hillary has far too much baggage and she is not likable as well. A 1%er calling out 1%ers with 1%ers money. What a theme!

          • April 15, 2015 at 11:01 am
            Ron says:
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          • April 15, 2015 at 11:47 am
            Agent says:
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            So Ron, you, the Obama voter supreme could not research and find information on Obama during and after the first 4 years that would keep you from voting for him in 12. The info was readily available on the internet, talk radio, Fox and of course from his own lips in speech after speech, lie after lie. I believe that is called being a lemming. How do you justify what he has been doing for 6+ years? Please spare us with your stock answer that he is not responsible for the trouble he has caused.

          • April 15, 2015 at 12:37 pm
            Ron says:
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      • April 14, 2015 at 3:46 pm
        FFA says:
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        I would think they 9Repubs) need to pick one and not have a bunch of people digging up dirt on one another.

        With Billary running, I just don’t see how she can be beat. The vast majority of people are accepting her lies – they just don’t think it that bad any more. She is going to get the female vote, all minority votes as well as the gay vote. Not many left to vote against her. She needs to take a stand on Iran Negotiations. If she is going to back OBama with that sham, then she may lose out of pure fear of what Iran is actually going to do.

        • April 15, 2015 at 7:55 am
          Jack says:
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          FFA- 50% of America would vote for Billary even if she came out as a transgender ISIS member. Just can’t fix stupid!

        • April 15, 2015 at 11:05 am
          Agent says:
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          FFA, we actually have a pretty good crop of candidates this year, much better than prior elections. Establishment candidates in the past made serious mistakes in strategy. There sure is a rich treasure trove of facts they can use against Hillary this time. I really don’t their will be the bad infighting there have been in the past. Democrats like to stir up trouble and that is where a lot of it comes from.

    • April 15, 2015 at 12:19 pm
      Agent says:
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      Hey FFA, I know you are from Chicago, the land of the liberal left, but I think you give too much credit to HiLIEry. I pulled up a good Gallup poll. 40% of voting adults identify as Conservatives, 35% as Moderates and only a paltry 21% as Liberal. All a good candidate like Walker or Rubio or Carson has to do is appeal to the moderates with Conservative solutions to the problems of the country. HiLIEry is old, tired and and represents all the worst of Progressivism which has shown to be a huge failure for some time now. She is also elitist given her behavior over the years.

      • April 15, 2015 at 12:50 pm
        Numbers don't lie says:
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        Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

        • April 15, 2015 at 3:47 pm
          Agent says:
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          As usual Numbers, you are comparing apples and oranges. Where did I compare Republicans with Democrats & Independents or party affiliation? Conservatives, Moderates, Liberals is the comparison. Got it yet or do you want to give another diatribe trying to justify your position?

      • April 15, 2015 at 1:20 pm
        FFA says:
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        Maybe I do. I have had so much gloom & doom past 36 months, I just look for the worst and when the worst don’t happen, I’m not disappointed.

  • April 15, 2015 at 1:19 pm
    FFA says:
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    I remember one of the concerts for storm victims – I think it Katrina – She got booed off the stage.

    I hope the repubs have the footage of her whining about leaving the White House broke not being able to pay her mortgages including the one in St Thomas on Megans Bay during her Book Tour.

    • April 15, 2015 at 3:52 pm
      Agent says:
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      Trust me FFA, all the utubes are out there on Hillary with all her famous sayings. Added to the dead broke declarations was Chelsea’s college education. She said Bill had to work real hard to replenish. Oops, all those donations to the Clinton foundation from Saudia Arabia, Qatar, Dubai while she was Sec of State. She has quite a war chest now, especially after giving all those speeches at $250K per clip. I think it used to be called influence peddling. She believes she is entitled to all that money.

  • April 15, 2015 at 1:22 pm
    FFA says:
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    As Jack Pointed out: “Hillary will give us free unicorns and make every thing better. I see 25 Trillion in debt on the horizon”

    • April 15, 2015 at 4:53 pm
      Agent says:
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      FFA, just the “interest” on the debt is expected to be about $890 billion annually by 2020. Liberals don’t think that is important, but you and I do.

  • August 5, 2016 at 3:45 pm
    Anon says:
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    The private exchange health care operators are the real winners.

    We have fed contractors working permanent positions under DHS, TSA and others who haven’t seen cost-of-living increases for more than 3 years, whereas the private exchanges their employer’s enroll them in keep on giving price hikes. So the option is to cut back contributions to 401K to offset the fact that there is no pay increase to cover the increasing cost of this healthcare “benefit”. It would have been better if the entire private exchange model were disbanded in favor of acknowledging the reality that this is no benefit at all. At least on the public exchanges those same employees would qualify for federal subsidies. They *don’t* through the private exchanges and when you couple that with the fact that their wages are stagnant, even, from basic cost-of-living adjustments they’re losing ground, and losing it quickly. Congress and the President should act to force agencies that deal exclusively in federal contracts to prove they have suffered revenue losses as a justification for freezing wages. If they cannot prove that they’ve suffered revenue losses, it should be mandated that they either contribute more toward employee healthcare benefits OR allow for year-to-year wage adjustment. Some federal contract jobs in IT and elsewhere require either a high skill level or the ability to afford the cost of living in a part of the country that has above-average housing, food or energy costs. In order to continue receiving federal contracts, the employers who supply labor for federal contract positions should be required to kick in more either to subsidize benefits OR payroll increases that are in line with the cost of living in the geographic area where the contract is being served. Congress and the President could back a “Fair Wage, Fair Benefit” proposal for employers whose chief function is to staff federal positions.

    I’m going to go one step further and name names here: Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC/CSCr) is one of those government staffing firms that, despite a buying spree in recent years, has failed to invest in employee cost-of-living increases for many of the years President Obama has been in office despite news of a strengthening economy (economic recovery). Firms such as this are getting away with what they are doing to short federal contract employees because the Federal government apparently has not enacted any standards by which payroll and benefit compensation are expected to keep pace with revenue growth.



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