|Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Your link Search Open Directory Illegal Immigration|
NEWS and OPINIONS by BILL STANLEY
1.2 Million Fewer Students Eating Nanny-State School Lunches
(9 March 2014) Participation in the National School Lunch Program had increased for more than a decade until implementation of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 required the USDA to update school lunches to account for new nutrition requirements. With Czar Obama's wife as a cheerleader, the USDA bureaucrats have been busy at work. During the 2012-13 school year, there was a decrease of 1.6 million students paying full price for lunches and an increase of 0.4 million students paying nothing or partial price. Students who pay nothing or partial payment will eat the politically-correct food, but not those who pay full price. (Sources: Government Accountability Office (GAO), 4 March 2014 CNS News)
Social Security Is A Terrible Retirement Plan
(9 March 2014) If my Social Security taxes had been placed in a private account and earned only 4.46% per year, the current monthly interest would be equal to the monthly after-tax payment I receive. When I die, my heirs would receive $338,000. Instead, they will receive nothing from Social Security.
Expensive E85 Ethanol Fuel
(9 March 2014) In October 2013, the national average price of gasoline was $3.45, compared to $4.30 for E85 ethanol (based on same energy equivalence). (Source: Dept. of Energy)
The Federal Government Spent $3.9 Trillion In 2013
(9 March 2014) $1.98 trillion was for wealth transfers such as Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, unemployment insurance and farm subsidies. $571 billion was for goods and services from defense equipment to paperclips. $510 billion went toward state aid such as health care programs, education, highways and housing assistance. $414 billion was for interest on the national debt. $407 billion was for federal employees, including defense workers. (Source: Feb. 2014 Cato Institute)
Medicare Has Not Been Good Plan For Me
(9 March 2014) If my Medicare taxes and premiums had been placed in a private account and earned 2.35% per year, my Medicare premiums and the interest during the period I have been on Medicare would have paid for my Medicare benefits. When I die, my heirs would receive $64,000. Instead, they will receive nothing from Medicare.
Expensive Obama Care Cloud Software
(2 March 2014) Verizon Terremark is the contractor for Healthcare.gov computing cloud software. The value of the contract has ballooned from $10.8 million to $59.9 million since 2011. (Sources: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 24 Feb. 2014 Washington Free Beacon).
(2 March 2014) The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced, "Claims for all health care services and hospital inpatient procedures performed on or after October 1, 2014, must use ICD-10 diagnosis and inpatient procedure codes. Claims that do not use ICD-10 diagnosis and inpatient procedure codes cannot be processed." The original effective date was 1 Oct. 2011. Medical providers must select from 68,000 diagnostic codes (ICD-10 CM) and 76,000 procedure codes (ICD-10 PCS) when submitting claims. The ranges of implementation and 1st-year annual costs for small physician groups are $56,639 - $226,105 and $31,079 - $120,599, respectively. The corresponding ranges for large physician groups are $2,017,151- $8,018,364 and $1,479,117 - $5,011,463. (Sources: CMS, The Cost of Implementing ICD‐10 for Physician Practices 12 Feb. 2014 Nachimson Advisors)
Stupid Federal Government
(2 March 2014) The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) plans to do away with preferred pharmacy networks (arrangements between drug companies and pharmacy networks that promise exclusive business in exchange for lower drug costs) in Medicare Part D plans. Currently, pharmacy networks bid to offer their drugs at low cost and the winning bidders agree to exclusive arrangements with drug plans. The CMS proposal would not allow drug plans to exclude the pharmacy networks that do not offer the lowest prices; rather it would allow all of those networks to participate in the drug plans on the same terms as the winning bidder. This leaves no incentive for pharmacy networks to offer low costs, as they are assured the ability to participate in a drug plan. Drug plans would lose all bargaining power and pharmacy networks will be incentivized to bid higher. (Source: 27 Feb. 2014 National Center for Policy Analysis)