Understanding US thread-III

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UlanBatori
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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby UlanBatori » 28 Mar 2017 01:03

TSJones wrote:uh some of you socialistic fanistas haven't brought up the fact that living in the US generally, not having a car limits your economic opportunities. :-o


Not having cars parked in the neighborhood limits your economic opportunities even more since there are no hubcaps and wheels to steal.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Garooda » 28 Mar 2017 01:44

Mort Walker wrote:^^^Why don't you fellows start a new thread for rona-dhona about US elections? Maybe start posting in Bostive neuj of Amreeka dhaaga?
Either that or you can cry until January 2025.
Thank you for the reminder. A whole lotta :(( for the past few pages by many posters without any evidence or link to support their statements.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby UlanBatori » 28 Mar 2017 07:34


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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby A_Gupta » 28 Mar 2017 16:59

shyam wrote:If you can't afford / don't want to buy car insurance, you have an to option to sell the car and use public transport. In ACA, you don't have such a choice. It is like an additional tax on you.


I think you should first understand how the US health care system works. See below. Hospitals have to recover their costs for treating the uninsured with emergency conditions somehow. Guess from where? It is like an additional tax on you. You don't have a choice. Your higher health care premiums are paying for the treatment of the uninsured in the emergency room.

Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency ... _Labor_Act
The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) is an act of the United States Congress, passed in 1986 as part of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). It requires hospital Emergency Departments that accept payments from Medicare to provide an appropriate medical screening examination (MSE) to individuals seeking treatment for a medical condition, regardless of citizenship, legal status, or ability to pay. There are no reimbursement provisions. Participating hospitals may not transfer or discharge patients needing emergency treatment except with the informed consent or stabilization of the patient or when their condition requires transfer to a hospital better equipped to administer the treatment.[1]

EMTALA applies to "participating hospitals." The statute defines "participating hospitals" as those that accept payment from the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) under the Medicare program. "Because there are very few hospitals that do not accept Medicare, the law applies to nearly all hospitals."


Note that the above law was passed during the presidential term of Saint Ronald Reagan.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Gus » 28 Mar 2017 18:00

The Christian lobby pushed this?

Massa is all about hiding cost and offloading it elsewhere but make a big issue about some up front cost.

Similar thing with the toll roads. It is much cheaper raising that money thru tax, but no politician can survive that. Instead, they opt for bonds and service that bond at higher cost and people pay more at the toll booths but they don't make the connection that they are paying more now.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby shyam » 29 Mar 2017 11:02

A_Gupta wrote:
shyam wrote:If you can't afford / don't want to buy car insurance, you have an to option to sell the car and use public transport. In ACA, you don't have such a choice. It is like an additional tax on you.


I think you should first understand how the US health care system works. See below. Hospitals have to recover their costs for treating the uninsured with emergency conditions somehow. Guess from where? It is like an additional tax on you. You don't have a choice. Your higher health care premiums are paying for the treatment of the uninsured in the emergency room.

American health care cost is inflated too much by any standards, because there exists an insurance system. The loss they talk about in reality is paper loss. If you happen to get admitted in ICU for 5 days, they will send you a bill for $250K. In reality they will be happy if they can recover $50K. Actually there is scope for more fat to be removed.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Lalmohan » 29 Mar 2017 22:47

remove fat from well paid desi doctors eh?

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby UlanBatori » 30 Mar 2017 01:50

Also, the insurance companies have completely different rates for the same treatment, charged to hospitals vs. individuals. E.g., the hospital would have to pay only $100, but I would be charged $400. On what basis other than gouging? The medical care system is worse than it would be if it were run by the Mafia.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Dipanker » 30 Mar 2017 01:55

A very easy solution to this problem exist, remove the the gougers i.e. the middlemen, and implement a universal healthcare system (UHS). That should bring down the cost by 50 - 80%.

But what are the the chances that a UHS will get implement for a foreseeable future?!

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Primus » 30 Mar 2017 03:36

Dipanker wrote:A very easy solution to this problem exist, remove the the gougers i.e. the middlemen, and implement a universal healthcare system (UHS). That should bring down the cost by 50 - 80%.

But what are the the chances that a UHS will get implement for a foreseeable future?!


It is very rare but on this occasion I agree with Dipankar Ji. the American Healthcare system has been broken for a long time. I could write a whole lot on the causes but it would be repetitive.

What is needed is the following:

1. Single payer system
2. Government coverage for malpractice as in the UK, so you don't have OB/GYN paying $150K per year for such insurance
3. Eliminate third party pharmacy payments, i.e. follow up from 1. the government buys all drugs and redistributes them through pharmacies
4. Educate the American people re end of life decisions and 'efficiency' of health care so that the debate is centered around cost effective strategies. Right now it is 'save and/or prolong life at all costs'.
5. Have all medical malpractice cases esp where death has occurred go through an arbitration panel of physicians and include a coroner. Hopefully this will reduce or eliminate the ambulance chasing mentality.
6. Standardize and fix all fees for CPT codes - it is done already by CMS but it is highly variable depending upon the setting. The same procedure is paid out five times if done in a hospital vs in a physician's office.
7. Standardize copayments across the board. Fixed fee for ER visit, physician office and pharmacy.
8. In the end nobody needs to take out insurance privately, no citizen is made to feel inferior or unwanted because they have a 'lower paying plan'.

I also agree that this will never happen.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Prem » 30 Mar 2017 05:02

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/201 ... rnia-cale/
Brexit chiefs eye 2-state solution for California — Calexit

Cut California in two — that’s the message from the primary Brexit deal-makers, Nigel Farage and Arron Banks, who have joined with key Republicans to split the state along liberal versus regular folk lines.
Perhaps it might just be easier to draw a line around Hollywood and float that section as an island onto itself. Either way, the premise of the plan is a good one: California’s been a thorn in conservatives’ paws for far too long, and it’s high time the population get on the populist wave brought about by President Donald Trump’s election.ndeed. The state’s far too often turned to the federal government for handouts — for taxpayer dole-outs — due to its own liberal political decisions. How many more blackouts do the poor citizens of California have to endure, at the order of their political leaders? Leave that stuff to the Left Side; those on the newly formed Right Side could soon enjoy daylight conditions even at nighttime. Welcome to civilized society, baby. It’s called a Lightbulb.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Singha » 30 Mar 2017 05:47

Racism of french police exposed. Local media quiet.


https://sputniknews.com/europe/20170330 ... -killings/

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby darshan » 30 Mar 2017 08:11

China's assertion of power is commendable in this situation. May be some day GoI would be able to summon US official after some PIO is killed.

US healthcare system is broken to the point where as a patient you can't even find out upfront pricing even with list of CPT codes in your hand. Pretty much all medical joints give patients all sorts of excuse from not having access to third party billing system to only after seeing the doctor you can get the cost. I would not mind seeing many of these medical joint administrators, staff and/or doctors thrown into jails if possible after malpractice lawsuit instead of having monetary awards. Bit extreme but at the same time medical professionals are also out there on the greed scale.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Yagnasri » 30 Mar 2017 10:35

Quoted from NGO thread.

Singha wrote:Ibnlive

New York: Nikki Haley, the US Permanent Representative to the UN, has claimed that her mother was not allowed to be a judge in India because she was a woman, while in fact women have been judges in the country since at least 1937.
Answering a question about the role of women at a meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations on Wednesday, she said, "When you didn't have a lot of education in India, my mother actually was able to go to law school. And she was actually put up to be one of the first female judges in India, but because of the situation with women, she wasn't allowed to sit on the

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Philip » 30 Mar 2017 10:37

The Great American Dream? It's all about money. And the Chinese prey upon the western weakness for it.
There's been so much of hooplah about the Trump_Russian connection,that the real danfer to the US,which has stolen its family jewels,N-warhead designs,JSF details,etc.,etc.,is going un-noticed.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/ ... -claiborne
US state department official charged with accepting bribes from Chinese spies
Candace Claiborne faces prison time for lying to FBI about receiving thousands of dollars in gifts and cash in exchange for information she claims was ‘unclassified’
cash bribe
Chinese intelligence officials gave Candace Claiborne thousands of dollars in cash, as well as an Apple laptop and an iPhone, which she concealed from the FBI. Photograph: Action Press / Rex Features
Jon Swaine

Wednesday 29 March 2017 23.46 BST Last modified on Wednesday 29 March 2017 23.47 BST
A US state department official has been arrested and charged in a federal court after allegedly accepting tens of thousands of dollars worth of payments and gifts from Chinese spies in return for information.

Candace Claiborne appeared in court in Washington DC on Wednesday charged with lying to the FBI and concealing frequent contacts with two Chinese intelligence officials over several years.

Claiborne, a 60-year-old administrative official with a top secret security clearance, is accused of receiving an Apple laptop, an iPhone and thousands of dollars in cash from the Chinese officials, despite privately acknowledging that they were “spies”.

An unidentified relative of Claiborne also allegedly received gifts and benefits from the Chinese officials under the scheme, and was even protected from a police investigation when he allegedly “committed a serious crime” while studying in China in August 2013.

“Claiborne used her position and her access to sensitive diplomatic data for personal profit,” Mary McCord, the acting assistant attorney general for national security, said in a statement on Wednesday. Claiborne faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

In an unsealed criminal complaint filed to federal court, prosecutors said that Claiborne had admitted to passing information to the Chinese officials but insisted that it was always unclassified.

The 58-page complaint did not accuse Claiborne of disclosing classified information but said she told investigators that she had given the Chinese officials “information about a dissident who was being secretly housed” at the US embassy.

The blind Chinese civil rights activist, Chen Guangcheng, arrived at the embassy after escaping house arrest in April 2012, causing a brief diplomatic crisis.

US authorities said the Chinese spies, whose names were redacted by prosecutors, were agents of the Shanghai state security bureau, a branch of China’s ministry of state security (MSS), the country’s civilian intelligence and security agency.

The agents are said to have preyed on Claiborne’s complaints of “financial woes” and her inability to fund the “overseas educational and career goals” of the unidentified relative “on her state department salary alone”.

She was found to have written in her journal that she could “generate 20k in 1 year” by working for the Chinese official, according to investigators. Claiborne is accused of repeatedly lying and concealing the arrangements when she was legally obliged to disclose contacts with foreign nationals, including when she applied to renew her top secret clearance in 2014.

In one alleged interaction detailed in the complaint, Claiborne agreed to perform a task for one of the agents, who had recently wired almost $2,500 to Claiborne’s US bank account, while she was stationed in the US embassy in Beijing in May 2011.

The official, said also to be a Shanghai-based importer-exporter who runs a spa and restaurant in the city, asked for private government information including the “internal evaluation” made by the US of recent economic talks with China. Claiborne sent back “publicly available information”.

Over the following years, the complaint alleges, Claiborne’s unidentified relative had his $47,000-a-year fashion college tuition and accommodation in China paid for by the Chinese officials. He also received a $450 monthly allowance, an all-expenses paid vacation to Thailand and frequent international plane tickets.

The Chinese agents intervened to stop police investigating the Claiborne relative when he committed a “possible felony offense”, and arranged for last-minute flights to get him out of the country, prosecutors said, calling this “an extraordinary step” that indicated the Chinese officials wielded influence within government.

Mysterious factory break-in raises suspicions about Chinese visit
Read more
The relative, who would now be 31, had lived with Claiborne through her earlier foreign postings, according to the authorities. At one moment of doubt about their activities, Claiborne is said to have told the relative: “I really don’t want my neck or your neck in a noose”. During another conversation she allegedly described the two Chinese officials as spies.

In January this year, a Chinese American undercover FBI agent who was posing as a colleague of the Chinese spies, visited Claiborne at her home in Washington DC. The FBI agent told Claiborne that MSS, the Chinese intelligence agency, considered her one of its “highest regarded friends” and thanked her for her past assistance.

Authorities said that Claiborne did not deny providing the Chinese officials with assistance but refused to continue with the arrangement or accept a cash payment. The situation had been complicated by “security stuff”, she explained, and “things are not the way they used to be”.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Yagnasri » 30 Mar 2017 10:39

Yagnasri wrote:Quoted from NGO thread.

Singha wrote:Ibnlive

New York: Nikki Haley, the US Permanent Representative to the UN, has claimed that her mother was not allowed to be a judge in India because she was a woman, while in fact women have been judges in the country since at least 1937.
Answering a question about the role of women at a meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations on Wednesday, she said, "When you didn't have a lot of education in India, my mother actually was able to go to law school. And she was actually put up to be one of the first female judges in India, but because of the situation with women, she wasn't allowed to sit on the


One more news item on the same statement. See how the word blessed is used. Great.

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/nikk ... 16171.html

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Lalmohan » 30 Mar 2017 15:24

Singha wrote:Racism of french police exposed. Local media quiet.


https://sputniknews.com/europe/20170330 ... -killings/


exposed? more like widely known for decades... nothing new here
and also has been covered by various MSM's

just that no one (western) really cares if the subjects are non-white...

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Lalmohan » 30 Mar 2017 15:28

Dipanker wrote:But what are the the chances that a UHS will get implement for a foreseeable future?!


there is strong political aversion to the idea of a welfare state in the US so i cannot see universal healthcare being adopted in the US anytime soon. but this is really the tyranny of the rich against the poor...

i grumble about my tax bills being high, but when i or my loved ones need medical care - particularly acute care, i know that the uk health system will not spare any expense to get them the necessary treatment with highly qualified and capable medical professionals

(primary care and elderly care however is a different story!)

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Gus » 30 Mar 2017 19:26

Who knew healthcare would be so complex? :P

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby kiranA » 30 Mar 2017 19:40

UlanBatori wrote:Also, the insurance companies have completely different rates for the same treatment, charged to hospitals vs. individuals. E.g., the hospital would have to pay only $100, but I would be charged $400. On what basis other than gouging? The medical care system is worse than it would be if it were run by the Mafia.


You are confusing the players. Its hospitals which charge differnt rates for individuals and insurance companies. Not insurance companies - they only charge premiums not treatment.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby ramana » 31 Mar 2017 00:29

^^^. Hospitals and doctors have different rates: contracted rate and billing. The contracted rate is much lower.
The hope is double insurance by the patient (husband and wife) could add more to the office.

This stopped long ago when the other insurance would point out the office/facility was already paid per the contracted rate.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby UlanBatori » 31 Mar 2017 02:22

Sorry I may be confused. The particular reference was to Kaiser Permanente HMO - many saal pehle since I got out of their grip. Their scam ran providers as well as the insurance decisions.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Primus » 31 Mar 2017 02:39

ramana wrote:^^^. Hospitals and doctors have different rates: contracted rate and billing. The contracted rate is much lower.
The hope is double insurance by the patient (husband and wife) could add more to the office.

This stopped long ago when the other insurance would point out the office/facility was already paid per the contracted rate.


There is a lot of misinformation regarding medical billing, payments to physicians and hospitals, insurance premiums and all that.

All physician offices, hospitals and ambulatory centers have to establish a 'fee schedule' for each CPT code they do which has to be the same for ALL carriers. It is against the law to charge a patient a different fee simply because they have a different insurance.

Once such a fee schedule is established, it is submitted to different insurance companies, all that the provider participates with or plans to do so. The insurance carriers will then decide what they wish to pay for each code and that can be negotiated. Once agreed upon, it is then contracted in writing and becomes the established fee for that particular carrier. So a physician cannot get any more payment from a patient for any reason.

However, what gets confusing is how much the patient's own 'obligation' is under HIS contract with his own insurance carrier. For example, some people have a 'deductible' of $10,000 which means they have to come up with the first $10K of any medical charge they accrue in any given year. The insurance will only pay the physician or hospital after the patient has 'met' the deductible.

Then there are 'copayments' and 'co-insurance'. Often times patients are totally clueless about what their own obligations are. Insurance carriers also make life doubly difficult by having conditions like 'if colonoscopy done for screening then there is no copayment by patient but if done for diagnostic reasons (eg bleeding) then patient needs to meet 20% co-insurance'.

It is a minefield and most physician offices have to employ well trained billers who can sort all the details out and bill appropriately. A solo practitioner with a simple practice finds it hard to make ends meet these days.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby ManSingh » 31 Mar 2017 04:02

kiranA wrote:
UlanBatori wrote:Also, the insurance companies have completely different rates for the same treatment, charged to hospitals vs. individuals. E.g., the hospital would have to pay only $100, but I would be charged $400. On what basis other than gouging? The medical care system is worse than it would be if it were run by the Mafia.


You are confusing the players. Its hospitals which charge differnt rates for individuals and insurance companies. Not insurance companies - they only charge premiums not treatment.


I think what he means to say is:
1) Your insurance company will charge you an amount for a treatment, say USD 500. Some of it may be charged to you as co-pay( say USD 20 ). Rest is from insurance( USD 480 ).
2) Hospital will claim charges from insurance as the person was insured. The hospital would get only USD 50 for the procedure, though your bill was supposedly USD 500.

Point being you paid USD 250 per month for insurance and USD 20 for a treatment. So your cost of treatment was USD 270. If hospitals were to have directly billed you, your cost of treatment would be USD 50. So USD 270 vs USD 50.

The above is as it happens as per a doctor's technician whom I had a chat with.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby pravula » 31 Mar 2017 04:19

ManSingh wrote:I think what he means to say is:
1) Your insurance company will charge you an amount for a treatment, say USD 500. Some of it may be charged to you as co-pay( say USD 20 ). Rest is from insurance( USD 480 ).
2) Hospital will claim charges from insurance as the person was insured. The hospital would get only USD 50 for the procedure, though your bill was supposedly USD 500.

Point being you paid USD 250 per month for insurance and USD 20 for a treatment. So your cost of treatment was USD 270. If hospitals were to have directly billed you, your cost of treatment would be USD 50. So USD 270 vs USD 50.

The above is as it happens as per a doctor's technician whom I had a chat with.


Thats not how insurance premiums work. Your cost is not 250+20.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby ManSingh » 31 Mar 2017 04:54

^^^That's how I am charged in my plan.
A fixed amount as monthly premium( or bi-weekly ) and a co-pay between 10 and 35 dollars per doctor's visit depending on primary or specialized care clinic.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Gus » 31 Mar 2017 05:07

Premium and copay are different terms. You can add all of that at the end of the year as what you paid out of pocket for your healthcare that year. That's the only time if makes sense to put them together.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby ManSingh » 31 Mar 2017 05:15

I know gentlemen.

But from an individual's stand point both insurance and co-pay are costs incurred towards medical treatment.

My point was what you see on the bill as your treatment cost is not what goes to the doctor/anaesthesia/hospital etc. Your bill may show 500 dollars for x-ray( not talking of co-pay ). But hospital will not get 500 dollars. It will be a fraction of that.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby GShankar » 31 Mar 2017 05:25

mansingh, premium is a fixed cost. As in even in a given month or year if you either don't have any medical treatment or had 100 treatments, premium doesn't change. So, it is normally not counted towards medical treatment.

Where as copay, deductible, co-insurance, etc. are part of costs incurred toward medical treatment.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Raja Bose » 31 Mar 2017 08:33

ManSingh wrote:I know gentlemen.

But from an individual's stand point both insurance and co-pay are costs incurred towards medical treatment.

My point was what you see on the bill as your treatment cost is not what goes to the doctor/anaesthesia/hospital etc. Your bill may show 500 dollars for x-ray( not talking of co-pay ). But hospital will not get 500 dollars. It will be a fraction of that.


Except if you don't have insurance you won't get the insurance negotiated price of $50.- but will get gouged for the full $500.- The allowed amount/negotiated price is shown on the insurance bill separately. If you have insurance and the procedure is not covered under your specific plan you will still get the negotiated rate of $50.- So it's a scam but not something you can get away from without paying unless you do your own hakim giri with jadi-booti.
Last edited by Raja Bose on 31 Mar 2017 08:37, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Gus » 31 Mar 2017 08:36

ridiculous stuff

check your date stamps at your port of entry.

Later when they again checked in with Customs and Border Protection officials, they were told the agency now had a new policy and was no longer able to extend their temporary permission to stay.

"Somebody up there has decided you have to leave the country in the next 24 hours," the agent told the couple as he gave them one more day to sort out their affairs.

In two expansive immigration memos the Trump administration issued in February, it directed the nation's three main immigration agencies to "sparingly" use the practice of parole, though it hasn't yet detailed the new regulations.




http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/ho ... er-premium

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Gus » 31 Mar 2017 08:39

Raja Bose wrote:Except if you don't have insurance you won't get the insurance negotiated price of $50.- but will get gouged for the full $500.- If you have insurance and the procedure is not covered under your specific plan you will still get the negotiated rate of $50.- So it's a scam but not something you can get away from without paying unless you do your own hakim giri with jadi-booti.


if you have insurance, and the procedure is covered, and you are in network, BUT one of the dude who gave service to you (like anesthetist) is not in network..you will get dinged..as some people have nasty surprises sprung on them after the fact.

The whole thing is a nightmare. One friend missed reading T&C of company provided healthcare and ended up shelling 20K for having a child because that was not covered...

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Raja Bose » 31 Mar 2017 09:36

If the procedure is not covered but doc is in network you will get the negotiated rate. We had that happen once. The eff ups happened in other things including incorrect and fraudulent billing for which we filed a complaint against PAMF and the doctor when they refused to correct their mistake. That lit a fire under their mush and the charge got corrected pronto.

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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Vivek Kumar » 31 Mar 2017 10:12

if you have insurance, and the procedure is covered, and you are in network, BUT one of the dude who gave service to you (like anesthetist) is not in network..you will get dinged..as some people have nasty surprises sprung on them after the fact.

The whole thing is a nightmare. One friend missed reading T&C of company provided healthcare and ended up shelling 20K for having a child because that was not covered.


I don't know about other states, but NY state has a law called Surprise Bill Law. It protects consumers from surprise bills when services are performed by a non-participating (out-of-network) doctor at a participating hospital or ambulatory surgical center in your HMO or insurer's network or when a participating doctor refers an insured to a non-participating provider. If a patient has not given an explicit written permission to use a non-participating provider, hospitals/doctors are required by law to use an in-network provider for a service provider. Recently SHQ's blood work was sent to a non-participating laboratory and we received a ~$600 bill. In this case as the PCP is required by law to send that blood sample to a participating laboratory (unless permitted in written by SHQ/your's truly to use a non-participating provider), I duly submitted the bill to PCP's office and it was taken care of by the lab (adjusted to $0!). Anesthetist's bill in Raja Bose's example here will be a surprise bill in NY state. Your insurance will then work out an amount with the provider, and will send you a check that you need to mail to the provider. Of course one needs to know all this in order to take advantage of this law. I ended up paying a NY hospital $500 in 2015 for a non-participating provider services when I didn't know the law. On my last visit to my PCP they tried to get slick (they try this trick in most offices, especially dental offices) and handed me a bill of $550 for last 3 visits. According to them it was for the tests that they conducted, and insurance did not cover. I tried to reason with them, but they were very persistent. Now I'm responsible for only my copay of $20 for an in-network provider. I they do any tests in their office setting, it's on them. They only get their contracted price. Period. They called the insurance and got the exact same explanation...had to call me to let me know that my bill was adjusted to $0!!!. This deductible thing comes in play when you deliberately use an out-of network provider. An in-network provider gets only the co-pay, at least with the insurance that I have. Two of my friends also got bills to the tune of $13000+ (from the same hospital in NY) for having a child. One negotiated with the hospital and ended up paying about $1500, only condition being he had to pay in one go. Other friend ended up paying all, because he didn't negotiate. Same friend, when his wife was in hospital having a baby, stepped on a needle at home. Needle was lodged in his heel. Went to the same hospital, got a bill for ~$10000 (yes, that's true). Again didn't negotiate and ended up paying for it all. Everything is maya, as BRF abduls will say!!!

I'm ranting here for information of fellow BRFites in Massa. Read "Certificate of Insurance" that you got from your insurance provider. You can request one, or find one on their website when you log into your account. Always check if your provider is in-network on the day you are receiving services, even for your PCP. Never trust their word. They may still be accepting the insurance you have, but may have moved out-of-network. Get necessary approvals beforehand. You can remain pretty safe in this jungle.

Singha
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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Singha » 31 Mar 2017 11:27

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who briefly served as national security adviser to President Donald Trump, is seeking immunity from prosecution in exchange for testifying to those conducting investigations into the president’s ties to Russia, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

According to the report, Flynn made the offer to the FBI, the House intelligence committee and the Senate intelligence committee. All three entities are currently investigating whether Trump’s associates had contact with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential campaign. According to the Wall Street Journal, none of them have yet accepted Flynn’s offer.

Singha
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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Singha » 31 Mar 2017 12:26

flynn sir might go to jail soon?

prahaar
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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby prahaar » 31 Mar 2017 12:35

For all the negatives about the US system, if an ex-NSA is tried for collaborating with its biggest rival, who was at the highest level in the government. We have never investigated Chidambarams sending letters to UK Foreign office for taking action against internal opponents. This incident also highlights the chinks in the mighty supa-pawah armour.

Singha
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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Singha » 31 Mar 2017 14:11

NYT
Boom Times for the New Dystopians
By ALEXANDRA ALTERMARCH 30, 2017

Omar El Akkad said he drew on what he had seen as a war correspondent to describe the societal collapse he imagines in “American War.” Credit Leah Nash for The New York Times
When Omar El Akkad was writing his debut novel, “American War,” about a futuristic not-so-United States that has been devastated by civil war, drone killings, suicide bombings and the ravages of climate change, he didn’t have to invent much. The ruined landscape and societal collapse he envisioned was based partly on scenes he had witnessed as a war correspondent in Afghanistan.

“I never intended to write a book about the future,” he said, still sounding somewhat perplexed. “I think of it as a recasting of history.”

But a strange thing happened after Mr. El Akkad finished the novel. The calamities he described began to seem more like grim prophecy than science fiction. The widening ideological gulf between red and blue America, which has only deepened after the presidential election, has applied an unintended patina of urgency and timeliness to his story.

“You don’t like to imagine the endpoint of extreme partisanship, but that’s exactly what Omar’s done in this book,” said Emily St. John Mandel, author of the postapocalyptic novel “Station Eleven.”

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“American War” is one of several new dystopian novels that seem to channel the country’s current anxieties, with cataclysmic story lines about global warming, economic inequality, political polarization and the end of democracy. If there’s a thematic thread connecting this crop of doomsday books, it could be crudely summarized as, “Things may seem bad, but they might become much, much worse.”

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Credit Alessandra Montalto/The New York Times
In Lidia Yuknavitch’s novel “The Book of Joan,” the planet in 2049 has been destroyed by war and climate change, and the wealthy have retreated skyward to a ramshackle suborbital complex controlled by a celebrity-billionaire-turned-dictator who continues to suck resources from Earth. “I built a world that is only a small distance from our present tense,” Ms. Yuknavitch said in an email. “One in which our current aims have simply played out to their logical conclusions: endless war, environmental degradation, the exploitation of Earth as a resource, the brutal stratification of humanity.”

Similar catastrophic events propel Zachary Mason’s “Void Star,” a mind-bending novel in which rising seas have rendered large swaths of the planet uninhabitable, and impoverished masses huddle in favelas in San Francisco and Los Angeles, while the rich have private armies and armored self-driving cars and undergo life-extending medical treatments. Mr. Mason, a computer scientist who specializes in artificial intelligence, envisioned a world where the boundaries between machines and people have grown increasingly porous, and a powerful, godlike A.I. hacks into people’s minds.

The future is even bleaker in Michael Tolkin’s “NK3,” which takes place in Los Angeles, after a weaponized microbe developed by North Korean scientists has swept the globe, destroying people’s memories and identities. The writer Chris Kraus called the novel “brilliant and barely speculative” and labeled it “the first book of the Trump era.”

(For readers longing for a sliver of utopia, slightly less alarming visions of the future can be found in Kim Stanley Robinson’s “New York 2140,” in which the city is partly submerged by rising oceans but remains vibrant; and Cory Doctorow’s darkly funny “Walkaway,” a forthcoming novel about an idealistic man’s search for purpose in a country that has been leveled by extreme weather, economic disparity and the collapse of civil society.)

Dystopian and postapocalyptic fiction has been a staple on the best-seller lists for years. Young-adult series like “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent” have sold tens of millions of copies and spawned blockbuster film franchises, and prominent literary writers like Cormac McCarthy and David Mitchell have experimented with end-of-the-world scenarios in their novels. But the current obsession with the collapse of civilization seems less like a diverting cultural trend and more like a collective panic attack.

As pundits and historians fret about the erosion of American democracy and the creep of totalitarianism, readers are flocking to dystopian classics like Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” and Sinclair Lewis’s “It Can’t Happen Here.” Not long after Donald J. Trump’s inauguration, sales for George Orwell’s “1984” surged, spurred by controversy over Kellyanne Conway’s use of the Orwellian phrase “alternative facts.”

“People are finding comfort in dystopian books, or maybe more accurately, they’re finding answers in them,” said Matt Keliher, the manager of Subtext Books in St. Paul, who said “1984” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” are among the store’s top-selling titles.

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Mr. Keliher has become a fervent evangelist for “American War,” which he predicts will be one of the spring’s most widely discussed novels. Critics have heaped praise on Mr. El Akkad’s debut; in The New York Times, Michiko Kakutani called “American War” “a disturbing parable” and compared it to works by Philip Roth and Mr. McCarthy.

“When you’re reading it, it’s pretty difficult not to project yourself 70 years into the future and imagine that this has happened,” Mr. Keliher said.

Mr. El Akkad — who is soft-spoken and self-deprecating, and repeatedly apologized during an interview for talking too much — said he was wary of being lauded as a prophet.

“I would love to say I envisioned what would happen, but I never intended to write a timely book,” he said.

Born in Cairo and raised in Qatar, Mr. El Akkad, 35, moved to Canada as a teenager and studied computer science at Queen’s University. After graduating, he became a reporter for The Globe and Mail, where he covered a foiled terrorist plot in Toronto, the war in Afghanistan and the popular uprisings in Egypt.

When he started writing the novel three years ago, Mr. El Akkad wanted to bring the horrors of sectarian warfare home for American readers, and to show that the desire for revenge is universal. To research “American War,” he traveled to Louisiana, Georgia and Florida, and read about the Civil War. He also drew heavily on his experience as a war correspondent. A passage about a volunteer distributing polio vaccinations in a refugee camp was based on an encounter he witnessed in Afghanistan, while a gruesome torture sequence came from his research on the American military’s treatment of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. “I don’t think there’s much in this book that hasn’t happened; it just happened far away,” he said.

“American War” takes place in the southern United States toward the end of the 21st century, after a civil war has broken out over fossil fuel use. The novel’s protagonist, a girl named Sarat, has fled with her family to a refugee camp near the Tennessee border. There, she is recruited and radicalized by a rebel leader with ties to a Middle Eastern empire that has emerged as a global superpower as the United States collapses into chaos.

Though the premise seemed obviously speculative when Mr. El Akkad first dreamed up the plot — what if a foreign power meddled in American politics, driving a deeper wedge into partisan fissures? — it feels almost too close now.

Mr. El Akkad wonders if readers will be drawn in by the novel’s inadvertent timeliness, or repelled by its unsettling proximity to reality.

“I can totally see fatigue setting in,” Mr. El Akkad said. “This is a disturbing image of a future that might be nearer than we think.”

Singha
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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby Singha » 31 Mar 2017 14:14

serious questions - now that the cleavages between red and white states is growing wider, congress is non-functional and various witchunts for and against DT continue to occupy much time .... can a coalition of red states get together and enact some state level laws saying that people on H1/OPT/L1 cannot work in those states ? or if that is not permissible then enact that $130k type law and make it stick at state level.

the US states have a lot more freedom in legal sense than indian states, but I am not sure how much is the margin...

why would the red states want to wait for a fading DT to do something other than pour water on the daily fire that people set under his chair ?

komal
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Re: Understanding US thread-III

Postby komal » 31 Mar 2017 14:31

Singha wrote:serious questions - now that the cleavages between red and white states is growing wider, congress is non-functional and various witchunts for and against DT continue to occupy much time .... can a coalition of red states get together and enact some state level laws saying that people on H1/OPT/L1 cannot work in those states ? or if that is not permissible then enact that $130k type law and make it stick at state level.

the US states have a lot more freedom in legal sense than indian states, but I am not sure how much is the margin...

why would the red states want to wait for a fading DT to do something other than pour water on the daily fire that people set under his chair ?


Red State legislative priorities: 1) Restrict voting rights for the black/brown; 2) Enable business to discriminate against the black/brown/gay; 3) Restrict access to medical care for the black/brown; 4) Restrict funding for public schools; 5) Use taxpayer funds to build sports arenas; 6) Dedicate buildings to Ronald Reagan


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