#AceBreakingNews – Washington) – The Supreme Court has turned away appeals from five states seeking to prohibit same-sex marriages, paving the way for an immediate expansion of gay and lesbian unions.
The justices on Monday did not comment in rejecting appeals from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The court’s order immediately ends delays on marriage in those states. Couples in six other states should be able to get married in short order.
That would make same-sex marriage legal in 30 states and the District of Columbia.
But the justices have left unresolved for now the question of same-sex marriage nationwide.
#AceEnvironmentNews – INDIANA – March 25 – Oil leaked from BP’s Whiting oil refinery in Indiana into Lake Michigan after a mechanical glitch on Monday afternoon, Reuters reported.
The spill has been contained, according to Indiana environmental officials.
Sources say a relatively small amount of oil was released, but the exact amount was unknown. BP said Tuesday that the largest crude distillation unit at the 405,000-barrel-per-day refinery was back to normal operations following an overnight malfunction that led to the leak.
#AceHealthcareNews says during the “Christmas” period l was looking at certain companies that purport to serve the betterment of society and especially the ” Health Care System” one such company that had certain articles – very skilfully woven was “Blue Cross” looking deeper and a little research later l found more this time from various new providers.
One of the worst things about companies that are involved in the “Healthcare Industry” is that they look first at turnover, secondly profit and thirdly at their future growth. The word “Care” should be applied in thought, word and deed, but it never gets a look in, as smoke and mirror’s covers up the #truth.
This latest article confirms my suspicions and highlights not the article that l will add to the bottom of this post, but what really certain not-for-profit companies really mean by not-for-profit as these fee scales show:
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, the state’s largest private health insurer, has notified customers it’s raising their premiums by as much as 10 percent in January because of eight new levies and fees in the Affordable Care Act, or ACA.
Blue Cross linked the increase to taxes and fees taking effect Jan. 1.
“The ACA includes new taxes and fees,” the insurance giant told each policyholder in a three-page letter, titled “Information about Your 2014 Renewal.” “The costs required to pay these new taxes and fees are included in your premium and will not be charged separately.”
Blue Cross of Montana sent out a similar notice, while Blue Cross of Alabama cited the taxes on its bills with a separate line item for “Affordable Care Act Fees and Taxes.”
Blue Cross polices and costs are expected to set a standard for the industry, influencing how insurers adjust to the law, which is also raising premiums because of mandates that expand coverage and benefits. Aetna has also blamed taxes and fees for coming rate hikes.
Specifically, the insurance companies have referenced two Obamacare charges taking effect Jan.
1. One is a flat 2 percent tax on all health insurers, which is expected to raise $8 billion for the administration to help pay costs of the overall act in 2014, but raise health-care premiums for consumers by more than 3 percent. The other is a yearly “reinsurance fee” of $63 per person insured.
2.There’s also a $2 fee per policy that funds a new federal bureaucracy called the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Insurers also must pay a 3.5 percent user free to sell health plans on the HealthCare.gov website.
Although these taxes are imposed on insurance companies, policyholders end up paying for them in the form of higher premiums. Over the next decade, the Washington-based Heritage Foundation estimates the average American family will pay roughly $5,000 more in premiums to pay for them all.
And these are just the Obamacare taxes and fees that insurers are warning customers they’re passing on to them. There are also hidden taxes, such as the medical equipment levy that will make heart valves, stents, pacemakers and other medical devices more expensive.
All told, there are more than 20 new or higher taxes and fees embedded in the Affordable Care Act – more than half of which affect families earning less than $250,000 a year.
The new taxes, which cost more than $675 billion over the next decade, include:
- A 2.3 percent excise tax on U.S. sales of medical devices that’s already devastating the medical supply industry and its work force.
The levy, which took effect Jan. 1, 2013, is a $20 billion blow to an industry that employs more than 360,000 working in plants across the U.S.
- Stryker Corp. of Michigan, which blames the tax for 1,000 layoffs.
- Indianabased Zimmer Corp., which cites the tax in laying off 450 and taking a $50 million charge against earnings.
- Indiana-based Cook Medical Inc., which has scrubbed plans to open a new U.S. factory each year.
- Boston Scientific Corp., which has opted to open plants in tax-friendlier China and Ireland to help offset a $100 million charge against earnings.
- Minnesota-based Medtronic Inc., which expects an annual charge against earnings of $175 million.
- A $50,000 excise tax on charitable hospitals that fail to meet new “community health assessment needs,” “financial assistance” and other rules set by the Health and Human Services Department (took effect in 2010).
- A 3.8 percent surtax on investment income from capital gains and dividends that applies to single filers earning more than $200,000 and married couples filing jointly earning more than $250,000 (took effect Jan. 1, 2013).
- A $24 billion tax on the paper industry to control a pollutant known as black liquor (took effect in 2010).
- A $2.3 billion-a-year tax on innovator drug companies (took effect in 2010).
- A 10 percent excise tax on Americans using indoor tanning salons (took effect July 1, 2010).
- An $87 billion hike in Medicare payroll taxes for employees, as well as the self-employed (took effect Jan. 1, 2013).
- A hike in the threshold for writing off medical expenses to 10 percent of adjusted gross income from 7.5 percent (took effect Jan. 1, 2013.).
- A new cap on flexible spending accounts of $2,500 a year (took effect Jan. 1, 2013).
- Elimination of the tax deduction for employer-provided prescription drug coverage for Medicare recipients (took effect Jan. 1, 2013).
- An income surtax of 1 percent of adjusted gross income, rising to 2.5 percent by 2016, on individuals who refuse to go along with Obamacare by buying a policy not approved by the government (took effect Jan. 1, 2013).
- A $2,000 tax charged to employers with 50 or more workers for every full-time worker not offered health coverage (delayed).
- A $60 billion tax on health insurers (effective Jan. 1, 2014).
- A 40 percent excise tax on so-called Cadillac, or higher cost, health insurance plans (goes into effect Jan. 1, 2018).
As promised here is that article posted and sent to my news desk:
DETROIT, Oct. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is the only health insurer to offer coverage to people in all of Michigan’s 83 counties on the federally-run health insurance marketplace that opened today at 8 a.m.
Blue Cross and its affiliated HMO, Blue Care Network of Michigan, offer some of the lowest-priced plans across Michigan’s 16 rating regions. In the majority of counties in Michigan, BCBSM or BCN bronze and silver plan options offer some of the most affordable premiums on the Health Insurance Marketplace. Products, pricing and plan design are available onwww.healthcare.gov and on the BCBSM website at www.bcbsm.com/myblue.
“Blue Cross and Blue Care Network have worked very hard to put affordable health insurance options in front of Michiganconsumers as uninsured people and small employers begin open enrollment today,” said Terry Burke, BCBSM vice president for individual business. “As people examine their choices, Blue Cross will be offering guidance – both online and on the phone – to help people make a health plan choice that is right for them.”
The Blues offer a total of 18 options for coverage. These products are available on the federally-run Health Insurance Marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act, opening today, through independent Blue-certified insurance agents and directly through BCBSM and BCN.
“The Affordable Care Act has significantly changed what health insurance covers, how it’s sold and what it costs. With the marketplace now open, consumers will be able to choose from 18 competitively priced Blues products, with options available toMichigan residents in every county,” Burke said. “We are proud to offer some of the lowest-priced plans in Michigan. These affordable options give more people the opportunity to choose Blue Cross plans.”
Both Blue Cross and Blue Care Network will offer plans at the Gold, Silver, Bronze and Catastrophic levels. Under ACA guidelines, Bronze plans will cover 60 percent of health care expenses, Silver plans cover 70 percent, and Gold cover 80 percent. Catastrophic plans, available to individuals under the age of 30 or those qualifying for a hardship, have a higher deductible and are not associated with metal level actuarial values.
Editor – says judge for yourself.
- 2014 Look Ahead: Insurance exchange outlook remains difficult to predict in Wyoming (trib.com)
- Thanks, Obama: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama will itemize ACA taxes on consumer bills (al.com)
- Blue Cross extends deadline for off-market plans (crainsdetroit.com)
- LPS, other districts to offer health coverage to same-sex spouses (journalstar.com)
- Alabama Mom’s ObamaCare Horror Story Gives America a Glimpse of Government-Run Healthcare (gopthedailydose.com)
- Alabama Mom Shares Devastating Experience With Obamacare in This Open Letter to the American People (ijreview.com)
- Insurance Company Lays Out Obamacare Tax Hikes (townhall.com)
- Unreported Obamacare Taxes Revealed (lexingtonlibertarian.wordpress.com)
- Affordable Healthcare ACT (considerthistruth.wordpress.com)
- Haslam: Let’s keep our eyes on the prize for a real universal health care system (vtdigger.org)