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  • mental health parity | | Lancaster PA Blog
    mental health must be regarded with parity to other medical issues such that 1 the financial requirements such as deductibles and copayments applicable to such mental health or substance use disorder benefits are no more restrictive than the predominant financial requirements applied to substantially all medical and surgical benefits covered by the plan 2 there are no separate cost sharing requirements that are applicable only with respect to mental health or substance use disorder benefits 3 the treatment limitations applicable to such mental health or substance use disorder benefits are no more restrictive than the predominant treatment limitations applied to substantially all medical and surgical benefits covered by the plan and 4 there are no separate treatment limitations that are applicable only with respect to mental health or substance use disorder benefits Additionally the bill Requires the plan to provide out of network coverage for mental health or substance use disorder benefits if the plan provides coverage for medical or surgical benefits provided by out of network providers I have experienced firsthand how complicated and frustrating it is to deal with a double standard in my health insurance policies If my lungs are congested I can see my family doctor If I break my wrist I can go to the emergency room But if my brain isn t working right I have to wade through complicated restrictions and procedures in order to receive affordable care And even then therapy is poorly covered and the number of sessions each year are over limited When the world is that difficult and rotten I like many people look at the big picture of our civilization and despair But when I look closer I see reason for hope Mental health is slowly being acknowledged as an inseparable component of human health generally And as

    Original URL path: http://www.lancasterpablog.com/tag/mental-health-parity/ (2016-04-27)
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  • bailout | | Lancaster PA Blog
    everyone can have everything What we face right now is not a crisis it s a consequence Still it s so easy to sweep that fact under the rug and pretend that our present way of looking at the economic world is tenable In our current paradigm there is no such thing as bad debt There is still only subprime debt This paradigm is nonsense It disregards the fact that resources are in fact scarce and not everyone can have everything they want Our current paradigm believes that everyone can have what they want and in fact has every right to expect credit so that they can buy what they want Not only does this violate the scarcity part of Economics 101 it also violates the part about prices If everyone can purchase 100 000 cars auto manufacturers can keep making 100 000 cars The paradigm we live under which is still hanging on for dear life holds that thanks to the wonders of credit we can all afford 100 000 cars and SUVs and pickups of course There is no reason to make or focus on more affordable cars If price is not a barrier what incentive is there to focus on high value at low price You can see that our current way of doing things messes up in two ways First by ignoring scarcity and second by making prices less relevant than they really are Gasoline right now is a shining example of how this works When it comes to oil it s impossible to ignore the fact that it is scarce Even when that scarcity is exaggerated by OPEC when they limit production and shipping all they are really doing is spreading scarcity out over a longer period of time Yet even with a scarce resource and really all resources are scarce prices can go down That s because demand can fluctuate even as supply is predictable In a nutshell if we were still dealing with 4 50 gallon gas this recession would be worse than it is But everyone is scaling back and that means fewer miles are being travelled Fewer miles being traveled means lower demand for gas Lower demand for gas means a lower price on gas Earlier this year I thought Tom Friedman presented a great idea Why shouldn t the government set a price floor on gas guaranteeing that it will always cost 4 gallon or more If the real price ever dipped below 4 the difference would go toward developing alternative energy Problem is that suggestion rests on the assumption that people s ability to afford 4 gas won t substantially change It is now obvious that that is a bad assumption Prices are meaningful and should generally be left as free as possible There is such a thing as bad debt Bad debt is debt taken on to pay for something that is overpriced specifically because the law of scarcity has been ignored Think houses We can t all

    Original URL path: http://www.lancasterpablog.com/tag/bailout/ (2016-04-27)
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  • credit | | Lancaster PA Blog
    everyone can have everything What we face right now is not a crisis it s a consequence Still it s so easy to sweep that fact under the rug and pretend that our present way of looking at the economic world is tenable In our current paradigm there is no such thing as bad debt There is still only subprime debt This paradigm is nonsense It disregards the fact that resources are in fact scarce and not everyone can have everything they want Our current paradigm believes that everyone can have what they want and in fact has every right to expect credit so that they can buy what they want Not only does this violate the scarcity part of Economics 101 it also violates the part about prices If everyone can purchase 100 000 cars auto manufacturers can keep making 100 000 cars The paradigm we live under which is still hanging on for dear life holds that thanks to the wonders of credit we can all afford 100 000 cars and SUVs and pickups of course There is no reason to make or focus on more affordable cars If price is not a barrier what incentive is there to focus on high value at low price You can see that our current way of doing things messes up in two ways First by ignoring scarcity and second by making prices less relevant than they really are Gasoline right now is a shining example of how this works When it comes to oil it s impossible to ignore the fact that it is scarce Even when that scarcity is exaggerated by OPEC when they limit production and shipping all they are really doing is spreading scarcity out over a longer period of time Yet even with a scarce resource and really all resources are scarce prices can go down That s because demand can fluctuate even as supply is predictable In a nutshell if we were still dealing with 4 50 gallon gas this recession would be worse than it is But everyone is scaling back and that means fewer miles are being travelled Fewer miles being traveled means lower demand for gas Lower demand for gas means a lower price on gas Earlier this year I thought Tom Friedman presented a great idea Why shouldn t the government set a price floor on gas guaranteeing that it will always cost 4 gallon or more If the real price ever dipped below 4 the difference would go toward developing alternative energy Problem is that suggestion rests on the assumption that people s ability to afford 4 gas won t substantially change It is now obvious that that is a bad assumption Prices are meaningful and should generally be left as free as possible There is such a thing as bad debt Bad debt is debt taken on to pay for something that is overpriced specifically because the law of scarcity has been ignored Think houses We can t all

    Original URL path: http://www.lancasterpablog.com/tag/credit/ (2016-04-27)
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  • economics | | Lancaster PA Blog
    everyone can have everything What we face right now is not a crisis it s a consequence Still it s so easy to sweep that fact under the rug and pretend that our present way of looking at the economic world is tenable In our current paradigm there is no such thing as bad debt There is still only subprime debt This paradigm is nonsense It disregards the fact that resources are in fact scarce and not everyone can have everything they want Our current paradigm believes that everyone can have what they want and in fact has every right to expect credit so that they can buy what they want Not only does this violate the scarcity part of Economics 101 it also violates the part about prices If everyone can purchase 100 000 cars auto manufacturers can keep making 100 000 cars The paradigm we live under which is still hanging on for dear life holds that thanks to the wonders of credit we can all afford 100 000 cars and SUVs and pickups of course There is no reason to make or focus on more affordable cars If price is not a barrier what incentive is there to focus on high value at low price You can see that our current way of doing things messes up in two ways First by ignoring scarcity and second by making prices less relevant than they really are Gasoline right now is a shining example of how this works When it comes to oil it s impossible to ignore the fact that it is scarce Even when that scarcity is exaggerated by OPEC when they limit production and shipping all they are really doing is spreading scarcity out over a longer period of time Yet even with a scarce resource and really all resources are scarce prices can go down That s because demand can fluctuate even as supply is predictable In a nutshell if we were still dealing with 4 50 gallon gas this recession would be worse than it is But everyone is scaling back and that means fewer miles are being travelled Fewer miles being traveled means lower demand for gas Lower demand for gas means a lower price on gas Earlier this year I thought Tom Friedman presented a great idea Why shouldn t the government set a price floor on gas guaranteeing that it will always cost 4 gallon or more If the real price ever dipped below 4 the difference would go toward developing alternative energy Problem is that suggestion rests on the assumption that people s ability to afford 4 gas won t substantially change It is now obvious that that is a bad assumption Prices are meaningful and should generally be left as free as possible There is such a thing as bad debt Bad debt is debt taken on to pay for something that is overpriced specifically because the law of scarcity has been ignored Think houses We can t all

    Original URL path: http://www.lancasterpablog.com/tag/economics/ (2016-04-27)
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  • markets | | Lancaster PA Blog
    everyone can have everything What we face right now is not a crisis it s a consequence Still it s so easy to sweep that fact under the rug and pretend that our present way of looking at the economic world is tenable In our current paradigm there is no such thing as bad debt There is still only subprime debt This paradigm is nonsense It disregards the fact that resources are in fact scarce and not everyone can have everything they want Our current paradigm believes that everyone can have what they want and in fact has every right to expect credit so that they can buy what they want Not only does this violate the scarcity part of Economics 101 it also violates the part about prices If everyone can purchase 100 000 cars auto manufacturers can keep making 100 000 cars The paradigm we live under which is still hanging on for dear life holds that thanks to the wonders of credit we can all afford 100 000 cars and SUVs and pickups of course There is no reason to make or focus on more affordable cars If price is not a barrier what incentive is there to focus on high value at low price You can see that our current way of doing things messes up in two ways First by ignoring scarcity and second by making prices less relevant than they really are Gasoline right now is a shining example of how this works When it comes to oil it s impossible to ignore the fact that it is scarce Even when that scarcity is exaggerated by OPEC when they limit production and shipping all they are really doing is spreading scarcity out over a longer period of time Yet even with a scarce resource and really all resources are scarce prices can go down That s because demand can fluctuate even as supply is predictable In a nutshell if we were still dealing with 4 50 gallon gas this recession would be worse than it is But everyone is scaling back and that means fewer miles are being travelled Fewer miles being traveled means lower demand for gas Lower demand for gas means a lower price on gas Earlier this year I thought Tom Friedman presented a great idea Why shouldn t the government set a price floor on gas guaranteeing that it will always cost 4 gallon or more If the real price ever dipped below 4 the difference would go toward developing alternative energy Problem is that suggestion rests on the assumption that people s ability to afford 4 gas won t substantially change It is now obvious that that is a bad assumption Prices are meaningful and should generally be left as free as possible There is such a thing as bad debt Bad debt is debt taken on to pay for something that is overpriced specifically because the law of scarcity has been ignored Think houses We can t all

    Original URL path: http://www.lancasterpablog.com/tag/markets/ (2016-04-27)
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  • debt | | Lancaster PA Blog
    expensive and rail and carpooling has worked beautifully for me New sewer system I wish This town s infrastructure is crumbling Besides why can t a municipality save up for a major expense like we private citizens do for our own purchases Auto loan Nope I m still driving my trusty 1994 Geo Prizm Until I can pay cash for a newer used car I m not intending to buy one Neighbor lost her job Again my neighbors are doing OK Not great but they have never been doing great We do alright for ourselves but the whole disparity of wealth thing has been biting us in the butt for a long time I don t have much of a vendetta against Wall Street I do however think our entire economic system has gotten off kilter and is ultimately unsustainable I have never benefited from our current economic situation compared to how others have benefited Where I am today I have basically nothing to lose In fact with our student debt far outweighing our assets I have less than nothing to lose So from where I stand with none of Mr Friedman s arguments applying to me I have to ask Why prop up an unsound and unsafe structure Why shouldn t we allow it to implode and rebuild itself I have full confidence that our economy will rebuild itself I believe that the free market works as long as basic protections for stockholders consumers and workers are in place and as long as antitrust is actively weeded out Is it not possible that what is happening is the market saying that the financial sector has grown too bloated and that we have collectively taken on too much debt If that is the case we don t need a bailout

    Original URL path: http://www.lancasterpablog.com/tag/debt/ (2016-04-27)
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  • economy | | Lancaster PA Blog
    Even our unemployment numbers are beginning to rot in October unemployment shot up to 4 7 in the county meaning we have 12 800 people actively but unsuccessfully looking for work That s more than the entire population of Elizabethtown We need to change directions This state of affairs cannot continue Unions may not the the idea change agents but at least they are change agents Unions of middle class workers have given us enhanced social security medicare and a minimum wage Unions make sure workers can take care of themselves and their families and that the people who produce gains in productivity receive the rewards of productivity Importantly middle and working class union members spend their income Unions are not that big of a deal We all too often make a goblin out of unionization Right now no more than twelve percent of American workers are in unions those workers include Lancaster County educators and local employees of Armstrong Kellogg car shops construction companies manufacturing plants and service firms That twelve percent is down from a historic high of thirty three percent Not exactly a cause for alarm today What s more the number of unionized workers sits at twelve percent today in significant part due to illegal practices by employers In 1969 there were one thousand infractions of the laws protecting the formation of unions In 2005 that number was more than thirty thousand Ben Eisler makes a big deal of this on his blog at The New Republic He suggests that one solution is to increase the penalties for these crimes and ramp up enforcement which is currently lax But he says the cheaper solution is the so called card check The idea is this Right now workers have to tell their company s senior managers if they are going to try to form a union It s like having to announce Hey We ve been trying to work with you to get a fair shake here and you re not giving it to us or listening to our input on how our company can do better We re going to try to start a union You d better get moving if you want to stop us Under the card check system being worked on in the U S Senate employees can sign a legal document a card to indicate that they want to form a union If a majority of employees sign it the union is considered a legal entity that the employer has to work with Imagine it like this If we re in a company of one thousand employees there may easily be six hundred or more of us who think that our bosses are mismanaging things Their leadership skills are wanting they don t listen to input from those of us on the ground and they don t share profits in a fair way We all want to address it with the directors but we don t have any ability to insist on

    Original URL path: http://www.lancasterpablog.com/tag/economy/ (2016-04-27)
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  • Friedman | | Lancaster PA Blog
    expensive and rail and carpooling has worked beautifully for me New sewer system I wish This town s infrastructure is crumbling Besides why can t a municipality save up for a major expense like we private citizens do for our own purchases Auto loan Nope I m still driving my trusty 1994 Geo Prizm Until I can pay cash for a newer used car I m not intending to buy one Neighbor lost her job Again my neighbors are doing OK Not great but they have never been doing great We do alright for ourselves but the whole disparity of wealth thing has been biting us in the butt for a long time I don t have much of a vendetta against Wall Street I do however think our entire economic system has gotten off kilter and is ultimately unsustainable I have never benefited from our current economic situation compared to how others have benefited Where I am today I have basically nothing to lose In fact with our student debt far outweighing our assets I have less than nothing to lose So from where I stand with none of Mr Friedman s arguments applying to me I have to ask Why prop up an unsound and unsafe structure Why shouldn t we allow it to implode and rebuild itself I have full confidence that our economy will rebuild itself I believe that the free market works as long as basic protections for stockholders consumers and workers are in place and as long as antitrust is actively weeded out Is it not possible that what is happening is the market saying that the financial sector has grown too bloated and that we have collectively taken on too much debt If that is the case we don t need a bailout

    Original URL path: http://www.lancasterpablog.com/tag/friedman/ (2016-04-27)
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