Connect with us


FactChecking Health Insurance Premiums.



Health insurance premiums for employer-sponsored family plans jumped 9 percent from 2010 to 2011, and Republicans have blamed the federal health care law. Nevertheless, they exaggerate. What the law states — the majority of that has yet to be implemented — has caused only about a 1 percent to 3 percent escalation in premiums, according to several independent experts. As usual, the rest of the 9 percent rise is due to rising health care costs.

Furthermore, the increase caused by what the law states are a result of the increased benefits it requires, an issue Republicans generally ignore. To date, insurance companies have now been required to do the next:

  • Cover preventive care without copays or deductibles.
  • Allow adult children to remain on parents’ policies until age 26.
  • Increase annual coverage limits.
  • Cover children without regard for preexisting conditions.

On the other hand, the fact that what the law states caused any increase at all cast more doubt on Obama’s promise that what the law states “could save families $2,500 in the coming years.” We’ve been calling that claim into question for several years now. The plain fact is that — so far — what the law states have caused an increase in premiums, though not too large an increase as some Republicans claim.

The potential impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on insurance premiums has been a way to obtain dubious claims since the legislation was being debated. Republicans said premiums would rise; President Barack Obama said they’d drop – compared to what they’d normally be with no law. The Congressional Budget Office said they wouldn’t change much, at the very least for anyone on employer-sponsored plans. The in-patient market, where individuals buy their policies, would see an increase, though many of those plans would also be purchased with the help of subsidies.

But the simple truth is, it remains to be observed how what the law states will affect health care costs and insurance premiums in the long run. We’re now beginning to see the impact of early provisions of what the law states – free preventive care, a phasing out of annual coverage limits, and other requirements – which are actually in place. The bulk of what the law states – the average person mandate, insurance exchanges, subsidies – comes later, in 2014.

We viewed the premium issue last fall when some insurance carriers in a few states announced double-digit hikes for plans on the average person market, and Republicans quickly blamed the health care law. Insurance companies, regulators, and experts told us that the law states were accountable for about 1 percent to 3 percent of rate increases in this market. And it’s the same this time around.

This year, in late September, the Kaiser Family Foundation released its annual survey of employer-provided insurance, stating that the common premium cost for family plans had risen by 9 percent from 2010 to 2011. That is a big jump from the 3 percent increase the entire year before. Again, Republicans pounced on this news as an indication of the negative aftereffects of the law. And again, the experts we consulted — as well as an unbiased study with a large private research firm — all place the result on premiums in the product range of 1 percent to 3 percent.

The Senate Republican Policy Committee touted the Kaiser survey results on its website and added: “In other words, Obamacare isn’t lowering premiums – in reality, premium increases have accelerated since Obamacare passed last year.” The Republican National Committee, too, stated that “the expenses of family coverage increased a ‘whopping’9 percent for families” under a headline that claimed, “Obama’s Past Promises Are Not Adding Up for American Families.” The House Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Republican Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan, stated that “Obamacare … makes matters worse. The survey released today reveals family premiums have increased by 9 percent.”

But experts we spoke with weren’t too surprised by this year’s findings. They explain that the 3 percent growth from 2009 to 2010 was unusually low. While it’s tough to discern a definite, long-term trend in the growth rates, the annual increase held steady at around 5 percent or 5.5 percent from 2007 to 2009. The growth rates had been at 10 percent and higher from 2000 to 2004. (See our chart below, which uses Kaiser’s employer survey numbers.) So, the 3 percent growth rate was “abnormally low,” says John Sheils, senior vice president of The Lewin Group, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group that operates independently of the health care company. He says it “would stand to reason that we’d get yourself a boost” this season, possibly due to recovering losses or catching up on the price of new equipment. A health policy analyst with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners agreed, saying it was “not surprising to view it rebound like that.”

Wilensky told us recently that the estimate that 2 percent to 3 percent of the increase is because of the law comes from others and that “I don’t know any differently.” She says the “law includes a small effect,” but that effect is in one single direction: up. “There’s precious little or nothing to decelerate or lower spending,” she says.

Last year, Sheils told us an increase of 1 percent to 2 percent because the law sounded about right. There’s some indication that the free preventive care provision could have resulted in more follow-up visits, however. There’s “some possibility that those initial estimates were low,” he says. Kenneth Thorpe, professor and chair at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, who worked in the Clinton administration, also told us via email that what the law states would add 1 percent to 2 percent to premiums “at most.”

Indeed, a 1, 2, or perhaps 3 percent increase is emerging as the consensus. Kaiser Family Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman wrote in a column published after the group’s survey came out that what the law states was accountable for a “modest” 1 percent to 2 percent increase.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Tom Cruise’s Tropic Thunder” Spin-Off Has a Script.



Now that the script has been written for the ‘Tropic Thunder” spinoff film starring Tom Cruise’s Les Grossman character, when will it be made, and will Cruise still be interested in it?

Tom Cruise was no longer famous for his roles in blockbuster films. Instead, he was criticized for his unpredictable behaviour and controversial views on hot-button subjects. Cruise devised a career strategy to help him return to the good graces of the moviegoers, despite concerns about his real life.

One part of the plan was to play a small but memorable role in Ben Stiller’s comedy/action Tropic Thunder. Stiller initially approached the cruise to play his agent, but he wanted to know if the filmmakers would be open to adding a studio head character to the story.

Stiller agreed, and together they created Les Grossman, a Harvey Weinstein-Esque hothead who took over nearly every scene he was in. Cruise revived the character for last year’s MTV Movie Awards. After another show-stealing performance, talk about a Les Grossman sequel movie began to heat up. However, there hasn’t been any news about the project since it seems that Paramount is still working on it.

MTV met Bill Hader, SNL’s host at the Comedy Awards and learned that Hader’s friend Michael Bacall had written the script. Bacall, an actor/writer, previously wrote Scott Pilgrim against the World. He is currently working on the Fright Night remake.

Hader refused to reveal details about the film’s plot but insisted that it was “gonna be great.” He explained that he knew the plot’s essential elements, but he and Bacall only discussed particular scenes while they were being written. Although Hader doesn’t know when Les Grossman will be back on the big screen, this shows there is more to the project than idle chatter.

A Les Grossman spinoff movie was not something that I was excited about. His scenes in Tropic Thunder were funny, and I believe the character is excellent as a supporting role – but I don’t think I have the time to spend 90 minutes with him. The film will be much more than a string of vulgarities and hip-hop dance moves, but I am sure it would. Grossman would have to be given at least one or two redeeming characteristics before they could build a story around him.

Many others have pointed out that the real issue is whether Tom Cruise still needs the character. Although his career isn’t in the best shape, he’s definitely in a better place than four years ago. He is working on Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol and recently joined Adam Shankman’s Rock of Ages cast. He has expressed an interest in appearing in Oblivion, the sci-fi film by Joseph Kosinski (TRON: Legacy).

Cruise has plenty of options and variety in his career. I don’t think a Tropic Thunder spinoff will likely be short. However, the good news for Les Grossman fans is that the project sounds ready to go if he still wants it.

Continue Reading


Tom Cruise is open to Reprising His Tropic Thunder Role.



Over the years, Tom Cruise has been seen in various roles, including Top Gun: Maverick and Mission: Impossible 2. He recently suggested that if he were to revive another character from his filmography, Les Grossman could be back from Tropic Thunder. Although the surface is a parody of movie executives, it’s unlikely that he would be the main focus of a feature film. However, he has previously appeared in the role on MTV, and it seems like he would not mind playing the part for the right opportunity. Maverick is the next Top Gun movie.

“I don’t know. Cruise spoke out about other roles he would like to reprise at Top Gun: Maverick’s premiere. “I don’t know what I am doing at the moment. I’m enjoying the night, but I must finish Mission: Impossible 2nd. I am enjoying this evening, and I will put away all my Mission stuff for a moment to breathe tonight.

The coronavirus pandemic delayed Maverick. Production on Mission: Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One also suffered setbacks. However, the show wrapped up last fall. Although those projects may be over, Maverick started production on Mission: Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part Two earlier in the year. Its massive scope and size likely required another long shooting schedule.

Top Gun: Maverick “After more than thirty years of service, Pete ‘Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is back where he belongs. He pushes the limits as a brave test pilot and avoids the rank advancement that would make him unfit for duty. Maverick finds himself training a group of Top Gun pilots for a specialized mission unlike any other. He meets Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), Maverick’s friend and Radar Intercept Officer, Lt. Nick Bradshaw (aka ‘Goose), who calls him ‘Rooster’. Maverick faces an uncertain future, confronts his ghosts and is forced to face his deepest fears. The mission will require the greatest sacrifice of those chosen to fly it.

Continue Reading


What is the process behind Grubhub?



What does the food delivery service can offer to restaurants, customers and drivers

Grubhub is a well-known food delivery service that’s been operating since. As per the firm, the service can process more than 745,000 orders per day from over 320,000 restaurant partners. In addition, it has around 32 million users.

However, Grubhub has many moving parts. It isn’t just a company that works with customers but works with restaurants as well as manages local driver fleets to deliver the food.

How does Grubhub work to benefit customers?

Customers are at the centre of the Grubhub business model. Customers utilize a mobile application (iOS and Android) and their Grubhub website to place orders and pay payments.

After using the app or the website to sign up for an account and input the payment details, customers can look up through the menus or look for eateries within the area and then make an order by choosing items and placing them in the cart. After that, they can checkout, select the payment method and monitor the order’s progress until it is delivered. Grubhub typically charges a delivery fee in addition to what the eatery sets.

What is the process? Grubhub functions for restaurants

Naturally, Grubhub is dependent on restaurants. Additionally, it expands the accessibility of restaurants by allowing businesses to provide delivery, even though the restaurant has traditionally offered dining-in services. The partnership also will enable restaurants to use Grubhub to provide a delivery platform instead of hiring and managing their delivery staff.

Restaurants can begin their journey with Grubhub by submitting their application to be accepted on the Grubhub for Restaurants section of the Grubhub website. After acceptance, Grubhub works with restaurants to integrate their menus prices, menus, and other information on the app and the website.

When a client places the order, it shows on the dashboard of the Grubhub app for restaurants. The restaurant then confirms the order and prepares the food items for delivery. The food is delivered as soon as the driver has arrived, and the restaurant’s portion of the process is completed.

To partner with Grubhub, restaurants complete a form on the Grubhub website. Dave Johnson

Grubhub gets a small portion of the restaurant’s earnings to support this workflow, including a processing and marketing fee and a percentage of the total cost for the purchase. Since Grubhub orders cost restaurants more, some restaurants offer additional charges for delivery online than those who dine in.

How does Grubhub work for drivers?

The driving job offered by Grubhub is part of the current “gig market,” meaning you can choose to become a Grubhub driver as your primary source of income or help supplement your other job. Drivers can begin by applying the Grubhub for Drivers section of the Grubhub website. To be a qualified driver, you must, at minimum, have a vehicle (or, in certain areas, bikes are acceptable) as well as a driver’s licence as well as auto insurance (or identification from the state, in the case of a bike) as well as an iPhone.

Drivers receive training through Grubhub and have the option to determine their working hours. When they arrive at their job, the drivers are informed via the app whenever orders are available at a nearby restaurant. The driver accepts the delivery, then goes into the establishment, where they wait for food, if needed and then delivers the food to the customer following the directions to drive on the app. Alongside the base, delivery charge drivers are also eligible to receive tips which customers may add to the payment information in the application.

Continue Reading