Supreme Court Hears Landmark Union Case Involving Home Health Care Workers
The U.S. Supreme Court Has Heard Harris vs. Quinn, a Case Concerning In-Home Care Providers Who Work With Medicaid Patients, and Their Right to Unionize. In Response to High Turnover Rates and Low Wages Amongst Home Care Providers, 20,000 Individuals in Illinois Voted to Join the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Securing Higher Union Wages in Negotiations With the State. In Response, the Anti-Union Group - The National Right To Work Foundation - Brought Suit Against SEIU and Governor Pat Quinn (Democrat). At Issue are Two Questions: Whether States May Recognize a Union to Represent Health Care Workers Who Care For Disabled Adults in their Homes Instead of in State Institutions and Whether Non-Union Members Must Pay for Negotiating a Contract They Benefit From. “We Hope the Court Will ‘See Through’ This Attempt by Anti-Labor Groups to Strip Power from Unions and from the Millions of Employees They Represent,” Alliance For Retired Americans President Barbara Easterling said. More at http://tinyurl.com/pc4zo9g.
Insurance Industry Ads Seek To Preempt Medicare Advantage Cuts
America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), a Trade Association Representing Health Care Insurers, Launched a Seven Figure Advertising Blitz Last Week. The Campaign Comes in Advance of an Annual Notice that Sets the Plans’ Payment Rates for the Upcoming Year and Focuses on that Issue. According to Politico (http://tinyurl.com/q25lxou), the Ads Follow the Seniors Are Watching Theme of a Prior Campaign. Medicare Advantage (MA), Unlike Original Medicare, is Offered by a Private Insurance Company - Which In Turn Contracts With Medicare. Historically, Medicare Trust Fund Reimbursements for MA Have Been Higher Than Regular Medicare for Similar Services, and Certain Affordable Care Act Provisions Set Out to Bring the Costs More In Line. While AHIP and Allies Refer to the Incoming Changes as Catastrophic for Seniors, Others Disagree. “This is Just Setting the Stage So When the (2015) Announcement Comes Out, AHIP Will Try to Argue These are New Cuts, But There Are No ‘New’ Cuts,” said Edwin Park of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “The Cuts the Ads Aim to Stop are Actually a Bonanza for Private Insurance Companies,” the Alliance’s Executive Director Richard Fiesta added. “That Money is Better Spent on Providing Health Care to Those Who Cannot Afford It.”
Scam Using Medical Alert Devices Was Aimed At Seniors
According to MSN Money (A Service of MSN, Originally the Microsoft Network), Federal and State Regulators Have Shut Down a Multimillion-Dollar Scam they said Duped Seniors Into Turning Over Their Credit Card Information in Exchange for Supposedly Free Medical-Alert Devices. The Business Blasted Seniors Across the U.S. and Canada With Robo Calls - Saying They Were Eligible For “a Free Alert System Purchased by a Friend or Relative.” Once the Person Agreed to Receive the Device, “They Were Transferred to an Operator Who Took Their Billing Information and Immediately Began Charging Them for the Service.” Government Officials say they Received More Than 66,000 Complaints About the Scam, Which Deliberately Targeted the Elderly. Medical Alert Systems are Designed to Help Seniors Get Quick Help in the Event of an Emergency. The Devices Most Often Consist of a Necklace or Wristband With an Emergency Button that Contacts a Company Dispatcher. The Scam Was Not Connected With Any Real Manufacturers of Medical Alert Devices. The Makers of Life Alert Had Sued the Business for Using Its Help, I've Fallen And I Can't Get Up Phrase on the Robo Calls. Prosecutors say the Business Appeared Organized in a Way that Would Evade Law Enforcement. “Many Americans Have Been Talking Recently About Having Their Information Stolen at the Checkout Lines of Retail Stores,” Alliance Secretary-Treasurer Ruben Burks said. “But We Should All Remember that Giving Out ‘Too Much’ Information to People Who Call You Can Be Equally Dangerous.”