United States News Digest
HMOs Post Record Profits, Thanks to Obama/GOP Obeisance to Wall Street
May 14 (EIRNS)The top HMOs are all posting big profits, as their premiums go up, while their expenses are falling because enrollees are utilizing less medical care. Across the board, enrollees are foregoing even insurance-approved treatment, because they can't afford deductibles, co-pays, gas to travel to medical providers, etc. The HMO profiteering just shows the success of the intent of both Obamacare, and of its GOP fascist critics, who all along proclaimed their commitment to retain the existing privateer insurance system!
UnitedHealth Group, Inc., the largest of all HMOs (22nd in the Fortune 500), reported its net income for Q1 as $1.35 billion, significantly up from $1.19 billion Q1 last year. The next four HMOs in rank, WellPoint, Aetna, Humana, and Signa, likewise posted rising income. WellPoint reported Q1 net income of $926.6 million, up from $876.8 million.
Insurance companies have been approved to raise premium rates for all kinds of reasons, including, for example, because a policy holder can now add adult offspring up to the age of 26; or just because they say their costs are higher, even if they are not. Insurers even assert that they have to preemptively raise rates, because in 2014 and 2015 new Obamacare provisions kick in, such as requirements to insure someone with a pre-existing condition.
In California, the state insurance commission recently denied a request for a double-digit rate hike for health insurers, but the companies are going to apply again.
Meantime, millions of Americans still paying their premiums for health insurance are foregoing or delaying doctor visits and treatments, because their household money is so tight. With gas, food, and every other necessity hyperinflating, medical care is put off. Many policyholders have annual deductibles of $10,000 and higher. In 2008, 10% of workers still covered by employer policies, had a deductible of $2,000 a year, way up from 5% in 2008. People are delaying skin cancer tests, blood tests, colonoscopies (often a $500 co-pay), and all manner of care. Less utilization of health care is automatically more loot for the HMOs.
White House Chatter on Bin Laden Raid Damages National Security
May 13 (EIRNS)In an unusual statement that is being widely interpreted as a slap at Obama and his top aides, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday that "operational details" on the Osama bin Laden raid were disclosed in violation of an agreement among top U.S. officials, thus harming the military's ability to conduct such operations in the future. The London Daily Telegraph, for example, called Gates' remarks "a thinly veiled attack on White House officials."
Speaking to Marines at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, Gates disclosed that "a week ago Sunday, in the Situation Room, we all agreed that we would not release any operational details from the effort to take out bin Laden," and then, "That all fell apart on Mondaythe next day."
Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell told ABC News that "all of a sudden airwaves and newspapers were filled with details about a covert military and intelligence operation and that's concerning, because one of the reasons that these operationsand this operation in particularare effective is because how they do their work, how they're equipped, how they're trained, their tactics and procedures are all secret.... The more that's in the public domain the less likely we'll be able to pull these operations off in the future."
The National Journal reported today that the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), which ran the bin Laden raid, has opened an operational security review to determine how damaging the public disclosures might be for future operations. JSOC will almost certainly be forced to adopt new methods, which poses an acute problem because the intelligence that's being analyzed may require it to conduct similar raids before long, the National Journal said.
Others have pointed out that the torrent of detailed information, much of it emanating from the White House, endangers the military and intelligence operatives involved, as well as their families.
Rob Curtis, who writes the Gear Scout blog for Military Times, told US News: "It's my feeling that the administration has aimed a spotlight into one of the darkest corners of our national security apparatus without regard for the damage it might do to its ongoing operations."
Vallejo, Calif., Presages Extinction Of U.S.A., with Obama in White House
May 12 (EIRNS)"At 11 a.m. on a Friday morning, you'd be hard-pressed to file a police report or meet with a detective in this sprawling blue-collar city of 120,000. The city's sole police station is closed to the public three days a week, and its three substations are permanently shuttered.
"Drug sales are on the rise and so is prostitution on Sonoma Boulevard, one of the town's main drags. Burglaries are commonplace. Amid a rising tide of unemployment12 percentand a surge of foreclosed homes, squatters have taken hold even in upscale areas."
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Bulletin of May 2011, featured a two-page report from Vallejo, about 25 miles north of San Francisco at the mouth of the Napa River.
"People who used to eat at Taco Bell now are robbing Taco Bell," says Nancy, a 69-year-old resident who didn't want her last name published.
On a recent midday, the busiest retailers in the faded downtown were establishments selling medical marijuana. Dozens of storefronts stood vacant.
"When you don't see streets paved, when you see crime soaring and squatters taking over foreclosed houses, something is wrong with this picture," says Bob Sampayan, 58, a retired Vallejo police officer. He now works with the Fight Back Partnership, a community group that organizes crime watch campaigns. Its operating hours, too, have been cut.
"It's harder for seniors to get the resources they need," says Vicki Conrad, 72, director of the Florence Douglas Senior Center, whose public support has been slashed. As gas and food prices rise, homelessness among seniors is headed up, she says. And with the police cutbacks, "people are afraid to go out at night."
The fire department, which once had 122 members, now has 65. Three of nine firehouses have been permanently closed. Firefighters took a 25-percent pay cut and must do more work with fewer resources. And with only a handful of police officers now working the street, Vallejo has gained a reputation as a good place for criminals to set up shop, some residents say.
Blair's 'Responsibility To Protect' To Become U.S. Military Doctrine
May 10 (EIRNS)A Pentagon spokesman confirmed this morning, a story in the Wall Street Journal, that senior officials in the Department of Defense are working on adopting a "mass atrocity response" concept for incorporation into U.S. military doctrine. This has been brought into the Administration of Barack Obama, who is nothing but a British tool for genocide, by a longtime spokeswoman for British imperial strategy.
Sarah Sewall, a professor of human rights policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, is leading the effort to force military planners to think about interventions which include "protecting" the civilian population in "Country X" from its own government. The concept is little more than British counterinsurgency strategy writ large, for which Sewall came to prominence in 2006 because of her collaboration with Gen. David Petraeus in producing the Army-Marine Corps Counterinsurgency manual, which incorporates the same British concepts.
Pentagon spokesman Col. David Lapan told reporters this morning, that Sewall's Carr Center for Human Rights Policy is cosponsoring two interagency conferences, this year, with the Army War College's Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute, to advocate for the incorporation of mass atrocity prevention into military operational doctrine. "No decisions have been made, yet," Lapan reported, "but there is a DoD initiative on it that continues to influence what we are doing going forward."
Sewall, it should be noted, is a close collaborator of Samantha Power, who has been advocating for this same outlook as an advisor to Obama, on the National Security Council.