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Hoosier biz groups oppose Senate health bill

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Four business groups told Indiana’s senators this week to vote against the health reform bill being debated in the U.S. Senate.

They join national business groups that have supported Congress’ health reform efforts, but are now turning against the final product. The bill would raise various taxes to fund subsidies to help more than 30 million uninsured Americans buy health coverage.

The presidents of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the Indiana Manufacturers Association, the Indiana Health Industry Forum and the Indiana Hospital Association all signed letters sent to Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Indiana, and Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Indiana. The letter was released publicly on Thursday.

“The current Senate legislation, while expanding insurance coverage, continues and expands many of the dysfunctions of our current health care system,” wrote Kevin Brinegar, Pat Kiely, Kristin Jones and Doug Leonard, leaders of the four business groups.

They mainly faulted the failure of the legislation to change the way doctors and hospitals are paid. Government insurance programs such as Medicare and Medicaid now pay health care providers based on the volume of procedures they perform.

The business groups want the government to base those payments more on patient results or measurements of quality. They also want financial incentives to encourage hospitals, doctors, employers and patients to all work toward common goals.

Those kinds of changes are in the Senate bill, but only as pilot programs. Proponents of the bill say those efforts will expand in the future, but critics doubt that.

“If passed in its current form, it will add stress to an already flawed health care delivery system by increasing demand for health services by millions of newly insured without fundamentally improving the quality of care that patients receive or bend the total cost curve through smart reforms,” the business group presidents wrote.

The business groups also expressed concern about the Senate bill’s higher Medicare and medical device taxes. They also don’t like proposed expansion of the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs, saying these massive insurance plans pay doctors and hospitals too little.

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  1. Hiking blocks to an office after fighting traffic is not logical. Having office buildings around the loop, 465 and in cities in surrounding counties is logical. In other words, counties around Indianapolis need office buildings like Keystone, Meridian, Michigan Road/College Park and then no need to go downtown. Financial, legal, professional businesses don't need the downtown when Carmel, Fishers, North Indy are building their own central office buildings close to the professionals. The more Hamilton, Boone county attract professionals, the less downtown is relevant. Highrises have no meaning if they don't have adequate parking for professionals and clients. Great for show, but not exactly downtown Chicago, no lakefront, no river to speak of, and no view from highrises of lake Michigan and the magnificent mile. Indianapolis has no view.

  2. "The car count, THE SERIES, THE RACING, THE RATINGS, THE ATTENDANCE< AND THE MANAGEMENT, EVERY season is sub-par." ______________ You're welcome!

  3. that it actually looked a lot like Sato v Franchitti @Houston. And judging from Dario's marble mouthed presentation providing "color", I'd say that he still suffers from his Dallara inflicted head injury._______Considering that the Formula E cars weren't going that quickly at that exact moment, that was impressive air time. But I guess we shouldn't be surprised, as Dallara is the only car builder that needs an FAA certification for their cars. But flying Dallaras aren't new. Just ask Dan Wheldon.

  4. Does anyone know how and where I can get involved and included?

  5. While the data supporting the success of educating our preschoolers is significant, the method of reaching this age group should be multi-faceted. Getting business involved in support of early childhood education is needed. But the ways for businesses to be involved are not just giving money to programs and services. Corporations and businesses educating their own workforce in the importance of sending a child to kindergarten prepared to learn is an alternative way that needs to be addressed. Helping parents prepare their children for school and be involved is a proven method for success. However, many parents are not sure how to help their children. The public is often led to think that preschool education happens only in schools, daycare, or learning centers but parents and other family members along with pediatricians, librarians, museums, etc. are valuable resources in educating our youngsters. When parents are informed through work lunch hour workshops in educating a young child, website exposure to exceptional teaching ideas that illustrate how to encourage learning for fun, media input, and directed community focus on early childhood that is when a difference will be seen. As a society we all need to look outside the normal paths of educating and reaching preschoolers. It is when methods of involving the most important adult in a child's life - a parent, that real success in educating our future workers will occur. The website www.ifnotyouwho.org is free and illustrates activities that are research-based, easy to follow and fun! Businesses should be encouraging their workers to tackle this issue and this website makes it easy for parents to be involved. The focus of preschool education should be to inspire all the adults in a preschooler's life to be aware of what they can do to prepare a child for their future life. Fortunately we now know best practices to prepare a child for a successful start to school. Is the business community ready to be involved in educating preschoolers when it becomes more than a donation but a challenge to their own workers?

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