Sunday, October 2, 2016

Colorado health care reform. INDEX for the Amendment 69 Info Kiosk.

An unexpected Colorado issue has had be starting up a brand new blogspot.  This one is an ad hoc affair specifically for the upcoming election and Colorado's universal health care Amendment 69 which would establish "ColoradoCare".  

ColoradoCare/Amendment 69 Information Kiosk

This blog is dedicated to collecting and sharing information 
explaining why voting YES on ColoradoCare’s 
Amendment 69 makes sense. 

It’s one man’s independent and unaffiliated effort, 
so it is far from complete, but its a good start.

Response to Pinnacol's CEO Kalin's Amendment 69 bashing letter.

Phil Kalin Pinnacol Assurance president and CEO has been going around Colorado writing self-serving letters and articles denouncing Amendment 69 the ColoradoCare health care reform amendment on this November's ballot.  I'm responding to the letter he had published in the September 8th issue of the Durango Telegraph and titled "Amendment 69 and workers comp." I have made the effort to incline footnotes with links to further information for your convenience. (September 11, 2016)

Why start this blog? + Intro to Dr. Horiagon's response to Kalin

My little excursion into ColoradoCare's Amendment 69 has snowballed on me.  All I was doing was researching my response to the Pinnacol CEO's flippant letter to the Durango Telegraph because I have personal reasons to be irritated with Pinnacol Assurance's dishonest practices, but I had no idea.  The cascade of information so impressed me that I’ve decided to start this blog in order to share some of this information. 

It's turned into an adventure of dark discovery that just keeps on going. …

Dr. Horiagon responds to Pinnacol's Phil Kalin's Amendment 69 bashing.

Mr. Kalin's assertions fly in the face of the facts. 

Let's address the big errors: Kalin cites the CHI report that had to use very tortured and adverse assumptions in order to derive a year 10 deficit. This long-range prediction assumes no dynamism or adjustment by the ColoradoCare board of directors, no structural cost savings, no effects of decreased administrative costs, no effects of decreasing unnecessary capital expenditures in over-served areas, and adverse assumptions about Federal actions. 

It is also worth considering the source. CHI is an extension of the hospital lobby and hospital networks that thrive by market segmentation and running away from under-served populations will be losers under Amendment 69. …

Michael Grabell's "Insult to Injury" workers comp investigation

Michael Grabell has written an impressive collection of articles looking at today's Workers Comp realities.  He uncovers plenty of information to help us put Pinnacol Assurance's CEO Phil Kalin's misleading Amendment 69 articles into a more realistic light.

Al Tompkins explains how NPR and ProPublica exposed unequal workers’ comp system

Al Tompkins at tells us about the background story to Michael Grabell's "Insult to Injury" series which looks into how certain self-interests have stealthily been eroding state workers comp programs.  

Always seeming to put the workers interests last and executive incentives first.  It's a frightening trend that will continue without an engaged public that stands up and says enough is enough.  We deserve fair and available health care!  Vote Yes on Amendment 69.

About ColoradoCare, Amendment 69

Before continuing I think I should share details of what ColoradoCare Amendment 69 is all about, courtesy of  Sure Amendment 69 isn't perfect.  But, consider our current profits driven health care system that too often turns into a people crushing mess that gets less responsive and ever more client hostile all the time.  ColoradoCare is a solid effort to turn that around.  

I know that today if you have issues regarding any mistakes with your health care provider or insurer rather than a constructive focused dialogue to understand and resolve the issue(s), the patient is more likely to find themselves marginalized, even made to feel villainized because it seems that all the system sees is an enemy to be ignored as much as possible.  Why have we let that happen?

Colorado Open Records Act pries into Pinnacol Assurance’s dirty laundry

After suing KMGH Channel 7 to block a Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) inquiry into expenses related to an “extravagant” golf trip to Pebble Beach, Calif., Pinnacol Assurance was told Thursday by a Denver District Court judge that the state workers’ compensation giant should adhere to the same CORA requirements as any other public entity.

“This is the right decision under the law and the right decision for the people of Colorado,” said Sen. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, who testified before the court Thursday. “If we learned anything over the past year, it is that Pinnacol needs to answer to injured workers, to the businesses it serves, and to taxpayers about how it does business, just like any governmental agency. I’m glad the courts agreed.”

Colorado Medical Board "adjusts" policy 40-3 Physician Patient Relationship

In doing more research I found this example of the subtle way that our Colorado Medical Board (CMB) is slowly dehumanizing our medical system and evolving it into a corporate industry.

My source is “The Colorado Medical Board Abolished The Hippocratic Duties” written by Dr. Horiagon MD MOccH October 10th, 2015

He starts his story: 

“In the wake of complaints about Colorado physicians involved in occupational medicine and other types of "forensic" practice who violated the Colorado Medical Practice Act Policy 40-3 addressing the doctor-patient relationship, the Colorado Medical Board, without much notice, essentially eliminated the duties embodied in the Hippocratic (and other professional medical oaths) to accommodate corporate interests.”

Physician suicides, courtesy of our profits driven medical industry.

These past few days I’ve been spending my spare time trying to learn more about Dr. Tom Horiagon MD, MoccH and his conflict with the Colorado Board of Medicine, or more accurately with some powerful bureaucrats who seem to think they are above the law

Response to C.Conover's response to W.Potter's outrage at CEO compensation packages.

It started with an article by Wendell Potter bemoaning extravagant and increasing CEO compensation packages.  Rising to Wendell's challenge Chris Conover over at Forbes wrote an article sharing one of those epiphanies.  He takes CEO pay and divides it by all employees, presto, see there CEOs aren't milking anyone.  It's a great fantasy argument and I'm sure his math holds.  But, ...  

Conover deftly skips over the reason for the outrage at health insurance company executives with his little math trick.

What Pinnacol’s CEO Kalin Doesn’t Want You to Know about 69.

The lawyer Ralph Ogden recently wrote an op-ed countering Pinnacol Assurance's CEO Phil Kalin's claims about how Amendment 69 would impact Workers Comp pricing and practices.  Mr Ogden is a lawyer with an AV rating (very good to pre-eminent) in Martingale-Hubble Lawyers' Directory.  He was a column editor at the Colorado Bar Association journal and author of a book on appellate practice and procedure.  He understands the law.  Recently, among other activities, he's served as chair of the legal committee for the Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care and has been involved in helping clarify misperceptions about what Amendment 69 will mean for Colorado workers. 

Summary ColoradoCare Amendment 69

A copy of the official summary of Amendment 69 and how it will be implemented.

The strange saga of Tom Horiagon MD vs. the Colorado Medical Board
. . . In the middle of all this I learned of the strange ongoing saga of Dr. Tom Horiagon, master of occupational health (also internal medicine, pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine) and his non-profit clinic that was summarily shuttered in a matter of a couple hours. What could the man have done to deserve it?     
It wasn’t patient complaints; there were no professional or medical misconduct charges against this doctor. His sin was being a vocal advocate for down ’n’ outs and injured workers. His non-profit clinic had insurance companies on edge because of the precedent he was trying to establish and they took their gripes to the Colorado Medical Board. ... 

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