Saturday, April 14, 2007
Tom Curtis to Ann Hanning re: ORTA Officer Email & Home Addresses
Subject: 041407 ORTA Officer Email & Home Addresses
ORTA Life Member
From Ann Hanning, April 13, 2007
Subject: RE: Email Addresses
Subject: Re: Email Addresses
ORTA Life Member
Subject: RE: Email Addresses
Subject: Email Addresses
ORTA Life Member
Friday, April 13, 2007
Jim N. Reed to Ann Hanning: You missed the point
Subject:Re: ORTA, Dr. Leone, CORAS, and Snowbirds
Ms. Hanning, thank you for your generic response. At least you have demonstrated the courtesy of recognizing my letter. I would think that any educator who contacts their retired teacher organization would be extended the same courtesy. Ignoring "concerns" of any educator who has taken the time to identify any ORTA issue would seem to be bad manners, bad public relations, and bad policy.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Praise for Marc Dann....from a very conservative newspaper nonetheless!
April 10, 2007
Kathie Bracy to FCRTA president Tom Beck re: Membership issues
Subject: To Franklin County RTA president Tom Beck re: Membership
FCRTA and ORTA life member (but not proud of it!)
From Tom Beck, April 12, 2007
Subject: Re: To Franklin County RTA president Tom Beck re: Membership
[I responded by sending him a copy, as well as a link to my letter of 3/12/07 posted on this blog. KBB]
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
STRS phone survey: Are you one of the lucky 600?
Secret ballots or straw polls aren't permissible, she said
Interview process challenged
By Mark Ferenchik and Robert Vitale
ORTA leadership at its very best -- WOW, do they know how to IMPRESS!!!
Subject: Re: LetterTo The ORTA Executive Committee
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Vouchers See Mixed Success This Session
[View article and related links here]
A little more brightness at future STRS meetings?
Columbus Dispatch: Health-care costs put safety forces in a bind
Health-care costs put safety forces in a bind
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
By Suzanne Hoholik
Ever been shocked with an "out-of-network" additional bill after you've done your homework and selected an in-network provider?
With a new policy poised to take effect which would impose fines for out-of-network lab referrals, UnitedHealth Group has gone too far, doctors say. Late last year, UnitedHealth struck a 10-year deal with LabCorp making its locations the preferred in-network testing facilities for the health plan's 28.5 million members. While that didn't raise eyebrows, UnitedHealth's next step did. UHG has now warned doctors that if they referred to other labs frequently, it could potentially fine them $50, slice their fees or even kick them out of the network entirely. This isn't sitting well with the plans' 520,000 contracted physicians, to say the least. UHG is defending the policy as a necessary cost-cutting measure, given that other labs are charging many times what LabCorp does. It also wants LabCorp data to be complete so it can do clinical analysis of patient disease patterns. But the AMA and state medical societies have angrily demanded that UHG change its plans. Meanwhile, UHG promised to suspend its proposed fines in New Jersey after regulators questioned the legality of its actions.
To learn more about the dispute:
- read this piece from The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)
Molly Janczyk: responds to June Hughes: Medicare: Basic vs. Plus: Lifetime limit
From Molly Janczyk, April 10, 2007
Subject: Medicare: Basic vs. Plus: Lifetime limit
Subject: Re: Kathie: Medicare Part A Date:
Tue, 10 Apr 2007
Molly Janczyk and Gary Russell: An explanation of the differences between Social Security Medicare and Medicare/STRS Supplemental Insurance
(Supplemental insurance is available at additional costs to them).
STRS comprehensive hospital at no addt'l charge if you do not qualify through Soc. Sec. yourself or through your spouse for Medicare Part A.
*Possible problems are in how claims are submitted by medical providers and facilities/hospitals:
(Probably a lot of this happens: bureaucracy). If you keep in touch and communicate generally, payment is not pressed as this type of problem is all too common.
2. Be sure your procedure is precerted for medical necessity prior to procedure. Medicare will also deny if not medically necessary.
Many retirees of completely unaware of these conditions and or think a simple precert at the beginning of treatment is all that is necessary. I do not see in the 2007 HC booklet anything beyond the initial percert. I learned thru experience with my mother who had MedicareOPERS/Med. Mut., hospital and facility stays are approved in blocks of time by Medicare and Med. Mut., Aetna, etc. and not by Dr. recommendation. This must be done through your medical provider (Medicare, Med. Mut., Aetna , etc. not STRS).
Some Medicare questions from a retiree
Public employees have earned every last penny of their pensions
(From RH Jones, April 9, 2007)
Sunday, April 8, 2007
Once again, The Plain Dealer has positioned itself as the organ of proprietary interests and, as such, a divisive rather than unifying voice of the region. The April 1 article "Public workers' pensions growing" singles out public-sector pensions for unwarranted criticism. What can possibly be gained by tearing down one group with a stable retirement system when clearly the "higher calling" is to work to achieve increased retirement stability for a larger number of people?
Where is the broadside that, in all fairness, should be leveled at the corporations that receive massive taxpayer subsidies? Where is the rancor at huge corporate profits and underfunded pension plans of the rank-and-file workers, while top execs continue to collect their golden parachutes?
Finger-pointing won't solve the problem of retirement plan disparity. Working together to require accountability in both the public and private sectors is a crucial first step in addressing this issue.
David A. Lipstreu
The Plain Dealer's one-sided article on public pensions is intended to pit blue-collar workers from LTV Steel against blue-collar workers from local and state government. What is not mentioned is that these public workers pick up the garbage of the city residents, and the sewer workers clean and maintain the waste of the city residents. Any volunteers?
When I started working for the affluent city of Rocky River in 1982, the average city worker started at less than $5 an hour. What was the average starting pay for an LTV worker? I would venture to say much more.
I sympathize with what happened to LTV workers, and others who were robbed by employers such as Enron. Why not write about the outcome of the lives of these employees and where the blame lies? How is it possible that their money just disappeared with no accountability?
Thomas P. Krych
The Plain Dealer has done a tremendous disservice to Ohio's pub lic employees. This newspaper frequently reports on the dire state of the area's economy. This problem is not caused by public employees. It is caused by companies that export jobs and default on employee pension plans. Denying public employees the pensions they have earned will not help. Making sure that every worker can look forward to a secure retirement will.
Anne W. Conway
As future retirees in the private sector cover shortfalls by paying higher Social Security taxes, investing more in IRAs and 401(k)s and postponing retirement, maybe it's time for employees of public systems to pony up for their own public retirement systems' shortfalls.
Cindy L. Pierce
When I was in college and made the decision to become a teacher, many of my friends wondered why I had made that choice. They said I would never make anything.
What I have made over the last 29 years is a difference in thousands of young people's lives. I never begrudged the salary I made in comparison to what my peers made in other professions, because I loved what I did and was able to support myself on my salary. I have had good benefits and the opportunity to earn a pension. As I reflect on my career and begin to think about retiring, I couldn't be more proud of my chosen vocation.
Critics of public pensions had the opportunity to choose public service for their careers, but instead chose the private sector. I am not sure everyone is cut out to spend 30 years in a classroom by themselves with 25 young children or young teens, just as not everyone could be a firefighter or a police officer. These are careers that require specialized training, as well as a lot of heart.
Linda Day Simon
The public employees' pension story made me laugh. Just a few days prior, you had an article on Circuit City's CEO issuing an order to fire employees and hire said employees back at a much lower wage. The stated reason was so Circuit City could make a larger profit. Of course, he saw nothing ironic in the fact that his compensation was several million dollars.
I also find it ironic that this newspaper publishes executive compensation, yet editors obviously don't see anything obscene in said compensation.
The main reason people have lost benefits and pensions, as well as jobs, is that top managers feel it is their duty to make themselves millionaires at the expense of the working class. Hence, all of the jobs that have been exported out of the country.
As to the media, they investigate only the "little" people. Maybe if the media had started earlier investigating the real thievery going on, we might not have so many executives and politicians being indicted. But I don't expect this newspaper to change, since it is a big part of "Big Business."
Marcella J. Lowry
Double-dipping is a nonissue
I am offended beyond words at the negatively written and disparaging front-page headline "Double-dippers retire, rehired - Some draw a pension along with a salary" (Monday). Have you no real news to report? These people earned their pensions and have the right to continue working if they elect to do so and someone wants to hire or rehire them.
The Plain Dealer completely ignores the so-called windfall elimination provision, which affects thousands of people who worked under both the Social Security and public employment or teaching systems. Taking their teaching or public pension may prevent them from getting any Social Security benefits whatsoever, although they paid into the Social Security program for years. Our legislators have seen fit to steal those benefits. Where is the justice in that?
First, let me say that I am not a gov ernment employee, and other than my five years in the Army, I probably never will be. I am sick of this nonstory getting trotted out every few years. At first glance, it gets people upset, but a little thought shows just how weak the argument is.
If someone retires from a position, a person has to be hired to fill that position. It will be the same amount of money, whether it is the same person hired back or a different person.
Government pension benefits may be too generous and collected too early, but those issues are entirely unrelated to double-dipping.