Monthly Archives: November 2016

Will insurance companies impede surgeon general's plan to treat addiction as a disease?

In August 2016, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, M.D sent a letter to 2.3 million practitioners and public health leaders seeking help to address the prescription opioid crisis; he titled the campaign, Turn The Tide.

Then, last month Dr. Murthy expanded his call to action to end what he said “was a public health crisis of drug and alcohol addiction that is both under-appreciated and under-treated.”


For too long, people with addiction have been castigated. They’;ve been treated as low-lives who are unworthy of medical resources. Murthy is the first surgeon general to publicly recognize addiction as a major public health problem. This declaration rightly implies that people with addiction deserve compassionate and humane treatment. 

But raising public awareness is not going to be enough to curb the problem of substance abuse in America. Health insurance companies, including Medicare and Medicaid, will have to be active participants in the solution.

If the prevalence of addiction is to be reversed, insurance companies must provide adequate coverage for treatment of both pain and addiction. That lack of coverage has contributed to the opioid crisis.

The Department of Health and Human Services provided more than 100 million dollars this year for expanded services to treat opioid addiction, and President Obama has requested an additional 1.1 billion dollars in 2017 to address the opioid and heroin crisis. 

Additional funding may provide access for some who are seeking treatment, but insurance companies are the gatekeepers for the majority of people with addiction.

The problem with the insurance companies is 3fold. First, they often fail to fully cover the cost of treatment for addiction. Second, even when they do provide coverage, they may require pre-authorization before allowing patients to get treatment. Pre-authorization takes time and delays treatment. Third, insurance companies frequently cover only detox which is a totally inadequate treatment. Addiction is a chronic disease and, like hypertension or diabetes, it may require lifelong therapy.

People with addiction are often in crisis when seeking help. When they have the courage to ask for help, they must be treated as if it is an emergency. They may not be able to seek help at another time, because they may find the whole process of seeking care too costly either emotionally or financially, or even a physical impossibility. Therefore, they need to have immediate and unconditional access to treatment upon their request. Boston Medical Center developed a Fast Path to Treatment that could be a model for the country.

In addition, many people with addiction are unable to work and, therefore, can’;t pay for any part of their treatment. For the same reason, many people with addiction don’;t have any insurance. Lacking insurance, or having an insurance plan that denies or delays coverage for addiction treatment, can be a death sentence.

Although the Surgeon General should be applauded for acknowledging that addiction is a disease, we as a country must do more in order to succeed in curbing substance abuse and, in particular, opioid addictions. We must not accept the misinformation many policymakers and many media outlets have promulgated which is that the crisis is primarily due to overprescribing, or excess availability, of opioids.

Clearly, overprescribing has contributed to the problem. But instead of simply blaming the excess supply of opioids, we must insist that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the medical community find, and address, the root causes of addiction. Exposure to a substance by itself doesn’;t cause addiction.

The ubiquitous and never-ending demand for psychoactive substances by society is largely ignored, yet it is a major factor driving substance abuse. Addiction is determined by genetic and environmental factors, including mental health disorders and poor socioeconomic conditions.

A recent CNN article provides an overview of how certain socio-economic factors can lead to addiction. Dreamland: The True Tale of America’;s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones artfully and intelligently also describes how poverty and loss of hope for a better life are the seeds to addiction.

The desire to find emotional relief from biological, social, and environmental factors creates the demand for psychoactive substances. Reducing supply without also addressing the demand will only shift the abuse of one drug to the abuse of another drug. The move from prescription opioids to heroin is an example.

This is an opportunity for the Surgeon General to take a leadership role and pledge to “Turn the Tide,” as he asked members of the healthcare profession to do. In his call to action, Murthy spoke exclusively about the opioid crisis. The statement didn’;t mention that, while there is no medicinal benefit to alcohol or heroin, or to other illegal synthetic opioids, there is an appropriate and beneficial use of opioids for some people. This message must be clearly articulated by everyone committed to curbing opioid addiction without sacrificing the needs of people in pain.

Placing appropriately prescribed opioids into the same category as street drugs is unhelpful and destructive. There is a large number of people who suffer from chronic pain. They are being denied access to treatment because policymakers conflate the needs of people with pain and those who are using drugs for non medical purposes. Policies that cause severe restrictions on pain medications for people with chronic pain without alternatives to opioids will cause unintended consequences.

Hopefully, any policy emerging from the Surgeon General’s initiative will consider how to fill the gap of the underinsured and uninsured. Policymakers must also recognize that under-treatment of pain is a major public health crisis and contributes to the opioid crisis. Insurance companies must offer timely and sufficient benefits to people seeking help for addictions and provide alternatives to opioids for treatment of pain. We must help the Surgeon General do everything we can to prevent insurance companies from impeding our efforts to Turn the Tide.

Lynn R. Webster, MD is Vice President Scientific Affairs for PRA Health Sciences. He is a past President of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. In addition, he is the author of the award winning book, “The Painful Truth: What Chronic Pain Is Really Like and Why It Matters to Each of Us” (Oxford University Press). Visit him online at

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill. 

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Government opposes Fianna Fáil's flood insurance bill

The Government has blocked a Fianna Fáil-proposed flood insurance bill, saying it creates an exchequer risk.

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath told the Dáil on Tuesday night the Bill would make it unlawful for an insurance company to discriminate against people and business in areas which now had a low probability of flooding.

“It is not acceptable that insurance companies continue to deprive households and businesses flood insurance cover when a flood relief scheme has been put in place,” added Mr McGrath.

The Bill would require insurance companies to offer cover to homes and businesses at risk of flooding.

It would also make it compulsory to offer insurance to areas with a one in 100 year flood risk, as determined by the OPW, as well as bringing in an appeals process and giving the Financial Services Ombudsman the power to direct insurers to offer cover at a price set by them.

Labour TD Seán Sherlock said at an event yesterday that there is “no logical reason” for insurers not to cover people in areas where flood defences now exist.

In January, the insurance sector ruled out blanket national flood insurance. 89% of policies in areas with fixed flood defences include flood cover compared to 78% of policies in areas with demountable defences.

“It is not possible to achieve a 100% rate of flood insurance cover nationally for the reasons outlined,” Insurance Ireland’;s statement concluded.

Last year, the then-Minister for State Simon Harris announced details of a €430 million, 6-year programme for flood defense in Ireland.

Minister Harris stated at the time: “This country faces an enormous challenge in the years ahead in addressing the risk of flooding which continues to threaten many towns, villages and communities throughout the country.”

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Insurance and Financial Services Agent

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Horace Mann Service Corporation

Sacramento, CA

Posted 6 hours ago

Job Snapshot


Travel – None

Experience – At least 2 year(s)

Degree – High School

Sales – Marketing, Education – Teaching – Administration, Insurance

Sales, Business Development, Insurance

Relocation – No



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Job Description

Financial Services & Insurance Sales Agent

Job Description:

Horace Mann, the #1 multi-line insurance company for our nation’;s teachers, has an exciting business opportunity! As an Exclusive Insurance Agent, offering multiple lines of insurance and financial services, you can make a huge impact on your community and future by educating, advising and servicing clients to improve their quality of life.

Whether your past experience was as a teacher, outside sales representative or you have management, insurance, finance or business ownership experience, you can be successful here. 
If you are motivated to make a positive impact on your community this is the opportunity for you!

You will receive:

  • A defined marketing territory
  • A niche market to increase your opportunity for success
  • Competitive compensation and bonus structure
  • Rewards and incentives including international trips
  • Technology and Infrastructure to support your base of operations
  • Support and best practices from other successful agents
  • Marketing and relationship building programs

On top of all that, you’ll have the personal satisfaction of having a direct positive impact on your local community helping teachers, principals, administrators and educators.

A “Day in the Life” of an Exclusive Insurance & Financial Services Sales Agent at Horace Mann includes 2 major roles:


  • Conducting Lunch & Learns, Retirement Seminars and Product Workshops with teachers, communicating the value of our diversified product line

  • Leading school programs such as perfect attendance awards for students as well as teacher recognition programs

  • Building relationships while delivering valuable programs to your community

Sales and Service:

  • Keeping in touch and providing service to current clients and prospective clients

  • Conducting consultative sales appointments in your defined marketing territory to help protect your clients and their families

  • Following up on your sales and ne2rking efforts throughout the community


Job Requirements


Financial Services & Insurance Sales Agent 

Job Requirements

Successful Exclusive Insurance Agents at Horace Mann possess a variety of different educational backgrounds and work experience.  The Exclusive Insurance Agent should have an entrepreneurial spirit and be willing to invest time and resources for business success. Strong professional, interpersonal, business management and communication skills are essential while building your agency and sales and support team.  Confidence, positive attitude, trus2rthiness and the highest degree of integrity are key to prospecting, sales and service. ­­­­­­­­­­

Financial Services & Insurance Sales Agent




What do our agents say?

“My expectations have been exceeded!”

 “The sky’s really the limit with what you can do – I’;m living proof!”

 “It’;s everything they said it would be–very honest and straightforward.” 

“My success is me, my work ethic and HM’;s contribution.”


Committed to you, your business, your success

Contact Horace Mann TODAY!

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Here is the most amusing part of Obama’s interview along with Rolling Rock

**Written by Doug Powers

The part of Obama’s most recent interview along with Rolling Rock founder Jann Wenner that will generated one of the most buzz may be the president saying the Dems’ inability to achieve voters is due to “Fox Information in every club and eating place in huge chunks from the country. ” I’ve encounter Hillary throughout walks within the woods a lot more times compared to I’ve sitting and viewed Fox Information at a pub, but never ever mind that will, because there has been something much better: This trade between Wenner and Obama should earn the Pulitzer for general shamelessness:

Q. Probably the news company and the paper industry, that is being ruined by Fb, needs a subsidy so we may maintain a totally free press?

A. The task is, the particular technology is usually moving therefore fast that will it’s much less an issue associated with traditional press losing money. The brand new York Periods is still earning money. NPR does well. Yes, it’s the nonprofit, however it has a developing audience. The thing is segmentation. I was talking about the void of a split country. Great journalism is constantly on the this day. There are great function done in Moving Stone. The task is individuals are getting a 100 different thoughts of the globe from a 100 different shops or a 1000 different stores, and that is ramping up sections. It’s producing people overstate or state what’s the majority of controversial or even peddling within the most aggresive of insults or is situated, because that will attracts readers. And if we have been gonna resolve that, it isn’t really going to end up being simply a problem of subsidizing or sitting against up conventional media; it is going to become figuring out how can we arrange in a digital world exactly the same way all of us organize within the physical entire world. We have to develop new versions.

The particular suggestion associated with “a subsidy so we may maintain a totally free press” is simply about the dumbest thing actually uttered, plus considering exactly where it originated from, that’s stating something. Consider it: Obama reported Rolling Rock, which was simply found responsible in a dollar 7. 5 million defamation lawsuit right after getting broken for completely bogus confirming, as an example associated with “curators” associated with truth, that is nothing lacking hilarious.

Maybe it is the problem of pubs for having Sibel News on the TVs, or even something.

**Written simply by Doug Power

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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Gymnastics Doc’s Ex-Patients Will Prosecute Michigan Condition

Lawyers representing fifteen ex-patients from the former physician for UNITED STATES Gymnastics intend to file match against The state of michigan State University or college, where he proved helpful until he or she was terminated this Sept.

The doctor, Lewis Nassar, had been charged a week ago with physically abusing a new girl among 1998 plus 2005 with his house. There’;s a continuous investigation in to allegations simply by dozens of previous patients, which includes elite gymnasts, that Nassar molested all of them under the guise of intrusive medical examinations.

“We plan to demonstrate that will Michigan Condition University obtained complaints concerning Dr . Nassar and did not properly check out, discipline plus sanction Doctor Nassar regarding his harassing and bothering conduct, inch attorney Stephen Drew mentioned in a declaration announcing the particular notice associated with intent to prosecute.

Lewis Nassar