Bully Back: Chapters 1 – 4

 

You can purchase Adam Bruckner’s Bully Back here. 100% of proceeds go to the youth program at the Helping Hand Rescue Mission in Philadelphia. A place of hope, faith, action, and change.

Be sure to check out Bully Back’s website, and purchase the 2015 prequel, Better Bullying here.

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Keeping an Eye on Insurance Rates in the Golden State

California consumer group pushing ballot initiative requiring regulatory approval for price hikes.

If there is one organization that insurers despise and fear more than any other, it surely must be Consumer Watchdog.

Since its founding in 1985, Los Angeles-based Consumer Watchdog has dogged insurers relentlessly and played a key role numerous times in forcing them to change business practices and price their policies more fairly. I first heard of the organization in 1996 when I was still an insurance industry …

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Insurers Lobbying on the Fine Print May Erase Consumer Protections

One of the provisions of the health reform law that insurers hate most requires that they spend at least 80 percent of what we pay them in premiums for actual medical care. That provision alone is a major reason why insurance companies and their allies invested so heavily in Republican candidates last year.

The insurers knew that if their candidates won—and most of them did—they would have a better than even chance of getting Congress to weaken that provision to …

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A Canadian-Style Single-Payer Health System in Vermont?

MONTPELIER, Vt. — Chances are you’ve never heard of Peter Shumlin, who last month was sworn in as the 81st governor or Vermont. That’s about to change. If Shumlin makes good on a signature campaign promise, he might end up as well-known and beloved in the United States as Tommy Douglas is in Canada.

OK, maybe you’ve never heard of Tommy Douglas, either. A former Baptist preacher and member of the Canadian parliament, Douglas is considered the father of Canada’s …

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Obama’s View: Not A Lot Left to Debate in Health Care Law

By devoting just two minutes to health care reform in his State of the Union address — and not mentioning it until half way through the remarks — President Obama was signaling Americans that he believes the reform debate is over, that Republicans would be wasting precious time by “refighting the battles of the last two years.”

While noting that “anything can be improved” and that he would welcome ideas to improve the bill he signed into law last March, …

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Consumers Win An Important Battle Against Insurers, Thanks to State Insurance Commissioners

Earlier this week I asked you to send thank-you notes to one of America’s biggest health insurers for helping to shed light on an important policy matter. If you did, thank you, but please don’t put your good stationery away just yet. You need to write yet another note of gratitude — this time to our state insurance commissioners. This morning they did the right thing for consumers when they refused to cave in to intense pressure from the profit-obsessed …

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Thank You, UnitedHealth Group. Your Jaw-Dropping Profit Announcement May Be Just What the Doctor Ordered.

ORLANDO — If you are hopeful that the consumer protections in the health care reform law actually wind up benefiting consumers more than the insurance industry, please send a thank-you note to executives at UnitedHealth Group, the largest U.S. health insurer.

United announced Tuesday morning that its third-quarter profit jumped 23% — much more than investors and analysts had expected — largely because it spent far less of its customers’ premiums on medical care than it did this time last …

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New Health-Care Provisions Begin to Pay Off for All Ages

As I sit beside my 92-year-old father in his hospital bed in Kingsport, Tenn., there are reminders all around me of why I left my job in the insurance industry to become an advocate for health-care reform — and why all Americans have reasons to be grateful that many provisions of the reform bill that became law six months ago are taking effect now.

To begin with, there is my dad himself. He must take costly medications every day. This …

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Health Insurers Leaning on State Insurance Commissioners to “Reform” Reform

The nation’s biggest insurers — not happy with provisions of the four-month-old health care reform law that would force many of them to spend more of the money they collect in premiums for their policyholders’ medical care — are pressuring regulators to disregard what members of Congress intended when they wrote the law, so that they can keep raking in huge profits for their Wall Street owners. If they are successful, many policyholders will soon be shelling out even more …

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