Once upon a time, Big Blue was seen as the savior of the Hudson Valley and regarded as the model of a responsible, not just profitable, corporation. Its employees were well paid and well treated. It's still profitable, but the rest of that image has been tarnished. If it wants to repair its reputation, be more upfront in its dealings, it's unlikely anyone will object. In the meantime, it should stop portraying itself as Big Red, White and Blue.
While moving work overseas is one way IBM can boost profits, it's certainly a contentious predicament for U.S. workers. And when you add in the secrecy when it comes to publicly talking to stockholders and the general public about layoffs, you end up coming off as if you're hiding something.
Doesn't IBM owe its employees a little decency? Is it like they never worked there? They weren't doing meaningful, profit-producing work for you? That's sad and rather callous, IBM. Where are the shareholders in all of this? Seems like you are hearing very little dissent from them on this secrecy subject. If it were me, I'd want clear numbers regarding what you are doing with a labor force this large and important to IBM's business. If there ever was a company that is its employees, IBM is that company.
I don’t think IBM is losing money, profits may be down, but so are the profits of many, many other companies. This practice in my mind is never acceptable. IBM will eventually pay for it though. I once worked for a company who closed the doors for profit, The plant was in the black making money, lot’s of it! But this “Multi-national” company thought they could get more money by off-shoring. I know a few hundred people who will no longer purchase anything from these weasels or their subsidiaries. And the best thing is, is that this company lost a ton of money, skilled laborers, engineers, technicians and the rest only to find out that the skill set necessary to produce these products is not available overseas.
I now work for one of the competitors which is privately owned and the owner is aware of the importance of keeping the people with skill sets necessary to produce a FAR superior product and is growing and expanding in spite of the current economic downturn. Some people actually like quality product built and designed by SKILLED people. I for one, will do my darndest to always recommend against using IBM products and personally will no longer purchase IBM products until IBM renews its commitment to being an American business that serves its own people and treats them like the skilled folks that they are.
But I was also a senior Band-9, at the top of my pay level, and over 55. I was not alone, many of my coworkers also were "laid off". Most were high Band 9 or Band 10 employees. Many were high achievers with great track records.
Last week I was approached by a former client in the insurance industry to see if I was interested in a six week consulting engagement. They are unhappy with the experience level of the engagement leader on their latest IBM staffed project, and wanted an independent review and mentoring by "someone who knows our business". Sadly, I had to turn them down due to my severance agreement and employment contract. Had I taken this on I would have lost my severance.
I understand IBM wants to maintain a healthy profit margin, but in my opinion, they are selling high levels of expertise (senior staff) but staffing with mid-level experience. Client's pay IBM premium rates to get premium people.
You know, If IBM approached me and said we need to reduce spending and will need to either lay people off or have them take pay reduction, I most likely would have taken the reduction over a lay off. Maybe others would not have, but at least IBM could have asked. Instead, we are being replace by Indian and Chinese nationals... often here on a 1HB visa.
IBM is it's people. But in the US, its people are running scared (at least those beyond a band 8). I still have close friends at IBM, and more than a few have commented that they'd leave if they could find another position elsewhere.
IBM is a business who's goal is to make money. If someone in another country can do the work at the same quality level for less then they deserve the work. It is important to note that qualifier "at the same quality level". Someone who's sole criteria for getting a job is that they can speak English or whatever other language rather than real technical and personal skills is irresponsible and does a disservice to the clients IBM is trying to service. Clients will have to dictate what they want and negotiate what they are willing to pay for it.
Do they want a workforce in North America that will cost them monetarily more or outside of North America that will cost them monetarily less but may (and I stress may) have inferior or inadequate skills. Other companies are able to provide the same type of service that IBM does. If a client isn't satisfied they can always go elsewhere.
Clients decamping from IBM (with their lucrative contracts) would be an indicator to management that maybe the decision to move these jobs elsewhere wasn't a good idea. Any company getting hit in the pocket book learns from their errors or doesn't stay in that business very long.
"It is not right that IBM continues to keep job cut numbers, locations and divisions secret," said Conrad in an email. "IBM needs to come clean on how many jobs are being terminated as the work is offshored. We call for full transparency." The Alliance@IBM is a Communications Workers of America local that doesn't have enough members to gain official recognition as a bargaining unit. ...
IBM's annual report, which is due out next winter, will likely sum up the net impact of the company's shrinking U.S. workforce. In 2006, IBM employed 127,000 in the U.S; in 2007, 121,000; and last year, 115,000. Meanwhile, its employment in India, Brazil and other nations has been increasing.
Someone responsible at the top will have to say what IBM really stands for and to stop taking advantage of people. This means stop congratulating employees on a great quarter and then announce the next set of layoffs in the same meeting. I am a full believer in the concept of workers at will. But IBM needs to stop the over hiring only to fire cycle that is drowning the morale and standing of this once great company.
Beyond better serving clients, the state has added motivation to improve. Though it's not clear how much the fine would be, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has threatened a penalty if Indiana does not reduce its error rate. "One of the reasons we've kind of put a lot more pressure on IBM as of late is because of that," Barlow said. Crouch said it was clear at Tuesday's meeting that anger toward IBM and ACS is building, and that the companies "had not been living up to what they said they would be able to deliver."
Alejandra Ramos and Maria Onelia Maco Castro were recruited in Peru by Javier Hoyle, an IBM executive, and his wife, Patricia Perales. The couple hired them to care for children. Once they were brought to the United States, the promised $7 per hour for 8 hours a day of work and benefits did not materialize. Not only were the women paid less than minimum wage, but their duties so substantially expanded that they were cooking and cleaning in addition to childcare. They ended up working at the employers’ beck and call from 15 to 19 hours a day, six or seven days per week.
The Hoyles had the women sleep in a converted closet next to a smelly trash chute in the Key Biscayne residence. They withheld the women’s passports and visas and constantly threatened each with deportation, denunciation and arrest if they tried to escape. Ms. Ramos, who has diabetes, was not paid for five months before she left, sick and distraught, never having received the medical insurance the Hoyles had promised. The jury found that the couple engaged in trafficking, acting with “malice or reckless indifference.
'The mood is very much they want to persuade IBM to change its mind. Many of them were key to assisting the company out of its own difficulties a few years ago. 'It feels like a kick in the teeth. 'A lot of companies are looking at this, but what sets IBM out is it's not a struggling company. 'It announced a couple of weeks back its latest results, which were the best for this quarter its ever had.' The company said in a statement that it was making the changes to 'maintain competitiveness in the market-place and introduce greater predictability to long-term pension provision costs'.
"IBM is facing a backlash against its pensions proposals," reads a statement from Peter Skyte, Unite national officer for IT and communications. "Hundreds of workers are joining the union determined to stand up to this unacceptable attack on their pensions. These highly skilled and experienced staff were key to the company’s survival and they view the company's proposals as a kick in the teeth. "IBM is a highly profitable company with substantial revenues and cash reserves. But it is using the recession as a cloak to close its pension schemes to existing members and further line the pockets of its shareholders and senior executives at the expense of its loyal workforce." ...
Unite estimates that IBM employees in their mid-50s could lose up to £200,000 thanks to the change in pension schemes and that it will push between 700 and 1000 employees into early retirement before April 2010. Fujitsu recently made a similar announcement and it's now facing an industrial-action ballot by Unite. An IBM UK spokesman declined to discuss the matter. "IBM is in a process of consultation as required by law during which time employees will have the opportunity to ask questions and send feedback on the proposals," he said. "It would be inappropriate to discuss further during this consultation period."
Globalization changed all that. Now business doesn't necessarily depend on the economy of the country where it is headquartered. Globalization is nothing more than a trade war with production looking for a country cheaper to produce. Business now looks to the economy of the cheaper country, with GM, Intel, and Microsoft not only locating research and production but awarding community grants in China. The problem with the economy is that Congress has yet to cope with this change. We in Congress got so used to relying on Corporate America to tell us their needs; to tell us the needs of the nation's economy, that we forgot that the economy was -- not the responsibility of business -- but of the Congress.
Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution calls on Congress to regulate trade. Any hint of this responsibility is avoided by Congress doing what Corporate America counsels -- free trade, avoid protecting the economy. As Henry Clay said of free trade: "It never existed ... it never will." But all in Congress go along with the charade. We Democrats, particularly in the Senate, can repair a major flaw in our political armor by becoming pro-business, chanting "free trade," and doing nothing to have the nation compete in globalization. Investment, research, development, jobs, trade -- literally the economy -- follows production offshore. Congress has no idea how to do anything to stop the job loss from offshored production and strengthening the economy unless the president calls for it. ...
Serving in the state legislature in Illinois and just two years in the United States Senate before running for the presidency, President Obama hardly ever debated trade or voted on trade. In the presidential race the nearest they got to a debate on trade was that NAFTA was a flawed agreement. But there was never any understanding or debate about the cause of offshoring. Everybody was for jobs, but no debate of the loss of jobs to offshoring, the real loss of the nation's economy. With Larry Summers in charge of the economy for President Obama, "mum" is the word on offshoring. Summers has just completed an appearance on Meet the Press to discuss the economy and jobs. Not a word about offshoring. Yet the Princeton economist, Alan Blinder, warned in February 2007 that in the next ten years the United States would lose thirty to forty million jobs to offshoring. When Summers was questioned on Meet the Press about a stimulus that was "supposed to create three to four million jobs when all is said and done," Summers never suggested anything to slow or stop an average loss of three to four million jobs to offshoring each year for the next seven years. ...
As Adlai Stevenson said, it is time to talk sense to the American people. We already have government health care and are rationing health care in the United States. The government provides Medicare for the senior citizens; Medicaid for the poor. The government subsidizes health care for business. The government provides health care for the veterans. And the "free market" rations health care from children and working America that can't afford it. The debate should be on how government can better provide and ration. Once and for all, let's do away with outmoded ideas about "protectionism" and "free trade." The fundamental of government is to protect. Our nation was founded on protectionism. And enough of this trade charade of entrepreneurship and innovation -- windmills and diploma mills -- educate, educate. We're producing a BMW in Spartanburg, South Carolina, of equal quality as one produced in Munich, Germany. In fact, Intel used South Carolina's technical training program to get its Dublin, Ireland, plant up and running. The educated and skilled in the United States are without jobs. It's the president and Congress who need to be educated.
For example, at IBM in 2002 there were 240,000 US employees = 80% of it's Global workforce. Offshore jobs have reached 283,000, or 71% of IBM's 398,000 total. The US workforce has shifted from 80% to a mere 29%. And IBM isn't done offshoring - per yesterday's article in ComputerWorld, IBM has laid off 10,000 US workers this year, estimated to grow to 16,000. A recent Wall Street Journal article titled "As Slowdown Drags On, IBM Looks to Governments for New Growth " - the article does a great job of spelling out why un-patriotic, profit-hungry companies like IBM should be banned from Government work and rewards.
Now all you need to do is get your speech out to main street press, then into the Big House of Congress. URL's to those articles: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124891414229992099.html www.computerworld.com/s/article/9136360/IBM_union_Layoffs_could_hit_16_000_by_year_s_end
Martin Luther was a rebellious priest challenging the dictates of a corrupt church hierarchy. Ralph Gomory, on the other hand, is a gentle-spoken technologist, trained as a mathematician and largely apolitical. He does not set out to overthrow the establishment but to correct its deeper fallacies. For many years Gomory was a senior vice president at IBM. He helped manage IBM's expanding global presence as jobs and high-tech production were being dispersed around the world.
The experience still haunts him. He decided, in retirement, that he would dig deeper into the contradictions. Now president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, he knew something was missing in the "pure trade theory" taught by economists. If free trade is a win-win proposition, Gomory asked himself, then why did America keep losing? The explanations he has developed sound like pure heresy to devout free traders. But oddly enough, Gomory's analysis is a good fit with what many ordinary workers and uncredentialed critics (myself included) have been arguing for some years. An important difference is that Gomory's critique is thoroughly grounded in the orthodox terms and logic of conventional economics. That makes it much harder to dismiss. Given his career at IBM, nobody is going to call Ralph Gomory a "protectionist."...
Now Gomory is attempting to re-educate the politicians in Congress. He has gained greater visibility lately because he has been joined by a group of similarly concerned corporate executives called the Horizon Project. Its leader, Leo Hindery, former CEO of the largest US cable company and a player in Democratic politics, shares Gomory's foreboding about the destructive impact of globalization on American prosperity. Huge losses are ahead--10 million jobs or more--and Hindery fears time is running out on reform. ...
The Gomory-Baumol book describes this as "a divergence of interests" between multinational firms and their home country. "This overseas investment decision may then prove to be very good for that multinational firm," they write. "But there remains the question: Is the decision good for its own country?" In many cases, yes. If the firm is locating low-skilled industrial production in a very poor country, Americans get cheaper goods, trade expands for both sides and the result is "mutual gain." But the trading partners enter a "zone of conflict" if the poor nation develops greater capabilities and assumes the production of more advanced goods. Then, the authors explain, "the newly developing partner becomes harmful to the more industrialized country." The firm's self-interested success "can constitute an actual loss of national income for the company's home country." ...
As this shift of productive assets progresses, the downward pressure on US wages will thus continue and intensify. Free-trade believers insist US workers can defend themselves by getting better educated, but Gomory suggests these believers simply don't understand the economics. "Better education can only help," he explains. "The question is where do you put your technology and knowledge and investment? These other countries understand that. They have understood the following divergence: What countries want and what companies want are different." The implication is this: If nothing changes in how globalization currently works, Americans will be increasingly exposed to downward pressure on incomes and living standards. "Yes," says Gomory. "There are many ways to look at it, all of which reach the same conclusion." ...
Essentially, Gomory proposes to alter the profit incentives of US multinationals. If the government adds rules of behavior and enforces them through the tax code, companies will be compelled to seek profit in a different way--by adhering to the national interest and terms set by the US government. Other nations do this in various ways. Only the United States imagines the national interest doesn't require it. ...
Gomory's vision of reformation actually goes beyond the trading system and America's economic deterioration. He wants to re-create an understanding of the corporation's obligations to society, the social perspective that flourished for a time in the last century but is now nearly extinct. The old idea was that the corporation is a trust, not only for shareholders but for the benefit of the country, the employees and the people who use the product. "That attitude was the attitude I grew up on in IBM," Gomory explains. "That's the way we thought--good for the country, good for the people, good for the shareholders--and I hope we will get back to it.... We should measure corporations by their impact on all their constituencies.
However, these audits are occurring because there has been fraud in the visa process at some firms. If some frauds have been found without audits, I’ll bet more will be discovered now. According to an InfoWorld piece 21% of visa petitions violate regulations/program rules.
Our GBS "3D" strategy continues to resonate with clients, and the depth of our expertise and offerings positions IBM as a clear choice in today’s market environment. However, to remain competitive, we must continue to provide clients with compelling solutions for their business; focus on execution; stay informed of the changing market environment; seek out new client relationships at every level, and finally, make every hour count. What each of us does every day translates directly into overall business results and drives our collective success. Utilization is one of the key drivers of business results in any services organization - the deployment of the right skills, at the right time to support client needs and our ability to efficiently use our capacity to drive continuous productivity across our practice. Extended bench time negatively impacts our ability to remain competitive in the marketplace and directly impacts a practitioner's personal utilization – a key PBC measure.
Therefore, GBS U.S. is announcing a new approach to the management of practitioners on the bench who are underutilized for an extended period of time. The new approach is based on individual time on the bench and utilization as a performance measure. Referred to as the Bench Management Process (BMP), this process will provide practitioners with low productive time and no planned full-time assignments with a consistent and clear set of expectations and deployment activities. For the very small percentage of our population whose productive time falls below established threshold levels and continues to remain there for an extended period as specified by the process, one of the outcomes could be separation from IBM.
The Bench Management Process is a collaborative effort which will require attention and clear communication involving the employee, the RDM, the manager, and the HR Partner to be successful. Managers will personally contact employees who meet the BMP criteria to discuss the process in more detail. Qualifying BMP criteria: Band 1 through 9 practitioners with annual utilization targets, currently on the bench with less than 50% productive time in the most recent 8 weeks, and no full-time assignments confirmed in the next 30 days
Exceptions: All university hires (undergrads & MBAs) for first 6 months and all experienced professional hires for first 8 weeks
Bench is defined by an availability date in the past. Productive time is comprised of productive utilization (funded B&P and internal projects), cost recovery, billable and/or chargeable utilization as well as any vacation, leave-of-absence, short-term disability, and manager-approved education hours. Productive time is comprised of productive utilization (funded B&P and internal projects), cost recovery, billable and/or chargeable utilization as well as any vacation, leave-of-absence, short-term disability, and manager-approved education hours. -IGS Slave-
Alliance reply: Read my lips: YOU ARE AN AT WILL EMPLOYEE. IBM can do anything it wants to do. IBM can break its own rules or suborn its own policy. There is NOTHING illegal about how the "Resource Board" executes IBM policy. There are NO LABOR LAWS that cover this. Wake up! Sorry to be so harsh. Organize your co-workers and work toward a union contract. It will not be easy. IBM will fight you at every step and turn; but if you are organized as a collective voice, you can fight back as a collective voice and NOT BE ALONE! It's YOUR call.
I am slipping more into debt each year because my compensation has decreased over 15% in base pay, in real dollars, in the past five years and my overall compensation over 30%. Yet I am contributing more than ever to the success of my team and IBM overall. My incentive pay is now based on profit, which I have almost no direct control over. But profit for my BU, IMT, IOT, and brand has been strong this year. The contempt IBM executives hold for its employees is unbelievable. They set team members in competition with each other for the few dollars in our incentive pay pool. Rather than being incented for teaming for the benefit of clients and IBM, it's everyone for himself/herself. All I need is a decent offer from a decent company and I am gone. Morale on my team is low; I expect many others would leave today if they could find jobs. -GoingBrokeFast-
Subject: Changes to the Additional Compensation (AddComp) Policy and Hours of Work
Over the past several years, there have been a number of changes, both within the marketplace and provincial labour legislation, specifically with respect to overtime compensation. Our market research shows that more and more companies are aligning to provincial overtime exemptions and more than half of our competitors do not pay overtime to equivalent IBM roles in the marketplace. As a result, IBM’s current policies place us at a disadvantage when competing for new business. The changes we are announcing will improve our competitive position and contribute to the long-term health of our business – something which will benefit all IBM employees and shareholders.
To better align to provincial legislation regarding overtime eligibility, IBM has reviewed job roles and determined that additional Band 6 and 7 roles are classified as exempt and therefore are not eligible for overtime compensation. Additionally, we are changing Band 8 eligibility for Standby pay and are updating the Hours of Work policy to reflect the current environment and IBM's pay-for-performance culture.
Effective February 6, 2010, the following changes will be made in regards to overtime eligibility and standby pay. Overtime Eligibility The following roles have been classified as exempt and will no longer be eligible for overtime compensation:
But this mood isn’t just about the banks, Public Enemy No. 1. What the Great Recession has crystallized is a larger syndrome that Obama tapped into during the campaign. It’s the sinking sensation that the American game is rigged — that, as the president typically put it a month after his inauguration, the system is in hock to “the interests of powerful lobbyists or the wealthiest few” who have “run Washington far too long.” He promised to smite them. ...
As Democrats have pointed out, the angry hecklers disrupting town-hall meetings convened by members of Congress are not always ordinary citizens engaging in spontaneous grass-roots protests or even G.O.P. operatives, but proxies for corporate lobbyists. One group facilitating the screamers is FreedomWorks, which is run by the former Congressman Dick Armey, now a lobbyist at the DLA Piper law firm. Medicines Company, a global pharmaceutical business, has paid DLA Piper more than $6 million in lobbying fees in the five years Armey has worked there.
But the Democratic members of Congress those hecklers assailed can hardly claim the moral high ground. Their ties to health care interests are merely more discreet and insidious. As Congressional Quarterly reported last week, industry groups contributed almost $1.8 million in the first six months of 2009 alone to the 18 House members of both parties supervising health care reform, Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer among them.
Then there are the 52 conservative Blue Dog Democrats, who have balked at the public option for health insurance. Their cash intake from insurers and drug companies outpaces their Democratic peers by an average of 25 percent, according to The Post. And let’s not forget the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, which has raked in nearly $500,000 from a single doctor-owned hospital in McAllen, Tex. — the very one that Obama has cited as a symbol of runaway medical costs ever since it was profiled in The New Yorker this spring.
In this maze of powerful moneyed interests, it’s not clear who any American in either party should or could root for. The bipartisan nature of the beast can be encapsulated by the remarkable progress of Billy Tauzin, the former Louisiana congressman. Tauzin was a founding member of the Blue Dog Democrats in 1994. A year later, he bolted to the Republicans. Now he is chief of PhRMA, the biggest pharmaceutical trade group. In the 2008 campaign, Obama ran a television ad pillorying Tauzin for his role in preventing Medicare from negotiating for lower drug prices. Last week The Los Angeles Times reported — and The New York Times confirmed — that Tauzin, an active player in White House health care negotiations, had secured a behind-closed-doors flip-flop, enlisting the administration to push for continued protection of drug prices. Now we know why the president has ducked his campaign pledge to broadcast such negotiations on C-Span. ...
It’s in this context that Obama can’t afford a defeat on health care. A bill will pass in a Democrat-controlled Congress. What matters is what’s in it. The final result will be a CAT scan of those powerful Washington interests he campaigned against, revealing which have been removed from the body politic (or at least reduced) and which continue to metastasize. The Wall Street regulatory reform package Obama pushes through, or doesn’t, may render even more of a verdict on his success in changing the system he sought the White House to reform.
The best political news for the president remains the Republicans. It’s a measure of how out of touch G.O.P. leaders like Mitch McConnell and John Boehner are that they keep trying to scare voters by calling Obama a socialist. They have it backward. The larger fear is that Obama might be just another corporatist, punking voters much as the Republicans do when they claim to be all for the common guy. If anything, the most unexpected — and challenging — event that could rock the White House this August would be if the opposition actually woke up.
Like many other people, Ms. Krinsk thought that her prescription information was private. But in fact, prescriptions, and all the information on them — including not only the name and dosage of the drug and the name and address of the doctor, but also the patient’s address and Social Security number — are a commodity bought and sold in a murky marketplace, often without the patients’ knowledge or permission.
That may change if some little-noted protections from the Obama administration are strictly enforced. The federal stimulus law enacted in February prohibits in most cases the sale of personal health information, with a few exceptions for research and public health measures like tracking flu epidemics. It also tightens rules for telling patients when hackers or health care workers have stolen their Social Security numbers or medical information, as happened to Britney Spears, Maria Shriver and Farrah Fawcett before she died in June.
Many Republicans view fighting the president as a smart political strategy, turning a potentially wonkish debate over Medicare reimbursement rates and subsidies for the uninsured into an ideological battle over the government’s role in health care. Each side hopes to win ground by boiling down one of the most complex policy discussions in history into digestible nuggets. For beachside viewers who might be more interested in iced-tea service than fee-for-service, here is a guide to the main fight points.
The White House has now shown itself willing to cave on the two essential elements of real health care reform -- drug price negotiations and having a public option. Both are crucial to containing costs. The right to negotiate drug prices is how free markets operate -- taking advantage of economies of scale and the bargaining power that comes with bulk purchasing. To give this up should be abhorrent to anyone who believes in a functioning capitalist system, as opposed to what we are increasingly becoming: an oligarchy of powerful interests. In the same way, having a public option is the only meaningful way to provide competition leading to lower insurance costs. Giving us health care reform without those key ingredients is like serving a PBJ sandwich without the peanut butter or the jelly.
"But dependency on government has never been bad for the rich. The pretense of the laissez-faire people is that only the poor are dependent on government, while the rich take care of themselves. This argument manages to ignore all of modern history, which shows a consistent record of laissez-faire for the poor, but enormous government intervention for the rich." From Economic Justice: The American Class System, from the book Declarations of Independence by Howard Zinn.
Another trader the newspaper says is doing well is Steven Schonfeld, the owner of trading firm Schonfeld Group Holdings. Schonfeld has already bagged around 20 traders from bigger rivals in the last year, and is said to be looking for at least a dozen more. And he is doing rather well himself - making around $200m last year. In fact, Schonfeld is said to have recently spent some $90m on a new mansion near Long Island Sound, which has its own 9-hole golf course. And the Journal also says that construction work is underway on the grounds to build 'a poolside cabana designed to look like the Cove Atlantis resort in the Bahamas'. Nice.
And does Mr Schonfeld let anyone else play on his golf course ? Apparently not. 'It's not a private golf course', he told The Journal. 'It's a personal golf course'.
Throughout the debate on how to fix what's broken about our health care system, AARP pledges to help you cut through the noise and find the facts about what health care reform means for you and your family. When we see special interests using scare tactics, we'll make sure you're given the facts so you can make informed decisions about health care reform. The following are some of the most common myths being spread about health care reform and the facts that prove them wrong.
In addition to higher premiums, working families now face higher out-of-pocket health care costs, such as higher deductibles, copayments, and costs for services that are not covered by their insurance plans. As a result, health care costs are consuming an ever-larger portion of family budgets. It is clear why many families feel worse off economically than they did a decade ago. These state reports, which are based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, examine what these trends mean for America’s working families.
And not long ago, some of the most enthusiastic peddlers of the euthanasia smear, including Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, and Mrs. Palin herself, were all for “advance directives” for medical care in the event that you are incapacitated or comatose. That’s exactly what was being proposed — and has now, in the face of all the hysteria, been dropped from the bill. Yet the smear continues to spread. And as the example of Mr. Gingrich shows, it’s not a fringe phenomenon: Senior G.O.P. figures, including so-called moderates, have endorsed the lie. ...
So much, then, for Mr. Obama’s dream of moving beyond divisive politics. The truth is that the factors that made politics so ugly in the Clinton years — the paranoia of a significant minority of Americans and the cynical willingness of leading Republicans to cater to that paranoia — are as strong as ever. In fact, the situation may be even worse than it was in the 1990s because the collapse of the Bush administration has left the G.O.P. with no real leaders other than Rush Limbaugh. The question now is how Mr. Obama will deal with the death of his postpartisan dream.
But the rumor — which has come up at Congressional town-hall-style meetings this week in spite of an avalanche of reports laying out why it was false — was not born of anonymous e-mailers, partisan bloggers or stealthy cyberconspiracy theorists. Rather, it has a far more mainstream provenance, openly emanating months ago from many of the same pundits and conservative media outlets that were central in defeating President Bill Clinton’s health care proposals 16 years ago, including the editorial board of The Washington Times, the American Spectator magazine and Betsy McCaughey, whose 1994 health care critique made her a star of the conservative movement (and ultimately, New York’s lieutenant governor).
The enormous response to the free care was a stark corollary to the hundreds of Americans who have filled town-hall-style meetings throughout the country, angrily expressing their fear of the Obama administration’s proposed changes to the nation’s health care system. The bleachers of patients also reflected the state’s high unemployment, recent reduction in its Medicaid services for the poor and high deductibles and co-payments that have come to define many employer-sponsored insurance programs. Many of those here said they lacked insurance, but many others said they had coverage but not enough to meet all their needs — or that they could afford. Some said they were well aware of the larger national health care debate, and were eager for changes. “I am on point with the news,” said Elizabeth Harraway, 50, who is unemployed and came for dental care. “I think the president’s ideas are awesome, and I believe opening up health care is going to work." ...
Ana Maria Garcia, who works for Orange County, has health insurance that covers her husband and 3 ½-year-old daughter, but her dental deductibles are too high for them all to get care, she said. Ms. Garcia’s husband, Jorge, who was laid off from his custodial job last October, arrived from their home — a 90-minute drive away — at 4 p.m. on Tuesday to get the family’s spot in line. But the Garcias’ number never came up, so they slept in their car for a few hours and lined up again early Wednesday morning, awaiting a chance to get root canals and cleanings that Ms. Garcia figured were worth thousands of dollars. They made a friend in the bleachers outside, who gave the family some coffee and hot biscuits for breakfast. ...
For those willing to endure the long waits, the arena was like a magical medical kingdom, where everything was possible once a person got through the door. Mike Bettis, who runs security for a nightclub in Hollywood, and his fiancée, Lourie Alexander, who cleans homes, said they usually went on Craigslist, exchanging a home cleaning for a dermatology appointment. By Wednesday, the couple had gotten between them dentures (him); a breast exam, Pap smear and general physical (her); and acupuncture (both). “What I liked about it was that everyone was so sweet,” Ms. Alexander said. “You know when you haven’t seen a doctor in so many years you have a lot of questions.”
More than 20 percent of Americans surveyed by Your Surgery Abroad had no medical insurance. But Karen Timmons, president and CEO of Joint Commission International, a nonprofit that has accredited more than 250 hospitals in 36 countries, says that Americans who are underinsured are more likely to go abroad for surgery than those who are not insured at all. That’s because insurance companies will typically cover some portion of the cost for underinsured patients while uninsured patients, who also tend to make less money, have a harder time coming up with enough cash to cover the procedure, the flights, and a hotel room on their own, Timmons says.
Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC. Sample posts follow:
We all have to play nice-nice with our GR (global resource) peers. and when your GR team lead sends notes to IBM US mgmt that they need MORE WORK from their US counterparts, IBM mgmt. rolls over and gives them more work. Reminds me of an old CCR song: Fortunate Son.
And when you ask them, how much should we give? Ooh, they only answer more! more! more. What a sad, pathetic, f'ng company.
What's more pathetic is how India is not held accountable since they are Sam's chosen ones and how anyone who reports problems with India are considered anti-team, racist and uncooperative.
The sacred cows over in India aren't cattle, they're the "office boys" pretending to be IT professionals working for IBM. What a sad, pathetic f'ng company indeed.
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