Michael Bird

Michael Bird 4 hours, 6 minutes ago on Our view: Permanent kindergarten funding fix

If kindergarten teachers receive a defined pension plan (PERA), fully paid health insurance, and the other benefits 1 thru 12 teachers receive, why would anyone teach at one of the private child care facilities now in operation in SBoat ? They cannot afford to pay anything close to public employee benefits. And what would the salary differential be ? Would all who apply be enrolled or would there be limits ? If limited, what would be the criteria ? What would be the overall financial impact on existing child care facilities ? I am not against this concept but critical information is missing at this point in time and is needed now.

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Michael Bird 6 days, 15 hours ago on Colorado group collecting signatures to triple state's cigarette tax

Scott, Which is more fair ? The suggested tax increase or all of us paying for the medical bills that tobacco causes ? If the massive medical expenses are reduced, all of us benefit - especially those who quit because of the higher cost.

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Michael Bird 1 week ago on Coloradans ponder Amendment 69's ColoradoCare

Nancy, Your input is appreciated. When you wrote that insurance costs are expected to rise 34%, would it not be more correct to state that the medical costs that create insurance increases will significantly rise ? State regulators do not permit insurance premium increases unless paid medical expenses have increased. Also, unlike almost all other industries, profits are limited and that is why insurance companies historically only have a 7% profit instead of the S&P 500 10%. The medical arena is in the S&P 500 - pharma, medical equipment, etc. This is why most major insurance companies -Allstate,GEICO,State Farm, Hartford, Travelers, Nationwide, Progressive, etc. do not sell health insurance. ( State Farm sells Assurant's health insurance).

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Michael Bird 1 week, 1 day ago on Colorado group collecting signatures to triple state's cigarette tax

Scott, So even using your guess, the profit still very low and older cars need expensive repairs to keep them going ( not in your .30 ) so adding in that unknown it doesn't seem worth it. As always, I appreciate your input and contributions.

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Michael Bird 1 week, 1 day ago on Colorado group collecting signatures to triple state's cigarette tax

Scott, One better buy more than 10 cartons - at an actual cost of about 75 cents per mile to operate one's car, and a labor cost of only $10.00 per hour, where's the profit. Go from SBoat to Laramie (86 miles), the auto cost is $130 R/T and at least $$30 labor (3 hrs), so one might make $40 profit for 3 hrs and I believe it'd take more than 3 hrs R/T but I'm being very conservative. Runziemers provides the actual cost of a car per mile for corporations to repay their employees when they use their personal car for business use.

The better part is the savings in health costs that Colorado would receive plus the health benefits that families would receive as the increased cost would reduce the usage.

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Michael Bird 1 week, 4 days ago on Coloradans ponder Amendment 69's ColoradoCare

Nancy, My comment did not involve the use of PERA but the cost of it. CC employees would either be covered by it or a similar plan that would cost ,at least, as much and private companies can't afford this type of plan for their employees This is an administrative cost. When CC employees receive significantly more costly benefits (pension,insurance,vacation days, etc), how can adm costs be lower ? They can't. But my main point is still being totally ignored and unanswered. Specifically how is CC going to pay less to medical providers and pharma. And, please don't tell me again, by breaking Federal law on pharma and making no comment about MDs receiving less as well as all other medical providers. Detailed info is needed in the 80% area where most medical expenses reside. This is where you can help inform the public. General comments from CC that they will save X percent have no credibility as there is a total absence of acceptable proof.

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Michael Bird 1 week, 6 days ago on Coloradans ponder Amendment 69's ColoradoCare

Nancy, Whoa there lady. To get bulk pharma, one needs bidding ability and that is against Federal law. If the costs are 31.2 B and the savings are 6.2B, then the savings are almost 20%, which is paltry compared to the 80% and that was my point. And the "if" is a huge if because it does not take into account the huge differences that govt employees, CC, receive compared to private industry. Don't think for a second that the employees won't require benefits at least equal to PERA, which according to their latest report is funded at 18.4% for health care employees and will NOT have its shortage funded for 35 years. Citizens of Colorado, most of whom cannot receive such largess, are on the hook for any shortages. Average years of service at retirement for State division employees( health isn't broken out ) is 23.0 years. Yep - you can retire with retirement pay and, if under PERA, have much of your health insurance paid until Medicare , enters the picture. More importantly, the 80 % ( the HUGE body of expenses ) has not been addressed where increases will be abundant and expected cost increases are expected to be high. Unless and until medical costs ( as I have repeatedly said - the 80%) , can be reduced, premiums of any plan will continue to skyrocket. And no one is comprehensively talking about the elephant.

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Michael Bird 1 week, 6 days ago on Coloradans ponder Amendment 69's ColoradoCare

Nancy, aren't you missing the elephant in the room ? If you magically could eliminate all insurance costs, the costs of our medical care would only be reduced a small percentage. From most information I have read, the highest percentage of 100% of insurance costs is 27 and that includes all administrative costs. Let us make it 30% for discussion purposes. That leaves 70% , which are medical costs which increase at rapid rates. Medical care costs cannot decrease until these costs reduce. If any plan reduces administrative costs , it'll be minimal compared to medical costs. Federal law prohibits bidding on Pharma. Medical personnel don't want wage/salary reductions. Hospitals are limited in reducing expenses - especially with the need to add new equipment. So if CC were to reduce adm costs by say 1/3 to 20 %, the 10% savings pales in significance to medical costs. So specifically what medical costs will be reduced and how. Remember the paperwork savings has already been used in the adm costs reduction above. BTW, medical costs are expected to increase in 2017.

Medical costs in Montreal are subsidized by high taxes on liquor, tobacco, and income plus medical care is limited and each province has different plans. Pharma can cost 1/3 to 1/2 of US costs. Salaries of medical personnel including MDs are set. Each winter I spend up to 6 months with Canadians and their plans are fraught with problems and are currently struggling with increasing costs. We can learn from their plans though.

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Michael Bird 1 week, 6 days ago on Steamboat man faces felony DUI charge

Seems as if the cost to implement the new law is the least important part. If just one death or serious injury is avoided, it is a success. It is sad that it has takes so long for our legislature to protect us.

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Michael Bird 3 weeks, 5 days ago on The roundabout that almost wasn't: Emails shed more light on Central Park Drive snafu

Scott, I hope we agree to disagree. Opinions are not proof. Roundabouts are not proven to work better than anything. The are very confusing, cause massive hesitation, and I believe unsafe. . Much like bumpouts , which eliminate easy and safe right turns reduce parking spots, and don't aid the handicapped more than a slanted sidewalk. By simply adjusting the timing of traffic lights permitting more time to cross, no expensive re-design engineering nor construction costs would be incurred. Too much is done for select private interests in the pseudo name of public good including roundabouts.

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