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McDonald's may get its way with health-care law

(David Duprey/AP)

As the new health law goes into effect across the country, McDonald's might avoid one requirement.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the fast food restaurant sent a memo to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services saying that if a new requirement of the law is enforced, it might have to drop 30,000 restaurant workers from the company's health-insurance plan.

The requirement says insurance companies must spend 80 to 85 percent of their revenue from premiums on actual medical care and not administrative costs. The fast food chain's insurer has refused to do that.

A McDonald's spokeswoman told Bloomberg News, "We're not going to walk away from health care insurance completely, but we're going to have to look for alternatives if we can't get the resolution we're seeking from Health and Human Services."

Today, the Obama administration said the head of the Department of Health and Human services would "exercise her discretion" in applying the law, which could mean McDonald's will get the exemption it seeks.

A spokeswoman for McDonald's today said the company was encouraged by the announcement, though she did not know what the department means by "exercising caution discretion."

By Melissa Bell  | October 1, 2010; 9:55 AM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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Mickey D's is also flouting the regulation that all calorie counts MUST be displayed at the front counter -- not on the side or on a website -- but right where you order, just like in New York City.

Five Guys is doing it. Why is Ronald McDonald not doing so?

Posted by: bs2004 | October 1, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

While perusing a .gov lobbying compliance website, I noticed that the AMA writes a campaign contribution check to every U.S. legislator at the first of every year and then voids those that aren't used for whatever reason. Unfair influence? Cuba's doctors ride bicycles to make
in-home visits (remember those?) yet Cuba's health care is considered of superior quality. A former Cuban national told me doctors there are motivated by the esteem derived from ethical behavior.

It may be that doctors here confuse being legally compliant with being ethical. It's understandable when a lawyer lurks around every ambulance. Withholding treatment may be a safer alternative to common decency and mercy but the law created that contradiction and ethical
legislation can fix it.

Health care doesn't have to cost what it does. If there is a shortage of people who qualify for employment in the industry, then that suggests that our population is becoming increasingly comprised of 'official unusables', those who can't pass a background check and/or
afford to go to school. Good for the haves, bad for everyone else. If education is necessary to our survival, we shouldn't charge money for it.

Police create official 'unusables' when they're not monitored. They routinely ruin the lives and reputations of socially weaker innocents in their ongoing search for criminals, courage, and self-esteem. They are too often the ruling class's hand maidens. That's evident everyday and almost everywhere. My experience tells me that they are the most dishonest and most violent gang in many cities.

I've been rich and poor and I've lived along time and graduated from a university and dug ditches and scrapped metal and donated $10,000 to charity and worked for government and worked in the white collar judicial system and been thrown in jail for no reason more than once and so many other things so unfamiliar to your experience that you won't believe me but I'm being truthful.

There's a veil between the rich and poor made of desire and survival instinct that people willfully erect to intentionally not understand the other side so that they can pursue their agenda uninhibited by conscience. It is erected by the primitive ego and maintained by intentional repression and purposefully used for gain. That desire for gain is common animal behavior, and thus, the damage the veil causes is common animal damage.

Other things that are common animal behavior largely include most predatory behaviors, often disguised as goodness, including a limitless preference for comfort at the expense of the weaker animals. (more)

Posted by: CitizenWeeping | October 1, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

John Donne, a poet-philosopher who lived during the Renaissance period, addressed the sometimes seemingly mutually-exclusive goals of individualism versus contribution to community as he pondered the role of the individual within the social context of a community ravaged by Bubonic Plague. It was during the scourge of the Bubonic Plague that lingered for several centuries and killed, in many situations, over half the community, that Donne was inspired to reduce his thoughts to what became his best known work. In many communities during those times, each
time someone succumbed to the 'Black Death', the local church bell(s) would be rung to signify the loss. With as many as half or more of the population lying deposed and dying around you, it becomes difficult to separate one's self from the whole. No longer is the whole somehow distant and inhuman and of arguable value. It is as real as you are and suffers as much as you suffer, or might soon suffer, and to deny one's attention and affiliation to those around you is to all but proclaim in a loud voice that the same treatment be appropriate for you also. To deny then the dignity of affiliating with and attending to those around you in their last hours is the ultimate and most precise presentation of your true substance to the world. To expect humanity while simultaneously denying same to others is, perhaps, the
most egocentric form that a human animal can assume. Ego-centrism is often a product of self-concern as well as desire. Self-awareness of one's own weaknesses and diseases can catalyze egocentricity. It is then, not just a disease of the selfish and the advantaged, but one of the selfish and the disadvantaged as well. It exists in the rich and the poor, the healthy and the sick, all of whom share the common
denomination of selfishness. The opposite of selfishness is unselfishness. The way to stop being selfish is to be unselfish. That's all.

"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated...As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness....No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."
-John Donne

Posted by: CitizenWeeping | October 1, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Now this is the CHANGE we can believe in!!!

How STUPID is Big O and Congress to think employers will keep their heath care plan??

Reality check each major corporation is staffed with a room full of COMPETENT accountants

Plan too expensive cancel it pay the fine and move along

OBTW Where does that FINE go??? I'm sure you'll figure it out......

Now this is the CHANGE we can believe in!!!

Posted by: robof4 | October 1, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone explain why McDonald's will get an exemption? How does our political system work? The squeaky wheel gets the grease?

I thought that part of the point of the health insurance bill was to ensure that people got real coverage. While McDonald's mini-med program is better than nothing, it certainly doesn't come anywhere close to what the bill calls for.

Posted by: funlol | October 4, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

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