Response to Maka
You know Maka, that’s just the thing…like everything else of real importance to the welfare of our island’s working families this was an issue that was completely off the radar for our elected officials.
We have come to expect each week to hear banal radio messages from former senator Eddie Calvo, pretender to the governship. So it was rather odd indeed that in his last address he brought up something that had a kernel of substance to it - although, as I am sure he has figured out by now, not one that he should have popped open.
In the strange radio address, Calvo, without solicitation resuscitates ”the huge error” Senator BJ Cruz and his colleagues made months ago by appropriating an excessive amount of Medical Loss Ratio rebate monies. Calvo threatened to slash government services because the actions of the legislature would mean a shortfall in the general fund.
I say this is odd - but not surprising considering how poorly informed most of his speeches have been thus far - because:
- GovGuam has yet to see a dime of MLR rebate money from SelectCare, only compounding the oddity of the legislature appropriating the same;
- He threatened to cut public services (thereby affecting all island residents) and other areas of government in order for him to use government money to pay for an obligation legally owed by his family-owned, privately-held insurance business;
- No one was even talking about it at the legislature, which had long ago moved on to things they consider of higher priority, like bike helmet laws and resolutions and making it hard for Independent candidates to run for office;
- and Calvo, speaking as governor of the US Territory in his radio address and subsequent statements to the media, assumed the role of defender and PR man for SelectCare, which remains hauntingly silent on the topic.
Whether or not there was/is an indication that SelectCare intended not to comply with the healthcare reform law is open for debate. We don’t know since the persons who could tell us that, Eddie Calvo and Guam Banking & Insurance Commissioner Art Ilagan - aren’t saying one way or the other.
And Sen. Dennis Rodriguez Jr., chair of the legislative committee that provides oversight on healthcare and related matters, has decidedly gone on the defensive for scandal-ridden insurers like TakeCare, so it’s not like the public should expect him to demand to see the reports or research compliance standards.
I would blame these three for most of the lack of work on this matter, but there is sufficient evidence to prove that anyone elected to any office in 2010 has been corrupted or simply too lazy to do anything about preparing the island for healthcare reform. Either way, they should all be held in serious contempt by the voters of Guam.
That may be harsh - but, you see, SelectCare, as well as all the other insurers on Guam, were required to file a report with the US Dept. of Health & Human Services by June 1. This information is supposed to be public information.
Insurers, like SelectCare, must also provide notice of rebates to group health plan participants, as well as group policyholders with general information about the MLR, the issuer’s MLR, and the rebate, as well as other prescribed information that will vary depending on whether the plan is subject to ERISA or to HHS rules.
This notification would have told people how much they could expect to see from their rebate. GovGuam and other plan sponsors should’ve received communications from their insurance carriers by now; and should be prepared to address rebate distribution.
Official portrait of the Guam Banking & Insurance Commissioner
With conflict-of-interest prone Calvo energetically taking on the role of Defender in Chief for SelectCare, the insurance commissioner reprising the dismal role of “The Invisible Man” and local media too tippled and journalistically compromised to ask the real questions, it is not surprising that such failures on the part of elected leaders to protect the interest of the people will remain hidden behind the false, but much easier debate of class warfare.
If Calvo had just kept his mouth shut and skipped that incompetent radio address, chances are the sluggards at the House of Hesler would’ve slept right through this.
Still - with all this madness no one has yet asked any of the other insurance companies about their Notice of Rebates to consumers. After all, the US government has estimated that 18,000 families on Guam are owed more than $15 million dollars in rebates (avg. $852 per family)…and I haven’t heard of anybody, or any employers that have received their notices informing them what they can expect!
KUDOS TO SENATORIAL CANDIDATE GARY GUMATAOTAO FOR BEING THE ONLY PERSON RUNNING FOR OFFICE TO EVEN SPEAK UP ON THIS CRITICAL MATTER. WE LIKE THAT KIND OF COURAGE AND DEFENSE OF THE PEOPLE. HE HAS EARNED MY PERSONAL VOTE AND A RARE OFFICIAL ENDORSEMENT FROM GUAM BLOG.