Wednesday, January 9, 2008

On Federal Plans to Impose Control Over Medicaid

One of the social security benefits enjoyed by members includes Medicare, the health care coverage which is part of the federal government social security program. And people who cannot afford to pay medicare are instead assisted by government through Medicaid. In this way, poor people are given access to medical care and needs.

I just come across a news article, “U.S. Curtailing Bids To Expand Medicaid Rolls”, reported in January 4, which announces the plan of President George W. Bush to impose restrictions on the states ability to expand eligibility for Medicaid. The report said the plan aims to prevent the states from ‘offering coverage to families of modest incomes who may have access to private health insurance’.

We may not know yet what could be the consequences of this decision if the plan pushes through. But it could suffer the same fate as the State Children’s Health Insurance Program in which the federal government imposed control over the health program traditionally held by state governments.

According to the article, the move was planned in order to improve the government’s health care program nationwide. Government officials said imposing the restriction will help the federal government set aside more funds for needy children and beneficiaries where they are badly needed. In other words, the plan aims to ‘direct scarce tax dollars to those with the greatest needs’.

At present, several states including Louisiana, Ohio and Oklahoma have applied for expanded eligibility for their states’ Medicaid programs and are awaiting approval by the federal government.

I believe the plan of the federal government to restrict expand of the eligibility for Medicaid will attain its greater objective of providing health assistance to the greater number of our people.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Basic Rights against Labor Law Violations

The Labor Law in the U.S. encompasses a great number of statutes that aim to protect the rights of the labor sector against abusive employers. It also lays down their privileges and obligations. Among others, these important statutes cover the majority of all the aspects of employment such as:

  • job applications,
  • employer-employee relations,
  • workplace safety,
  • workers’ wages and benefits,
  • taxation and
  • illegal termination

However, the many complicated issues discussed in most of these provisions hinder most of the workers to avail their guaranteed protection.

Basic Workplace Rights

Not all employees fully understand their basic rights. These comprises of:

  • Right to privacy – this applies to an employee’s personal properties such as his bags, safety locker and private parcels. Further, an employee is also protected in making private conversations; yet, his privacy rights may be limited to an extent regarding his internet usages and e-mail messages if he is using his employer’s computer system.

  • Fair compensation – this pertains to the allocation of wages based on the standard minimum wage set by the government. An employee has the right to receive all other benefits and privileges as discussed in their employment contract.

  • Freedom from discrimination – various laws such as the Fair Employment and Hosing Act, Title VII, Americans with Disabilities Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act provide protections to the workers against discriminative performances by their employers. Such actions may be considered illegal if they are done based on an employee’s race, gender, religion, nationality or even disability.

  • Anti-retaliation – this explains that an employer has no right to retaliate against his worker who has divulged an illicit activity of the company. This is especially if the employer’s performances affect the welfare of the people and/or violate other government policies

Seeking Protection

Since most of the employees do not have the capacity to defend themselves against Labor Law Violation, it is necessary for them to ask for the assistance of a qualified labor attorney. This is to ensure that all their rights will be properly observed in the process of filing their lawsuits.

More so, an eligible legal advocate with extensive skills in handling employment disputes and claims will definitely increase the employees’ chances of having their cases resolved in the least possible period.