Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) File image by Justin Gould/WNYNewsNow.JAMESTOWN – Gas prices across New York state, and across the nation, are up this week.According to AAA, the national average of $2.16 is up three cents since last week, while New York’s is up two cents at $2.25.One year ago, New York’s average price was $2.68, and the average across the U.S. was $2.58.AAA says crude oil prices have steadily gone up since mid-November, resulting in higher prices at the pump. According to GasBuddy.com, the average price of gas in Jamestown is $2.35 a gallon, up from $2.32 last month.
KPK deputy for prevention Pahala Nainggolan said BPJS Kesehatan could cut the cost of cataract operations, which in 2018 came to Rp 2 trillion.“Because there is no guideline on how severe the eye blurring must be, people just went to get the cataract treatment, even when their eyes weren’t that blurry,” Pahala said.He said the government should limit claims for diseases caused by “unhealthy lifestyles”, which he said included diabetes, cancer, strokes and kidney failure. The bill for these diseases in 2018 came to Rp 28 trillion, or around 30 percent of the year’s total claims.The government could save Rp 2.8 trillion by limiting these claims, he said.BJPS Kesehatan should fully enforce the requirement that customers pay 10 percent of the bill, especially for the economically able. This would bring savings of Rp 2.2 trillion from the Rp 22 trillion of individual claims in 2018.A further Rp 6.6 trillion in savings could be made by readjusting hospital classes, Pahala said, noting that 898 out the 7,000 hospitals that partnered with BPJS Kesehatan had been put in the wrong class, leading to customers claiming more money than the actual cost of the services the hospitals had provided.As about 4.5 million people have private health insurance, Pahala said, the government should coordinate with the private health insurers regarding the benefits clients are entitled to. He added that BPJS Kesehatan could allocate up to Rp 600 billion worth of claims every year to private insurers.“BPJS Kesehatan can save Rp 12.2 trillion if it implements our recommendations,” he said, adding that the report had been submitted to the Health Ministry late last year after the appointment of minister Terawan Agus Putranto.Launched in 2014, BPJS Kesehatan now covers about 223 million Indonesians, or 83 percent of the population, with more than 30 million individual customers and around 54 million workers covered by state institutions or private companies.Even before the KPK study, many patients were already feeling the pinch as hospitals cut back services where they could. There were reports of patients being discharged 24 hours after surgery because hospitals had come under pressure from BPJS Kesehatan, which is reportedly scrutinizing all the bills they submit.The KPK study notes that many individual customers, as opposed to those whose premiums are paid by their employers, stopped paying the premium after initial use. This caused Rp 5.6 trillion in premium arrears in 2018.“We support the success of this universal healthcare program. Everyone in Indonesia has to be covered,” Pahala said. (mfp)Topics : Before the ruling, the premium for first-class service had been increased to Rp 160,000 from Rp 80,000, the second class to Rp 110,000 from Rp 51,000 and the third class to Rp 42,000 from Rp 25,000. Premiums approximately doubled across all service tiers.The study of BPJS Kesehatan finances is a manifestation of the KPK’s new approach to fighting corruption: working with state institutions on ways to prevent corruption, rather than catching perpetuators of graft in the act. The KPK has regularly conducted such assessments since its establishment in 2003, but the recent study of BPJS was the first following the enactment of the new KPK law, which removed many of its tools to fight corruption, and the introduction of a new set of commissioners in December.“The government assumed that the premiums weren’t enough, so it raised them,” KPK deputy chairman Nurul Ghufron said recently. “We at the KPK see it differently.”The KPK study says the Health Ministry should enforce all essential medical practice guidelines to help hospitals limit unnecessary treatment. It notes that by June of last year, the ministry had only achieved 32 practice guidelines out of the 80 planned. The heavily indebted national healthcare system received a big blow when the Supreme Court rejected a hefty increase in premiums this month, but the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) says the government could cover the deficit by going for greater cost efficiency.The KPK says its study of the finances of the Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan), which runs the national health insurance system, shows the agency could save as much Rp 12.2 trillion (US$833 million) by enforcing better insurance claim management.BPJS Kesehatan recorded a Rp 13 trillion deficit last year as premium collection fell short while claims soared. It had begun collecting the higher premiums in January and meeting backpays of Rp 4 trillion owed to hospitals, but it must now refund the money and will likely stop paying hospitals following the court ruling.
A new study comparing public policies relating to 10 high-profile political issues with general public opinion was released last month by the vice dean of the USC Marshall School of Business.John Matsusaka examined the congruence between the views of the public regarding highly controversial matters such as same-sex marriage, abortion and capital punishment, and the policy choices that are currently being enforced by state governments.The study found that only 59 percent of the policy choices were representative of the general public’s majority views.“If policies were selected by flipping a coin, you would get 50 percent congruence. So my finding is that congruence was only 9 percent better than random policy making,” Matsusaka wrote in an e-mail. “I found this surprising and certainly much lower than I expected.”Nicole Cruz, a junior majoring in psychology, said this particular study emphasizes the belief many hold that their vote ultimately will not make a difference when it comes to specific policy issues.“As a young voter, these statistics worry me. It upsets me that my vote doesn’t seem to matter, especially with such important and pressing issues during this day and age,” Cruz said.Matsusaka also found, however, that states which allow citizens to propose and approve laws directly through initiatives are much more congruent with public opinion, such as in California.“It is clear that ballot propositions help the majority rule. This evidence contradicts those who argue that the initiative process is actually controlled by special interests,” Matsusaka wrote.Matsusaka collected data for about three years for the study, which was published in the most recent issue of Quarterly Journal of Political Science.He said that he has been thinking about the underlying issues of the study for at least 10 years.“I was and am interested in this because, like many people, I have the feeling that our elected representatives often do not represent ‘the people,’ but rather cater to special interests,” Matsusaka said. “I wanted to gather some evidence that would indicate if this feeling was true. And more important, if it was true, I wanted to understand what sort of political reforms might make things better.”Dayna Walker, a senior majoring in economics, said she was not surprised by the results of Matsusaka’s study.“Since we have a representative democracy rather than a direct democracy, I’m not that shocked by these results. Of course I would like to see more alignment between public policy and public opinion, but in time I am hopeful that they will become more congruent,” Walker said.Although Matsusaka said he is unsure of what kind of impact this study might have on the future of politics, he remains optimistic that it will help policymakers in the future.“I hope that this [study], together with other studies, will paint a better picture of modern American democracy so we can think intelligently about how to modernize it and make it work better for us,” Matsusaka said.
“You’ve got to open your mind, you’ve got to look for help when things start going wrong and that’s what I did,” he told ESPN. “And here I am baby, getting on a run for the title.”Time is an illusion At , @GloverTeixeira gets the main event win! #UFCJAX pic.twitter.com/6Z5jmqzeIH— UFC (@ufc) May 14, 2020Teixeira added: “What did Rocky Balboa say? It’s not how hard you hit, it’s how hard you get hit and keep coming forward. That’s what it’s all about, baby.”Smith at one stage told his corner his teeth were falling out, before being overpowered by Teixeira in the final round.”My teeth are falling out.” #UFCJAX pic.twitter.com/FPeJ9181j0— UFC (@ufc) May 14, 2020 Glover Teixeira is targeting a run for the UFC light heavyweight title after extending his winning streak Wednesday.The 40-year-old Brazilian recorded a fifth-round TKO victory over Anthony Smith behind closed doors in Jacksonville, Fla. Rewatch classic fights on DAZNTeixeira (31-7) is on a run of four straight wins, his best such streak since 2013, and is looking for a title.