I’ve noticed a common theme in many posts lately that have me scratching my head a little bit. Some among us seem to have come to the conclusion that in some way the human race is an unnatural blight on the earth… that there is humanity, and there is nature and that they are separate and distinct…
AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong blamed the babies of two employees for increasing the company’s benefit costs on Thursday, explaining in a conference call that AOL had to pay millions out in medical bills and alter its entire benefits package. The remarks came just hours after the company announced changes to its 401(k) plans and complained that Obamacare has increased costs by $7.1 million.
“We had two AOL-ers that had distressed babies that were born that we paid a million dollars each to make sure those babies were OK in general,” Armstrong said on a conference call first reported by Capital New York. “And those are the things that add up into our benefits cost. So when we had the final decision about what benefits to cut because of the increased healthcare costs, we made the decision, and I made the decision, to basically change the 401(k) plan.” Under the new program, AOL employees will not be able to collect any matching funds toward their retirement savings from the company for any given year if they leave before Dec. 31 of that year.
But health care experts ThinkProgress contacted questioned why a large self-insured company with more than 5,000 employees could not absorb the additional health care costs associated with the pregnancies. Large employers typically purchase reinsurance, which could cover a substantial share of big claims and ensure stability in cases of larger-than expected medical payouts.
“The Affordable Care Act is simply a convenient whipping boy for any decision an employer makes to cut benefits,” Tim Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee, said. “Assuming AOL had reasonably generous coverage like most large employers, it should not have experienced any significant changes in its benefit structure for 2014. Perhaps it had to pick up a few more employees that had not been covered before or reduce premiums for a few employees, but it is hard to see $7.1 million here.”
Besides being a complete dick, I’m pretty sure AOL’s chairman violated stringent patient privacy laws by giving out identifiable information about his employees. Hope TP gets comment from AOL about that.
"Would you ever leave your wife for me?" I asked as his hand grazed my leg in the dim candlelight of the restaurant bar. It was going so well, he was so charming and cute and he was being so nice, I don’t know why I said it. He pulled his hand back and sat up straight. "What makes you think I’m…
“It’s easy to feel uncared for when people aren’t able to communicate and connect with you in the way you need. And it’s so hard not to internalize that silence as a reflection on your worth. But the truth is that the way other people operate is not about you. Most people are so caught up in their own responsibilities, struggles, and anxiety that the thought of asking someone else how they’re doing doesn’t even cross their mind. They aren’t inherently bad or uncaring — they’re just busy and self-focused. And that’s okay. It’s not evidence of some fundamental failing on your part. It doesn’t make you unloveable or invisible. It just means that those people aren’t very good at looking beyond their own world. But the fact that you are — that despite the darkness you feel, you have the ability to share your love and light with others — is a strength. Your work isn’t to change who you are; it’s to find people who are able to give you the connection you need. Because despite what you feel, you are not too much. You are not too sensitive or too needy. You are thoughtful and empathetic. You are compassionate and kind. And with or without anyone’s acknowledgment or affection, you are enough. ”—