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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Can you spell Cronyism?

Can you spell Cronyism? The Independent published what many of us have know all along: http://www.independentnews.com/news/article_c2759f2e-89f4-11e3-a8c1-001a4bcf887a.html LLNS sends HRA funds, (which now provides substantially less than "substantially equal" health care benefits,) thru a long drawn out wasteful process that appears to just cause delays, and allow lots of unnecessary "handling", and mishandling of the money. And the process does NOT work. The article asks: “This is one more example of the kind of complicated arrangement that the Laboratory has created by farming out the health care that the University of California used to handle,” said Carole Hilton, Chair of the Livermore Laboratory Retirees Association. “Why on earth do payments have to go from Kaiser to Aon Hewitt and back to Kaiser? Money that could be used to improve the medical care of retirees is instead funding unnecessarily redundant processes.” Almost every year the process has been a massive waste of energy, hours on the phone trying to get it right. I think Aon Hewitt, and Hewitt before them are the worst one of the bunch. Last year they claimed not to have gotten the money, even after LLNL Benefits e-mailed me and them a copy of the cancelled check. IF they say they will "Research" your problem, that is code for "Go away kid, you bother me." You may never hear from them again. Don't buy that, ask for a supervisor, who may or may not help. A few years before, when I asked Kaiser what I was supposed to do, Kaiser was nice enough to provide temporary coverage, as they knew all about the Hewitt problem. Turned out I needed it, and it was far superior to what the Lab has provided. In 2013 year Aon Hewitt mistakenly cancelled my coverage. More hours on the phone, more so called "research". Finally they restored my coverage, but mistakenly refunded me the money that they had originally failed to apply. I called and they said Don't worry, Be Happy. They would stop payment on their mistaken refund, and all would be well. No, and No again. They then re-cancelled me, and after more hours on the phone, the one supervisor who seemed to know anything, told me to send them a check for the amount that they'd sent me, and then they'd undo the stop payment on their check. Q. Why are we paying for this kind of "service?"

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Extend Health. When they called me the first month after I retired (last day of that month to arrange for medical), they had my SSAN incorrect, among other issues. Fortunately I do not have to deal with them since I have Kaiser.

Anonymous said...

The Kaiser payment system seems absurd. Couldn't believe it when I first realized that Kaiser had the $, send them to Hewitt, which then paid Kaiser.

Anonymous said...

Not sure what this has to do with cronyism.

Anonymous said...

The new lab operates poorly due to contract 44 rules. UC was much more efficient under contract 48.

UC was a fine leader. LLNS is a hapless ghost. UC was worth every bit of the $1oM it was paid each year. LLNS is worth about a nickel, yet collects $57M this year, while the employees can't get a cost of living increase because LLNL is keeping it for operating expenses.


LLNS sounds like a Louis Black or Louis Carroll or Joseph Heller creation. Who would choose such cast of blunderers when UC is available to run the labs for less?

Anonymous said...


Hello, hello

This was the whole point of the contract change. It was to steal money from the taxpayer and deliver a worse product than before. American is being sold piece by piece all in the name of crony capitalism. The United States is one the decline, and why do you think that is so? Ya take are nuclear weapons labs that lead us through the cold war and turn them over to sleazy crony capitalism. This is just the first step the complete take over will come...much more. Every last cent will be drained from this place without a single thing to show for it. The sad part of more than half the population on it's knees will cheer. Than they will come for you.

Anonymous said...

Well count yourself lucky, you get health insurance in your retirement, us newer hires get nothing. And if you were at the lab a long time, over retirement you get several hundred thousand dollars in pension, if not much more. We new hires don't get that either. 1%'ers sure complain alot.

Anonymous said...

This group of managers / management, lost their way. It's all about keeping every single nickel for themselves.

Take a look at their inability to hand out a low % pay raise, without taking a cut.

It's no surprise that a "for profit" middle man was inserted in a straight forward payment chain.

Anonymous said...

Than they will come for you.

February 9, 2014 at 10:24 PM

"Ya take are"??? You are one sick puppy.

Anonymous said...

1%'ers sure complain alot...

Accordng to the IRS, the bottom of the top 1% in wealth have $6M in net assets, and the lowest earners in the top 1% earn 455k per year.

Ain't nobody who earned or saved anything like that at the labs, ever.

Anonymous said...

What is the bias against people who earn more than you? Their work is more valuable, according to the same labor market that you participate in and they produce more.

Get to work. You don't look good in creepy green.

Anonymous said...

I'll bet Tyler Przbylek is a 1%. He was known for his expensive BJs.

Anonymous said...

Well then he earned it.

Anonymous said...

"""Ya take are"??? You are one sick puppy.

February 10, 2014 at 9:03 AM"

The poster you refer to is far from the most eloquent orator, but how is he/she a sick puppy?

Anonymous said...

"This is just the first step the complete take over will come...much more." "The sad part of more than half the population on it's knees will cheer." "Than they will come for you."

Sounds pretty sick to me.

Anonymous said...

"This is just the first step the complete take over will come...much more." "The sad part of more than half the population on it's knees will cheer." "Than they will come for you."

"Sounds pretty sick to me."

How would saying this make one a sick person? The statement may be a bit melodramatic but a reasonable case could be for this argument and many reasonable people have made just this argument. Take Ron Paul for example, he may be a bit of an oddball but he seems pretty reasonable on most points. You would be hard pressed to make a case that someone like Ron Paul is a sick puppy.

Anonymous said...

Ron Paul is seriously deranged. Ditto Rand Paul. Guess it runs in the family, or maybe the water.

Anonymous said...

"Ron Paul is seriously deranged. Ditto Rand Paul. Guess it runs in the family, or maybe the water.

February 10, 2014 at 7:16 PM"

You have seriously undermined your position. You can point out your disagreements with Ron and Rand, however saying they are deranged is obviously nonsensical.

Anonymous said...

Google "Ron Paul is crazy" and see what you come up with. I am obviously not the only one who thinks so. Then try Rand.

Anonymous said...

"Google "Ron Paul is crazy" and see what you come up with. I am obviously not the only one who thinks so. Then try Rand.

February 10, 2014 at 9:32 PM"

Google "Obama is a reptile" and see what you come with, 300,000 hits. I am obviously not the only one who thinks using Google as a way to make substantive arguments is not a good technique.

Anonymous said...

I get 300,000 from "Moses is a hero", and even 13,000 from "Moses is my hero". Just saying.

Anonymous said...

It's not the number of hits that matters, it's the information contained therein. Besides, you want "substantive arguments" about why someone is "crazy"? You are aware that the term "crazy" has no "substantive" definition? You must be crazy.

Anonymous said...


"It's not the number of hits that matters, it's the information contained therein. Besides, you want "substantive arguments" about why someone is "crazy"? You are aware that the term "crazy" has no "substantive" definition? You must be crazy.

February 11, 2014 at 9:53 AM"

You are one sick puppy.

Anonymous said...

Ron Paul is seriously deranged. Ditto Rand Paul. Guess it runs in the family, or maybe the water.

Calling people sick or deranged simply because you disagree with them points the finger at you, not them. As the other poster said, it significantly hurts your credibility. Personally, I believe it is an indication of excessive intolerance.

Anonymous said...

Disagreement and questioning the other person's coherence and logic is not intolerance. You need a thicker skin.

Anonymous said...

Off track but.....is it true that the IG is conducting an investigation regarding the tracking of those who are issued a Lab blackberry? If so, there may be some lunchtime and after work "liaisons" that will surface...much to the chagrin of some. Lucy....you got some "slpaining to do!!!!

Anonymous said...

Back to the topic:
Why does LLNS insert a for profit company like Aon Hewett to take money from Kaiser, and give it back to Kaiser?
Any way this can be stopped?
Anyway we can at least get this to work?
How many others have had these sad experiences?
Thanks

Anonymous said...

It is probably Cronyism,
so that someone get paid for the "service",
whether it is needed or not.
Can you spell "Kickback"?

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Anonymous said...

I get 4.3M hits from "Ed Moses is the Mac Daddy of them all" and 6.1M hits from "Ed Moses rap artist of the year." 9M hits for "Ed Moses Donkey Kong fetish." There must be some profound truth about NIF in those numbers! After all, the Internet doesn't lie!

Anonymous said...

The truth is revealed: 1,420 hits for "NIF God" but only 8 hits for "NIF sucks"

Anonymous said...

Number of hits on Google = truth. Thus is revealed the true depravity and dissolution of our society. At least learn enough to realize that if you don't use quotes on your search, the results are meaningless.

Anonymous said...

All seekers of truth revealed by Google know to use quotes !

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