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Who should pay for retired players medical bills?

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by ivo610, May 11, 2013.

  1. ivo610

    ivo610 Cheesehead

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  2. mayo44

    mayo44 Guest

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    Most players are paid well enough that they should have no problem paying for excellent insurance. If they squandered their earnings, that's their own fault and they can get a job like the rest of us. If they have health issues that are directly attributable to injuries sustained playing football like Don Majkowski, then the NFL should pay a share of that expense. But NFL should not have to cover medical conditions like cancer, diabetes, etc. any more than any other company does after an employee retires.
     
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  3. FrankRizzo

    FrankRizzo Cheesehead

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    The current players should get a smaller %age.
     
  4. HyponGrey

    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    Technically the league years ago could have claimed that the players were independant contractors and not have to pay any of it. Not the case anymore. As we learn the long term effects of football, we find certain conditions that have a definite direct link to football. Those conditions should be at least partially covered by the team that the player spent the most time on/received the primary damage that caused the condition. The league already pays the players exorbitant amounts and goes beyond most business practice on certain matters of coverage after retirement. The one thing I disagree with is players filing in Cal if their primary team was not based in Cal at the time they played, or at the very least if they did not spend time on a roster for a team in Cal. I see why they do it though, and empathize. In truth I am torn about this because of my love for the players, but this is also a business, and I don't want to see the league taken advantage of or bankrupted. The two are separate (before I get jumped on). We see that the teams have this money, but what about the long term prospectus? Much the way the one Dolphins stadium bankrupted the man who built it, the man whose name it no longer bears, this suit could put the future of the league in jeopardy. Something I desperately do not want to see happen. I know my perspective is limited, and a bit naive, but that is the way I see things as a kid in his 20's.
     
  5. Raptorman

    Raptorman Vikings fan since 1966.

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    Not to worry, Jan 1, 2014 when everyone has to be covered by health insurance some company will be picking up the tab. After all, no more pre-existing condition exclusions, no lifetime maximum benefits to be paid. As long as he has the money to pay for health insurance. And if not, well the Government will help him pay for it. Not to be a smart a** or anything, and not trying to make this a political fight, but those are the conditions set forth in the new health care law.
     
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  6. Poppa San

    Poppa San SB I trophy First of four Staff Member Moderator

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    Agreeing to try to not make this a political fight, whenever I see "the government will pay" I reread it as "We. the people of the United States" will pay. More clearly states whose pocket it really comes out of.
     
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  7. FrankRizzo

    FrankRizzo Cheesehead

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    Exactly, as our Gov't already is in debt like never seen before, in our times.
     
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  8. Shawnsta3

    Shawnsta3 Cheesehead

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    Never seen before as a plain number, which seems high. Low debt when compared with our country's GDP. Our public debt to GDP is at 100% where as Japan is at 204%.
     
  9. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    IMO for the longest time, both the NFL and NFLPA have been miserly regarding taking care of players from previous eras, particularly those who played in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Those players receive/received a relative pittance in pensions and little or no health insurance benefits as far as I know. The linked story says, “The NFL’s disability board, jointly administered by management and the players’ union, has a denial rate of almost 60 percent.” I wonder if each side has a veto and/or how often the players’ union supports the claimant.

    This is a tough issue because while there are links from playing football to ailments later in life the direct causal relationship in each case is tenuous. For example, can the current maladies of the former player be traced back to his college career? High school? Pee-wee league? Particularly the brain injuries we are seeing look to be cumulative, so how far back does liability go?

    I’m surprised the workers compensation claims aren't being awarded more readily. Anyway the NFL is cash flowing about $9B per year, there should be enough to chip in on health insurance for retirees.

    BTW, HyponGrey independent contractor status would mean no NFLPA, no NFLPA and the NFL would be exposed to anti-trust liability. That, and players have all the attributes of employees, not independent contractors…
    - - - - - - - -

    Last November Chris Cox and Bill Archer wrote a piece for the Wall Street Journal on the real debt problems of our great country. Here’s the takeaway:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323353204578127374039087636.html

    In addition, we are borrowing about $1 trillion per year (deficit spending) and under Mr. Bernanke’s open-ended QE3 (the third iteration of “quantitative easing”) the Fed is buying bonds from the Treasury, Fannie, and Freddie at a $85 billion/month clip (a little more than $1 trillion per year). In the short run, it’s not so bad: Check your 401(k). Where does the Fed get the money to go on this buying spree? It creates currency out of thin air. And it can continue to do that for some time: Our dollar after all is the world’s reserve currency. But what happens when the Fed has to not only stop creating currency out of thin air but must also sell the treasury bonds and mortgage-backed bonds it’s been buying? There’s already more than $2 trillion purchased in QE1 and QE2.

    But hey, by all means let's put the federal government in charge of health care. What could possibly go wrong?
     
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  10. Raptorman

    Raptorman Vikings fan since 1966.

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    Part of the reason this is not happening is that they have time limits. It goes to what you were saying about when did the injuries actually happen. That is why so many are filing claims in CA. Because they have no limits.
     
  11. jaybadger82

    jaybadger82 Cheesehead

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    In 2011, the NFL led all major professional sports in America with $11 billion in revenues. The second highest grossing sport, MLB, trailed far behind at $7 billion. That revenue gap will likely continue to grow, even though the football season offers far fewer games (i.e. revenue generating opportunities) than other sports.

    Given the current revenue picture and the overwhelming popularity of football in America, I don't think the NFL's existence is in any serious danger at this point, despite the recent lawsuits concerning the long-term medical costs associated with the sport. These suits may be resolved by arbitration, according to the terms of past and present collective bargaining agreements (likely resulting in a league-friendly resolution). They might settle. They might fail. Even if these lawsuits are successful, they don't eliminate the popularity and consumer demand for professional football in this country.

    The issue is really more about how the costs of playing such a violent sport should be distributed. Under the present system, the costs of continuing healthcare for many long-term, football-related injuries is being born by taxpayers and consumers: through state worker's compensation programs (as seen in CA) and, in the future, under the affordable care act; and in the form of increased private medical insurance rates for lower risk individuals to offset the costs of higher risk individuals such as former professional football players.

    Much like when NFL owners leverage taxpayers for the construction of new facilities, this amounts to foisting private expenses upon the public sector and I am of the view that the NFL should do more to absorb these long-term medical expenses as part of the cost of doing business. It will eat into profits and owners won't like it, but they generate tremendous revenue by marketing a remarkably violent product; it only makes sense that they cover the cost of injuries attributable to the creation of this product.

    Seems like this sort of knee-jerk attitude is pretty widespread. I think it overlooks the fact that most NFL players make less than one million dollars per year and the average NFL career lasts just three and a half years. As a practical matter, roughly half this salary is lost to Uncle Sam in taxes. Many players never amass millions and the money they make probably doesn't go as far as you seem to think it does, especially where there's a family to support... (Never mind the institutional failure of our high schools and colleges to teach these kids how to budget, invest, and save.)

    Needless to say, former players are going to face much higher premiums than ordinary folks like you and I. (And let's not forget that the majority of Americans can't afford healthcare unless it's provided by their employer.) No rational insurer willingly drafts a policy covering a football player's existing injuries and they will fight to exclude as unreported any latent injuries that surface years after a player's career is over. The higher medical costs associated with insuring former players will be born by lower-risk policyholders (as with auto insurance), so the result is higher insurance costs for you and I (or our employers). The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is a game changer and- though I haven't waded through all the provisions- I expect that the healthcare costs for former players that cannot afford coverage will be shifted to the public, resulting in higher costs, again, for you and I. (Yay socialism! :rolleyes:)

    As described above, I believe it's unacceptable for private enterprises to shift the costs of their business to the public. That's exactly what's going on here as the healthcare costs for former players is so often attributable (at least in part) to playing professional football. I'm rather disappointed (though not surprised) by NFL owners that seek to avoid these costs in order to protect substantial private profits and the NFLPA has done a poor job in negotiating on behalf of former players in this area.

    Nonetheless, the NFL should not be permitted to socialize private business expenses through the government and this reflects the danger of a government that has grown so extensive in our society.
     
  12. texaspackerbacker

    texaspackerbacker Cheesehead

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    CURRENT players make a lot and should have no problem getting insurance or self-insuring. However, that wasn't always the case, and the old-timers are likely the ones needing treatment and procedures. As for blowing their savings, whoever is to blame, it happens in some cases. What are they gonna do? Just let them suffer and die? Society in general faces that problem same as the NFL. As somebody stated, it makes some degree of difference whether the condition is career-related or not, although even if not, you still have that "what are you gonna do?" question.

    I disagree that players have more characteristics of employees than independent contractors. They have contracts; They are not lumped together as a group for pay purposes; They can become free agents; That all sounds like independent contractors to me. I doubt the teams send them W2 forms - more likely 1099s if that is the procedure for multi-millionaires hahaha.

    Jack, your position is surprising and refreshing, considering your views in other areas. Turning the healthcare system over to the government has a few pros and a lot of cons. However, that horse has already left the barn - the new wave system we have is already in place, or at least legislated and moving toward complete implementation. Therefore, as I understand the law, if the players are considered independent contractors, it's out of the league's hands, and the players are part of the government system, and conversely, if they are employees, the league (or teams) is forced to get them insurance. This thread is about retired - mainly old-timers, though. Other than proveable cause - job-related conditions, there is no legal obligation - just moral obligation for the NFL to help these guys. You could assume that ex-players would get quicker and better treatment outside of the government system, and although that's probably true, it implies things about the government system that aren't very complimentary hahaha.

    Much has been said in here about debt/deficits/the Bernanke plans for expanding the money supply. Yes, our currency is basically conjured up out of thin air, as somebody said - it is backed by government debt instruments - basically the government saying the money is good. The dollar is the reserve currency of the world, meaning all international transactions must be completed in dollars. That is an EXTREME advantage for America, and it will continue to be the case as long as we are the militarily dominant country in the world - something the left in this country seems to be intent on changing. Basically, as long as the current situation - the dollar being the reserve currency, we can increase the debt ad infinitum. Theoretically, it could be inflationary, but it hasn't happened yet. As long as the government/the Fed keep turning over the debt - not selling back those debt instruments they are buying up, everything will be fine. There are, however, politicians on both the left and the right that preach against what's going on. They should be careful what they wish for, because NOT turning over the debt - reducing it by selling the debt instruments would bring exactly the calamity they predict. Leaving well enough alone regarding currency and debt is the best course IMO.
     
  13. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    That you can write a coherent sentence without contradicting yourself is refreshing, considering your "views" in other areas.
     
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  14. Raptorman

    Raptorman Vikings fan since 1966.

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    Well don't take it wrong. What I meant is that for people who cannot afford healthcare coverage, and I am sure some ex NFL players will be in this boat, the Government is going to help pay for their healthcare coverage. Exactly how much and how they are going to do it is still a mystery. But they had better get moving on it because time is running out. The point I was trying to make is that starting in Jan of 2014 everyone will be required by law to have a qualified healthcare plan or pay a penalty. These plans will probably cover whatever problems the older players have. Otherwise they would not be qualified plans. So, in reality, starting next Jan, I wonder how the players who are having problems now will resolve this issue with insurance. I can see a court case down the road were some insurance company will not want to pay for an ex players problem claiming it should be a workman's comp claim.
     
  15. mayo44

    mayo44 Guest

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    You completely ignored what I said. I said if there is an injury related problem that is directly attributable to playing football, the NFL should foot a fair portion of that bill. But the NFL has no obligation to pay for any MEDICAL conditions not related to football.

    As for socializing expenses through the government, blame the government for putting that vehicle in place.
     
  16. jaybadger82

    jaybadger82 Cheesehead

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    You did. But I was primarily responding to this, which reflects a popular sentiment toward NFL players as a group while glossing over many of the realities:

    As far as blaming the government, I'll take it under consideration.
     
  17. longtimefan

    longtimefan Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    You forgot agent fees

    If that figure is right, then he has 1.5 mill after those 3 years..The agent takes 6% at least? 90,000$.....1,400,000 left... 423000 per year[/quote]
     
  18. jaybadger82

    jaybadger82 Cheesehead

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    Sure. And three and half years is only the average NFL career- many players won't last that long but may receive injuries that have significant long-term health affects, nonetheless.

    I love professional football- it's great entertainment. I just think the cost of healthcare for players that give up their bodies in order to produce this entertainment should be priced directly into the product (tickets, merchandise, broadcast rights, etc.). When former former players have to rely on the private insurance industry or the social safety net (i.e., government) for the care they need, the NFL is basically outsourcing the cost of this healthcare to consumers and taxpayers.
     
  19. mayo44

    mayo44 Guest

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    And what's wrong with that? My former employers don't pay my healthcare costs. Why should the NFL?
     
  20. mayo44

    mayo44 Guest

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    And what players go in with the thinking that they won't get injured? Nobody forces anyone to play football. Very, very few players who are good enough to make an NFL roster don't leave the game a multi-millionaire, including kickers and punters. The ones who don't rarely see the field. Sorry, but I simply have no sympathy for guys like Vince Young who manage to piss away $25M+ in a few short years. I can assure you if I was paid $25M for 5 years of work, I would NOT have any problem paying for my own insurance for the rest of my life. It's not the NFL's fault some of these guys are just plain stupid.
     
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  21. Oshkoshpackfan

    Oshkoshpackfan YUT !!!

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    with the amount of money players are getting paid, they can afford to set aside money for life after football to include paying for health care. If they wouldnt go out and buy 3 houses, 15 cars, boats, ho's, and party like a rock star.....they would have plenty of spare cash. My employer does not provide health coverage, so I have to be covered by the one from my wifes job, otherwise I would be screwed. These NFL players in the current era should be assigned a money manager for just such things. Now, the NFL players from the 50's-60's-70's that are still alive today and hurting, they have a rougher time due to the fact that their pay sucked back then and unless they invested properly or are somehow still working, they would be the ones for concern.....but a modern player, to hell with them if they cant manage millions of dollars.
     
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  22. SpartaChris

    SpartaChris Cheesehead

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    [/quote]

    According to Andrew Brant on Twitter, Agents are capped at a maximum of 3%.
     
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  23. SpartaChris

    SpartaChris Cheesehead

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    I hate when people try to claim the "Average career is only three years," because the "NFL Average" stat is faulty at best. The reason why it appears to be an "Average" of three years is because you have very high turnover on the lower end of the roster- Players who get signed for a year, play special teams or fill in for a season or two due to injury, and then are cut the following year.

    I won't dispute that they may receive injuries that have significant and long term health effects. My argument is, when these players on the lower end of the roster have careers that begin in high school and college, yet only play a season or two in the NFL, how responsible should the NFL really be for their healthcare?
     
  24. jaybadger82

    jaybadger82 Cheesehead

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    Did you sustain injuries in the line of work for your former employers?
     
  25. jaybadger82

    jaybadger82 Cheesehead

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    As I said before: this reflects a very popular sentiment but glosses over the reality that most players don't earn $25 million.

    How fortunate you are to have gained the knowledge and experience necessary to manage such an enormous sum of money if it were to ever fall in your lap.

    Roger Goodell is that you? ;) -It's probably worth checking out some differing opinions on the average NFL career stat. Given the fact that the Packers' recent success has been bolstered by late round and undrafted players, I hate to see their importance discounted... Either way, the injuries these players sustain in camp or on the practice squad are real and likely pose future healthcare costs for which the NFL offers little help. If a player doesn't have the resources to pay for healthcare, those costs will eventually be covered by taxpayers.

    I would rather see football fans pay more for tickets and merchandise, etc., so the league could offer comprehensive healthcare requisite for such a violent sport than see such costs fall to all taxpayers, many of whom aren't interested in subsidizing the secondary costs of the sport.

    I think you get at some of the practical difficulties with the issue here (Jack mentioned them above as well). I'm not sure how I would work everything out, but I think the NCAA and the NFL should have to bear the majority of healthcare costs arising from football, because (1) they're largely responsible for spurring interest in the game, (2) they incentivize participation in the sport (through scholarships and salary), and (3) they profit from organized play.
     

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