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Who should pay for retired players medical bills?

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

  1. mayo44

    mayo44 Guest

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    That's not what you've been talking about. You've been talking about the NFL covering ALL healthcare expenses for players.
     
  2. SpartaChris

    SpartaChris Cheesehead

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    Aside from being a pro NFLPA piece, the article you referenced more or less made my point. Because of the high volume of turnover on the lower end of the roster, the "average career" stat is driven down severely. There's a lot more guys who play a year or less than there are guys who play for 6 or more, which greatly skews the average.

    And maybe they do come to some agreement, but at what point should the players themselves be responsible for the choices they made? At some point the player made a conscious decision to play football and pursue it as a career. This means they consciously chose to put their body at harm in order to play a game for some form of benefit. In this day and age of informational access, today's players have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing the risks involved in playing professional football. I don't see why the league or the schools need to be held financially responsible for the duration of a player's life because the player chose a career they know to be dangerous.
     
  3. mayo44

    mayo44 Guest

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    When did I say they did? I was very specifically talking about Vince Young, now wasn't I? Why should the NFL cover his future healthcare costs, when a) he's perfectly capable of finding a job and joining the rest of us in the common workforce, and b) he would have had no problem paying for whatever insurance he wanted for the rest of his life if he has an ounce of sense.

    I'm sure as heck not going to squander it. It doesn't require a great deal of knowledge to manage enormous sums of money, just common sense. Hell, you could just put it in a basic savings account and live quite well just on the interest!
     
  4. jaybadger82

    jaybadger82 Cheesehead

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    Then you misunderstand me. I have been addressing healthcare costs resulting from injuries sustained on the field.

    As pointed out in the article on Reggie Williams at the top of this thread, the full cost of these injuries is often missed until after a player has left the sport and cannot obtain healthcare from the league.
     
  5. AmishMafia

    AmishMafia Cheesehead

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    Personal responsibility has to take a role somewhere. Sorry guys, but if you didn't know that smashing into other men repeatedly wasn't going to take its toll on your long term health, well, then you are a fool.

    I worked in the wilds of Alaska and I know my knees/back are suffering from the continual hiking/climbing wet dense foliage of the Alaska Peninsula. Why is that my employers fault? I have a brain and I knew the toll I was placing on my body. Now, if I fell and broke my leg in the line of duty and was no longer able to work, that is another matter.

    I shake my head at Ditka, who at one time was a spokesman for this idea that the NFL should pay more to retired players. I'm not going to google it - but it seems to me he was outspoken against players who held out on their contracts. Now, how is that any different? Older players got what they had coming to them, contractually. Why should they now be given more? As far as going forward, put it in the CBA if today's players want that. They have to understand that it is an expense. Take less money now, if they want more retirement benefits like health care.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. jaybadger82

    jaybadger82 Cheesehead

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    As opposed to labeling the average career length stat misleading, which is decidedly pro-NFL... :tdown: Look, I'm not disputing your observation that many players have very brief NFL careers. I included the Business Insider article link for its observation that these players toiling and sweating on the practice squad, often for just a brief time, are an integral part of the NFL product. While such players are treated for their injuries until cut, I don't believe they qualify for continuing healthcare coverage through the league until they reach four years experience. This leaves many chronic and latent injuries uncovered amongst those that tend to have short careers and earn relatively little.

    If these players can't somehow pay for healthcare on their own (which happens frequently), that cost eventually falls on the public at large through the social safety net. It would be nice to see the NFL and the NFLPA get together on a CBA that offers broader coverage for all pro football-related injuries rather than dumping so many of these costs on the general public.
     
  7. ivo610

    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    This is something that should have been negotiated during the lock out.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  8. Raptorman

    Raptorman Vikings fan since 1966.

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    NFLPA is not concerned with ex-players. They are there to represent their current membership.
     
  9. ivo610

    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    So future retirees should look to the PA and themselves to blame if they have future complaints
     
  10. Raptorman

    Raptorman Vikings fan since 1966.

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    Well it is a union. And as far as I know, not to many unions really give a hoot about you once you stop paying dues.
     
  11. ivo610

    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    Maybe I wasn't clear...

    Yes it's a union. This is an issue that isn't going away. If in the future players complain that they aren't covered they should blame themselves for not making it an issue when they had the chance to handle it
     
  12. Vltrophy

    Vltrophy Cheesehead

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    Whoever disagreed what part did u disagree with? Yes our Gov't is in so much debt when a baby is born he/she is automatically $50,000 in debt & I'm sure that number has climbed
     
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  13. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    By my count 13 Times Champs disagreed with 4 posts on this thread and all them have something to do with the UnAffordable Care Act (I think that's its proper name ;)) or the massive debt of the Federal Government. No doubt 13 Times Champs disagrees with this post too, but if he is so adamant in doing so, why not post his actual disagreement?
     
  14. SpartaChris

    SpartaChris Cheesehead

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    Thanks for the explanation. I think I better understand your point now. How long would you propose the NFL offer health care for the players at the lower end who really only play one or two years?
     
  15. mayo44

    mayo44 Guest

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    Most don't give a hoot even if you ARE paying dues.
     
  16. mayo44

    mayo44 Guest

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    Or they should have handled their money wisely so they could buy whatever kind of insurance they want.
     
  17. mayo44

    mayo44 Guest

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    Interestingly, right now on ESPN is a show about this very topic of pro athletes squandering their money.
     
  18. Vltrophy

    Vltrophy Cheesehead

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    70% of professional athletes squander their money. During their in season pretty much all their needs are taken care of by the owner. Their ticket/airfare food lodging medical. They have blow money which is exactly what they do w/it.
     
  19. jaybadger82

    jaybadger82 Cheesehead

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    With the disclaimer that my understanding in this area is shaky: I believe the NFL also participates in state worker's compensation programs. So any worker that qualifies under the particular laws of a state's worker's comp program should be able to obtain some benefits. The requirements for qualification vary from state to state, as we're seeing right now in California where the state would like to tighten up its worker's comp qualifications because too many athletes with relatively few ties to the state have been receiving benefits. (FWIW, I'm pretty sure CA is the worst-managed state in the country. What a crap state government.)

    The problem with worker's comp laws is that they're not really geared for the sort of injuries that occur to football players. For example, proposed changes to the California worker's comp law will make it impossible for a claimant to obtain compensation for injuries caused by repeated trauma, or something to that effect, which would seem to exclude head injuries or arthritic conditions that athletes might develop in their sport. Worker's comp laws are also tricky because they often contain very strict reporting and documentation requirements, which aren't well suited for professional sports. I don't think players or management want to go running off the field in order to document every bump and bruise that happens. Basically, state worker's comp just doesn't work so well in the context professional sports. But athletes have been flocking to these programs in order to pay for healthcare nonetheless and there's been complaints of abuse from teams/owners.

    I would like to see the NCAA and the NFL (two government-sanctioned monopolies) develop and fund their own system of worker's comp tailored to the nature of football as a sport and designed to cover all injuries that can be linked to a player's performance while under scholarship or contract with team. I guess I wouldn't qualify benefits according to the length of a player's tenure but instead according to whether the injuries can be traced to activity on the field. The NCAA and the NFL are the entities that primarily profit from football, they're best positioned to price the cost of this worker's comp/healthcare into their product, so the cost is born exclusively by football fans.

    This is the mother of all an impossible fantasies by the way (besides me and Jennifer Lawrence getting together)...
     
  20. mayo44

    mayo44 Guest

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    The NFL isn't a monopoly. It is 32 individual businesses regulated by a sanctioning body which imposes regulations and anti-collusion measures much like anti-trust laws. Even if you want to say that they are not individual businesses, the NFL still isn't a monopoly. There's also the AFL and UFL. The NFL does nothing to prevent viewers from watching these those leagues, nor does it do anything to prevent players from playing in those leagues. It's not the NFL's fault these upstart leagues can't compete.
     
  21. jaybadger82

    jaybadger82 Cheesehead

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    Federal precedent has approached the NFL as a single entity in the past. Even if we treat the NFL as 32 individual businesses "regulated" by "a sanctioning body," this represents a pretty obvious Sherman Act violation as an agreement by separate businesses in restraint of trade (e.g., salary caps). The NFL may not be a monopoly in your mind or, as I think of it, the NFL may be a necessary monopoly in order to establish competitive balance; but I'm not sure where arguing over fairly settled law gets us...
     
  22. realcaliforniacheese

    realcaliforniacheese A-Rods Boss

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    Yep, that's what happens when you don't pay for two wars and bail out wealthy financial firms for their gambling addictions.
     
  23. El Guapo

    El Guapo Cheesehead

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    Wow. Good debate.

    I think that the NFL is doing more than most US employers do to cover former employees, yet there are many more linger effects from NFL employment than most jobs so I think that it's warranted. I still think that they could do more but truly believe that this is a player issue more than anything. I think that the NFLPA has been far to happy to go after the NFL for additional compensation without looking for internal ways to help the problem.

    Every player in the NFL should be forced to read an article like the one posted by ivo610, and more importantly listed to a speech from someone like Reggie Williams. Then have the players vote to approve a players insurance fund that skims anywhere from 1%-5% off of every player's annual salary (my employer "deducts" a % of my salary each check). This would be invested in an insurance pool for players that could be used to treat former players immediately but also be used to current players 20 years down the road. You could devise a strategy to fund it to cover both current and future needs. You can easily make the argument that today's players are making huge $$ because of the sacrifices of yesterday's players.
     
  24. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    Here's part of a post I wrote in February of 2011:

    "I don't think the NFL is a monopoly since other professional football leagues have and do exist and because the NFL doesn't dictate what each team can charge for tickets, concessions, etc. It also doesn't set a maximum salary for a player. (Beyond that, I don't think a monopoly in the entertainment business is harmful or important since it involves entertainment and not an essential good or service.) But when the USFL wanted to compete directly against the NFL it filed and won an anti-trust lawsuit against the NFL in 1986. (Previously the USFL played in the spring and summer.) It couldn't charge the NFL with just being a monopoly (or a "pure" monopoly) since the USFL - a professional football league - existed. Instead they alleged the NFL had a monopoly regarding TV broadcasting rights, since at the time the NFL had a deal with all three of the "major" networks, ABC, CBS, and NBC. The jury found that the NFL was a legal monopoly but used predatory tactics. However, it also found the USFL filed the case in order to force a merger with the NFL and most of its problems were due to mismanagement so it awarded the USFL one dollar. Luckily for the USFL, damages are tripled in anti-trust cases, so it was awarded $3. That "victory" in court ended the USFL. BTW, Al Davis testified against the NFL in that case and Donald Trump owned the USFL's New Jersey franchise.

    More important and more recent is a 2010 US Supreme Court case having to do with trademark licensing (American Needle vs. NFL) in which the Court, in a 9-0 ruling, ruled the NFL is a cartel of 32 independent businesses."
    - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Regarding independent contractor status: NFL players are employees. If they weren't, they wouldn't have access to workers compensation. If they weren't, there wouldn't be an NFLPA. The fact players have NFL pensions and health care are also indications of employee status.

    The IRS looks at many different factors to determine whether or not a person is an independent contractor or an employee. The basic test from the IRS website is: "You are not an independent contractor if you perform services that can be controlled by an employer (what will be done and how it will be done). This applies even if you are given freedom of action. What matters is that the employer has the legal right to control the details of how the services are performed."

    From another site: "An employee is employed by an employer to perform service in his affairs whose physical conduct in the performance of the service is controlled or is subject to the right to control by the employer…An independent contractor is a person who contracts with another to do something for him but who is not controlled by the other nor subject to the other’s right to control with respect to his physical conduct in the performance of the undertaking."

    Not only are the players employees, in 2007 (I think) the IRS determined the people the NFL hired to collect urine specimens for drug testing are employees, not independent contractors as the NFL was treating them. (Why the NFL didn't hire a company which employs people to do that is beyond me. Maybe it does now.)
    I agree: How we can ask our brave men and women in uniform to sacrifice their lives while the rest of us sacrifice nothing is sad. And why there hasn't been a huge outcry to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act (more correctly known as the Banking Act of 1933) which separated commercial banking from investment banking after the Great Depression is beyond me. But those are not the major drivers of our fiscal mess. From the Wall Street Journal article I linked on the previous page of this thread: "The actual liabilities of the federal government—including Social Security, Medicare, and federal employees' future retirement benefits—already exceed $86.8 trillion, or 550% of GDP. For the year ending Dec. 31, 2011, the annual accrued expense of Medicare and Social Security was $7 trillion. Nothing like that figure is used in calculating the deficit. In reality, the reported budget deficit is less than one-fifth of the more accurate figure."
     
  25. mayo44

    mayo44 Guest

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    Like I said, there's also the UFL, AFL, and for that matter, the CFL employs mostly American players.
     

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