August 2017
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The Health Care Debate

#1 Everyone has access to healthcare.

Some have access to better healthcare than others. Some can pay for better healthcare than others. This has been truth for always and forever. Even with social medicine. Even with single payer.

#2 Everyone will die regardless of the quality or quantity of healthcare one can obtain. This is also truth. We all die. Every one of us.

Science has not solved this problem yet and we aren’t yet sure that this something we all might want.

Longer or endless life with illness isn’t a pleasant future. Being tied to an oxygen tank, or in a bed with a feeding tube… That might not be such an attractive prospect.

#3 The issue isn’t access to health care. Everyone has access. The issue is who pays for that health care.

Actual Insurance got tied to employment in 1943 when the War Labor Board ruled that the wage freezes didn’t apply to fringe benefits. So employers, in order to attract and retain quality employees, offered health insurance policies. These were real insurance. Hospitalization, catastrophic care policies. People still paid the doctor for regular office visits.

In 1973 the HMO Act (It was a “trial”) was passed to require employers who offered traditional health plans to offer at least one HMO plan as well.

The HMO has morphed into what people now call “health insurance.” But what it is is pre-paid health but made into a monster.

Instead of actually getting so many visits for a set annual fee (plus premiums for real insurance for the big stuff) with small co-pays per visit like HMOs were initially set up to be, we now pay big premiums for both big stuff and small stuff and have huge deductibles to meet, we may or may not have a co-pay, and we still have to pay a percentage of the bill.

What most of us are getting for our huge premiums and deductibles is a “discount” from the artificially high regular price charged for the services.

That artificially high price charged because the doctor has to “negotiate” +/-27 different “discounted” insurer/plan prices and also take into account the abysmally small reimbursement rates of Medicaid and Medicare and the receivables that just have to be written off.

The artificially high price the doctor has to charge because he/she has to hire people **just** to deal with compliance with the insurance companies and the government.

You know that “free” physical you get? If you bring up that you’re having an issue with this or that at your annual physical, a place and time that you think is correct to bring up a new issue, you have to pay extra.

I brought my son in for a “free” annual physical and we left $250 poorer because we brought up a lower GI issue he’d been having and we hadn’t reached our deductible. We never reach our deductible.

If you go in for a follow-up visit to check on your ear infection and bring up the fact that you’ve been experiencing some issues with plantar fasciitis, you’ll have to pay extra for the foot exam because you’ve gone in for the ear exam.

Even though you’re in the same office at the same time seeing the same provider.

Let’s have REAL insurance back. Hospitalization, catastrophic insurance. For when you break your leg (or bad sprain – you don’t know x-rays will tell!), get into an accident, fall off the roof, heart attack, stroke, the big C, the bad stuff. This is what INSURANCE is for. Hedging against that bad stuff.

Part of the issue is those without employer-based insurance are relegated to “individual” plans. Employer-based “groups” are completely arbitrary. Why not make regional groups? They’re just as arbitrary and don’t have to be put together by any particular employer or association.

Let’s have pre-tax Health Savings Accounts accessed by debit cards or reimbursement like Flexible Spending Accounts are — BUT they roll over year over year.

Let’s be able to purchase HMO type plans that suit ours and our family’s needs. Maybe a plan that includes well baby/well child visits. Maybe we want a plan that will include maternity. Maybe we want a plastic surgery plan for bigger boobs or a bigger butt or a smaller nose.

We shouldn’t HAVE to have any particular kind of coverage. We should have the coverage we want to have. If we want a higher deductible hospitalization/catastrophic care insurance policy and pay the doctor when we see him/her we should be able to.

Divorce health care from employment and the employer doesn’t have to pay for premiums anymore. That money **could** be paid to the employee as higher wages or go towards the pre-tax Health Savings Account, to which the employee can also contribute.

Premiums for Real insurance will be lower than the current premiums for the “all-in-one” stuff we have now.

Doctors won’t have to charge 27 (+/-) prices for the same office visit.

Girl Power Without Boy Bashing

We went and saw Disney’s Beauty and the Beast on the weekend. We were very pleased with it. It was well done all around. Luke Evans’ Gaston was brilliant. He played the narcissist to a T. And, while Emma Watson’s vocals might have been a bit weak, her performance otherwise was not. She played a girl who could do what she needed to do. Empowered by her father, an inventor, a reader.

While at the movie, we saw a trailer for Transformers: The Last Knight. It’s one of the best “Girl Power” type things I’ve seen in a long, long time. And I think it’s best because it’s Girl Power without being Anti-Boy in any way.

She says to us: “I was — just a normal kid. Before my world fell apart. Some kids used to tease me. They’d say, ‘You run like a girl. You throw like a girl. You fight like a girl.’ Fight like a girl? Yeah. I fight like a girl.”

Daylight Saving Time Again

It’s coming up Daylight Saving Time again on Sunday. Time again to set the clocks ahead with the spring and mess with our internal clocks once again. Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Arizona don’t mess with this and neither should the rest of the country. Livestock doesn’t go by clocks. Pets don’t go by clocks. And their feeding times will get all discombobulated. We should just stick with regular time and leave it that way.

Spring Cleaning

Sometimes you can’t or don’t want to do some of the spring cleaning. Amazon Home Services can help in those situations!

Try Amazon Home Services


Merry Christmas

Happy Hanukkah!

Bitter Cold Weather

Thursday the windchills were in the double digits below zero Fahrenheit and today they closed some schools due to regular temperatures in the double digits below zero Fahrenheit and it isn’t officially winter until Wednesday. These polar vortex temperatures are spreading across the Midwest from Omaha to Columbus and beyond and it’s this time to be sure your heating and cooling Columbus system is in tip-top shape.

I’ve been in my house for nineteen years now, but I remember when I had first moved in and my heating had gone out. I hadn’t really noticed it at first, the blower came on and the with the use of the stove and open blinds during the day the house had been retaining some heat. I just put on sweaters and put them on my kids and we used blankets. My dad came over and noticed how cool it seemed in the house and we checked the thermostat. It said we were down to about 55ºF.
This is when we want an excellent heating and cooling company that can come out on an emergency basis to get us back to where we needed to be. That gradual decrease in temperature, because it was so unnoticeable, was scary. The kids were small and didn’t tell me they were cold; probably didn’t even know to tell me they were cold. They were in those comfy, warm blanket sleepers at their ages. We were out during the weekdays; me at work and the kids at daycare and school. Weekends we were mostly at home. I’m so glad Dad came by and we were able to get professionals in right away to fix the furnace and get our heat back on.

Professional services getting the heat back on, especially when it’s so bitter cold outside is so important. Tune-ups of your HVAC system are a great thing as well. So is a check of your built-in humidifier (or installation if you don’t have one.) Getting that duct work cleaned out isn’t a bad idea either, especially if you have pets, small kids with small toys, or have been doing any work on your house.

A Date Which Will Live in Infamy

Early on a beautiful Sunday morning 75 years ago, the world changed.

At 7:55 a.m local. December 7, 1941 the attack begins.

Pearl Harbor Attack
Pearl Harbor Attack

The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor to remove what it saw as a threat to the empire’s southern expansion. The Pearl Harbor attack hurt us badly, but it also hardened our resolve and brought us fully into WWII.

Snopes has some photos that were purported to be found in an old Brownie camera years after the attack. The story was untrue, but the photos are archival and genuine.

The U.S. Navy has a Pearl Harbor site with more photos.

Chris at A Large Regular has linked to this National Geographic Pearl Harbor site in the past. It has a multimedia timeline, survivor stories, kid’s section, and more.

Veterans’ Day 2016

Armistice Day, Veterans’ Day, Remembrance Day

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month…

In Flanders Fields


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Written by Lt-Colonel John McRae (1915)

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