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The Reality of Socialized Healthcare

The last time I wrote about our country’s trek towards nationalized healthcare was December 2013. The journey was just beginning and opinions were bandied about by pundits and opponents alike, both sides thinking they might have some say in the final decision.

We’re three years down the pike and it hasn’t turned out the way many of its proponents thought it would. Many still staunchly defend the concept while they decry the actuality that is the higher deductibles, loss of their chosen caregivers, and escalating premiums. Lucky for them, the party line they keep a firm grasp on gives them the insurance companies to blame. Unfortunately, this is a red herring. The companies have been forced to comply with specific requirements by the government and offer coverage that is overly comprehensive to every person willing to pay for a policy. One example is women well past the child-bearing age who are still paying for prenatal care. They’re paying for it, of course, for someone else.

Just an aside: If you have never watched the movie “Idiocracy”, you should. You’ll laugh, until you realize what you are laughing at. Like this little tidbit…a doctor of the future.

 

Yes, insurance has always been based on the theorem known as the “law of large numbers“, which has always been said to purport, mathematically, that the larger the pool of those included (in any activity, not just insurance), the more accurately an outcome can be predicted. It’s why insurance companies want as big a share of whatever market they are selling to, be it for auto, home or health insurance. So what bigger pool could there be than the whole of the country?

Why, then, do some companies go under anyway? Is it because they don’t get a big enough share, or is it the human factor, in the end, that does them in?

I’ve been in the insurance business for thirty years now and there has been a huge shift in the attitudes of customers. Back in the beginning, I would explain how insurance worked and it made sense to most of them. Nowadays, they may listen as I explain, but most simply don’t care. It seems like a purposeful obtuseness that I come up against more often than not anymore. You’ve heard the saying, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”?  These days, the rude, nasty, wheel gets what they want.

The designers of the Affordable Care Act believe they can circumvent the human factor that might cause their socialist crazy train to derail. Fines for not purchasing coverage are going up and there’s talk of forced sign-ups of the uninsured during emergency room visits (which have not decreased as predicted). The rub is this: you can’t deny human nature. Any time you try to force human beings to do something they don’t want to do, they are going to find workarounds.

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We were recently looking at job offerings with our child who is about to graduate from college. There were a number of great positions being offered that seemed to suit someone new to the job market. Yet, as we read the job descriptions, we realized many of them ended with the same notation: 19.5 hours per week. These were not fast food jobs. They were not offerings for a summer job. These were good, entry-level positions with well-known companies, the type of job that could lead to a career. And yet, the hours they offered were just under the limit at which they would have to offer healthcare. Imagine that. How can that happen, you say? Because an employer can’t ask you if you have your own health coverage and then hire you for, let’s say, a forty hour week. If you work for twenty hours or more (full time), and they employ more than fifty people, they are required to offer coverage to 95% of their FULL TIME employees.  Here’s a breakdown of the penalties they now face if the fail to do so. Did the founders of forced health care not imagine that this would be one of the results of the ACA? I know opponents of the law predicted something like this happening. Remember the chatter about how many jobs would be lost because of the ACA?

Perhaps this is the new paradigm. Our young folk will spend time getting that college degree and then fight over entry-level part-time positions while they continue to live at home. These positions will become the new probationary period for employers. As the years tick by, those deemed worthy of that pricey permanent position with benefits will be moved up as the retirees on the other end move out. And those who don’t make the grade? Well, I’m sure the single payer system we’re headed for will take care of that.

My guess is that, eventually, we will see new laws put in place that speak to this issue. The thought of what those might look like frightens me more than the ACA itself. Think Anti Dog Eat Dog Rule and 10-289. If you haven’t read Atlas Shrugged yet, you should. Think it can’t happen? Think again. How long before this type of thinking is applied to health care? How long before it’s applied to something else? When do we say enough is enough?

Rave ended.

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Is Your Jogging Addiction More Important than your Child’s Life?

I am so pissed off right now and I wish to God I had a dash cam.

Yesterday was a beautiful day and, evidently, a great day for a jog. Thankfully, I know to drive at a moderate speed on the winding country roads near my home. The same roads that have NO shoulders and no room for error when you come upon a bicyclist or neighbor out for a stroll. I think there are much better places to enjoy the great outdoors than on the side of a narrow path-like roadway. The need to dodge oncoming cars and the possibility of being launched into the rhubarb off the bumper of an SUV sucks the charm right out of the experience for me.

So, around a blind corner I come and there to my right is a svelte young woman pushing a jogging stroller. My immediate reaction is the same as always, mumbling to myself about the fine line between compulsion and stupidity. But my focus moves from the mother’s face to the child in the stroller, and my heart breaks.

The young boy sees my car and claps both his hands over his eyes, his lips pursed together, as he braces and waits to die.

I’ve never seen its like before. And it sickened me. I was this close to stopping the car and giving the woman a piece of my mind. THISCLOSE. But I didn’t, because I do not relish the thought of being arrested for verbally accosting a moron. What I need is someone to explain to me why it is that so many folks have taken leave of their senses. That child is going to have some sort of mental memory of that experience and you can’t tell me he won’t.

I went through a glass door when I was five years old. That was almost fifty years ago. What I remember is blood and glass and screaming. We lived in the Bronx, on Baychester Avenue. A neighbor jumped over the front fence to get to me and I can still see the white socks he had on. No shoes. He ran into the glass and blood in his pure white stocking feet. He and the others huddled me into a car and drove me to the hospital where I was stitched up in a torturous manner, a cast put on my arm to keep me from pulling everything out as I healed.

The point I’m making is this: it happened when I was FIVE YEARS OLD. I am almost fifty five yet I remember it as if it were yesterday. How many times has that mom pushed her little boy up that road, using him as a buffer between her and oncoming traffic? How will it affect him in the long run? I am a grown woman who still puts my hands out when I get near a glass door or window. I’m the one hanging something on the sliders so nobody will walk into them. I was permanently affected. Will he also be? In my opinion, he will. The only question is, how.

My fall was my own fault. I tripped on the weather stripping as I skipped down the hall in my apartment building. My mother walked a few feet behind me, yet could do nothing to stop what happened. They tell me she was so distraught she couldn’t even speak.

My heart breaks for that little boy. I get that jogging is a healthy form of exercise for some people. But all I can think of is the selfishness of that mother and the psychological trauma she is visiting upon her child in order to enjoy her sport. Seriously, is the endorphin rush worth the risk? I don’t think it is. Use the brain you were born with.

For pity’s sake, buy a damned treadmill.

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The #Chattanooga Gunman – NOT a “Typical American Kid” – a blog post

Another terrible shooting occurred yesterday. A 24 year old man riddled a military recruiting station with bullets and then killed four marines and wounded many others at a Chattanooga, Tennessee naval base. Once again we are mourning lives lost and trying to make sense of a murderer’s actions. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those killed or injured.

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Yahoo News, Now Serving the KoolAid

I thought I could let this pass. It’s not as though I should be surprised. I think the wham-bam is what got me. So I just have one simple question.

Yahoo, have you lost your mind completely?

Here’s the wham: Story number one:

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An attorney from Kenya, a Mr. Felix Kiprono, age unkown (I’m afraid to ask, actually) has offered our President Obama fifty cows, seventy sheep and thirty goats for the hand in marriage of his sixteen year old daughter Malia: a young lady he admits “falling for”, from afar, when she was ten years old.

Holy freeholies, Yahoo. This is not a feel-good story! On the creepiness scale, this one not only rings the bell, it blows it clean off and clear across the carnival. He wants to BUY our President’s child! Not only does he want to buy her, it doesn’t sound like he thinks she should have any say in the whole transaction. And he decided he wanted to be her husband when she was still playing with dolls. Disgusting. My favorite line in the story? Continue reading

Saul Alinsky, Communism & The Things We Hold Onto

A relative sent us an email today. It’s one of those well-traveled internet memes of unconfirmed origin seeking to engage us, albeit briefly, and illicit enough emotional response to prompt forwarding. Compelling at first, the newspaper clipping is supposed to have been saved “in a bible” by someone’s mother for many years. Mom, it said, was a teacher and “believed in prophesy” (sic) so “she always kept up on issues”, evidently by tucking them away in the good book.

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Merry Christmas! ( hope that doesn’t offend) – A Blog Post

A Facebook friend posted a brief treatise on the holiday season which began with the line “Jesus is not the reason for the season for everyone” and described her dissatisfaction at feeling that the Christian holidays were being forced upon folks. This is my reply to both her and a few of her other friends who decided to respond vigorously to my simple question, “Why the anger toward Christians?”

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