Sunday, December 8, 2013

2014 Insurance Update

After nearly eight weeks of periodic study and research on the various plans and our projected medical needs, I signed us up for our 2014 FEHB insurance today - with one day to spare.  We're switching from Aetna to Blue Cross Blue Shield's Preferred Provider plan.  They are similar in premium cost.   We're going to be restricted -- if we go out of plan, there will be no coverage except for a few exceptions.  I think everyone gets to keep the same doctors except for me. And I rarely see him anyway, so if someone had to lose his or her doctor, I was the best candidate.   And we're signed up for a separate Dental Plan which will help out with all the remedial work I need to correct for too many years of dental inattentiveness.  We've avoided a massive increase in Rx co-pays for this year, at least.  Voluntarily adding the dental plan has added $1,500 to our annual payments, but, knowing the dental procedures that await me, I know we'll get our money's worth ;-)  And if our third child will also need braces, we'll have some coverage for that for a change.  

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bill O'Reilly asserts that President Obama would not make such a bold-faced intentional lie for he would know it would eventually be found out.  O'Reilly raises the prospect of IMPEACHMENT! But that hardly seems realistic.  Even President Clinton, who was under oath when he lied, was not removed from office

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Health Insurance Open Season

For 10 to 15 years (I've lost track) we've just stuck with Aetna Insurance. Open Season came and went and all the companies seemed similar enough. But Aetna is adding a Fourth Tier to its Pharmacy program -- a recommendation of the President's own Office of Personnel Management by the way -- so my wife's specialty Multiple Sclerosis drugs just went from $450 to $3,500 a year. So, we could switch to Kaiser which hasn't added the Fourth Tier yet. Then we lose the pediatricians we've had since 1996. And then there's dental insurance -- they'll give you a chance to choose your own dentist but why is it that the dentists I like have a fee schedule about twice as expensive as the insurance company allocates

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

2014 Insurance

How does your health insurance plan look for 2014?  Ours goes up $104 in annual premiums, up $2,795 in Rx co-pays, and up $1,000 in out of pocket dental and other miscellaneous health expenses. And we haven't even examined all the details of the policy to see what other changes we can expect.  So, we need to look at the other plans that are offered and boy, that is one complicated mess to sort out.  Each brochure runs between 100 and 156 pages long, and then you need to cross-check with the separate Rx Formulary and the Provider Directory.  "Preferred Providers," "Participating Providers," "Non-Particpating Providers."  Requirements to advise the insurance company within 48 hours of emergency hospitalization or they won't cover it.  And no, these are not the ACA health insurance exchanges, but the regular Fed Govt. plans.  I am only half-joking when I say that you really need your lawyer, your personal physician, and your accountant to properly advise as to what plan will work in your personal situation.  I have no idea how the people buying insurance over the internet can have enough information to choose a policy. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Why oppose ObamaCare?

Some wonder why many people oppose the Affordable Care Act, or "ObamaCare" as the President likes to call it (8/15/11). Why would people be opposed to getting more health care for their fellow citizens? Some of it is fear that those currently with health insurance will find their coverage to worsen or get more expensive. And, as Nancy Pelosi said, apparently we had "to pass the bill to know what's in it" and what will happen (3/9/10). Okay, fast forward to October 2013 and a letter from our health insurance company. So far, we have calculated that next year's insurance will cost $4,290 more in out-of-pocket costs than it did two years ago, and $3,150 more than last year. All but $104 of that is directly attributed to Obama Administration policy directives. And the $104 may be tied to newly mandated ACA or HHS policy requirements. We're lucky because we can afford it, but it cuts down on college savings or retirement savings or replacing one of our cars which range in age from 11 to 29 years old. Or, this year at least, we can switch insurance companies and save money but we lose the pediatrician we have had since 1996.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Shutdown strategy

As a political strategy, President Obama and his allies, Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats are holding hostage the following: 1) Smithsonian Museum Funds. 2) NIH Funds. 3) Veterans Funds. 4) City of Washington DC Funds. 5) National Guard funds. And more will be coming. The President believes that we need to keep such popular government programs closed or there will be little impetus and pressure to fund the more mundane programs. All of these programs mentioned were passed by a bipartisan House majority these last two days. Yet, the Senate will not even be given an opportunity to vote for them because it would either a) be an embarrassing vote for a Democrat to vote against these programs or b) it would pass and that takes away the President's leverage.

Senator Reid and the President insist that the House must vote on the all encompassing Continuing Resolution to fund everything all at once.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Shutdown Prediction: Reopen on 10/21

Federal Government Showdown/Shutdown. Anybody care to predict when it ends? I'm going to guess October 21 will be the first day back for most non-essential employees. I believe this would be the first Monday after the debt ceiling is reached. They'll probably give back pay, but they really should just let everyone -- including our family -- experience the ordeal of applying for unemployment insurance like so many others have had to do these last five years.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


So, what are you frightened of?
1. Obamacare?
2. Global Warming
3. Government Shutdown beginning October 1?
4. Federal Debt Limit will reach legal maximum in mid-October?
4. Evangelical Christians5. Islamic Radicals6. Assault Weapons

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Note to a Pro-Life activist

I thought this columnist made some good points and this quote especially highlights the importance of the work you do at Justice For All: "...after late-term abortions are restricted, legislative approaches will become unproductive, and persuasion and the provision of alternatives to abortion will become the main avenues of activism."

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Obama , Nixon, IRS (Rush Limbaugh 5/16/13)

This is from Rush Limbaugh's May 16, 2013 program. As a  Watergate era kid, I had a dislike of Richard Nixon in 1973-74. We have heard recently how Nixon used the IRS against his enemies, but Limbaugh is saying that he never actually did so. In some ways, Nixon's biggest crime was the stupidity of not destroying the evidence (the tapes) against him.

"Anyway, this Nixon comparison is starting to bug me 'cause it's the wrong comparison. The comparison ought to be to Putin. That's the comparison. What's going on in this country is the same kind of stuff that goes on under Vladimir Putin. It's not Obama-Nixon, it's Obama-Putin. Nixon talked about siccing the IRS on people on one White House tape. Nixon didn't do it. Nixon talked about it. He speculated about it, as though, man, wouldn't it be fun to sic the IRS -- but he never did.

"Nixon did not sic the IRS on McGovern. Nixon's campaign was audited, if you can believe that, which is what he was talking about on the tape. The head of the IRS at the time was a guy named Donald Alexander, and he was hailed as a hero for the rest of his life because he didn't allow the IRS to be used against Nixon's enemies. But can I tell you the honest-to-God truth? There is no proof that Richard Nixon ever tried to get the commissioner of the IRS to do anything, ever, Donald Alexander. There's no proof that Nixon ever sicced the IRS on anybody. He talked about it in a White House tape, and that was unprecedented. Presidents we assume joke and talk about all kinds of things, fantasizing about their power.

"Nixon was taping himself. He was the first one who was heard doing it, but he never did it. You don't think JFK sat around or FDR sat around joking about maybe using the IRS on people, or Clinton or whatever. But the point is, Obama did it. The comparison is Obama-Chavez, Obama-Putin, not Nixon. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

One year later, I return

Another year away from the Politics blog.  Sorry about that. Wasted a lot of time over on Facebook during the 2012 election cycle.

To sum up the 2012 election results.  No president should have been re-elected with the economy in as bad a shape as ours has been.  As it was, President Obama is the first president to be re-elected to a second term with a smaller vote percentage than he had received during his first campaign.  Not that the media is doing anything other than have declared that he had a huge mandate, despite losing popular support from 2008 to 2012.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Love and the Inhumanity of Same-Sex Marriage

Love and the Inhumanity of Same-Sex Marriage

From the linked article: "Whether or not same sex marriage is a political fait accompli, I don't know. What concerns me in the present hour is the temptation among Christians to go with the flow."I couldn't agree more.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

State of the Union spectacle

George Will: "In the 12 months we have to steel ourselves for the next State of the Union spectacle, let us count the ways that this spawn of democratic Caesarism — presidency worship — has become grotesque. It would be the most embarrassing ceremony in the nation’s civic liturgy, were the nation still capable of being embarrassed by its puerile faith in presidential magic."

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Nixon's 100th Birthday

Today is the 100th Birthday for the man who won 60% of the vote in November 1972 and left office just 21 months later under a huge cloud. It was an amazing era to live through. Good and Bad. Every moon landing took place during his term. The opening to China. Vietnam War. Detente. Watergate, of course. Roe v. Wade. EPA creation.