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.