Politics

Health Care

It’s that time of year again… No, not when the days get shorter (ok, they are). No, not when the weather gets colder (ok, it is). No, not when the stores start putting out the Christmas decorations even earlier this year (and yes, they are).

It’s time to sign up for health insurance. In past years, it’s been easy. I just looked at the options my hospital gave me, made sure I didn’t pick the stupid choices, and *boom*, I was done.

When I got terminated at work due to the disability in February, I had to venture into the marketplace to find my own health insurance. It was a bit stressful, but it was a lot cheaper than paying COBRA costs, and it was accomplished without tearing out my hair.

It’s actually been more stressful having the insurance, because no one seems to understand that it’s individual insurance (not group insurance), so they send the bills to the wrong address (despite the correct address being right there on my card), the insco says, “We’ve never heard of her. DENIED!” and then whoever tries to bill me for the entire amount. Pretty much every single medical bill since February.

I figured it might not be too bad to renew my health insurance today. Just check the marketplace to be sure that nothing much had changed and proceed.

But wait… My state no longer offers any Platinum plans. None. Zip. Zero. Zilch.

The next best option is the Gold plan, with my same insco (because none of the others cover my main docs), which is almost exactly the same plan as I have now for exactly (to the PENNY) premium every month.

With one small exception.

My deductible goes from $750 to $1000. And my out-of-pocket maximum goes from $1500 to $6850.

Yes. For no savings in the monthly premium, my deductible increases by 1/3 and my out-of-pocket increases by over 350%. I hit that $1500 pretty fast this year, too. Not looking forward to next year.

Thanks, Obama.

Categories: Health, Politics | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Please Don’t Fling Me in that Brier-patch!

The culmination of one of the classes I’m currently taking is a formal debate on a current topic in public health. We were given a long list of topics to choose from, to rank our top four or five choices, as to what our interests would be for debate topics. From there, the professor was going to pick the top four and assign each of us to a topic and to a side of the topic (affirmative or negative). And she had warned us ahead of time…NO SWITCHING.

Needless to say, I ranked all of the topics to do with firearms as my top choices.

The list of topics and teams was handed out yesterday.

The topics are:
— Community programming and education should be increased to address overweight/obesity;
— School-based violence prevention programs should be used to prevent bullying;
— Texting and mobile phone use while driving should be banned; and
— Firearm registration and licensing of firearm owners should be restricted to reduce firearm deaths.

I’m on the team which is to debate on the negative of the firearms topic.

Please, please, don’t fling me in that brier-patch!

Categories: Firearms, Politics, School | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Remembering

It was a day when everything stopped.

I’ll never forget that morning, 14 years ago. Few things can bring the daily business in an ER to a screeching halt, but the pictures on the TV that morning did. Even the patients and their parents were glued to the TV screens in the rooms, minor (and some fairly major) complaints forgotten. Everyone horrified, near tears. It took several hours before things got back to normal, and even then, every TV was tuned to the news for the rest of that day and for several days after.

I don’t think the world is a better place today, despite all that the government keeps trying to do for (and to) us. I don’t think it’s safer. I don’t think tomorrow is brighter. I don’t spend every day obsessing over the future, but I do try to make plans for it, because I don’t think what’s coming is going to be pretty.

But I’ll never forget that morning and how everyone came together for a time.

Categories: Politics, Wonderings | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Slanted Viewpoints

One of the headlines in today’s The Tennessean reads “Big conventions, like NRA, can draw sex trafficking”.

I’m sorry…what?

The article states that the NRA is the biggest convention to come to Nashville, and that “…law enforcement officials have prepared for what some see as the scourge of such large, male-dominated gatherings. Sex trafficking.”

First of all, while the NRAAM may have more male members than women, it is not nearly so male-dominated as the uneducated might think. As I’ve wandered the floor over the past couple of days, I’ve seen men, women, and children in great numbers. I’ve seen babies who barely seemed old enough to be out in public, toddlers being pushed in strollers, kids eyeing the youth models of various shotguns and rifles, and teenagers strolling with their parents. I’ve seen single men and single women as well as couples, parents with their kids in all combinations, and people old enough to be my grandparents.

Now, might some of these people make choices that lead them to seek out paid sex workers? They might. But probably in no greater number than any other large convention, and likely in small number than some, given that there are so many families here.

The article even goes on to name multiple other large gatherings (the Super Bowl, the Republican National Convention, the SEC, and the Music City Bowl) where similar other precautions and interventions have been put into place in the various cities. There was no need to name the NRA in the headline.

Aside from the slanted viewpoint.

Categories: Around Town, Politics, Wonderings | Tags: , | 1 Comment

NRA in Nashville!

It’s a beautiful day in Nashville and a great start to the weekend where upwards of 70,000 people are expected to attend the 2015 NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits.

Not only is there the huge exhibition floor, there are trailers outside the building with exhibits that wouldn’t fit inside plus a stage that has live music playing almost constantly all weekend long. There are small group meetings and conferences on a variety of topics, as well.

If it has to do with firearms in any way, shape, or form, it’s likely to be found here this weekend.

Categories: Around Town, Firearms, Politics | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Liar, Liar

So apparently, National Tell a Story Day is a thing.  And it happens on 27 April, which is during baseball season.  Barely, but it is.  (National Tell a Lie Day, however, is not; it’s just a shade early, because it’s during the first week of April.)

The local minor league baseball team’s PR guys get full points for figuring this out.  The Akron Rubber Ducks are having “Brian Williams’ Pants-on-Fire Night” on 27 April, for National Tell a Story Day.  The first pitch will be thrown out by someone named Brian Williams (anyone with that name is welcome to show up and apply for the chance).  A local with that name will read tall tales during the game.  The first 100 fans will receive suspenders.  There will be on-field contests between innings, such as “To Tell the Truth” and “Two Truths and a Brian Williams” (aka Two Truths and a Lie).  And they’ll be burning a pair of pants at some point during the game.

I may just have to take myself to see a game and enjoy all of the festivities!

Categories: Humor, Politics, Vacation | Tags: | 1 Comment

Never Forget

Today is a day that makes me both sad and angry… Sad for the loss of life and the loss of innocence on that day, 13 years ago. I’ll never forget where I was and what I was doing when I heard the news and saw the images of what had happened. Angry to think that there are those out there who did then and are still seeking to harm what I hold dear.

But I refuse to live in fear, and I refuse to stop living, even on this day. So I sit here in my house (which I could not own as a single female, in their world), paid for by the money I earn at my job (which I could not do as a female, in their world), wearing clothes of my choosing (which I could not own nor wear as a female, in their world), and eat BACON (which does not exist in their world) while I study for my board exam.

Categories: Home, Politics, Wonderings | Tags: | 1 Comment

The Declaration

These 56 men are the ones who put their name to the Declaration that defined the birth of our country. Their words are often repeated, usually in bits and pieces, some phrases more instantly and easily recalled to mind, but their names should never be forgotten either.

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
Massachusetts: Samuel Adams, John Adams, John Hancock, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Delaware: George Read, Caesar Rodney, Thomas McKean
Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Categories: Politics | Tags: | 2 Comments

Of All Days

Of all days to have seen this in the parking lot at the Big Orange Box Store,

photo

it seemed very appropriate that today was the day I saw it for the first time. (And yes, I am in and out of there often enough to know that it hasn’t been there for long.)

This day, 70 years ago, was not the only day that the Second World War was fought, but it is one of the days that can be pointed to as a defining point in those long years. I get chills when I think about the young men wading onto those beaches that morning. My breath catches as I read the words that Gen. Eisenhower wrote for the expeditionary force.

I can only hope that we have in our current and future generations the same courage and will shown by the young men on that day and all the days that surrounded that one, the courage and will that it took to overcome the evil that threatened the world of their time, so that we can do the same now and into the future.

Categories: Politics, Wonderings | Tags: , | 1 Comment

On this Memorial Day

It is the veteran, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the veteran, not the community organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the veteran, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the veteran, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote.

It is the veteran who salutes the flag and who serves under the flag.

This day is about remembering those who gave their all so that we have this day and all others to live in freedom and in liberty.

Categories: Politics, Wonderings | Tags: | 1 Comment

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