hankrules2011

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Posts Tagged ‘health insurance’

Random

Posted by Scott Holstad on November 1, 2013

Hi. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a non-book review here, so I thought I’d write down a few thoughts. My father has been dead three months now. That’s still very hard to believe. His gravestone was just put in, so Gretchen and I will be going to Knoxville to view it soon. Last weekend, we went down to Atlanta to visit my old friend Dee, another friend Paul (and his wife), and a new friend, all at a sit down dinner that Dee worked her butt off to prepare and she did a great job. We had a good time, but we chose to drive back to Chattanooga that night instead of spending the night, and it was a grueling drive back. There were no lights on the freeway and no reflectors in the pavement, so it was really hard to see.

Meanwhile, my Steelers suck, my Vols aren’t doing that great, and my Farragut Admirals are having a rough year. At least the Penguins are off to a decent start. Sidney Crosby is leading the NHL in scoring. That’s good.

Gretchen and I signed up for Obamacare. Even though it’s getting a bad rap, we’re tentatively excited about it. Gretchen doesn’t have insurance, and my family’s been paying $715 a month for my COBRA, which is about to run out. With this new policy, we’ll have a $1,000 deductible (shared), no co-pays, both of us covered for a total of $485 a month. All but one of my meds are covered, I think. It’s been a hassle getting signed up, yes, but hopefully this will work out well.

I started a new blog. It’s called Scott’s Book Reviews and it’s just going to be my book reviews, not all of which I post here. It can be found on Blogger. I hope to add all of my old book reviews and then add to it over time as I continue to read and review books. It’ll also include books I review that don’t appear on Goodreads. Frankly, I don’t know why I started it, as it does seem a little redundant I’ll admit, but I wanted to get them all under one roof, so to speak.

I keep seeing politicians saying things that sound stupid, particularly Ted Cruz. I’m sick of both parties, frankly, and wish we could just start over again. Actually, many years ago when I was a young kid, I lived in Canada with my parents. If we had the money — and could endure the cold — we’d probably move to Canada to get the hell out of this crazy ass country. The right wing nut jobs are dragging this country down, IMO, and the religious right is right there with them. Which makes me so glad for my church. I joined the Episcopal church last month, after attending one here with Gretchen for the past year and a half. It’s pretty much exactly what we’re looking for in a church, especially with no evangelicals, so that’s nice. No praise music, good sermons, saying the peace. It’s all good.

On a different note, Apple is driving me nuts! I downloaded iOS 7.0.3 for my iPhone and it hosed it completely! When I went to install the backup, since I had to restore to factory settings, virtually nothing came through. It took me the better part of a day to get my phone working again. Very frustrating. Gretchen had the same thing happen to her  with iOS 7. Meanwhile, my iMac’s cordless keyboard keeps cutting out and it’s driving me insane! I can’t type two sentences without having to stop and get it working again. I’m hoping new batteries will take care of it. If not, I may have to get a corded keyboard, assuming I can find one that works with Apple products.

Well, I have a brutal headache, so I’m going to cut this short now. Sorry about that. But I’ve just been rambling anyway, so who cares, right? Cheers!

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Things

Posted by Scott Holstad on October 4, 2013

Just a few things. I’m sorry I haven’t updated in awhile. Not too much has been going on for me personally, and I’m in the middle of three very large books, so I haven’t been able to write a book review for awhile. However, I’m nearly done with one (finally!), so hopefully a book review will be coming.

This past Tuesday was the nine week anniversary of Dad’s death. I’m still in a state of shock, I guess. I just still can’t believe he is gone. He was fit. He was healthy. He was mowing my yard while I was at a meeting when he collapsed and died. I was there to witness it. I tried to save him, but failed. I feel sick about it. My therapist wants me to go to a grief support group. It started this week, so I’ve missed one meeting. I don’t know. I think I’m doing pretty well, considering, but I may give them a call today to find out more about it.

My wife has a bad knee, meanwhile. We think she hurt it playing racquetball with me about a month ago. It’s been increasingly bad and she can barely walk. We took her to the doctor a couple of days ago and he thinks it’s a tear in her tendon. She’s going to have to get x-rays. I don’t know what comes next. She actually doesn’t have insurance and is dying to get signed up for Obamacare, which seems promising to us, but she hasn’t been able to access the site at all, so that’s been frustrating.

I’m currently upgrading my iPhone to iOS7. I have mixed feelings about this because Gretchen did this on the first day of its release and it completely wiped her phone. She had to start from the factory settings and start all over, getting new apps and everything. It was a complete disaster. That said, she tried again a couple of days later and it worked and she seems happy with it, so I’m giving it a try — with misgivings. I can’t afford to have my phone wiped. My whole life is on there — my diaries, my many contacts, my medical records, all sorts of stuff. I’m also annoyed that I had to delete dozens of albums and hundreds of pictures to free up 3 GB of space for the download. That seems more like Microsoft bloatware to me…. Well, here’s hoping….

I’ve discovered I’m lactose intolerant. That really sucks! I’d been having gastric problems for over two months. They flared up almost immediately upon my finishing lunch and continued for the remainder of the day. I went on two antibiotics twice, but that didn’t really help very much. Finally, I caved and went to a gastro specialist. I had a theory that I posited to the doctor, and she recommended I do what I’m doing. I really think it was the yogurt I ate every day with lunch and the milk I was drinking and the tapioca pudding I’d have. I didn’t have problems until I consumed those, and then did afterwards. She told me to go off all dairy related products for a week and see what happens. I did, and everything went away and I cleared up in one day. I went a week and then had some ice cream one night, and they returned. So I’m lactose intolerant. How in the hell did that happen??? Now I’ve having to find lactose-alternative products. The yogurt is really high in carbs. The milk is pretty decent. You can find some good ice cream. The cheese really sucks. And on it goes. I guess this is a new lifestyle I’m going to have to get used to.

In sports, I’m not sure about my teams. The Steelers are the worst they’ve been in 45 years with an 0-4 record and they really, really suck. The Pirates, however, had a winning season and made the post-season for the first time in 21 years, which is really something to cheer about. However, last night St. Louis kicked their butts badly, so I don’t know how well we’ll do. My Penguins have goalie problems. Don’t know how we’ll do this year. My UT Vols are 3-2, with the two losses to ranked teams — Oregon and Florida. However, we have ranked Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama coming up, so it looks like we’ll be 3-5 by the end of the month. That blows. I really like the new coach and want him to succeed, but it looks like we’re going to have some growing pains.

Lately, I’ve been having to pay bills. That’s good and bad. It’s good to pay them, but it hurts to pay so much. I had to have $750 in car repairs too. I’m never buying a BMW again as long as I live.

I’m over this government shutdown. I attribute it ALL to the damn Republicans, who are holding the country hostage in their stupid attempt to repeal Obamacare — a LAW that was passed by Congress, signed by the president, upheld by the Supreme Court, and for whom Obama was elected for a second term while running against people who wanted to repeal it. Listen to the people, Congressmen! Damn Republicans. And they accuse the Dems. What gall! They’re truly despicable people. I will never vote for a Republican again as long as I live, and I was brought up a conservative Republican. That says a lot. They’re truly disgusting humans. What a waste. I hope they cave soon, so we can return to life as we know it.

Huh. It looks like my iPhone has updated while I’ve been writing this. It seems to have been successful. I’ve only opened a few apps, and things look like they’re still there. Oh, four of my apps are missing. *sigh* This new version looks very, very different from previous versions. It’s going to take me awhile to get used to. One thing — everything seems slower. The apps are taking longer to open. Oh well. I just checked out my space, though, and I’ve got more free space than when I started. I guess I can re-load some of my music on here. That’s good.

I guess that’s all for now. Book reviews coming soon. Cheers!

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No Insurance? Why?

Posted by Scott Holstad on January 16, 2013

Recently, I went to my appointment with my pain management specialist only to find out he’d left to go form his own practice. They gave me his new contact information. Why they couldn’t have contacted me and saved me the trip in is beyond me, but with health practitioners, not much makes sense these days.

So a couple of days ago, I called the doctor’s new number to schedule an appointment. It’s a post-surgery appointment, for Pete’s sake! It’s kind of important. As I was scheduling my appointment, the woman on the phone told me he wasn’t accepting insurance, so I would have to pay with cash or a money order. I was stunned! Appalled. Mortified. I’ve been out of work for awhile now and can’t afford to pay for health care visits out of pocket. More importantly, I have insurance — good insurance — and isn’t that what it’s there for? Why in the hell isn’t he taking insurance? Well, I’ve heard the reasons lately, mostly from health care practitioners, and it sounds like sour grapes to me. Doctors don’t make the money they used to with insurance. They don’t make enough money. They don’t want to take insurance anymore and would rather have people pay out of pocket so they can pocket all the dough. Greedy bastards! I guess two yachts and three mansions aren’t good enough anymore. I’m sorry, but don’t they understand that if they don’t take insurance, they’ll see a big drop off in patients? People can’t afford to spend $400 for a visit to the damn doctor! I know that’s a drop in the bucket to doctors. To me, that’s a lot of money and I don’t have it. I’m busy making insurance payments with it. Don’t they see this? Do they not care? Are they seriously this greedy and selfish? I’ve heard the sob stories. One of my former doctors said after he pays out his overhead and staff expenses, etc., he makes about as much as a teacher, but I find that very hard to believe. My fiance worked in the healthcare industry and I know plenty of other people who do as well, and I know how many patients these doctors are scheduling and how much they’re charging and I’m pretty convinced they’re not hurting. And besides, why do they have to be so damn greedy? I thought you got into medicine to help your fellow man. Or is that a thing of the past?

This isn’t isolated. A year and a half ago, I was dissatisfied with one of my specialists and started calling around to find a replacement. Not one was taking insurance. So I’m still stuck with this joker of a doctor. A similar situation occurred again about a year ago. I think this is a sign of times to come. Doctors just aren’t going to take insurance cause they want ALL the cash from the visit their patients make to them. And God forbid someone on Medicare or Medicaid seek medical help. All I ever see are signs on doctors’ walls stating they no longer take Medicare patients. WTF? Greedy bastards! I’ve heard people try to get me to pity them by stating that they went to college for eight years and had a residency to make it through and have big college loans. Well, boo hoo. I went to college for 13 years, have three — and nearly four — degrees and will be paying my student loans until I’m nearly 70 years old. And I don’t make anything close to what a doctor makes. No sympathy, sorry.

I’m not sure how to end this blog post. Has anyone reading this had similar experiences? Any advice? Any further thoughts? Any solutions? I’m really worried about the future of healthcare — mine especially — and if our expensive insurance is no longer going to be honored by our doctors, where does that leave us? Screwed, right? Right.

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