Category Archives: insurance

If you’re planning a journey into the health insurance exchanges . . .

. . . you might benefit from visiting  Health Sherpa, given the Looking-Glass world of health insurance at present. Since I don’t need insurance, I didn’t go deeply in, but it looks like a very very useful tool.

They describe themselves thusly:

The Health Sherpa is a free guide that makes it easier to find and sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. We only use carefully vetted, publicly available data.

The Health Sherpa is not affiliated with any lobby, trade group or government agency and has no political agenda.


Stand up and take it suckers. Florida doesn’t give a damn.

A nephew recently opened a branch of his insurance agency here in town, so when my policies came up for renewal I planned to transfer them to his office. But oh no . . . thanks to our consumer-hating Governor Scott and the now-infamous 2012 Florida legislature (the one that put 11 amendments to the state constitution on the ballot that contributed to voting going on until midnight, all of which were soundly defeated) that ain’t gonna happen (see below).

scottOur odd-looking Gov (nice teeth though) began his attack on all insurance that isn’t  private (as a crooked indicted former insurance exec himself, he continues allegiance to his former cohort) on Day One.  His special target has been the state-run, wildly popular and very well capitalized Citizens Insurance, which provides wind and flood coverage. In Florida, that is our hurricane policy.  (Citizens, by the way, was established after the big national companies fled Florida following Hurricane Andrew which devastated the State.)

Scott formed a committee tasked with developing strategies to literally get rid of Citizens. He wants to provide actual cash payments to private companies who take over their policies and is also offering to share Citizens’ disaster funds with them which they need since none of them have reserves as healthy as the gay-socialist-anti’merican Citizens.  Some of this is already in place; in 2013 for the first time, wind insurance will no longer covers ‘external’ structures of the sort most subject to wind damage  – that would be pool cages, screened-in porches, sheds and carports (stuff our leaders assume the common folk could easily cover out of their movie money). Adding to the pain, there’s not another reputable company offering alternatives – not at any price. Isn’t that nice? 

So, back to my nephew and his shining new local business. Here’s the text of an email I just got from his office. Both the agent and I have now agreed that I’d put  myself at risk of being denied insurance altogether were I to attempt to support Mike’s new business by transferring my policies to him. She said:

I am running into a problem with Citizens. As you know, they are increasingly difficult to work with for us. In order for us to change the agent on the policy, they now require the policyholder to re-qualify and will not transfer documents from one file to the other. Because of the age of your home, they are going to require a new 4 point inspection which would verify the condition of the roof, electrical, plumbing and AC systems. All items must show that they are free of defects and have at least 5 years remaining useful life. This is different from the Wind Mitigation inspection that we discussed when you were in the office, which is only required in the event that you wish to have credits applied to the policy and only verifies structural elements and not condition. Unfortunately for us, if you simply renew your existing policies, you are not subject to this condition . . . .

And now, the same situation has popped up with my homeowners policy. I guess they’ve figured if Citizens can get away with this, so can they. Both policies will now remain with my current agent. Sorry Mike.

Way to support new businesses Gov! But hey, F-R-E-E-D-O-M.

When Florida votes this clown out of office in 2014 we may be able to repair some of what he’s done; till then, it’s going to hurt – a lot.

Let the fittest survive . . . and get rich. USA! USA! USA!

An interesting graph from a column in the venerable Journal of the America Medical Association (JAMA) : it details who is covered by Medicaid, the program Paul Ryan described as “a hammock that lulls able-bodied people to lives of dependency and complacency”.

The largest group covered by Medicaid by far is children. The second biggest group, adults, contains large numbers of pregnant women. Medicaid covers about 40% of births in the United States. The third largest group includes people who are blind or disabled. That leaves what are known as dual eligibles. Those are elderly people who are so poor that they receive both Medicaid and Medicare benefits.

If I’m reading this chart correctly, while children constitute the largest constituency, the blind/disabled receive the most dollars.

(link is from a Paul Krugman column)

Supreme Court days

I plan to listen to as much of the oral arguments this week as I have time for. I’ve listened to a few of these before – at the Circuit Court level too – and they’re surprisingly engaging,  even for a non-lawyer. There is, in this country particularly, majesty to the law. Listening to the petitioners make  their cases and then engage with the justices in the finer points of the law and the Constitution gives one an appreciation of how it is we have, no matter our politics, remained ‘a nation of laws’ for two-plus centuries, a nation that’s chosen to be governed by the law

Today’s argument is whether the Court can even hear the case against the mandate yet, since it’s not been enacted. It’s possible they’ll shut it down for now and will return to it after the law goes into effect. Something about you can’t challenge that which does not yet exist in fact.

If, however, they decide that yes, the case can go forward – which I think they will (why else schedule three days for argument) – the meat of the argument starts tomorrow, when they actually take up the matter of the constitutionality of the law.

I think they’ll uphold it. And I think they’ll do it by better than 5-4. It could even be 7-2, with just Alito and Thomas against. Which, of course, will mean the end of freedom.


We Are the 1 Percent


Tens of thousands marched through the streets of lower Manhattan Wednesday in support of Occupy Wall Street and to protest the actions of the financial elite that has devastated the lives of so many. The current issue of Orion magazine includes an article by Christopher Ketcham that  draws the connection between the demonstrators and the city they marched in:

Of the twenty-five largest cities, New York is the most unequal city in the United States for income distribution. If it were a nation, it would come in as the fifteenth worst among 134 countries ranked by extremes of wealth and poverty—a banana republic without the death squads.

It is the showcase for the top 1 percent of households, which in New York have an average annual income of $3.7 million. The One Percenters took for themselves close to 44 percent of all income in New York during 2007 (the last year for which data is available).

New York’s wealth concentration is almost twice the record-high levels among the top 1 percent nationwide, who claimed 23.5 percent of all national income in 2007, a number not seen since the eve of the Great Depression.

The number of homeless in the city rose to an all-time high last year with a record 113,000 men, women, and children, many of them comprising whole families, retreating night after night to municipal shelters.

Average workers have been the consistent losers since 1990. The real hourly median wage in New York between 1990 and 2007 fell by almost 9 percent. Young men and women aged twenty-five to thirty-four with a bachelor’s degree and a year-round job in New York saw their earnings drop 6 percent. Middle-income New Yorkers—defined broadly by the FPI as those drawing incomes between approximately $29,000 and $167,000—experienced a 19 percent decrease in earnings.

Almost 11 percent of the population, about 900,000 people, live in what the federal government describes as “deep poverty,” which for a four-person family means an income of $10,500 (the average One Percenter household in New York makes about that same amount every day).

About 50 percent of the households in the city have incomes below $30,000; their incomes have also been steadily declining since 1990. During the boom of 2002–07, the trend was unaltered: the average income in the bottom 95 percent of New York City households declined.

The wealth of the One Percenters derives almost entirely from the operations of the sector known as “financial services,” whose preoccupation is “financial innovation.” The One Percenters draw the top salaries at commercial and investment banks, hedge funds, credit card companies, insurance companies, stock brokerages.

The largest twenty financial institutions in the U.S., almost all of them headquartered in New York, now control upward of 70 percent of the country’s financial assets, roughly double what they controlled in the 1990s.

According to the article, financial innovation is a “socially useless activity”, with “little or no long-term value”, whose purpose is to “merely shift money around” without designing, building, or selling “a single tangible thing.” Financial services once allocated capital for socially useful projects that also created jobs. The goal now is to maximize short-term profit by generating and bursting asset bubbles, hedging carefully to come out ahead no matter the cost to society. Having created a wave of gentrification that devastated manufacturing and made the city unaffordable for most workers, including writers, artists, and musicians, the One Percenter sits atop a cuturally sterile world that “that offers nothing but mass consumption as a prospect for our youth,” that trumpets “contempt for the least powerful in society,” that offers only “outrageous competition of all against all.”

A dime’s worth of difference?


So Obama offers a debt deal to the Republicans: he’ll cut Social Security and Medicare. In exchange, the Republicans will, maybe, allow the Bush tax cuts to expire. Or hike some other taxes; whatever.

Now the Republicans are saying no deal, they’ll only accept spending cuts; they’ll cut Social Security and Medicare, plus keep the Bush cuts, but deep-six the tax hikes.

So, let’s see, that means if Option 1, the Democratic plan, had been accepted, the rich would have been back to where they were under Clinton, and the poor and middle would have been worse off. But if Option 2, the Republican plan, is enacted, the rich will keep what they got from Bush, and the poor and middle will be worse off.

What can we say about America’s future from the horns of this little dilemma? If it plays out the way the health care farce did, we can make a few predictions:

The Tea Party will be left swinging in the breeze. The folks who screamed, “Keep your hands off my Medicare!” are about to have their Social Security and Medicare seriously FUBARed. Even the most hardcore non-rich Tea Partier will realize sooner or later there’s nothing here but, as the song says, the promise of an early death.

The Democratic base will be left swinging in the breeze, after having its veins opened, its throat slit, and a dagger slipped between its ribs. The new default “far left” bargaining position will start with Social Security and Medicare cuts. Obama will initiate his trademark “compromising” from there. Predicting which once-sacrosanct progressive program he’ll negotiate away next will be all the rage in DC.

Mainstream middle and working class Republicans will be left swinging in the breeze; it’ll just take them a while to figure it out. Sooner or later the most diehard trickle-down true believer will realize the upcoming corporate cash infusion (via “amnesty” or any other method) isn’t going to create any jobs for Americans, other than the corner-office and lobbying jobs for the politicians who sold us all down the river; but CEOs will no doubt receive some kickass bonuses over the next few years.

Life is about to get one hell of a lot harder for most Americans. Thanks to Democrats. And Republicans.

A question for Mr. Ryan

(I’m sure this question can be posed with more clarity by someone else – I have a limited vocabulary when money comes into the conversation.)

About those people under 55 who be cut off from Medicare as we know it . . . . will they continue paying into Medicare until retirement? Is that money going to current recipients or is it going to go into one of those lockboxes and held for the use of those future happy retirees to use when they go shopping for policies in the private market? Or is that money going to finance the share that government supposedly will provide. If they’re going to keep paying into ‘Medicare’, will workers be paying at the same rate? So many questions. So few answers.

An actual new idea

From today’s New York Times, an op-ed by two academics – a law professor and an economics professor – offers a unique proposal. Their column is titled Paying for Old Age. They propose government-issued annuities which could be as attractive as those issued by insurance companies are not (AIG anyone?).

This new product wouldn’t cost the government a penny. In fact, the Treasury would benefit. It is only an incremental move beyond issuing inflation-adjusted bonds, which the Treasury already does. By allowing the government to tap a new class of investors, the cost of government borrowing over all would probably drop.

For me but not for thee

Instead of crafting legislation to create jobs (remember that?), the Senate Republicans are offering up their first bill of this new Congress, “The State Health Care Choice Act.” It’s a repeal effort of course, and it allows States to opt out of not just the ‘onorous’ parts of the bill but stuff like protections for pre-existing conditions. Allows them to opt out of the whole dangburn thing.

I’ve noticed lately an increasing sentiment among Washington (and State) Republicans that this ‘Union’ thing is becoming a bit bothersome. Secession  language for instance has really escalated, along with respect for the Constitutional principle of             .

From Steve Benen at the excellent Washington Monthly blog Political Animal, a good post on the subject and this – from commenter KurtRex1453:

Remember, memorize and repeat….

Health insurance companies want to pay doctors as little as possible and charge customers as much as possible while providing the minimum health care possible. This adversarial relationship hurts everyone but health co execs and the Republicans who support them. When the Republicans scream death panels, socialism or try to scare you with horror stories of malfeasance in government run health care systems, they are only protecting the Heath Insurance Execs excessive profits, Hermes handbags, and overpriced sports cars.


Moving right along

It seems Rep Bart Stupak has announced his retirement. (For the sake of my party, I hope to god he doesn’t go to work for an insurance company!) From the Atlantic Online just now:

“Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) plans to announce his retirement today, Democrats briefed on his decision said. Stupak, the leader of a pro-life faction within his party, had received death threats and was under intense political pressure after he agreed to support the Democratic health care reform legislation even though pro-life groups insisted that it would allow federal funds to be used for abortion.

Stupak negotiated a compromise with the White House, which resulted in President Obama’s issuing of an executive order clarifying the executive branch’s view of the subject. For that, Stupak was called a traitor to the pro-life cause. Stupak has represented Michigan’s first congressional district for 18 years. He will make public his decision at a press conference later today.”

I guess 18 years of stalwart adherence to a cause is not enough for these people. Do they understand that without political compromise we’d be in a permanent state of war? Can they not get around the fact that compromise is the only thing that keeps us functioning as a republic?  No. They do not.


I love hearing something entirely new

A week ago, my brother in law recommended a blog post from the NY Times Perscriptives blog, which covers the health care issue with some depth. I finally got around to reading it this afternoon and was introduced to an an idea, a theory, that is entirely new to me and so wonderfully commonsensical.

It is something called Baumol’s cost disease, named for an 88-year old economist, William Baumol.

“Dr. Baumol and a colleague, William G. Bowen, described the cost disease in a 1966 book on the economics of the performing arts. Their point was that some sectors of the economy are burdened by an inexorable rise in labor costs because they tend not to benefit from increased efficiency. As an example, they used a Mozart string quintet composed in 1787: 223 years later, it still requires five musicians and the same amount of time to play.

Despite all sorts of technological advances, health care, like the performing arts, suffers from the cost disease. So do other public services like education, police work and garbage collection. While some industries enjoy sharp increases in productivity (cars can be built faster than ever, retail inventory can be managed better), endeavors like health care are as labor-intensive as ever. “

Back when Baumol was advising the late Senator Daniel Moynihan on Clinton’s health care proposals, he explained his theory to the Senator who then said “You have now explained to me why the Democratic Party is called the party of tax and spend, because we are financing all the things that are affected by the cost disease and Republicans want to short-change them”

Very very interesting column. The whole blog in fact is a great place to track what’s going on with health care legislation.

Quick one

As Rush Limbaugh was in Hawaii singing the praises of a union hospital in a universal health care system, this week’s wanna-be, Mark Styne, was busily being brilliant at the mic today. He responded enthusiastically to a caller who was talking about the Amish way of paying for medical care: they have a common pool which they use to fund medical costs for individual families as needed. And they pay cash, so they get to negotiate with the providers. And according to Styne, this is brilliant and how we should be doing it instead of all this socialist stuff.

Missing me?

Where to begin? He is wrong on so many levels. First – what the Amish are doing sounds exactly like self-insurance, a once common practice among private companies ( less and less so as costs have escalated). And second, what they are doing appears to be re-distributing their wealth, according to need. Reminds me of something – perhaps Mark Styne can illuminate it for me in one of his more insightful moments.

Don’t tell him, though. He was so so proud of himself.

The dittoheads are in safe reliable hands.

Home for the holidays? Bah humbug.

I actually stayed up last night to hear the roll call on the 1:00 am vote on the Senate’s health care bill. (It passed with exactly 60 votes.)

And the second last speaker before the vote was GOP leader Mitch McConnell. And he, like the speakers before him, deplored – deplored I tell you – how the Dems were “sneaking this vote and doing it in the middle of the night.”

The 1:00 am time for the vote was expected by all news organizations and heavily covered in the days leading up to last night’s vote. And the Senate arguments have been on teevee – my teevee anyway – for almost a month. Sneaky.

Why 1:00 am? Reid could have held matters over till midday or afternoon today of course. But all the Dems wanted to wrap it up so they could hit the airports and be homeward bound this morning. The GOP, on the other hand, had absolutely no plans to go home at all and would have been absolutely thrilled to stay a few more days and prevent that sneaky, middle of the night stuff.

UPDATE: Hard as it is to believe, I got something wrong here. So I take back all that stuff about jumping on planes. Seems the actual floor vote is still scheduled for before Christmas, which probably means Christmas Eve. Although I have no idea why it has to stall like that. Did they not vote last night to move to a vote?

But the balance of what I said – about the feigned outrage at the ‘sneaky middle of the night vote’ – continues to be true.

Jeeezzz, I want to feel better, not worse

Glenn Greenwald at Salon today, posts with excrutiating detail, the story of  Obama and health care reform. It’s long. It’s full of links to other long stories, but it’s an important read for progressives who really want to see something happen, and want to know why it feels like smoke and mirrors. (Greenwald says it is smoke and mirrors.)

Be forewarned though, if you’re living in any happy bubbles and don’t want them burst, stay away from this one.

Greenwald’s rage-meter can be a little high sometimes, so I always take him with a teeny dose of salt, but today? Well, today he’s got it all lined up and it’s not – ahem – to my liking.

Food for thought

Nate Silver at Five-thirty-eight, a statistican who made his name tracking the projections during the ’08 election (and being right more than anyone else) has a post this morning about health care and he says “Progressives would be batsh*t crazy to oppose the Senate bill”.

Well,  that’s a bold statement  from someone I respect and whom I’ve always perceived as progressive himself, so that makes his thoughts on this matter worth considering. He put up a graphic of his own making. I’m just putting it out there.


We’re winning again – in the race to the bottom that is . . . per the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the US ranks near the bottom in life expectancy among wealthy nations despite spending more than double per person on health care than the industrialized world’s average.

Way to go!! We must be doing something right, yes?

From the story at MSNBC:

“Total U.S. spending on health care was $7,290 a person in 2007, nearly two-and-a-half times the OECD average of $2,984. The figures include spending by both individuals and governments.

“It suggests that the U.S. is not getting great value for its health spending, in terms of life expectancy,” Gaetan Lafortune, one of the report’s co-authors said.

He said the U.S. needs to look “closely at spending that has little or no value in terms of improved health.”

Like kryptonite to stupid*

I noticed this myself  when I watched the trailer (?) earlier today for the apparently actual upcoming tea-bagger documentary. (Really. There is one.)

A black guy named Nate appears a LOT in the trailer. I think it’s probably because he’s so handsome, not because he was the only black guy they could find. Here are three of his five appearances.

*An early blog title by an early blog hero: Oliver Wills.

Worthy of Jon Stewart

More and more these days, I find myself turning to Nicholas Kristoff in the New York Times for a dose of context and sanity. Because he hasn’t become a ‘celebrity journalist’, he holds onto his credentials as an actual journalist, who forms his opinions as a columnist by doing actual ‘reporting’.  (Archaic. I know.)

This morning, he brings us some predictions – from 1964, when Medicare was a-bornin’.

“Critics storm that health care reform is “a cruel hoax and a delusion.” Ads in 100 newspapers thunder that reform would mean “the beginning of socialized medicine.”

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page predicts that the legislation will lead to “deteriorating service.” Business groups warn that Washington bureaucrats will invade “the privacy of the examination room,” that we are on the road to rationed care and that patients will lose the “freedom to choose their own doctor.”

One more thing

. . . and then I’m on my way – but I didn’t want to miss noting this little charmer which I just heard on C-Span. It seems that while the Republicans in Congress have been making sure that abortion is squeezed out of  Public Option or otherwise subsidized health plans . . . wait for it . . . the Republican National Committee provides its own staff with coverage for elective abortions. Isn’t that thoughtful of them? (And don’t say ‘but it’s not gov’t money’ – you believe it or you don’t believe it.) They’ve offered this abortion coverage for 18 years.

Steve Benen at Washington Monthly has the story.

Next time, ask your nurse if she has health care

At his site, Andrew Sullivan has begun another of his occasional  ‘series’, where he invites readers to submit photos or anecdotes or stories relating to a certain subject. His latest series is called The View From Your Sickbed.  Today he publishes this from a reader:

A personal story: my girlfriend has a tumor on her ovary and no health insurance. She’s taking her last class for her nursing degree, but since she’s not going to school full-time, she’s not elligible for insurance through the school. She has two jobs bartending, neither of which offer health benefits, working nights so she can spend her days studying and taking care of her six year old daughter (who thankfully is on her father’s insurance).

I don’t know a person who works harder than her and who gives so much of herself to others.

It is a travesty that the country she lives in–the richest in the world–can’t provide her and people like her decent affordable health insurance. Arguments over funding abortion are trivial in comparison to the magnitude of health care problems facing millions of people every day in this country. As a supporter of reproductive rights, I’ll happily cede that ground to the anti-abortion zealots and fight another day, if it means people in the same boat as my girlfriend are able to have access to the care they need.

This is serious stuff

To the boys and girls in Washington, DC, who have the reins of the governance of 300 million people in their hands:

babyimagesRefusing access to medical insurance for living children with cancer because you have moral objections to a woman availing herself of a legal medical procedure is not in itself moral.

Why can you not understand that?

They did it!

An hour ago, I sat here in a celebratory mood and began writing a post. And the power went out. And at my house, that meant no intertubes. So while the mood has passed a bit, I will say it was just swell watching the votes count up to 218 in the House. In fact, they got to 220. And HR 3962, the Health Care reform bill passed out of the House. So  just good for them. I’m proud to be a Democrat tonight. Now on to the Senate, where we can only hope that Joe Lieberman doesn’t screw things up.

UPDATE: In my rush to publish this post, I neglected to mention the very best moment. When the count hit 218, the chamber just erupted in cheers, and hoots, and clapping and it was just wonderful.

Watch out! Dat evil health-care-for-all be on its way

I’ve had a lot of home chores today, so CSpan’s been on the teevee pretty much all day. The House has been live since this morning because today is the moment; a health care bill will pass the House tonight. The speeches were perfunctory hands clappingthis morning and afternoon, but about 7pm the drama began to build as the leadership started hanging around and the stars of both parties stepped up to make speeches. Each hour there are more people in the chamber, and as the hours go on it appears to be filling up.

Right now, Rep. Boehner is on the floor talking about the evils of the upcoming cap and trade climate legislation. And jobs. And taxes. Now this is one of the penultimate speeches; Boehner is the top Republican in the House. So what’s he doing talking about other issues? I take it to mean they’re moving on. I take it to mean they know they’ve lost the debate.

Folding laundry while witnessing history. This is really quite grand.

Turns out Charlton Heston lives!

gallery-bachmannteaparty8Two photo galleries are up over at TPM – the Bachmann ‘Storming of the Capital” dontcha’ know.  I just worked my way through 55  of the pictures. I was on a mission – to see if I could find a single face that wasn’t white European. But the white, it hurt. And now my eyes hurt, by the way.  Honest, go through them yourself and see if you can find anyone remotely Asian, Hispanic, black or anything else.

It’s finally here. And it’s a dud

As we all know, health care reform has been bouncing around Congress for quite a few months now.  Deliberations in the Senate Finance Committee on their own lasted for months. And when they finally passed it out of committee, the Republicans on that committee gave it a pass. All the while, the Congress has been hammering out a number of  bills, reconciling them and finally submitting one for consideration about 10 days ago.


Try again kids

While all this was going on, the GOP did not offer a bill. Oh, they described the bill-that-was-to-come endlessly. And yesterday the put their proposed ‘bill’ out there. Timely of them. (Does anyone know how many pages it is?)

Google shows 3600 stories on the bill this morning. The Democratic Party informs me (via email):

  • The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says it would barely make a dent in most of our premiums, and could lead to higher premiums for older Americans
  • The New York Times reports that it doesn’t stop insurers from refusing to cover you because of a pre-existing condition.
  • The CBO’s research shows that the GOP plan would likely cut the deficit by just $68 billion over the next ten years — far less than the Democratic bill, which cuts the deficit by $104 billion over the same period.
  • The CBO also estimates that under the Republican bill the number of uninsured Americans would actually increase to 52 million by 2019.
  • And Politico writes that the Republican’s so-called plan doesn’t keep insurers from dropping you when you’re sick — it just makes them let you know that you’re being dropped

And that’s just the preliminary analysis. It’s only been out there for a day. Reuters has read it and their story today says: “The Republican proposal would provide for the sale of insurance coverage across state lines and calls for medical malpractice lawsuit reforms.” (Ahh – the old favorites!) “The proposal would also provide incentives to states to encourage them to review their insurance rules and mandates to find ways to reduce costs and expand medical coverage.

“Now the bad news. The proposal would reduce the rolls of the uninsured by about 3 million in 2019, leaving about 52 million people without medical coverage, the CBO said. Also, the CBO said that premiums for some people, mostly the less healthy, would go up, feeding into Democratic criticisms that the Republican plan would allow insurers to “cherry pick” and enroll healthier, less costly people.”

Their story has a lot more detail, if you want to read it.

There. All legal now.

Took my ancient father to a  dermatologist today – a guy he’s seen for years. There is to be a biopsy. For this, because it it so for anytime they approach a patient with anything resembling a needle, a ‘consent form is required’. Two, in fact. And require that he sign both. And  I say let me sign for him, he is blind. I do it all the time. And they say, do you have power of attorney. And I said, no, but I”m his daughter and I”ve been here with him many times. And that a [my name] for [his name] should do it. (Hello! You know me!) Uh, uh. Not good enough. He must be the one. So with great difficulty, he produces some totally unintelligible marks on a page, in the wrong place. And they accept that.

A few moments later, I say that I don’t imagine its’ exactly legal when someone signs something they are unable to read, and suggested they might want to get new blank forms and read all three pages of small type to him before he scratches again.

And  that is why I piss people off .

You know you’re old when . .

It’s time to sign up for Medicare Part D. I missed the window last year, which has not been a big issue. For you young’uns, Part D is the absolutely completely free drug plan that was never funded. Which should make it fun going forward.

And better looking too?

Do insurance companies have better bureaucrats? Is that why we need to be protected against government bureaucrats?