Monday, January 14, 2019

Monthly Update

More or less - I didn't check to see the exact date.

The Christmas Chaos is over, and both husband and I are back to school (him to full-time, me in my usual sporadic work schedule of subbing). I'm getting used to teaching 2 times a week or so (the goal is to aim for 5-6 times a month).

I've been working on study for my Life, Accident, and Health License. I need it to get started helping people to choose their Medicare plans (and, to a lesser extent, other associated insurances, such as Final expenses). I decided on this after seeing how much I was helped by someone who did the same for me. You CAN do it yourself, but it is helpful to talk it through with another person.

If I can do this 2-3 times a month, and more often during the Oct. 15 - Dec. 15 Open Enrollment Period, It should be able to form a good basis for a steady income to supplement my retirement. And, unlike the subbing, it isn't location-dependent.


Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Popping in for a Quick Update

I'm doing most of my blogging at this time on either Liberty's Torch, or The Declination. I was doing a lot of subbing, but am trying to finish my second book (started last spring, stalled for a while, then, re-booted in NaNoWriMo). I did not make goal in NNWM, but decided to re-set the goal - which if now 12/19. So, I need to focus on that, for now.

Today, I'm off to subbing. I was doing a lot of that, but have cut back, as December's jobs go on the 2019 tax year. I should be fine with about 5-6 jobs a month from now on.


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Privatization of Medicare?

Guys, it's happening already.

And, I'm completely OK with that.

Here's what's happening:

  • You get Part A - the government picks up all the cost of that
  • you get Part B - the government picks up all, or most (except for $134 for most recipients) of that 
  • You choose your Part C - THAT'S where the privatization comes in.
The Part C - you pay a small amount (if that - my monthly this next year will be ZERO). The federal government picks up the rest.

The government then pays these private companies to run the claims for all of the recipients in their plan. If it costs them MORE than the amount budgeted, the company takes the hit. If it costs them LESS than the amount budgeted, the company takes the profit.

There is a huge financial incentive in these companies to get, and keep, you healthy. To that purpose, most have agreed to pick up fitness memberships, which should improve the overall health of the Medicare recipient.

Could they just deny most, if not all claims, to improve their bottom line? Well, technically, they could, but then those people would just select another plan the next time they had Open Enrollment.

Are some companies denying care, such as proton therapy for some cancers? That happens even with non-Medicare plans. And, to be fair, proton therapy is not always the best choice for all cancers.

But, generally, such therapy is easier to get through the system than other therapies - proton therapy is much less destructive of nearby tissues, and has a better recuperation rate.

Might they not pay for transplants? VERY FEW plans pay for those over 65 - they're a high risk, low good outcome group.

So - why is this BETTER than the old way of handling Medicare?


Unlike the government employees, who have little to gain by questioning billing, the private industry looks askance at inflated/erroneous bills, and will generally snoop out those Medicare Mills that churn patients through to generate multi-million dollar incomes.

Since a very large part of the cost of Medicare is the fraud involved in it (according to then-Attorney General Holder, approximately 60 BILLION a year), this is one method of reducing costs that might have a better outcome than many other measures.

The overall cost of Medicare to taxpayers was $672.1 billion in 2016. So, the fraud amounts to about 10%.

That could pay for a LOT of services and medications for seniors.

For now, this may be the best solution. I'll report back next year, and see if I still think so.


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Seeing The CRAZY Erupt - Will It Stop EVER?

The recent comments by HRC have been analyzed. Were they just a human, fleeting moment of irritation that the opposition is developing a spine?

Were they a signal that the Left - not known for its 'civility' - is prepared to go even further than they already have:

  • Assault
  • Attempted murder
  • Screaming rage on the Senate committee floor
  • Using their fists to ineffectually 'batter down' the Supreme Court doors
  • Doxxing their political opponents
  • Releasing confidential government information - a Federal offense, BTW
  • Removing Due Process from quasi-judicial proceedings
  • Allowing unsubstantiated accusations - what USED to be called slander - in confirmation hearings
  • Rioting in the streets
  • Preventing others from exercising their 1st Amendment rights
  • Approving of masked people assaulting opponents, destroying property, and using weapons in a public place, with no opposition from government
The list is long. It is beginning to seem as though it will never end.


Thursday, September 20, 2018

You Don't BUY Digital Media - You Only Lease It

This thread brings up an important concept. We have become a Renter Society, rather than an Ownership Society.

Some things that used to be owned, but are no longer:

  • Movies - if they are a digital stream, they are RENTED
  • Music
  • Cars
  • Housing - condos, most senior housing, homes with HOAs - in every case, your absolute right to do with your possession as you wish has been restricted. If senior housing, you cannot deed it to your inheritors, if they are not of senior age. They have to sell it upon inheritance.
Our society has become a fully consumer society, that no longer takes possession, and uses the resource as they will. They have become a society that must ask permission of their overlords to use the property they paid for.


Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Value of Different Perspectives

Amazingly, for a field of study that makes so much about being driven by impartial, logical reasoning, geology might be as prone to group-think as anthropology or sociology.

This Atlantic article shows a prime example of that surprisingly convergent thinking of geologists on the various extinction theories. Most in the field support the meteor-hit in the Yucatan explanation. Dr. Geerta Keller, of Princeton, is a dissenter, whose hypothesis that massive volcanic activity in India triggered the mass extinctions.
I've generally found most of their science-related articles in The Atlantic are top-rate - accurate as to the science, while being accessible for the layman.

That the dissenting scientist is a woman is a footnote. Other scientists who've experienced isolation and push-back have been males, from a minority culture, or Good Old Boys from the elite institutions.

What is notable is that most of these dissenters come from a background that has led them to be comfortable outside of the consensus of the group. Without that ability to shrug off criticism and even ridicule, they would never be able to persevere in their studies of alternative hypotheses. Women, by definition, are a distinct minority in the physical sciences. As such, those that persist in pursuing a career are those that have internal strength and lesser need for interpersonal connections. They can sit in a room where no one looks like them, their input is disparaged, and few want to associate with them - and, yet, continue working, seemingly without personal or psychic distress.


Monthly Update

More or less - I didn't check to see the exact date. The Christmas Chaos is over, and both husband and I are back to school (him to fu...