Boogers And Obama’s Insurance Plan

Boogers have nothing to do with this post, but sometimes a random post needs a random subject line.

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It’s Halloween and I’ve spent most of the evening handing out candy to munchkins of various ages. Now that it’s later, it’s older kids. Soon I’ll turn off the outside light and call it a night. How the hell are there still trick-or-treaters after 9PM? I have the legendary Higgins Panther Pumpkin as my welcome sign.

I’ve sent most of my clocks back an hour already. I’ll do the rest before bed. Don’t forget if it applies where you live.

Today I saw Timmy and we went shopping for the new work laptop. I bought a Bluetooth mouse at CompUSA (aka TigerDirect), which I paid for because it’s for me and I won’t share it. I got a firewire 800 cable because mine has gone totally AWOL. And, most importantly, I got a new 2TB hard drive. That will become my Time Machine drive. I’ll reformat the 1.5TB Time Machine drive and it will become my secondary drive. That will give me 2.5TB of space (1+1.5) and 2TB of backup, which is more than I’ll ever need. I’ll probably have to leave this thing to run overnight since the copy is going embarrassingly slow. The 2TB drive is a 5400 — as fast as they come right now, but it was only $179. It’s amazing how cheap drivers are becoming. My first HD was 10MB and was $999. This is two hundred times bigger and 20% of the price. Technology.

We also went to the mall (boring) and I got insanely pissed off because most of the stores already had Christmas decorations up. I remember when they weren’t put up until the day before Thanksgiving. Recently it started drifting back to the middle of the month, then early in the month, and now it’s in October. I despise this. As recently as two years ago, Nordstrom’s had a sign explaining they wouldn’t put up holiday decorations until the day before Thanksgiving, but not sure if they still do that. Bless them if they do.

We also went to the bookstore which has become far less interesting as it’s been totally overrun with vampire books. I ought to write one just because it’ll make me rich. Except I just don’t give a shit. I do want to write something, but I can’t get motivated.

I left and called Erin (no answer), Karen, Stan (no answer), Jose, and Dad to check up on everyone. When I got home, I tested the mouse, installed the hard drive, and then went to Publix where shopping was more of a pleasure than usual because the entire staff was dressed up. I unloaded the shopping and left again and had dinner at Pollo Tropical before beginning today’s Halloween festivities. While I did the candy passing, I watched the end of the UM game — they won but didn’t deserve to, and the coach should be fired immediately. Cal won, barely. I was watching the Hockey Night In Canada game (Leafs at Montreal) and eventually switched over to the Panthers game, though I can’t find it in HD.

The copy of the TM hard drive continues and is now at 1.6 million of 3.6 million files. Ugh.

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(Hey, should I got to three dot journalism style of blogging ala Herb Caen?)

Lastly, this is from my message boards where I went on a rant against Obama’s current health care plan:

I’m sure you know my political leanings tend to the left on most things, though in some areas I’m definitely a traditionalist. I feel the need to post that disclaimer as it’s relevant.

So, Mr. Obama is pushing his new Health Care Plan (I will call it HCP in this post). First, I do not have a fundamental objection to a governmental HCP. There’s nothing inherently wrong with one. It works well in many countries, and the fact is it works well in far more countries than it doesn’t work.

Secondly, the many claims of “Death Panels” are absurd. There are no facts or even reasonable implications that can make you come up with that. That’s simply right-wing bullshit, through-and-through.

Yet, I find myself in opposition to most of my friends because I am adamantly against this plan for a number of reasons.

First, the numbers don’t add up. Anyone who says they do can’t add. Period. There is not enough money to support this plan — and that’s based on projections. When has the government ever come in under budget. Never. So there’s not enough money for the projected costs, the ideas to get more money are nebulous at best, and there’s no accounting for overruns.

Second, this will dwarf Social Security and Medicare in scope and costs. Show me the money. You can’t. It’s not there. Ultimately me and you are going to pay for this in higher taxes. Certainly not short term while Mr. Obama is president, but in 10 years you will see your taxes rise — I’m guessing at least 10% — to cover this.

Third, as a business owner let’s talk the penalty clause. They’re going to fine businesses who don’t provide some form of healthcare coverage. Our company currently pays $350 per employee per month for our 36 employees. That’s for an HMO which is a mid-tier plan ($5000 deductible but with full Rx coverage and Open Access). Mr Obama intends to fine businesses that don’t provide health care. Those fines will come to around $250. If you read it, you’ll see it’s based on a percentage of what the business would have paid compared with what an individual would pay for an open market policy. For us, we guess around $250. As a business owner which would I rather pay? $250 or $350? I’d rather pay the fine*. All my employees are suddenly uninsured. They go on the government dole. And ultimately all the working people of this country end up paying.
Fourth, there are ongoing arguments about whether or not illegal immigrants will be entitled to coverage. Will they? No they will not be covered. Will they end up being covered? I believe so. Many benefits in many states are extended to illegals. That sticks in my gut. Deep down I bet within five years, they’ll be covered. There’s no part of it which makes it hard to change down the road.

Fifth, the “public” option. I’m actually for that. Why? Because the current insurance companies are FOR PROFIT and that is why our rates are high now. They need competition. Aetna reported profits for FY2008 of $282 million dollars. Look it up. That was Tuesday. I’m not picking on Aetna because they aren’t any worse or better than all the other leeches insurance companies.

That brings me to my point. I think there’s a much easier fix. If all health insurance companies were not for profit, that would force rates way down. They’d be concerned with their patients’ health and not how to beat me, my doctor, my pharmacy, and my hospital out of one more dollar. There’d be less arguing over getting the drugs and/or treatment you need to be healthy.  Look at the good works the American Red Cross, Habitat For Humanity, Robin Hood Foundation, and so on do. Non-profits can do great work. For-profit insurance companies have absolutely no incentive to do anything to make you healthy. It’s far cheaper for them if you’re dead.

This plan is bad. How anyone can be for it confounds me. Yes, there needs to be a plan. I fully support that. It’s just this particular plan that’s bad. It was rushed through without any proper thought or consideration of the effects on people and what will happen long term. I don’t care whether the plan is socialist, communist, or anything. I just care that it works. This plan won’t work. It’s a disaster in the making.

*I would never actually do that to my employees because I feel a moral and ethical obligation to my employees, but I’m sure you realize many business owners don’t feel that way.

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