Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas Feast

As usual we met with friends for a Christmas eve dinner and gift exchange. It was lots of fun with the exception of Tiedye Girl, who is going through a divorce and showing severe signs of depression and anxiety. It is very hard for all of us to see her in that state. Folks have taken to tiptoeing around her, trying not to upset her, and I have encouraged them to interact with her in the most normal way, that she needs the stability of her friends and family more than stiffled interactions. She is looking for treatment and we will see if it helps. She needs to know she will be kept safe. Anyway, she spent most of the evening asleep as she took some medication for anxiety.

Everything else was quite enjoyable. I was delighted that one of the teens, who is now 18, gave me a book! He is an avid reader, and each year I found books for him, mostly of Fantasy and Sci-fi types. This year I gave him an Octavia Buttler collection. I am so please to see him share his love of reading with me by giving me a book he has enjoyed, and thought I might enjoy too! That was the best gift!

For mystic, I post some pictures of the delicious goodies we delected ourselves with.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Health tales of woe, or tales of health woes.

After reading Spin's tales of insurance woes, I decided I should go ahead and post my own. It never ceases to amaze me that despite all of the problems consumers are experiencing in this country we still fear universal healtcare to a huge (as my friend the Spin Doctor would say "gynormous") degree. Folks here believe that they would not be able to pick their doc, would have to wait for a long time for proceedures and appointments and would receive sub-par treatment.

Of late, my experience has been that healthcare in this country meets all of those despite increasing and obscene insurance prices. The level of care continues to decrease, restriction of available physicians increase and the problems in getting payment or treatment are worsening.

I currently work three jobs for a total of about 50 hours a week, but since it is not at one company (heaven forbid I should like the freedom of doing different things) I have to pay my own premium. Since I worked at a single job for 6 years, I can have a elect to use my COBRA for 18 months and pay about $300 a month. That's my insurance premium. Then I have a deductible of $250 a year, then I have co-pays. Each Dr visit is $20, not too bad, and medications (which I have 6) are $40 or $25. So I pay about $200 a month just for meds. Yes, they do keep me in good shape and able to function well, but that is $500 a month just for health care. And I don't know what happens in 18 months, when I am no longer eligible for COBRA!

My newest job, at a Hospice, the insurance is not very good because most of the employees are older (median age 50) and less insureable. The insurance is Blue Cross and greatly limits which physicians a person can use. I'm not sure I want to work more and sign up with them.

Be healthy my friends, the alternative is just scary!