I always liked what I heard about ACA; I think affordable healthcare for all is both essential and the moral thing to do.
I never understood why the Obama administration didn’t explain the law better, or at all. We heard 2 or 3 talking points and that was it. The public was never told ‘what’s in it for me.’ That baffled me because if this law was as good as they were saying I would have thought they would have been singing its praises.
I can tell you from first hand experience that it’s not just the website which had a disastrous rollout; it’s the entire law. Since I will be starting a business soon I have done a lot of research about ACA, which doctors will accept it, what kind of plans I could get. What I have found out has been maddening and extremely disappointing. I can’t speak for any other state besides New York, but let me tell you what I found out. First I talked with my dentist of 13 years, she told me that they had not decided which of the exchanges they would accept. She said that the information given to doctors was just as opaque as what was given to the public. She recommended not having dental coverage and just paying out of pocket; it would probably be cheaper.
Next I spoke with my dermatologist of 10 years. She also told me that she had very little knowledge of ACA and what plan she would accept. She also told me that her practice is also a small business and didn’t know what she was going to do about her own, and her staffs’ health insurance. She was concerned about what she was going to do. Her recommendation to me? Don’t choose a plan that she would accept; I should just come for my yearly check up and pay out of pocket for it.
Last week I saw my primary care doctor of over 20 years; before I saw him the woman in charge of billing told me the practice would be accepting none of the exchanges in ACA. When I spoke to the doctor I asked him about it and he was furious. He told me that it wasn’t his decision not to accept any of the exchanges; it’s that the exchanges would not accept any doctors who are affiliated with teaching hospitals or universities. Any reputable doctor is affiliated with teaching hospitals. He said that once you take that layer of doctors away what is left is subpar doctors. He also said that ACA was trying to push everyone into Medicaid; this would be a disaster because the doctors that accept Medicaid are definitely doctors to stay away from. They are amongst the worst in talent and treatment. My doctor also told me that in ACA you are covered for emergency room visits. But it might only be the ER on Coney Island (50 miles away). He recommended getting catastrophic insurance and pay out of pocket for regular visits.
These are my choices? This is supposed to help people? This is how you insure people who own small businesses? Three of my doctors, that are highly respected and at the top of their fields, recommend no insurance? My PC doc predicts an implosion in the coming months. Healthcare for all, but not any of the good doctors? Bad healthcare isn’t good for anyone, whether you have insurance or don’t.
This plan is unacceptable for anyone who lives in New York. It is a disgrace and needs to be immediately changed.
My brother, who takes beautiful pics has been named a finalist in a pic contest. Please read the note below from him and vote for his pic. You might win $200 and more importantly be on my good side 🙂
A note from my brother Daniel:
I’ve been selected as a finalist in Backroads photo contest. 27 finalists from 5,000 entries, so I am honored. If you click on the attached link (or cut and paste it) and vote for my photo, you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a $200 Patagonia gift card. My photo is in the middle of the fourth row.
Yes, I hate this theme too, but change is coming to all of my social media platforms. Change is good, and will offer others help properly navigating the world we live in with so many vast possibilities.
So, today all the buzz it about Chris Christie. Did he know and orchestrate the traffic-gate scandal, or was he an innocent victim of a staff gone wild. Personally I am losing interest in this more and more every hour of the day. I find it hard to believe that any staff member of Christie’s would do anything as brazen and public as tying up traffic on one of the busiest bridges in the world without Christie knowing about it. He did put on a good show, he was very convincing. I haven’t made up my mind 100%, but like I said, I can’t imagine anyone on his staff risking his wrath if he wasn’t on board. Ok, now that that is somewhat over with there are much more important things to discuss. As always there is the staggering amount of longterm unemployed who aren’t counted or given any help. The recent uproar of UI is about currently the current people who are seeking unemployment insurance. The millions upon millions who have been unable to find a job and no longer qualify for UI aren’t counted. According to the BLS site they have no way of knowing how many people, and what percentage of people, are unemployed. This is because they can only track the people who are currently receiving UI. The official estimate of longterm unemployed is (and has been for 4 years) 4 million people; my guess, more like 20 million. The official unemployment rate is at 7%, my guess is closer to 20%.
But, enough of reality that normal people suffer through and let’s think about what’s to come. What is to come? Will we as a Country invest in ourselves for a better future? To remain the leaders of the free world. Or, will we make short sighted decisions that restrict education, people’s ability to find a job. Right now much of the world is ahead of us; unthinkable 50 years ago. But we always went for the quick fix. Nah, don’t invest in new technology for air, train and auto travel let’s have tax cuts instead. I remember my Father used to be really into the interstate super highway system. I didn’t really realize until I was an adult that his interest came from the fact it happened in his lifetime. Ike made it possible. We need a new leader like Ike, like JFK, to inspire generations to come. The Internet itself came from JFK challenge to put a man on the moon. And look at the trillions of dollars that has created. We need to start reinvesting again so America doesn’t slip closer to a third world Country.
What’s the lesson here? Today everyone is focused on Chris Christie and traffic on a bridge. Who is focused on the future growth of our Country? There has to be someone more than just me.
So, I can’t seem to find any theme I really like for the background of my blog, so I will keep changing them until one day I have one designed for me.
So many things going on in the world; let’s start with Iraq. It’s almost heartbreaking to see the Iraqi city of Fallujah fall into the control of al Qaeda. I remember all of the American lives that were lost there, the horrific things reported on the news. But, we finally took control and ushered in peace. Now I am sure there are plenty of people chomping at the bitt to blame president Obama for this. Since, after all he left no troops in Iraq. Common sense would tell you the small amount of troops that would have been left would not have been able to contain this kind of violence. My question is, where would we be today if we had left Saddam in power? Would all of this bloodshed be going on? Would Iran have so much influence? Yes we all know the evils of Saddam and his 2 sons, but was he keeping Iraq in better shape than without him? Obviously there is no way to know the answer to this question. I personally don’t understand why the whole region just doesn’t grow up and get over themselves. The Sunni and Shia have been bitter enemies for thousands of year. Why? Work it out. And, this conflict is what is going on in the entire region, Syria; the Saudi’s turning against the U.S. Then of course you throw in Israel and every one of them hates the Jews and won’t acknowledge the Jewish state.
It’s a shame there is so much hate in this world. My not being religious makes it ironic that I completely agree with the Pope. Focus on the needy. Stop making this world such a hateful place. Stop focusing on abortion and gay people and focus on those in need. To me this is what religion should be. But since it’s mostly the exact opposite it holds no interest for me.
I find it a bit ironic that there is an article in the Washington Post about how American style Burger Joints are all the rage in Tehran. I have read for years that the Iranian people are extremely similar to the American people. It’s a catastrophe that the leaders of the 2 countries don’t work their differences out. Iran could actually be our biggest ally in the Middle East, aside from Israel. I don’t see an Obama doctrine in here anywhere.
Other thoughts going on. So, pot is legal in Colorado. BFD. I have said before I don’t think anyone who has pot should be jailed criminalized or have any law enforcement wasting time on this issue. Having it legal is a good thing, it can be regulated and taxed and that income could be used for many purposes. When I say regulated I am talking about having it authenticated and approved. When I was in high school they used to try to scare us from smoking pot by saying it might be laced with PCP. I know pot is not good for developing minds (up to 21 or so) but legal or not kids who want it will find it and smoke it. So, its legality is almost irrelevant for kids.
Let’s see, what else is on my mind that I can comment on before signing off? ObamaCare? Talk about losing total faith in something. It’s not just the way it was rolled out, the glitches, no one, including doctors knows what to do about it. I say Single Payer. Insurance and jobs should not be connected at all.
As always thanks for reading, let me know your thoughts. And let me know how you like today’s blog theme as it might change tomorrow!
So, today is a nice and quiet New Year’s Day. I wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year and thank you all for reading my words. There is one person who I want to read this particular piece and call me to discuss. You know who you are, you are married to @FLOTUS. Here I will lay out what I think our President immediately have on his agenda. For anyone reading that thinks Barack Obama walks on water, has no faults, can’t improve anything he does, you might want to stop reading this and get some help.
- First on his agenda should be a massive jobs bill that includes updating all of our infrastructure, power grids, airports, everything. Two thirds of the American public think the economy is headed in the wrong direction. Consumer spending this holiday season was extremely weak. Why? Because people are insecure about their jobs and the economy, as they have been for five years. Consumers need to feel good about their jobs, secure about the economy to start spending more. The more we spend the better the economy does. So this is where Obama should come out full throttled with a jobs bill and infrastructure of the future plan. He should have done this last year after he trounced Romney but he got caught up in the gun debate, which never seems to end well. Mr. Obama needs to sell to the American people a way to fix the economy for good. I say spend $1 Trillion on this. Fix and upgrade everything that needs it. I hear companies complain that they are trying to hire but no one has the right skills (I think this is bullshit), but have the government pay for training for new employees. So jobs can be created. The unemployment rate has been going down because people have stopped looking for work because they are so discouraged; once they stop looking they aren’t considered unemployed. The 7% figure is very misleading; I would peg the number closer to 20%. The workforce participation number is extremely important, that’s the number of people who have jobs compared to the number of people who want jobs. This is at its lowest level in 40 years. This need to change. You say how could Obama get $1T out of the Congress? Good question. But add up all of the government aid, from food stamps to unemployment insurance to medicaid. Putting $1T into new jobs and bringing all infrastructure into the 21st or 22nd Century, will bring in more money in tax revenue from the new jobs it would practically pay for itself. Those that say the GOP are just obstructionists and would block anything like this need to understand that no one has a bigger, louder, better bully pulpit than POTUS. Use it.
- Taxes. I am not a believer in ‘redistribution’ of wealth. You earned it, you deserve it. I do however feel that our tax code needs a complete overhaul. And not a revenue neutral one. There are so many tax loopholes that could be closed it would probably bring in more than $1T per year. Those kind of numbers could pay off our national debt in a very reasonable time frame. What am I talking about? Well, lets say you want a tax write off on your third home; under my plan I say no. Yes, I think it’s important to have tax deductions for people for their first home; but we have to create something more fair and balanced. If you earn over $400k per year, no you second home (3rd, 4th, etc) should not receive a mortgage tax deduction. Over seas investment loop holes should be closed. Make the tax code work for everyone. Maybe if you have $15M in the bank you shouldn’t get Social Security or Medicare. I don’t see any of this as wealth redistribution. Everyone should pay their fair share tax wise. Do it, change the laws, pay down our debt.
- Start with what I have recommended. Then when this is in action go for Immigration Reform. Change #ACA to Single Payer. Get on Iran ASAP, I think they are pulling the wool over your eyes. Get those tougher sanctions in place to start Day 1 after the initial 6 months.
All of this needs to be done to strengthen the United States both domestically and internationally. One of the reasons I think Hillary Clinton would be a great president is she is not an outsider. Obama has been standoffish and aloof with both GOP and DEMS. That’s no way to solve the Nation’s problems. If you are Hillary, and know how the game is played, you can accomplish these things.
Mr. President, you and your family have brought our Country into the 21st Century. From Michelle rocking the bangs to your support of equality for all you have done so much for us. Call me, email me, hit me up. You and I need to chat.