Saturday, September 5, 2009

Roundup Time - Or Here's Some Crap

I guess I have become kind of obsessed about health care lately. I just seems like a no-brainer to me. I turn 65 in March next year. I will be illegible for Medicare. I am looking forward to being eligible for Medicare. My premiums will go down, my medical expenses will go down, my medical care will stay the same or improve. What could be better than that? And why shouldn't everyone have the same opportunity? It seems like the rest of the world has figured it out. Why haven't we? The simple answer is MONEY.

But this is not what I intended to write about.

Summer is about over. School around here starts for most kids next week. The others have already started. For the Critter household, that means we will be back to our babysitting several times a week, but only for a few hours on the days that we have the kids, generally after school.

There are lots of family and extended family birthdays in September and October, so it will be party time. It is always nice to get together with family, although as I get older I find that I like the noise and crowd of people less and less. I tend to seek out more solitude.

The eyes are still a work in progress. The right eye is good. The left eye is still blurry. I am on new eye medication for the next month or so. There is still a question if the blurriness is caused by swelling or a thickening membrane over the retina. The medication should take care of the swelling. At $200 for a little, and I mean little, bottle it should. If it doesn't, then the retina doctor will remove the membrane. He may have to remove it anyway, if it continues to thicken. As some point it will start to put stress on the retina, and that is not a good thing.

After a relatively cool summer (high 80's, now 90's), the heat (high 90's, low 100's) has finally come to Southern California. Also the fires are here. The fires don't present any danger to the Critter Compound, but they do add a lot of crap to the air. You can smell the smoke in the air, particularly in the mornings. It is getting better the last couple of days as the firefighters get a handle on the fires.

That's about it for now. I am going to walk the dogs while it is still relatively cool out. Then it is a football afternoon. There are four schools that I follow and they are all on today. The TIVO will get a workout. I record the games and play them back. I can watch a game pretty quickly. The 30-second skip feature works great jumping from play to play. I watch two local universities (USC and UCLA) and the two universities that I went to (Washington and Illinois).

Have a nice weekend!


  1. I'm sorry to hear about your eyes not being quite back to normal, Jerry. Hope the drops help (they better -- I can imagine how small that $200.00 bottle is).

    Babysitting, you say... It's fun in moderate doses, I imagine. On the bright side, you send them home (not your home) at the end of each day.

    BTW, you still haven't posted pics of your dogs. (Just a friendly reminder, you know.)

    And you have any stomach left for the health care reform disaster, see the Matt Taibbi's piece I linked to on my blog.

    OTOH, if you want to have a peaceful and nice holiday weekend, do not read it. You'll have Medicare in a few months, that's what matters. :)

  2. P.S. Jerry, here is Taibbi's piece so you don't have to look for it.

  3. That's a great, and very depressing, piece. It appears that the dems and the repugs, both, have joined together to dupe the American people.

    Major, major changes need to be made starting with:
    1. Stop treating corporations as persons.
    2. Public financing of elections

  4. Check out my next post for doggy pictures.

  5. (hugs).. so sorry to read about the eye.

    Last Thursday I got paid $20.00 an hour for 9 hours.... breakfast; lunch; healthy snacks .. etc... for watching 4 role plays of Agents selling Part C/ Park D for an Advantage health.

    They were even now including more FREE DENTAL items.. and Free Gym; Free Transportation; but the draw back is you can't see a specialist without first getting permission from a primary doctor.

    The only requirement for not being eligible is having any Renal Problems.

    It seems very optimal for senior citizens... very... and they can change their primary doctor; and request medications to be covered that are not.

    It did seem senior citizen friendly... and the 4 women agents were so positive; they really felt it was a great project to bring to their communities and actually been doing it for years; but still had to be tested this way.

    I learned that I could even do it freelance too.. or full time..

    What do you think about Part C and Part D...??

  6. I'm not too familiar with Part C. It's Medicare Advantage. It is basically Medicare A and B with more restrictions run by a private insurance company. The government pays them about 15 - 20% extra to cover their costs. This demonstrates why private insurance companies don't want a public option. They can't compete on price.

    Part D is the prescription coverage. It's OK, but has two problems. One is the donut hole. The bigger problem is that Medicare cannot negotiate drug prices. This is a huge gift to the drug companies and as a result Medicare recipients pay more for their drugs than they should.

    To me, I don't see the reason for Part C. Part D is OK, but could/should be substantially improved.