Archive for Medicine

Unaffordable Care Act

Chart -2015 to 2018

My former company’s retirement plan is conducting their annual enrollment period for healthcare insurance this month. The retirees, their spouses and dependents may select one of several plans during the open enrollment period.

I went on the website to make our selections for the coming year and, much to my annoyance, the premiums are going up yet again. I decided to look at the recent history of the rates and came up with the chart above. The image has neither legends nor scales, but I am going to explain them.

The four vertical cubes represent 2015 through 2018 and the height of each shows the relative amount for the premiums. I limited it to these four years since that is the period when the Obummercare mess has screwed up the system for everyone, not just ACA exchange subscribers.

The chart applies only to Damsel’s insurance premiums that we pay monthly. I did not do the complex analysis of my Medicare and Medigap (for the 20% that the .gov doesn’t pay) which I may do one of these times. Below are the results according to the chart above:

  • Increase from 2015 to 2016 - 10%
  • Increase from 2016 to 2017 - 30%
  • Increase from 2017 to 2018 - 12%

That’s a whopping total of 52% increase over a period during which we realized NO additional cost of living compensation. We are on virtually a fixed income. The last Social Security cost of living increase was exactly canceled out by an increase in my Medicare part B premiums.

This is yet another example of how the Government screws us up by trying to “help” us.

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Road Closure

Road Closure

Damsel snapped this photo of one of the ADOT highway advisory signs a couple of miles south of Wickenburg, AZ on US 60/93 Northbound. I thought this was interesting since the section of I-15 that is closed is over three hundred road miles from this point. I presume the Interstate 15 closure is due to one of the California wildfires currently raging out there.

We were returning from a urology appointment in the Valley. The urologist had a little bad news when he inspected the interior of my bladder and found a small, non-invasive tumor. This is not as serious nor as invasive as the tumor he resected three years ago, so it will only involve an office visit down in Litchfield, AZ to resolve. Sedation, similar to that given to colonoscopy patients, will be applied during the trans-urethral procedure. This will not take place until October, since we have plans for much of September.

It’s a bummer that there is a recurrence, but we likely won’t have to endure more than the office procedure. Good thoughts and prayers are appreciated.

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Keep on Target for Breast Cancer Awareness

six-shooter bra

The Wickenburg Community Hospital sponsored a Bra Decorating Contest to highlight Breast Cancer Awareness month. There were a lot of nice entries, but my favorite was this brilliant presentation of pink targets and pink six-shooters in pink holsters. I loved it (and it got my vote). How could you not if you are into guns and target shooting.

There must have been a couple of dozen entries, most of them very creative and beautiful. The Arizona Flag and Red/White/Blue bra was very nice too. Click here to see the Arizona decorated bra.

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Transporting Mom Home

Transporting Mom Home

After over a week in rehab, we finally got Mom released back home to her assisted living ranch. We were a little disenchanted with the rehab center since they were not spending much time helping Mom get better. As for Mom, she HATED it. So, after a couple of days of tweaking and pulling chains, they released her. The hospice folks arranged transportation and we fell in behind them while they took her to the ranch. All I can say is that she is back in her element with friends, an excellent caring staff and some actually good food!

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Potomac Riverdance

The president and CJOTUS dance all over our new Gadsden Flag . . .

riverdance.jpg

Thanks to Michael Ramirez for this.

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Medicare Premium Rate Going Up - A Lot

caduceus.gifI received the following information from a longtime friend and former colleague. His source was an administrator in the Blue Cross Health System. I did some double checking and made corrections based on previous and current medicare premiums.

Although this information is to the best of my knowledge, it may not be completely accurate. However, it reflects an over 250 percent increase from the 2010 to 2014 rate. The jump in the 2013 to 2014 rate alone is over 205 percent:

MEDICARE

For those of you who are on Medicare, read the following. It’s short, but important and you probably haven’t heard about it in the Mainstream News:

The per person Medicare Insurance Premium will increase from the 2010 Monthly Fee of $96.40, rising to:

$99.90 in 2012

$120.20 in 2013

And

$247.00 in 2014.

These are provisions incorporated in the Obamacare Legislation, purposely delayed so as not to confuse the 2012 Re-Election Campaigns. Seniors should know who’s throwing them under the bus.

It figures that the administration would stick it to seniors, a weak demographic for them. If you are like me, having paid into this Ponzi scheme, just like social security, over all the years, you will be outraged.

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Adjusting the BP Meds

sphygmo.jpgThe Good Samaritan Hospital Trauma Center in Phoenix had me wired up to the vital signs monitor after I was admitted following my Humpty Dumpty experience. Thankfully, all the vitals looked good (heart rate, respiration rate, oxygen levels, etc.) except that my blood pressure was curiously lower than I would expect having not taken my BP meds that morning. Indeed, even after spending the night in the hospital, my blood pressure remained normal or a bit lower still despite having taken no BP meds for the second day in a row.

Image: Wrist band blood pressure monitor showing normal reading

Almost two weeks after the incident, I was at the Community Clinic to have the staples removed. During the visit, the Medical Assistant took my blood pressure. It was quite low - like 97 over 53. The PCP discussed this with me and told me to cut the meds in half. That was a week ago.

I got out my little wrist band sphygmomanometer today and took several readings. The at rest readings were still a little low, on the order of 105 over 65, but with normal activity the readings looked quite normal. I am due to go in for another follow-up next week and will further discuss the readings as well as take my wrist model along to see how it stacks up with the clinic’s sphygmo-whatever.

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